Interstate Highway Revitalization

Mon March 3, 2009, President Obama and Veep Biden announced the release of $28 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to states and local transportation authorities to repair and build highways, roads and bridges.

It might sound kind of strange, but I'm kind of excited to see what the have planned to help revitalize the interstate system. As a kid my family used to drive from Omaha to Salt Lake City (and later from Kansas City to Salt Lake City - oy!) each summer to visit friends and family. The speed limits were a bit lower back then (55 mph) and the trip would take about 20 hours each way. This was all before iPods and DVDs, so your best bets for entertainment were: 1) AM Radio, 2) Playing highway games (e.g., spotting license plates from the 50 states, Slug Bug, etc.) and 3) any roadside diversions.

Unfortunately, by the mid 80's, there wasn't much in the way of roadside entertainment. Still there were two roadside oddities that I always enjoyed.

First, this crazy Abraham Lincoln head Monument (Commemorating the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Highway):
And second, Chimney Rock (major landmark for the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails):

I always liked Abe because it was just kind of bizarre and there was a nice rest-stop there where you could escape from the other 6 people piled in the car. Chimney Rock was a little different - after getting a little back-story about all the different American migrations that passed by that geological oddity, it was interesting to think about all those who had stopped by to check out this rock sticking up out of the middle of nowhere on their long journey. Luckily, I wasn't walking or using buffalo chips to as firewood!