By Brenda Williams
Highways are the most important part of the automobile industry. If there were no roads or highways there would be no need for automobiles. Highways allow drivers to get from destination to destination within cities and states. Highways can be large or small in the number of lanes available in each direction. There are different highway designs across not only the United States but also across the world. Highways can consist of tunnels, bridges and even ferries.
Some of the famous bridges in the United States are the Verrazano Bridge, the Gold Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Seven Mile Bridge to the Florida Keys. Some of the famous tunnels in the United States are the Broadway Tunnel, the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel, the Fort McHenry Tunnel and the Holland Tunnel. Bridges and tunnels are used to continue roadways and highways across large bodies of water without having to ferry vehicles across the water. This would take more time than driving across the bridge or through the tunnel because the cars would have to be loaded onto the ferry and then the ferry would have to traverse the water. A popular ferry located in both New Jersey and Delaware is the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. The ferry is used by tourists and the workforce alike, taking them from Cape May, New Jersey to Lewes, Delaware or vice versa.
The United States employs the National Highway System for their roadways. It is 160,000 miles of roadway that are important to the country’s safety, mobility and economy. As technology has improved so has the placement of highways. They are now located in the rough terrain of the mountains and the swamp lands of the deep South. The National Highway System came into being in 1995 when it was approved by the United States Congress. A part of the National Highway System is the Federal Highway Administration. The FHA is responsible for monitoring funds that are used for road construction and maintaining the quality of the roadways. The FHA is also responsible for providing road designs and construction for the National Park Service and the Forest Service.
The National Highway System serves a number of transportation venues throughout the United States. They are 198 ports, 207 airports, 67 Amtrak stations, 190 rail/truck terminals, 82 bus terminals, 307 public transit stations, 37 ferries, 20 multipurpose passenger terminals and 58 pipeline terminals.
People across the country can elect to adopt-a-highway, also known as the sponsor-a-highway program. This is where people can keep a stretch of highway beautiful by keeping it free of litter in exchange for a sign with that person or group’s name on it along the roadway. If you sponsor a highway the corporation that does so usually hires a company to pick up the litter from the roadway. This method is the most popular because of how dangerous high speed highways can be. The hired company is a professional trash company with road cleaning experience. Such groups that sponsor highways are the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, major corporations and even the Knights of Columbus.
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