Work title: Scenic Borderway (0000701582)
The border is made to divide and filter movement from one space to the other. But the border as a liminal zone is not a vacuum, but rather a space that is transnational and transcultural; full of views and sceneries. Roadway infrastructure systems as elevated ground planes can activate borders that are passive, borders that divide places, and borders that are not free of access.
The border space can be transformed into an individual experience of the space. Roadways undulating at multiple levels of ground can serve as a cinematic experience for motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians from both side of the border waiting to cross. The roadways could also release congestion of traffic before crossing the border.
As a response to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, a bill enacted to, according to President Bush, “help protect the American people” from illegal immigration, drug smuggling and terrorism, I have chosen the border zone of USA and Mexico as the site for my research and design investigation. This bill mandates the construction of over 700 miles of double-reinforced fence to be built along the 1,969 mile long Mexico-U.S. border.
My proposal for the border wall is an undulating roadway infrastructure, stretching 300 miles, connecting two check points along the border of Juarez and El Paso. Typically, motor vehicles are required to wait at the check point zone, from 5 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, depending on the time of day and night. Waiting at the check point zone creates congestion of cars, thus fostering idling of time and gas. Idling, which burns about half a-mile worth of gas every minute, is reduced by the continuous flow of vehicle movement on the roadway.
Depending on check point waiting time, drivers and pedestrians are able to experience multiple routes; therefore, they are offered view of the Juarez and El Paso landscape, cityscape and monuments before arriving on time to the entry point. The sequential views that are experienced at multiple speeds of movement are controlled by the inclination of the roads, turning points and intersections. Traveling through space rather than waiting in line alters the perception of time and space within the border zone.