The Roads That Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System by Dan McNichol
The U.S. Interstate System changed the face of our nation.
Fifty years ago, the only links between America's cities were simple two-lane roads. Most of them were filled with stop signs, traffic lights, and railroad and cattle crossings.
Today, the Interstate System connects our coasts and our borders, our cities and small towns. It is an asphalt-and-concrete network that keeps the United States . . . united.
The roots of the System lie with the military. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II, was stunned by the efficiency and strategic importance of Germany's Autobahn. As President, Eisenhower was determined to build a superhighway in the U.S. for military transport and evacuation of cities in wartime. Construction began in 1956. Today, hundreds of billion dollars later, the System is 99 percent complete.
The Roads That Built America tells the amazing story of this intricate highway system. From its origins in a primitive road conceived by George Washington, to the 42,795 miles that bind the country together today, the Interstate is the backbone of our military transportation and our economy. It is used during times of war to carry troops and supplies to air- and seaports. And although it's a myth that every fifth mile is straight so planes can land, many aircraft have made emergency landings along its flat stretches.
The Interstates made our suburban lifestyle possible and caused the vast proliferation of businesses like HoJos, McDonald's and Holiday Inns. And if you buy something online, most likely it's a truck barreling along an Interstate that gets the product to your door. Whatever you think of those ribbons of roadway and their sometimes maddening traffic, they have changed the way we live.
Written by the bestselling author of The Big Dig, The Roads that Built America is the fascinating story of the largest engineering project the world has ever known.