Dear Interstate Anniversary Website Visitor:
June 29, 2006 marks the 50th Anniversary of the signing of
the federal legislation that created the Interstate Highway System. President
Dwight D. Eisenhower’s signature that day on the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956
marked the end of a decades-long debate about how to develop and fund a modern
national highway system and launched the largest public works project in
A 1999 survey by the Fannie Mae Foundation found
that historians and scholars ranked “the Interstate
Highway System and the dominance of the automobile
in transportation” as the “number one influence” on
American cities during the last half of the 20th
official AASHTO Anniversary site
Indeed, the consequences of the Interstate system for the
lives of both urban and rural Illinois residents have been far reaching and
The Illinois Department of Transportation’s commemoration
of this historic anniversary
focuses on three of the most profound, positive impacts of the Interstate
system on the lives of Illinois residents.
These “Celebration Themes” are:
||The enhanced freedom of movement.
||The important improvements in highway safety.
||The increased opportunities for a higher quality
of life made possible by progress and economic growth.
Today, these and other dramatic benefits brought about by the Interstate
system are often taken for granted.
This website is designed to take you on a journey to understanding the
Interstates’ tremendous influences on our daily lives.
With over 2,000 miles of Interstate highway paved throughout
the Land of Lincoln, the State of Illinois is a key transportation center within
the United States for trucking and other commercial traffic flow. The Illinois
Interstate system fuels economic growth as the motoring public is able to access
and travel these Interstate roadways for business and pleasure.
The trip will involve taking you “back to the future” to
understand what pre-Interstate era travel was like in Illinois and invite you to
experience it now, in-person, by exploring the many historic roads and byways
that exist in modern day Illinois and are often accessible from Interstate
It will also trace the path of history and highlight the
impacts of the development of the Interstate system and invite you to
participate in various Illinois activities and events that will mark the 50th
Anniversary of our Interstate highways.
We hope you will enjoy the ride!