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New podcast 'Highway See' tells history of Tennessee roadways

You've probably seen some orange cones and thought, 'great, construction, here comes the traffic,' not realizing how those stretches of concrete really impact you.
Credit: WBIR

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Potholes. Traffic. Construction. Those words come to mind when you hear the term "Tennessee roads."

But there's a lot of history behind the more than 95,000 miles of roads that connect our state, and a new podcast is exploring that history.

"Welcome to Highway See, the podcast where we talk about the history of Tennessee's infrastructure, and why building better roads benefit us all," said host and producer Chris Hill to open up the first episode of the podcast.

The goal of a new Knoxville-based podcast 'Highway See' is to make drivers actually see the highways as they drive on them.

RELATED: TDOT: Changing temperatures can cause potholes on Tennessee roads

"Each section of road can have its own story," said executive producer Susie Alcorn.

It was her idea to start the podcast.

Alcorn is the executive director of the Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance. Through her work, she knew there was more to the roads than meets the eye.

"Some of our current modern roads actually came from what were animal paths," she said.

Fun facts like that litter the history of our road system, and she worked with Hill to turn that history into what will be a 10 to 12 episode podcast.

"I've always wondered how did this road get built? Why is this road so curvy versus, you know, this one is so straight, and everything like that," said Hill. "So for me, it was something that I was already passionate about."

Hill has about 15 years of podcasting experience and owns a podcast company called, HumblePod.

Together, they'll spend the next year interviewing experts and historians to get the full story behind why Tennessee roads are the way they are.

"I've heard folks who built roads, talk about building roads, and what went into it and there's always interesting backstories," said Alcorn.

RELATED: TDOT sets new completion date for long delayed I-75 widening project in Campbell County

Kingston Pike and the Foothills Parkway get special shout-outs in upcoming episodes, as Hill and Alcorn feature the history of roads from West to East Tennessee.

All the while they're hoping people will start to see our roads for more than just their imperfections.

"Our roads ultimately are part of what created Tennessee," said Alcorn. "Communities are expanded when they get road access. Our economy is made different because of road access. And there's a story around all of that."

New episodes will be released monthly on all major podcast apps.

The first episode is available now.

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