AASHTO Journal, 18 May 2012
An episode of a new four-part special on PBS has broken down the complexity of America’s transportation system to show just how interconnected and intricate these systems are.
The series, “America Revealed”, looks at different systems in areas of American life. The second episode, “Nation on the Move,” explores 200,000 miles of railroads, 5,000 airports, and 4 million miles of road to show how Americans are the most mobile people on earth. The special is hosted by past Survivor winner Yul Kwon.
Kwon shadows workers from all forms of transportation, as well as at various organizations and groups. He also highlights the history of all these systems, mostly built during the 19th and early- to mid-20th centuries, and describes why they are in need of substantial upgrade in order to keep up with movement of the American population.
“We’ve built vast networks of roads, rails, and airways, and an army of workers keeps the wheels turning,” Kwon says in the special. “But it’s getting harder and harder to keep all these systems running. Many of them are aging, designed at a time when America was far less crowded. But even as they struggle to keep up, every day our systems miraculously manage to get us where we need to go.”
The episode originally aired last month, but is available in full online at to.pbs.org/PBStransportation.