61 Years of the American Interstate

With Independence Day coming up, you might be joining the millions of Americans hitting the highways this holiday weekend. But without a critical piece of legislation signed into law 61 years ago, getting to your destination wouldn’t be so simple.

Today marks the anniversary of the Federal Highway Act of 1956, a piece of legislation signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It created the interstate highway system we know today – the 47,000-mile network that transports goods, people, and services from one state to another with relative ease.

“Our interstate system was once considered the envy of the world, but failing to properly maintain our infrastructure has led to a congested network of outdated roads and bridges,” said Michael W. Johnson, NSSGA president and CEO. “When the network was built, it was a revolutionary way to ease crowded, crumbling roads in post-war America. Six decades later, they are crumbling yet again.”

Traffic delays on outdated and congested roads cost American businesses over $45 billion each year and almost four in 10 of America’s 614,387 bridges are over 50 years old.

If you’re among the millions of Americans expected to travel this weekend, take time to urge your members of Congress to make a serious investment in our country’s infrastructure. Use NSSGA’s congressional hotline at 1-866-255-3207 to easily connect with your representatives and senators.

Taking an active role in advocacy is a great way to celebrate the anniversary of the American Interstate and our nation’s 241st birthday!