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    The federal government is building a massive NAFTA superhighway


    A nonprofit organization advocated for good truck trade routes in North America

    There was never a “NAFTA superhighway.” The idea was a conspiracy theory based on the existence of a nonprofit organization that advocates for good truck trade routes and since-abandoned legislation in Texas. The Boston Globe reported in 2007:

    The NAFTA Superhighway has a more complicated origin. One piece is a nonprofit organization, called the North America's Supercorridor Coalition, or NASCO, dedicated to ensuring the efficiency and safety of some of the country's major truck trade routes - a map from the organization's website has shown up on [North American Union] watchdog websites, erroneously labeled the blueprint for the NAFTA Superhighway. Another is a controversial toll highway that Texas is considering building to accommodate the sharp increase in freight traffic brought by NAFTA.

    These constituent parts are a long way from the many-tentacled conspiracy that [some] see. But the theory still has managed to make itself felt.

    In 2012, the Texas Tribune reported on the fate of the Texas toll highway that the Globe referred to. Originally promoted by Gov. Rick Perry in 2002, the legislation authorizing the highway project had been almost entirely eradicated by 2011. The Tribune reported:

    Nearly 11 years ago, Gov. Rick Perry offered a vision for Texas that was covered in toll roads.

    At a news conference in Austin, Perry delivered the first of hundreds of pitches for the Trans-Texas Corridor, a 4,000-mile network of privately operated toll roads, railroad tracks and utility lines that would stretch across the state. The projected timeline for the project: roughly 50 years. The price tag: $175 billion.


    Yet the list of lawmakers on record against the project continued to grow. By 2011, the Legislature had erased every mention of the Trans-Texas Corridor from Texas statute and nearly every word of the original legislation authorizing the project.