NAFTA Superhighway History*
This story could start with the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System
of Interstate and Defense Highways but everybody pretty much knows
about the Interstate System. What most people probably don't
know about is the Metropolitan Planning Organization, it's history and
reason for being.
Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO)
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 came with the requirement for urban transportation planning for metropolitan areas - defined as having a population of 50,000 or greater. Evolution of the comprehensive planning process:
There has been so much controversy and disinformation about the NAFTA Superhighway, that several researchers - including myself - undertook the project of researching the origins of the name NAFTA Superhighway, to be able to document it to the extent that denials are impossible and to define precisely what it means both now and into the future.
Thanks to the efforts of Debra Niwa, Independent Researcher and Graphics Artist, Amanda Teegarden, Ok-Safe, a host of others I can't name, plus a special thanks to Jane Lesko, Eagle Forum of Idaho who prodded me to investigate the Canamex even though looking at highways was the last thing in the world I wanted to do.
The Federal Highway Administration defines MPO6 as follows:
In the late 1960's there was a
program on television called "21st Century". It was
the era of dreamers with big dreams of what life would be
like in the 21st Century and this program was our window
into the future they saw.
I hadn't thought about that program in years until I started researching the NAFTA Superhighway. The NAFTA Superhighway is the implementation of one of the Big Dreams from the 1960's.7 The dream was an intelligent highway system with intelligent cars that would have collision detection and prevention systems; traffic flow control systems; your car would talk to you and tell you the best route to take and it would give you road conditions ahead. It was fantastic and just the prospect of it was exciting. But here we are in the 21st Century and we are facing the reality of the Big Dream becoming the Big Nightmare - with the Big Nightmare being defined as the NAFTA Superhighway.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments (MPO) regional transportation plan - named Mobility 2000, was the first major metropolitan area planning project that was given the mandate to design a comprehensive plan utilizing the concepts of the 'intelligent highway' technology. 'Superhighway' is the label that was given to describe an 'intelligent highway' to differentiate it from an ordinary, non-automated highway. The history of the Mobility 2000 project is on the right panel.
Intelligent Vehicle Highway System (IVHS)
At the DOT's request, IVHS America produced a Strategic Plan for for America's transportation infrastructure. This plan was produced concurrently with the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.
This group was essentially given carte blanch to redesign America's transportation and border infrastructure for the purpose of building world's first fully automated, advanced technology highways and facilities, managed by information and control systems.
Mobility 2000 was the name of the Dallas-Fort Worth federally mandated, regional transportation study8 that was completed in 1986. Two years later, after a conference attended by various groups involved in road and traffic management, a national special interest group was formed. They named themselves Mobility 2000.9
"In 1988, Mobility 2000 was formed to develop a national program of automated highway technology, which eventually evolved into Intelligent Transportation systems (ITS). Mobility was the organizational precursor to ITS America, of which AASHTO [American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials] was a founding member". 10
"Founded in 1988, Mobility 2000 was an informal assembly of industry, university, and government representatives created to promote the use of advanced technologies to improve highway safety and efficiency. The initiative was formalized in 1991, when the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) was enacted, and the national Intelligent Vehicle Highway System (IVHS) program was established. A growing sense soon developed in the IVHS community, especially in the public transit arena, that “intelligent vehicle highway systems” did not embrace all the transportation modes addressed in the national IVHS program. In 1994, the national IVHS program was renamed the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), to clarify the multi-modal intent." 11
"In 1991, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) provided this initial funding and authorized the organization to be a Federal Advisory Committee to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Among its first major tasks was the development of a strategic plan for ITS deployment in the U.S. The document was a collaborative effort among the organization’s membership and the U.S. DOT set a national framework for guiding the development of intelligent transportation systems."12
Paradigm Shift in Transportation Policy
The shift in transportation policy away from just building highways and moving us towards the 21st Century Nightmare began with the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). In that legislation, Congress declared the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (Interstate System) complete and the 'National Highway System (NHS)' was created. The NHS included not only the Interstate System but also the feeder routes (urban and rural) leading to principal arterials and highways (including toll facilities), ports, airports, public transportation facilities, and other intermodal transportation facilities.
The purpose of the legislation was described thusly:
It doesn't seem out of line to consider that the ISTEA legislation federalized the entire U.S. system of roads because all roads feed into - or lead to one of the major hubs mentioned above - except perhaps for Alaska where they have a road to nowhere. Maybe that was an act of rebellion on the part of Alaskans.
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Federico Peña, Secretary of Transportation to Senator John Chafee, Chairman of the Committee on Public Works and the Environment in 1996 concerning a report regarding highway designations for the National Highway System:
Both the letter and the report: Pulling Together: The National Highway System and Its Connections to Major Intermodal Terminals can be found on the Federal Highway Administration website. If for some reason, access to the report is not available, a pdf has been captured and may be accessed HERE.
Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 199115
SEC. 2. DECLARATION OF POLICY: INTERMODAL
It is the policy of the United States to develop a
National Intermodal Transportation System that is
economically efficient and environmentally sound,
provides the foundation for the Nation to compete
in the global economy, and will move people and
goods in an energy efficient manner.
The National Intermodal Transportation System shall provide improved access to ports and airports, the Nation's link to world commerce.
The National Intermodal Transportation System shall be adapted to ``intelligent vehicles'', ``magnetic levitation systems'', and other new technologies wherever feasible and economical, with benefit cost estimates given special emphasis concerning safety considerations and techniques for cost allocation.
* * * * *
Corridor: A combination of modes that move people, vehicles and goods from one location to another. In general, a transportation corridor is not just one road or rail line, but a combination of modes.18
The planning for the National Highway System in the ISTEA legislation included preservation of existing Interstate routes that would later be designated as high priority corridors.
The transportation corridors were named as high priority corridors in 1995 in the National Highway System Designation Act (P.L. 104-59).
The following are two of the designated priority corridors:
Sec. 332. High Priority Corridors, (Items 26 and 23).21
The I-35 Corridor is currently named the 'NASCO Corridor' after the group that lobbied for the superhighway designation:
The first reference to 'NAFTA Superhighway' was found in the Congressional Record in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearings in 1995. The result of these hearings was the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 23.
March 10, 1995, Page 687-688, remarks by Mr. Geren:
"NAFTA presents us with the greatest opportunity in world trade, in spite of the problems that Mexico is suffering through right now. For the long term, NAFTA, with what it offers with Canada and Mexico, presents us with the greatest opportunity for economic improvement in our country that we have seen in a long, long time. It is an opportunity for us to grow our markets, an opportunity for us to build good- paying, good-benefits jobs, not just in Texas, but all over the United States. And it is essential that we plan our transportation infrastructure based on what this international trade is going to require.
I think this NAFTA superhighway is a very important step in the right direction.
If you look at the map over there, I think it is self- evident what it means to the whole country, not just to Texas. And if you look at the NAFTA corridor as the trunk of a tree, one that hooks up Mexico and all those markets down there with the industrial heartland of our country, as well as the most important economic centers in Canada.
I urge this committee to give careful consideration to this concept. As this trade grows, the current I–35 won't be able to handle it. It will deteriorate. We won't take advantage of all the imaginative opportunities that this superhighway designation can give us.
Some of the ideas that have been mentioned to me that seem to make so much sense—if we could come up with a system where you can pack beef in Chicago, have it go through customs in Chicago and perhaps put a bar code on the truck, and have that beef be shipped right down and go straight into supermarkets in Mexico and not have to stop at the border crossing—there are so many imaginative things that can come out of it if we do put our best minds to work on maximizing the potential here.
Page 690 The designation of I-35 corridor as a superhighway under NAFTA is extraordinarly important to the successful implementation of that agreement.
Page 699 Excerpt from Remarks of Mr. Cornelius:
I really believe that the intelligent vehicle highway system, the IVHS program, represents our best opportunity to accomplish those goals, and IH-35 represents not only the State's, but I believe the Nation's most viable candidate for becoming the first of these new generation of superhighways.
GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Without a systems background, it's difficult to fathom the scope and complexity of the transportation infrastructure and integrated systems that are being implemented worldwide. In this country, we see a small part of it in the NAFTA Superhighway and Canamex and SmartPorts, but that's not even close to the full extent of it. This section and the next will attempt to expand the vision so that the magnitude and the implications of it can be understood. (And you'll wonder who is in charge of U.S. National Security and what they are doing with their time because it isn't being spent on protecting our nation).
This is an excerpt from the 1992 IVHS Strategic Plan:
Section 1006 - ISTEA of 1991
The National Highway
System Designation Act of 1995
SEC. 359. MISCELLANEOUS
The TTC would be operated by a Spanish firm known as Cintra that would reap the profits while partnering with U.S. politicians to ensure that eminent domain and law enforcement powers are wielded.
The same system mega-transport projects including 'intelligent highways' is being implemented in Europe as well as the United States and the systems are integrated making the Global Transportation Network - truly global - and truly a threat to U.S. national security. One does not need to be a military strategist to know that whoever controls the supply lines - controls the battlespace and wins the war.
In the United States, CINTRA already controls the Indiana Toll Road and the Chicago Skyway. In addition, CINTRA has recently submitted, among others, proposals for the construction and operation of a toll motorway for trucks in Atlanta, for the Ohio Turnpike and Texas Loop 9 Tollroad. At the end of September 2006, 67% of revenues* stemmed from overseas concessions.
"In contributing to the implementation and development of the Internal Market, as well as re-enforcing economic and social cohesion, the construction of the trans-European transport network is a major element in economic competitiveness and a balanced and sustainable development of the European Union.
This development requires the interconnection and interoperability of national networks as well as the access to them.
Lastly, to achieve these objectives, the Community has established guidelines covering the objectives, priorities, the definition of projects of common interest, and the main themes of the envisaged measures.
The Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency (TEN-T EA) was created in 2006 to implement and manage the TEN-T programme on behalf of the European Commission."
Learn more about the TEN-T EA
ERTICO - Prometheus
In order to bring products to market more quickly in Europe, European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination Organization (ERTICO) was created in November 1991. Its objectives are to pool the information from the many individual projects and identify strategies in order to exploit the results of DRIVE, PROMETHEUS, and other individual programs. ERTICO's goal is to create a climate for market-driven investment in order to ensure European dominance in advanced-vehicle technologies.
ITS – Intelligent Transport Systems and Services – is the integration of information and communications technology with transport infrastructure, vehicles and users.
By sharing vital information,
ITS allows people to get more from transport networks, in
greater safety and with less impact on the environment.
ERTICO strives for a European network in which roads and vehicles can communicate with one another; in which commuting is more secure, reliable and comfortable; in which businesses know where shipments are and what condition they are in and in which drivers are automatically directed to available parking spaces in urban areas.
EU transport "mega-projects" are threatening over a thousand protected nature sites in Europe, according to a coalition of European environmental groups.
Some of the most rare birds in Europe, including the Red-breasted Goose and the Dalmatian Pelican, as well as a range of biodiverse habitats could be put at risk by 21 planned "priority projects" that are part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) package.
The TEN-T is the EU's transport infrastructure framework. Originally adopted in 1990, TEN-T is engaged aims to connect up tens of thousands or roads, railways and waterways across Europe by 2020.
ITS Associations World Wide - notice that ITS Arab doesn't have a flag yet, and neither does Taiwan. So - do you want to ask again why we attacked Iraq and took out Saddam? And why we attacked Afghanistan (hint: pipeline - energy corridor).
Plan Puebla Panama
"The PPP's main components call for massive state investments in infrastructure projects. Close to 84% of the funds initially appropriated are for highway construction and improvement along two axes: the Pacific and Gulf Coast corridors. The latter reaches beyond the PPP's geographical confines and stretches 1,745 km from Central America's Caribbean coast to the Mexican border with Texas. The Pacific Corridor will run 3,150 km from central Mexico to Panama City. Both projects, together with feeder roads, will cost over US$3.5 billion. Other projects include:
ISTEA was planned as an international project from the beginning.
The SPP is about harmonizing regulations to facilitate the integration of the U.S., Mexican and Canadian economies and government regulatory rules and functions.
UNISYS - Videos on Information Systems Related to Global Transportation System
"The proposed system will be a network of transportation corridors (routes) incorporating separate lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks, rail lines for high-speed passenger and freight rail, and a dedicated utility zone. Components in the system may incorporate existing and new highways, railways, and utility rights-of-way where practical. Up to 366 meters (1,200 feet) wide in some places, the corridor is designed to move people and freight faster and more safely through Texas, from Mexico to the Oklahoma border."
The Bush administration is proposing more than 6,000 miles of "energy corridors" for future pipelines and transmission lines in Idaho and 10 other Western states, crossing dozens of sensitive areas including national monuments, recreation areas and scenic rivers.
Officials say the 3,500-foot-wide corridors are needed to keep pace with the electricity demands of a growing population and the increasing oil and gas production.
"That's where a significant amount of our industrial and consumer growth is going to happen in the United States - in the West and Southwest," said Department of Energy spokesman Jonathan Shradar. "Demand for electricity will increase, and on the federal lands these corridors will be sufficient to meet that demand."
The plan, developed over two years, would affect federal lands - mostly those owned by the Bureau of Land Management.
In Idaho, primary corridors would run roughly east to west in the Snake River valley, north to south in Eastern Idaho, and east to west across the Panhandle. Two sets of smaller corridor segments cross parts of the Magic Valley from north to south, merging into one before entering Nevada.
Curiously however, the proposed utility and pipelines appear to be in the same location as the existing utility and pipelines lines so it's not clear why they would need an additional 3500 feet of right-of-way. 3500 feet is just under 10 football fields running end to end.
COMMUNIST China's connection to the U.S. transportation system is being facilitated by their Mexican "partners" and NASCO. NASCO merged with an organization named the North American International Trade Corridor Partnership (NAITCP). Before the merger, NAITCP had their own website. On their website, there was a conceptual design document for a global freight tracking system that is integral to the design plans for the global transportation system.
Excerpt from "The Trans-Pacific Multi-Modal Security System" (TPMSS) overview:
"An important step towards the further integration of Mexico with its APEC trading partners is the development of a modern multimodal security system between North America and Asia. The backbone of this new system will be frequent maritime routes between selected Asian ports and the Mexican ports of Manzanillo and Lázaro Cárdenas. These sea routes will be supported by enhanced rail service running through the heart of North America. TFM and Ferromex, in coordination with Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific, will be the workhorses hauling cargo north out of the ports of Manzanillo and Lázaro Cárdenas.
Manzanillo is Mexico’s busiest Pacific port and will be the first seaport incorporated into the Trans-Pacific Multimodal Security System (TPMSS). Subsequently, the port of Lázaro Cárdenas will be added to the program. Several Asian transshipment and gateway hubs such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Kaoshiung could realize quantifiable long-term benefits by participating in this initiative. Cargo generation programs, customs modernization, infrastructure enhancements, operational improvements and the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) will help justify frequent maritime service between Mexico and Asia....
The essence of the TPMSS is to build additional transportation capacity in APEC region, realize operational improvements, implementation of innovative security and customs protocols while providing Mexican businesses with direct access to globally competitive multimodal systems. The project proposes the development of a secure and agile transportation system to increase current capacity and, in the initial stages, will utilize the Kansas City SmartPort as its strategically located inland port in North America.
Trans-Pacific Multi-Modal Security System (TPMSS) Conceptual Design Diagram
For example, it is envisioned that goods shipped through the TPMSS could travel the following path. First, goods will undergo an initial security revision at the shipper’s location in Southeast Asia and/or during their transshipment in Singapore. Singapore will then send advance notification to Mexican and U.S. Customs with the corresponding “pre-clearance” information on the cargo. When the containers arrive at Manzanillo or Lázaro Cárdenas, they will proceed through an X-ray arc, but will not clear Mexican Customs. Any containers with anomalies will be removed from the special in-bond regimen. If no anomalies are detected, the containers will head north on double-stack unit-trains. The unit trains will be tracked by a GPS system and monitored by ITS during the entire journey. When the train reaches the U.S. border, the containers will pass through yet another X-ray arc, and will clear U.S. Customs under the new electronic manifesting system. Again, any containers with anomalies will be removed from the unit train and inspected immediately. The cargo will then travel non-stop on Kansas City Southern or Union Pacific trains, while being GPS/ITS tracked, to an inland trade-processing center in cities like Kansas City, Chicago, Ft. Worth or Oklahoma City. Upon arrival to the inland port the containers could be subjected to another full customs inspection and then trucked out to the final destination.
APEC Canada-Asia Gateway
If you control the supply lines, you control the territory.
If the enemy controls the supply lines, you're finished.
"Spending authority for the ITS program grew from $20 million in 1991 to $227.5 million in 1995. For the 1991-1995 period, the Congress has voted $827.6 million, and by the end of fiscal year 1994 the Department of Transportation had obligated $544 million for the program (see Summary Table 1)." 29
Part II - Smart Highway Technology
1) Association of Metropolitan
Planning Organizations, About MPO's: A Brief History,
(Excerpts from U.S. DOT's 1988 Report, Urban Transportation
Planning in the United States: An Historic Overview