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Historical narrative of how our road system came to be

NASHVILLE– A new podcast series, Highway See, is launching to tell the fascinating history of our roads and bridges. Episode 1 of Highway See begins to unveil how Tennessee’s road system came to be.

Listeners will learn from a historical perspective about the build-out of our modern roads that began as animal paths and grew to 95,986 miles of roads throughout Tennessee. Highway See is centered in telling the seldom heard stories of how our road network became what it is today.

The podcast promotes Tennessee’s highway system for the engineering marvel that it is. Highway See digs into the challenging details of building roads in mountainous East Tennessee, across the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee and over the flat land and riverbanks of West Tennessee.

Highlights of Highway See Episode 1 include:

  • The evolution of roads from wildlife traces and footpaths, to wagon trails and eventually to a paved system of highways and interstates;
  • Construction advancement from road-making bees that enlisted local citizens with picks and axes to a more industrial and bureaucratic system complete with federal environmental standards;
  • Drivers for roadbuilding including agricultural transport that demanded farm to port access;
  • President Eisenhower’s Federal Highway Act of 1956, which was the first major impetus to get federal money to states to build an interstate system across the country;
  • Maintaining Tennessee’s “pay as you go” system without incurring debt to build roads.

The podcast is narrated and hosted by Chris Hill of HumblePod. Episode 1 features interviews with:
Jason Mumpower, Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury;
Paul Degges, Chief Engineer of the Tennessee Department of Transportation; and
, Chairman of the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance.

The podcast concept and name originated with Susie Alcorn, Executive Director of the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance.

“The idea of Highway See is to help people appreciate the history behind the highways we all use, with a goal to better understand the robust engine roads are in our continual mobility and advancement,” said Alcorn. “Roads not only expand our economy and connect us to places away from where we live, roads are fundamental in shaping our state.”

The slogan for the podcast series is “We hope you’ll see the highway when you’re on the road.”

Anyone can follow or subscribe to the Highway See podcast for free through Apple or Google podcasts, Spotify or wherever they get their podcasts.

Listen anytime at HighwaySee.com