Interstate Sign
U.S. Interstate Highways
(Federal-Aid Highway Act signed by Pres. Eisenhower 29 Jun 1956)

The Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways provided speedy and efficient road travel on a national transportation network connecting the States with limited-access routes having at least four lanes with no at-grade railroad crossings.

“Our unity as a nation is sustained by free communication of thought and by easy transportation of people and goods.  The ceaseless flow of information throughout the Republic is matched by individual and commercial movement over a vast system of interconnected highways crisscrossing the country and joining at our national borders with friendly neighbors to the north and south.
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 22 Feb 1955

Together, the united forces of our communication and transportation systems are dynamic elements in the very name we bear -- United States. Without them, we would be a mere alliance of many separate parts.”
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 22 Feb 1955

“More than any single action by the government since the end of the war, this one would change the face of America with straightaways, cloverleaf turns, bridges, and elongated parkways.  Its impact on the American economy—the jobs it would produce in manufacturing and construction, the rural areas it would open up—was beyond calculation.”

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mandate for Change 1953-1956 (1963)

“The Interstate Highway System wound a key and then released a perpetual motion machine.”

-- Janet F. Davidson and Michael S. Sweeney
On the Move: Transportation and the American Story,
2003 Smithsonian Institution & National Geographic Society

“President Eisenhower … gave the nation its biggest construction project, the huge interstate-highway program that changed the shape of American society and made possible the expansion of the suburban middle class.”

-- James M. Perry
The Wall Street Journal, 27 Oct 1995


“The Interstate Highway Act literally brought Americans closer together.  We were connected city-to-city, town-to-town, family-to-family, as we had never been before.  That law did more to bring Americans together than any other law this century . . . ”

-- President Bill Clinton, 8 Feb 1996

“The Interstate System works; in fact, it has exceeded its original scope and mission by revolutionizing the nation's logistics, changing the way we travel, and knitting the country's regions closer together.  Thanks to constant redesign and reconstruction, the Interstate remains a vital part of the U.S. economy.”

-- Daniel J. McConville
American Heritage of Invention and Technology, Fall 1995

“Dwight D. Eisenhower changed America forever with the creation of the interstate highway program.”

-- Joel Garreau, Edge City, 1991

“Congestion and repairs aside, the Interstates have knit us together in subtle and unanticipated ways.  Just as the railroad first introduced us to the country a century ago, so the Interstates have opened it up to everyone.  Their very popularity has confirmed our love of the road, which is really a love of exploration.  We are still pioneers, seeking new horizons from the driver's seat.”

-- Nick Taylor
Travel Holiday, August 1990

“Along with the GI Bill, which educated and housed Eisenhower's fellow veterans, the Interstate System has proved to be by far the most important economic-development strategy of the federal government.”

-- David S. Broder
The Washington Post, 10 Oct 1990

“The Interstate program was the last New Deal Program and the first space program, combining the economic and social ambitions of the former with the technological and organizational virtuosity, the sense of national prestige and achievement, of the latter.”

-- Phil Patton
Open Road: A Celebration of the American Highway, 1986

“Archeologists of some future age will study [the freeway] . . . to understand who we were.”

-- David Brodsly
L. A. Freeway: An Appreciative Essay, 1981

“The Interstate System is the most grandiose and indelible signature that Americans have ever scratched across the face of their land.”

-- "The 100 Events That Shaped America"
Life, Bicentennial Issue, 1976
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