The Interstate Highway System was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 on June 29. It had been lobbied for by major U.S. automobile manufacturers and championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was influenced by his experiences in 1919 as a young Army officer crossing the country in a truck convoy (following the route of the Lincoln Highway), and his appreciation of the German Autobahn network as a necessary component of a national defense system. In addition to facilitating private and commercial transportation, it would provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion. (Memories were still strong of reported Japanese threats to invade the West Coast of the U.S. during WW II.) The initial cost estimate for the system was $25 billion over 12 years; it ended up costing $114 billion (adjusted for inflation, $425 billion in 2006 dollars) and taking 35 years to complete. Additional spurs and loops/bypasses remain under construction, such as Interstate 485 in North Carolina. A few main routes, not part of the original plan, remain under construction, such as Interstate 22 in Alabama and Tennessee. Interstate Highway System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia No question, the United States has the preeminent surface transportation system in the world. In fact, China, India, Russia and the U.K. are in the process of building their own infrastructure system. In fact, China is in the process of doing a 53,000mile interstate highway system. Ours is 57,000 miles. And they're spending hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars, trillions of dollars in infrastructure. (Vladimir) Putin in Russia said he was going to spend $2 trillion over the next 10 years in infrastructure. They're all realizing the economic backbone of the United States has been our transportation infrastructure system. While it was originally designed for military mobilization, it has become the economic lifeline to our country, both Class 1 (freight) rail and our highway infrastructure. What we haven't done is we've not kept up with the growth and so we've got deteriorating highways. If we don't keep up, if we don't have leaders that have the courage and intestinal fortitude to step forward and say, "This is a problem," then we'll be No. 3 to China and India, and we won't be the economic superpower that we are today. In Business Las Vegas Is transporation strategic? yes it is, is it good for the economy, yes it is, there are many estimates that place employment figures over the half century of construction of the Interstate highway system at over a million according to USDOT. So I ask perhaps this over simple question, or perhaps not, when our government has set aside 700 billion dollars to bail out mismanagement that will not create one single job, or has been seen do nothing to stem the tide of this economic meltdown, How then could 400 plus billion not been of an even better benefit to this country in terms of both strategic value and economic value.