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EXPLORATIONS - America's Interstate Highway System Has Almos

时间:2006-03-16 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:z75531   字体: [ ]
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EXPLORATIONS - America's Interstate Highway System Has Almost 70,000 Kilometers of Roads
By Paul Thompson

Broadcast: Wednesday, October 12, 2005

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

This is Sarah Long.

VOICE TWO:

 
In 1956, President Eisenhower signed legislation1 that created the Federal2 Interstate Highway system.
And this is Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program EXPLORATIONS. Several years ago a first time visitor to the United States was asked what he liked best about the country. He immediately said, "I love your roads. You can drive a car very quickly anywhere." Today we tell about the history of the American national road system.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

In the United States it is possible to drive more than four thousand kilometers from the east coast on the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast on the Pacific Ocean. You can also drive more than two thousand kilometers from near the Canadian border south to the Mexican border.

You can drive these distances on wide, safe roads that have no traffic signals and no stop signs. In fact, if you did not have to stop for gasoline3 or sleep, you could drive almost anywhere in the United States without stopping at all.

This is possible because of the Interstate Highway system. This system has almost seventy thousand kilometers of roads. It crosses more than fifty-five thousand bridges and can be found in forty-nine of America's fifty states.

The Interstate Highway system is usually two roads, one in each direction, separated by an area that is planted with grass and trees. Each road holds two lines of cars that can travel at speeds between one hundred and one hundred twenty kilometers an hour. The Interstate Highway system is only a small part of the huge system of roads in the United States.

VOICE TWO:

To understand the Interstate Highway system, it is helpful to understand the history of roads. Roads in most countries were first built to permit armies to travel from one part of the country to another to fight against an invader4.

The ancient Romans build roads over most of Europe to permit their armies to move quickly from one place to another. People who traded goods began using these roads for business. Good roads helped them to move their goods faster from one area to another.

No roads existed when early settlers arrived in the area of North America that would become the United States. Most settlers built their homes near the ocean or along major rivers. This made transportation easy. A few early roads were built near some cities. Travel on land was often difficult because there was no road system in most areas.

VOICE ONE:

In seventeen eighty-five, farmers in the Ohio River Valley used rivers to take cut trees to the southern city of New Orleans. It was easier to walk or ride a horse home than to try to go by boat up the river.

One of the first roads was built to help these farmers return home after they sold their wood. It began as nothing more than a path used by Native Americans. American soldiers helped make this path into an early road. The new road extended5 from the city of Nashville, in Tennessee to the city of Natchez in the southern state of Louisiana. It was called the Natchez Trace6.

You can still follow about seven hundred kilometers of the Natchez Trace. Today, the road is a beautiful National Park. It takes the traveler though forests that look much the same as they did two hundred years ago. You can still see a few of the buildings in which early travelers slept overnight7.

VOICE TWO:

The Natchez Trace was called a road. Yet it was not what we understand a road to be. It was just a cleared path through the forest. It was used by people walking, or riding a horse or in a wagon8 pulled by horses.

In eighteen-oh-six, President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation that approved money for building a road to make it easier to travel west. Work began on the first part of the road in Cumberland in the eastern state of Maryland. When finished, the road reached all the way to the city of Saint9 Louis in what would become the middle western state of Missouri. It was named the National Road.

The National Road was similar to the Natchez Trace. It followed a path made by American Indians. Work began in eighteen eleven. It was not finished until about eighteen thirty-three. The National Road was used by thousands of people who moved toward10 the west. These people paid money to use the road. This money was used to repair the road.

Now, the old National Road is part of United States Highway Forty. By the nineteen twenties, Highway Forty stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. You can still see signs that say "National Road" along the side of parts of it. Several statues were placed along this road to honor11 the women who moved west over the National Road in the eighteen hundreds.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

In nineteen hundred, it still was difficult to travel by road. Nothing extended from the eastern United States to the extreme western part of the country.

Several people wanted to see a road built all the way across the country. Carl Fisher was a man who had ideas and knew how to act on them. Mister12 Fisher built the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway where car races still take place.

In nineteen twelve, Carl Fisher began working on his idea to build a coast-to-coast highway using crushed13 rocks. He called this dream the Coast-to-Coast Rock Highway.

VOICE TWO:

Carl Fisher asked many people to give money for the project. One of these men was Henry Joy, the president of the Packard Motor Car Company. Mister Joy agreed, but suggested another name for the highway. He said the road should be named after President Abraham Lincoln. He said it should be called the "Lincoln Highway."

Everyone involved with the project agreed to the new name. The Lincoln Highway began in the east in New York City's famous Times Square. It ended in the west in Lincoln Park in San Francisco, California. The Lincoln Highway was completed in about nineteen thirty-three.

VOICE ONE:

Later, the federal government decided14 to assign15 each highway in the country its own number. Numbers were easier to remember than names. The Lincoln Highway became Highway Thirty for most of its length.

Today, you can still follow much of the Lincoln Highway. It passes through small towns and large cities. This makes it a slow but interesting way to travel. Highway Thirty still begins in New York and ends near San Francisco. And it is still remembered as the first coast-to-coast highway.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

In nineteen nineteen, a young army officer named Dwight Eisenhower took part in the first crossing of the United States by army vehicles. The vehicles left Washington, D.C. and drove to San Francisco. It was not a good trip. The vehicles had problems with thick mud, ice and mechanical16 difficulties. It took the American army vehicles sixty-two days to reach San Francisco.

Dwight Eisenhower believed the United States needed a highway that would aid in the defense17 of the country. He believed the nation needed a road system that would permit military vehicles to travel quickly from one coast to the other.

In nineteen fifty-six, Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United States. He signed the legislation that created the Federal Interstate Highway system. Work was begun almost immediately.

VOICE ONE:

Building such an interstate highway system was a major task. Many problems had to be solved. The highway passed through different areas that were wetlands, mountains and deserts.

It was very difficult to build the system. Yet lessons learned18 while building it influenced the building of highways around the world. Today, the interstate system links every major city in the United States. It also links the United States with Canada and Mexico.

The Interstate Highway system has been an important part of the nation's economic growth during the past forty years. Experts believe that trucks using the system carry about seventy-five percent of all products that are sold. Jobs and new businesses have been created near the busy Interstate Highways all across the United States. These include hotels, motels19, eating places, gasoline stations and shopping centers.

The highway system has made it possible for people to work in a city and live outside it. And it has made it possible for people to travel easily and quickly from one part of the country to another.

The United States government re-named the Interstate Highway system at the end of the Twentieth Century. Large signs now can be seen along the side of the highway that say "Eisenhower Interstate System."

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

This program was written by Paul Thompson. It was directed by Cynthia Kirk. Our studio engineer was Mick Shaw. This is Steve Ember.

VOICE ONE:

And this is Sarah Long. Join us again next week for another EXPLORATIONS program in Special English on the Voice of America.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 legislation q9uzG     
n.立法,法律的制定;法规,法律
参考例句:
  • They began to draft legislation.他们开始起草法规。
  • The liberals band together against the new legislation.自由党员联合一致反对新的立法。
2 federal RkSxm     
adj.联盟的;联邦的;(美国)联邦政府的
参考例句:
  • Switzerland is a federal republic.瑞士是一个联邦共和国。
  • The schools are screaming for federal aid.那些学校强烈要求联邦政府的援助。
3 gasoline jhwxW     
n.(美)汽油
参考例句:
  • This car runs 5 miles on a gallon of gasoline.这部汽车一加仑汽油可以行驶五英里。
  • There is still some gasoline left in the tank.油箱里还剩下一些汽油。
4 invader RqzzMm     
n.侵略者,侵犯者,入侵者
参考例句:
  • They suffered a lot under the invader's heel.在侵略者的铁蹄下,他们受尽了奴役。
  • A country must have the will to repel any invader.一个国家得有决心击退任何入侵者。
5 extended Utcz1H     
adj.延伸的;伸展的;延长的;扩大的v.延伸(extend的过去式和过去分词);伸展;延长
参考例句:
  • an extended lunch hour 延长了的午餐时间
  • France has greatly extended its influence in world affairs. 在世界事务中,法国的影响已大大地扩大了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 trace sngwa     
n.痕迹,踪迹,微量;vt.追踪,找出根源,描绘;vi.追踪
参考例句:
  • There isn't a trace of a smile on her face.她脸上没有一丝笑容。
  • We have lost all trace of him.我们找不到他的踪迹。
7 overnight uKmxv     
ad.前一天晚上,一夜间 a.前一天晚上的
参考例句:
  • She stayed overnight in the hotel. 她在旅馆过了一夜。
  • Our success is not won overnight. 我们的成功不是一夜之间得来的。
8 wagon XhUwP     
n.四轮马车,手推车,面包车;无盖运货列车
参考例句:
  • We have to fork the hay into the wagon.我们得把干草用叉子挑进马车里去。
  • The muddy road bemired the wagon.马车陷入了泥泞的道路。
9 saint yYcxf     
n.圣徒;基督教徒;vt.成为圣徒,把...视为圣徒
参考例句:
  • He was made a saint.他被封为圣人。
  • The saint had a lowly heart.圣人有谦诚之心。
10 toward on6we     
prep.对于,关于,接近,将近,向,朝
参考例句:
  • Suddenly I saw a tall figure approaching toward the policeman.突然间我看到一个高大的身影朝警察靠近。
  • Upon seeing her,I smiled and ran toward her. 看到她我笑了,并跑了过去。
11 honor IQDzL     
n.光荣;敬意;荣幸;vt.给…以荣誉;尊敬
参考例句:
  • I take your visit as a great honor.您的来访是我莫大的光荣。
  • It is a great honor to receive that prize.能拿到那个奖是无上的光荣。
12 mister rnQzwB     
n.(略作Mr.全称很少用于书面)先生
参考例句:
  • Mister Smith is my good friend.史密斯先生是我的好朋友。
  • He styled himself " Mister Clean ".他自称是“清廉先生”。
13 crushed 8v6zDH     
a.压碎的,倒碎的
参考例句:
  • The car was completely crushed under the truck. 小轿车被卡车压得完全变形了。
  • The box was crushed when the car ran over it. 汽车辗过箱子时把它给压碎了。
14 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
15 assign uvOzN     
vt.派,指派;分配,分派;指定或选定
参考例句:
  • It is possible to assign an exact date to this building.这座建筑物的确切年代是可以确定的。
  • It's difficult to assign any reason for the failure.失败的原因很难确定。
16 mechanical YCDxt     
adj.机械(学)的;力学的;机械似的;手工操作的
参考例句:
  • He borrowed a mechanical book from me.他从我这儿借了一本力学方面的书。
  • He looks very mechanical.他看上去非常呆板。
17 defense AxbxB     
n.防御,保卫;[pl.]防务工事;辩护,答辩
参考例句:
  • The accused has the right to defense.被告人有权获得辩护。
  • The war has impacted the area with military and defense workers.战争使那个地区挤满了军队和防御工程人员。
18 learned m1oxn     
adj.有学问的,博学的;learn的过去式和过去分词
参考例句:
  • He went into a rage when he learned about it.他听到这事后勃然大怒。
  • In this little village,he passed for a learned man.在这个小村子里,他被视为有学问的人。
19 motels 633557e1314db80358d6e53ad0636382     
n.汽车旅馆( motel的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • All the motels lie beside the road. 所有的汽车旅馆都位于公路旁边。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • A lot of motels lie beside the turnpike. 很多汽车旅馆都位于付费公路旁边。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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TAG标签:   exploration  america  interstate
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