Do you know where construction began on our nation’s interstate system following the signing of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956?
The goal of that law was to spark the development of 41,000 miles of highway over a 20-year period, connecting the United States by automobile from end to end. At the time, it was the largest public works project in American history. Today, that interstate highway system is in large part responsible for our nation’s mobility and the strength of our economy. In fact, where it started is today irrelevant. What was finally achieved was astronomical.
We have a similar story unfolding this week in California. Due to funding awards from the federal government, our state’s high-speed train project is headed toward construction. It is a system that, in 10 years, will whisk passengers from Southern California to the Bay Area more affordably and more efficiently. In the near term, it is a system whose construction will put tens of thousands of people to work in our state. The question being put to the High-Speed Rail Authority’s board of directors: where should we start building it?