As President Eisenhower pushed to build an interstate highway system across the nation, he traveled to Cadillac Square in Michigan in late 1954 and offered his vision of what this effort would mean.
“We are pushing ahead with a great road program, a road program that will take this nation out of its antiquated shackles of secondary roads…and give us the types of highways that we need,” he said. “It will be a nation of great prosperity, but will be more than that: It will be a nation that is going ahead every day.”
The 46,876 miles of highways that Eisenhower envisioned now dominate our nation, carrying millions of drivers and tons of goods each day. For both good and ill, they define who we are and how we move.
As Congress considers new, historic investments in our transportation system, it’s time to take the aspiration of Eisenhower and translate that to a new vision for the future.