Interstate Highway System

by Kneeland A. Godfrey, Jr., (M.ASCE), Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 13, Pg. 99-104

Document Type: Feature article


Eventually to cost nearly $90 billion, the Interstate Highway System will connect all U.S. cities of 50,000 and larger, eventually carry 25% of all highway traffic. The article traces the explosive growth of U.S motor vehicle ownership-8,000 in 1900 and 110 million today. Traffic congestion grew to awful levels. Motor vehicle deaths approached 60,000 a year, and 50% of all accidental deaths. The German autobahns and the Pennsylvania and other turnpikes showed there was a new breed of highway that could help. Too, a massive highway program would spark the economy. Started in 1956, the Interstate system today is about 80% complete, with the motor vehicle a major driving force in sparking the world's mightiest economy. Economic and social impacts are reviewed. First of a series.

Subject Headings: Highways and roads | Vehicles | Traffic congestion | Structural systems | Urban areas | Explosions | Economic factors | Social factors | Pennsylvania | United States

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