Pruned — On landscape architecture and related fields — ArchivesFuture Plural@pruned — Offshoots — #Chicagos@altchicagoparks@southworkspark
NAFTA Superhighway
NAFTA Superhighway

We're always suckers for interesting lines drawn on a map, so we cannot help but complement our earlier post on the radioactive waste transport routes to Yucca Mountain with this map of the “NASCO Corridor focus area.” It primarily shows existing transportation infrastructures linking the three NAFTA trade bloc countries. Collectively, they are sometimes nicknamed as the NAFTA Superhighway.

The term may also refer to a mythological highway that, according to The Nation, is imagined to “be four football fields wide, an expansive gully of concrete, noise and exhaust, swelled with cars, trucks, trains and pipelines carrying water, wires and God knows what else.” Gap jeans stitched together by little Indian kids? Nonunionized illegal immigrants? Lead-painted toys from China? Cocaine? CLUI tourists?

In any case, this other NAFTA Superhighway, as a matter of cultural geography, sounds incredibly interesting.

Through towns large and small it will run, plowing under family farms, subdevelopments, acres of wilderness. Equipped with high-tech electronic customs monitors, freight from China, offloaded into nonunionized Mexican ports, will travel north, crossing the border with nary a speed bump, bound for Kansas City, where the cheap goods manufactured in booming Far East factories will embark on the final leg of their journey into the nation's Wal-Marts.

In reading BLDGBLOG's post on urban infrastructure as a source of nightmares, one wonders if this is an actual nightmare, a real one collectively dreamt up by the Midwest. Each night, up and down I-35, people violently wake up from the same dream: a road “slicing through the heartland like a dagger sunk into a heifer at the loins and pulled clean to the throat.” They all wish they were dreaming about Freddy Krueger instead of a pack of migrant labors moving in the cover of darkness en route to harvest fields in Iowa.

Or more interestingly, it's the projection of East Coast progressives; it's what they think these people are having or should be having nightmares about.

Better yet, it's the wet dreams of NASCO, Wal-Mart and other multi-national business coalitions.
  • Alexander Trevi
  • August 3, 2008 at 2:49:00 PM CDT
  • Lies be told, my nightly wet dream is set on the concretized banks of an artificial river taking in torrents the waters of the Great Lakes to awaiting megasprawls, Olympic-sized swimming pools, vast golf courses and newly arrived teeming masses in the Southwest. Sometimes I go skinny dipping.

  • Anonymous
  • August 7, 2008 at 4:41:00 PM CDT
  • I love your site, but if you had read through to the middle of the Nation Article, you would have gotten to this:

    "[everything you've read above] would be a heartening story but for one small detail.

    "There's no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway."

    Translation: This is whole thing is a myth, cobbled together by people who see conspiracies under every rock.

    The only difference is that now, the conspiracy nuts use better graphics.

  • Alexander Trevi
  • August 7, 2008 at 5:55:00 PM CDT
  • I did not miss that sentence. It's its own paragraph. But let me reword some parts of the post.

    Meanwhile, where are these better graphics?

  • Douglas
  • August 7, 2008 at 7:35:00 PM CDT
  • I've heard about this thing before. In fact, I worked for a company in Texas for a short time which did some work with TXDOT and there was talk, and pictures, and animations, of a super large highway going through the center of the state connecting Okalahoma to Mexico. I can't remember all the details. I think there was something like 12 lanes in either direction, a high speed train, electricity lines, and an oil or gas pipeline all thrown together. I wouldn't say that this is a myth (at least for Texans). However, who knows if it will ever get far beyond the drawing boards, especially with the current infrastructure repair backlog and high oil prices.

  • Anonymous
  • August 8, 2008 at 12:23:00 AM CDT
  • Hi Alexander -- I posted above as Anonymous. It might have been my misreading of your post, in thinking that you actually believed in this thing. I first heard about it - and heard it debunked - on a midwest call-in talk radio show.

    And perhaps I was being too kind when I said "better graphics." The fact they're using graphics at all is a step forward. (And it could be worse: They could be using Comic Sans in their graphs, or worse, those animated 3-D wordforms that come with MS Word.

    Again, I'm a huge fan, and have been for a long while. I appreciate your viewpoint, your insights, and the very eclectic mix of stuff I find here.

  • Anonymous
  • September 6, 2008 at 11:36:00 AM CDT
  • this highway is so stupid they should use the money to help out some locuale invirments because there going to be the one cut down when they buid this stupid idea!!!!

    ps. im going to do something about this

Post a Comment —
Comments on posts older than a week are moderated —

—— Newer Post Older Post —— Home