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Midweek Matinee: Building a Highway, 1948

Published in blog.hemmings.com

All photos are frame grabs from video below.

MidweekMatinee-Highway48-02-TRAILER

Vintage Road Construction Equipment Enthusiasts: Yeah, baby!

Concrete Enthusiasts: This is your lucky day!

Stimulating Narration Enthusiasts: Not so much.

Concentrate on that (’42 Plymouth?) and trailer, and  pay no attention to the fact that the good folks at Encyclopaedia Britannica chose to lead with a clip of… an asphalt highway.

MidweekMatinee-Highway48-03-DOZER

How to build a highway: survey and clear the land, run the dozers and scrapers, mix and pour the concrete, add signs and guardrails. Done.

In this particular exercise, we’ll skip over the lengthy permitting processes, land rights court appeals, deforestation impact studies, Wetland Bush Frog loss-of-habitat picketers, drainage issues, overpasses, tunnels, bridges and similar minor annoyances. Think big picture, people!

MidweekMatinee-Highway48-04-CRANE

We’re talking massive work crews and big, noisy machinery; endless construction jobs and a bright new future, coast-to-coast.

MidweekMatinee-Highway48-05-CREW

Plus a salute to Dusty, our noble mix master.

MidweekMatinee-Highway48-06-FINISH

And a surprising but brief demonstration of seine fishing techniques. Maybe.

MidweekMatinee-Highway48-07-CONCRETE ROAD

There ya have it: Three lanes, no waiting. Keep all this in mind as you play Count-The-Orange-Barrels this summer while motoring along those once-wide-open, formerly multi-lane roadways: You may be tempted to crank up the volume on your James Taylor Traffic Jam cassette, but please pause and have a kind word for our gallant road construction crews; at least you’re enjoying your A/C and multiple cup holders.

Public domain archival footage courtesy of the Internet Moving Images Archive, in association with Prelinger Archives.