The Federal Highway Aid Act was signed in 1956. The idea was first introduced in the 1930s, but strong criticism against the idea and the outbreak of World War II put infrastructure investments on hold. In the 1950's, the movement gained momentum when President Eisenhower led the charge for a new interstate highway system. He claimed that the United States needed a road network that would provide “speedy, safe, transcontinental travel” while also allowing for military transport.
Prior to the Act’s signing, Pennsylvania's economy did not enjoy the benefits of interstate commerce that its favorable location within the region should have provided. History shows that the lack of efficient interstate connections and standardized route designations had greatly contributed to the state's poor economic performance.
The Act changed the landscape of our country's infrastructure, improving our economy and way of life. Nowhere was its impact more profoundly felt than in Pennsylvania. Due to our robust interstate system, it wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that all roads lead to Pennsylvania.
Information was sourced from the PennDOT Employees Association (PEA) website.