National Geographic : 1978 Mar
One is concerned with needs. The other with overbuilding. Roads too much or not enough? Which? Almost anywhere you go you see a road project. Building new roads. Improving old ones. Pav ing, guard rails, and so on. Some people say ... "We already have 3.8 million miles of roads. Do we need more? 37,000 miles of In S terstate link most important cities. are Still we spend $25 billion each , year on road work. Wouldn't we h be better off spending these dol lars on other needs?" Others cite urgent transporta tion problems. Three times the cars of 25 years ago. Driving on only 16% more roads; those mostly for city expansion. Many current roads were built to serve horse and buggy needs: light loads, slow speeds. Traveling them is fuel-wasteful. Car damaging. Driving is the most perilous thing most of us do. We're regularly hasseled by traffic, bad pave ment, narrow bridges. "Let's fix these roads!", is a rising cry. Our roads are a $425 billion na tional asset. No one wants to over spend on highways. But they are a perishable asset. Unless main tained, roads deteriorate from weather and use. Even sections of our "new" Interstate system are now 20 years old. 60% of that sys tem needs work. Other feeder primary-secondary roads are worse. They require $200 billion in repairs according to the Depart ment of Transportation. Work we can't neglect. We must support a national transportation policy that recognizes the importance of roads and gives priority to maintenance and upgrading. Caterpillar machines build and maintain roads. We believe good roads are essential to an efficient transportation system. There are no simple solutions. Only intelligent Choices. Caterpillar,Cat and (l are Trademarksof Caterpillar Tractor Co. "We have all the roads we need."