How to Build a Road

How to Build a Road

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Writing by Sam Denby and Tristan Purdy
Editing by Alexander Williard
Animation led by Josh Sherrington
Sound by Graham Haerther
Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster


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39 Responses

  1. bees on the what now? says:

    The amount of research needed to summarize the thought process of forgotten civil engineers from decades ago is truly impressive.

    • FelKor says:

      I think it’s really really easy, with all the issues we’re facing as mankind and states, to forget what marvels of enginiering, sociology and planning our modern society is. Highways, skylanes, modern building, electrical or water infrastructure are all incredebly mundane things for us that are incredible feats of planning & design if you look closer that would be called miracles by people just one or two-hundred years ago.

      We can’t be constantly in awe, and we should strive to adress the issues of our time but sometimes it’s good to remember what amazing feats our modern society is too.

    • Garo Lopez says:

      I think some of the modern tunneling techniques today would not disrupt wildlife in that spot.

    • boyHowdy113 says:

      Yes, we should thank the people at Mead & Hunt who already did that research and published a 76-page history on the topic in 2019, entitled “Vail Pass Segment of Interstate Highway 70” and freely available online. As far as I can tell, this document serves as the source for almost all of the historical narrative presented in this video, as well as many of the figures. It’s in their works cited in the description.

      I like Wendover Productions a lot, but their talent mostly comes from how they present information in a digestible manner with helpful visuals, a well as their choice of esoteric but fascinating topics. And of course it would be impossible to do extensive and original research for their videos given the rate at which they publish them. I think their research skills come more from taking aspects of a narrative and elaborating on the logistics, for example using a Florida study to understand the issues in Colorado. Obviously this isn’t hard to find, government studies are extremely easy to find and they cover every aspect of infrastructure.

    • lai fung Cheng says:

      @boyHowdy113well not every country has that or even do the study in the first place.

    • Shain Andrews says:

      Nope. This has been very well document. I have five books on my shelf of this subject alone. Your lack of understanding does not increase the complexity of the world around you.

  2. Val Blome says:

    As both a pilot and a Coloradan, this channel is the best. Great content, as always!

  3. Seed says:

    Instructions unclear, built a runway instead.

  4. Wattsup_jet says:

    These videos are always so informative, but living in the mountains of Colorado always makes Sam’s videos are 10x as interesting!

  5. Leif Khas says:

    What is insane is there isn’t a commuter train, at least from Golden to Loveland ski resort. This would cut overall traffic down significantly and greatly reduce the intensity of peak traffic times.

    • Daniel Lewis says:

      Somehow Winter Park gets once daily ski train service and nobody else does.

    • otsoko66 says:

      @daniellewis1789 not a mystery — Winter Park was built where the train already ran — My grandma used to take the train to Winter Park to go skiing back in the early 1940s when she was a student at U of Denver.

    • Daniel Lewis says:

      @otsoko66 There are other resorts that plausibly could see ski service but don’t. That’s the puzzler.

    • Cardriverx says:

      Gosh how I’d love to ride a frequent train service from Denver to Frisco in the winter…

    • Dirk Boersma says:

      Indeed, a train service would make the trip to the ski slopes very relaxing! The ride we took from Westminster/Thornton to Copper Mountain was not bad, but took at least an hour. A train would be very convenient.

  6. Mischa Brooks says:

    That stretch of I-70 west of Denver is probably the most beautiful stretch in the country of interstate. If you’ve never driven it, you should!

    • Jokes with Mitochondria says:

      Oh yeah it’s gorgeous

    • Safe Account says:

      @Jokes with Mitochondria i was curious about your username so clicked on ur profile. Wasn’t disappointed

    • Tiffany Johns says:

      The first time I drove that when moving out west was breathtaking. Glenwood Canyon to start the day, giving way to the hill after Grand Junction. Once you cross the summit you can see like 300 miles unobstructed down the Colorado Plateau. Having never left the east side of the country before that, I was not prepared.

  7. Aquatarkus says:

    I 70 through the Rockies is cool road to drive. Terrifying at times, but still incredible that a highway of that size was built through the mountains

  8. Mark Young says:

    I grew up taking this highway, and I was always amazed by the fact that the roadway was raised on supports for miles in such a remote canyon, it felt like driving in a video game.

  9. Graham Schuh says:

    I dug out the railroad tracks (UPRR) in Glennwood via high rail track hoe last summer from the mud slides that closed down sections of I-70 & trapped motorist for over a day in Glennwood tunnel.

    Great video. You should make another talking about the building of that section of railroad and the challenges faced while doing so. Very neat part of logistical history

    • jirky015 says:

      I agree. And the original line built up and over Rollins Pass is an incredible marvel until they built Moffatt Tunnel which is also a marvel.

  10. mattcolver1 says:

    The highway through Vail Pass is impressive, but really the most expensive and difficult section to build was through Glenwood Canyon. That section of road is essentially all bridges and tunnels.

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