Interstate Highway Act

(1956)

The Interstate Highway Act of 1956, also called the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act or, more formally, the Federal-Aid Highway Act, called for a $25-billion appropriation for the construction of forty thousand miles of interstate highway over a ten-year period. The Interstate Highway Act was the culmination of numerous acts dating as far back as 1916. Earlier in the twentieth century, various groups had recognized the need for a national system of highways. However, these efforts were often hindered by lack of funding and pressing world events, including the Great Depression, World War II, and the conflict in Korea. The Interstate Highway Act of 1956, however, incorporated the previous acts and added a new mechanism for funding the new roads. The bill passed the Senate in a vote of 89 to 1, and later that same day the act was approved by the House of Representatives in a voice vote. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill on June 29 from his hospital bed...

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The Interstate Highway Act (National Archives and Records Administration)

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