How Terry Sanford greenlighted the Big Dig

“By 1987 Reagan found his control over Congress slipping….The Democratic majority in the House easily overrode his veto [of what would be the last interstate highway authorization], and the Senate did the same by a single vote.

“A hapless freshman senator from North Carolina [Terry Sanford] , who had opposed the bill because there wasn’t enough pork for his state, switched his vote after a phalanx of senators threatened to kill federal subsidies for tobacco farmers.

“In a curious way, then, those subsidies enabled Boston to transform its landscape with the most expensive interstate highway project in history [to be nicknamed the Big Dig].

— From Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life” by Tom Lewis (2013)

 

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