Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration FHWA HomeFeedback


Celebrating the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System

History of the Interstate Highway System

The Interstate System has been called the Greatest Public Works Project in History.  From the day President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, the Interstate System has been a part of our culture—as construction projects, as transportation in our daily lives, and as an integral part of the American way of life.  Every citizen has been touched by it, if not directly as motorists, then indirectly because every item we buy has been on the Interstate System at some point.  President Eisenhower considered it one of the most important achievements of his two terms in office, and historians agree. 

In this section, you will find articles explaining the origins of the Interstate System and how it came together, as well as other aspects of its development.  Check the bibliography for additional readings on all aspects of the story.  Links will connect you to other sources of information.


Illustration shows automobiles on an elevated roadway within a modern city.
Futuristic elevated highway as imagined in "Interregional Highways." From original caption: ". . . a [department store] show window [seen on the left] at the elevated level [is] dressed appropiately with the kind of large display that would be needed for comprehension by express traffic."

Contact Us

If you have any comments or suggestions about the format of this Web site, or if you would like report a problem with this site, please send them to the FHWA Webmaster. If you have any additional questions about the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, please submit your inquiries to

FHWA Home | Feedback