New book chronicles journey of controversial I-69


Aug. 27, 2010 at 3:27 a.m.

The proposed Interstate 69 has caused controversy across the U.S. for decades. In his new book, "Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway," Matt Dellinger chronicles the journey of the plan to build a 1,400-mile superhighway from the Mexican border to Canada. Dellinger goes from the project's first days as a grassroots effort by an Indiana man to reverse the economic downslide of his county, to its current stalled existence within several state governments.

Part history, part travelogue, the book also introduces the multiple individuals who worked tirelessly for years to build the road, or to stop it. Dellinger follows the journeys through the many places the highway would transform, from sprawling cities to small rural towns, including several places in South Texas, according to a news release.

Among the revelations Dellinger unfolds in his book are how I-69 became tangled in controversial highway privatization schemes in Texas and Indiana, and how the notion of the road as the actual NAFTA Highway was turned into a conspiracy theory by ultraconservatives and anarchists alike, according to the news release.

Dellinger has written for The New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Oxford American and the Wall Street Journal magazine. He also reported on transportation and planning for the public radio show "The Takeaway." Living in Brooklyn, he blogs for public radio's



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