Connecting Texas: True Tales of the People Who Built Our Highways and Bridges

By Gary G. Scharrer

American roads are about destinations. They’re also about destiny.

The evolution of the national system of roads in the United States is undeniably linked to our unique history and our past and future successes. Today’s roads are a long way from the Model T days, when bold early contractors used mules and Fresnos to build roads and bridges that literally helped people up out of the mud and across uncrossable rivers. Those primitive roads, developed back at the beginning of the twentieth century, link us to each other today. But that story didn’t happen over night.

The legacy of the colorful contractors whose careers intersected with the influential Association of General Contractors provides the basis for Connecting Texas, which is rich in personal interviews and present-day and historic photographs. Gary Scharrer clearly captures the effect that good roads have had on the Texas (and national) economy. But this longtime reporter also weaves an informed and entertaining narrative that will put readers face-to-face with the inspirational and larger-than-life stories of the giants and everyday people who gave Texas a road system that is the envy of the country.

Millions of us get into our vehicles every day to go to work, or school, or any number of other places in our daily lives. But the majority of us don’t think about the roads underneath us. We jump in our cars or trucks, and off we go. But what about the individuals and the hard work and grit that it took and continues to take to build and maintain these essential arteries? Most of us generally take it for granted that good roads and bridges are simply a guaranteed fact of everyday life.

“Roads are non-partisan, and this story provides a crucial understanding of how roads connect us while introducing us to the people who built them.”

– General Tommy Franks, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Our goal is to educate Texans across the state about the importance of taking care of our state's road and water infrastructure in order to foster safer communities, promote job creation and stimulate economic growth.

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