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Highways and Roads

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  1. Highway Safety
  1. End of Named Highways (Lincoln Highway)
      "In March 1925, the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) started planning a federal highway system. All named roads were ignored in their planning. That November, the secretary of agriculture approved AASHO's plan, which set up the now-familiar U.S. highway system." 7-05

  2. German Autobahn (
      "Similar to such freeways in other countries, autobahns have multiple lanes of traffic in each direction, separated by a central barrier with grade-separated junctions and access restricted to certain types of motor vehicles only. Over 90% of autobahn mileage constructed during the Nazi period had Portland cement concrete pavement, normally about eight inches thick." 7-05

  3. Massive Highway Bill Becomes Law (MSNBC News)
      "President Bush, saying it will help economic growth, on Wednesday signed a whopping $286.4 billion transportation bill that lawmakers lined with plenty of cash for some 6,000 pet projects back home." 8-05

  4. National Highway System (
      "In the beginning of the 20th century, a national, uninterrupted system of highways was merely a pipe dream. A National Road was built in 1815 that ran between Maryland and St. Louis, and facilitated immigration to the central United States. This road, however, fell into disrepair."

      "Soon after becoming president in 1953, President Eisenhower authorized the first funding of the interstate system. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 set aside $175 million for the project. However, even more money was needed for the system that Eisenhower envisioned, and he continued to press for funds. Two years later, the expanded Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 authorized a budget of $25 billion, of which the federal share would be 90%."

      Editor's Note: The article states, " It wasn't until the late 1930s that Dwight D. Eisenhower advocated for the transcontinental system of highways that eventually took his name." The statement is incorrect. It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt that advocated for the highway system at that time. 7-05

  5. National Highway System (
      "The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the Interstate Highway System, is a network of highways in the United States."

      "One potential civil defense use of the Interstate highway system is for the emergency evacuation of cities in the event of a potential nuclear war." 7-05

  6. Route 66 History (
      "Ironically, the public lobby for rapid mobility and improved highways that gained Route 66 its enormous popularity in earlier decades also signaled its demise beginning in the mid-1950's. Mass federal sponsorship for an interstate system of divided highways markedly increased with Dwight D. Eisenhower's second term in the 'White House. General Eisenhower had returned from Germany very impressed by the strategic value of Hitler's Autobahn. 'During World War II,' he recalled later, 'I saw the superlative system of German national highways crossing that country and offering the possibility, often lacking in the United States, to drive with speed and safety at the same time.' "

      "The congressional response to the president's commitment was the passage of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which provided a comprehensive financial umbrella to underwrite the cost of the national interstate and defense highway system."

      "By 1970, nearly all segments of original Route 66 were bypassed by a modern four-lane highway." 7-05

  7. Transcontinental Highway (Lincoln Highway)
      "In 1912, there were almost no good roads to speak of in the United States. The relatively few miles of improved road were only around towns and cities. A road was "improved" if it was graded; one was lucky to have gravel or brick. Asphalt and concrete were yet to come. Most of the 2.5 million miles of roads were just dirt: bumpy and dusty in dry weather, impassable in wet weather. Worse yet, the roads didn't really lead anywhere. They spread out aimlessly from the center of the settlement. To get from one settlement to another, it was much easier to take the train." 7-05


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