Right after World War II, with 12 million men and women home from war and looking for work, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed a National Highway Committee to develop plans for a national system of expressways. Congress designated the 40,000-mile National System of Interstate Highways in 1944, but it was not funded until President Dwight Eisenhower made it a cornerstone of his domestic agenda in 1956.
After more than 50 years, Eisenhower’s plan has become the most successful public works project in our nation’s history. With over 42,000 miles built, at a cost of $128.9 billion, the highway system put millions of WWII service men and women back to work, and provided the infrastructure for the movement of people and products that fuels our economy today. . .