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NAFTA Superhighway' remains a controversial concept



Oklahoma forms the low-slung buckle on the proposed "NAFTA Superhighway," a vast interstate transportation and communications belt that would cut through America's midsection and connect Mexico with Canada.

The superhighway could include automobile, trucking and rail traffic, along with oil and gas pipelines and power and electronic data transmission lines to increase the flow of trade and services among the three countries.

Still merely an idea, it transports only a truckload of controversy hotly debated by politicians, taxpayers and various factions.

The superhighway would pump massive loads of steroids into Interstates 35 and 29, already major traffic arteries through the heartland. But, the mega-road does not appear to be a "cinch" to build anywhere.

The NAFTA Superhighway has encountered host of delays ranging from how to document immigrant workers to American labor unions battling the possibility of some 100 Mexican trucking companies expected to gain access to U.S. highways.

NAFTA and its enabling agreements have run into snags, many of them cropping up in Texas and, now, the Sooner State. Principal objections have centered on:
" how it will be financed;
" who will own, control and maintain it; and
" whether American taxpayers will have any say in the matter.

As in other public policy decisions, the outcome may depend on who has the most money to throw into the fray. "Randall Turk


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