Highway Will Span Two Continents (Aug, 1931)

Seems like the I-5, no?

Highway Will Span Two Continents

FROM the land of the midnight sun down the Pacific slope of two continents a 16,000-mile highway will stretch, linking Alaska with the Argentine.

Already the road has been surveyed on the ground and from the air from Central America to Fairbanks, Alaska. At the moment a party of five men are fighting Central American jungles, chopping their way down canyons and across mountains to Panama, mapping what will become the central portions of the long highway.

From Alaska to the Argentine government officials and highway enthusiasts have banded together to assure the success of the giant undertaking—to build a one billion dollar highway. Today nearly one-fourth of the long road already is improved, at costs ranging from $500 to $85,000 a mile. In the three Pacific coast states—Washington, Oregon and California—the International Pacific Highway, as it will be known, already totals 1,560 miles, all paved. Down in Mexico, the governors of the Mexican states have formed a Mexican Highway association to help each other in stretching the narrow ribbon of roadway across the nation. Long before the highway pushes across Central America it will traverse a land of an unconquered people, the much-feared Yaqui Indians. When the party of trail-blazers, sent out several weeks ago by the Automobile Club of Southern California, sponsors of the intercontinental project, traversed Sonora, an armed military escort crossed the Yaqui country with them.

On this narrow ribbon of hard surface you will be able to traverse, figuratively without leaving your car, the most productive regions of the world, see and talk with the most progressive peoples during a journey longer than half-way around the world.

Each country will build its own segment of the long road. Some will put down concrete, others gravel surfaces—but throughout the long route you will be able to drive your car on a roadway that will have the stamp of approval of a dozen governments.

6 comments
  1. Charlene says: July 11, 20117:40 am

    “Canada? We don’t need no stinking Canada! Cut the map off at Vancouver and stick a picture of clouds there – nobody’ll notice a thing.”

    A friend of mine from the States was all excited to see the intersection of the Trans-Canada and Pan-American Highways. He was crushed to discover that it’s just a boring freeway interchange in Calgary’s industrial district. I think he expected a 30-foot tall monument.

  2. lwatcdr says: July 11, 20118:04 am

    Charlene they left out Alaska as well. Come from the 1930s even today there are very few people in Northern Canada in the 1930s I would bet that there where even fewer. Hey from the picture they got at least 90% of to population of Canada in the picture even if it was only about 15% of the land mass.

  3. John Savard says: July 11, 20119:20 am

    Mentioning Alaska reminded me of that other ambitious American road-building project, the Alaska Highway.

    Now, I see that it is considered a part of the Pan-American Highway – which still does not actually link the continents, because of the Darien Gap.

  4. Hirudinea says: July 11, 20114:30 pm

    @ Charlene said – 1.“Canada? We don’t need no stinking Canada! Cut the map off at Vancouver and stick a picture of clouds there – nobody’ll notice a thing.”

    Hell thats nothing, they cut off the Maritimes and they just floated away!

  5. Richard says: July 11, 20115:07 pm

    Maine is gone, too. The US/Mexico border is partly missing, and much of what’s shown as a dotted line is in the wrong place. Venezuela and Colombia don’t seem to have any borders between each other or between them and Brazil. In fact, lots of borders are missing or wrong.

    Of the 23 countries on the continents of North and South America, I count only three as named on the map unambiguously (US, Mexico, and Brazil). Panama is sort-of shown, but it’s not clear whether the word “Panama” refers to the city of country of Panama. I lean toward thinking it’s the city, because it has the same style font and letter spacing as other city names.

    The illustrator doesn’t win any award of excellence in mapmaking. But I don’t think it was an intentional jab specifically directed at Canada.

  6. Mike says: September 12, 20119:34 pm

    A friend of mine from the States was all excited to see the intersection of the Trans-Canada and Pan-American Highways. He was crushed to discover that it’s just a boring freeway interchange in Calgary’s industrial district.

    And a really badly designed interchange to boot.

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