50 Years After The Birth Of The Interstate System

Half a century later, Interstate highways have transformed the face of modern America.
July 3, 2006, 7am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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Initially proposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s as a network of roads that could "meet the demands of catastrophe or defense, should an atomic war come," today the U.S. interstate highway system represents a core component of the country's transportation infrastructure.

"[Interstates have] spawned such basic elements of American life as the suburb, the motel, the chain store, the recreational vehicle, the seat belt, the spring-break trek to Florida, the 30-mile commute and the two-mile traffic jam."

The new system also brought an end to the prominence of existing major highways, including US 1 and US 66.

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Published on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 in The Washington Post
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