Matt Dellinger’s “Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway”
Recorded March, 2021
On Wednesday, MARCH 10, 2021, writer, photographer, and archivist Matt Dellinger presented photographs and stories from his travels researching his book “Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway” (Scribner, 2010).
Pitched in the 1990s as the “NAFTA Highway,” I-69 is built only in pieces today, and may never be completed. Its route connects Canada and Mexico from the great lakes to the Rio Grande; through sprawling cities like Indianapolis, Houston, and Memphis; and promises (or threatens) to transform many small towns left behind in the Midwestern rust belt, the Mississippi Delta region, and South Texas.
Part history, part travelogue through the heart of the country, Dellinger’s book reveals the surprising story of how this extraordinary undertaking began, sheds light on the history of American infrastructure, and introduces the array of individuals who worked tirelessly for years to build I-69 —or to stop it.