The Biggest Public Works Project in History

by Nico Scopelliti

One of our country's greatest achievements is the Interstate Highway System, a project unique to the United States and the first of its kind in history. In a matter of a few short decades, we revitalized and expanded our transportation infrastructure, permitting a degree of freedom and accessibility throughout the 48 contiguous states that previous generations could hardly have imagined. Our country underwent a complete transformation.

The free flow of goods and people is one of the primary instigators of growth and the foundation of a strong, secure economy. But our highways are not just an economic instrument. They are the quintessential expression of what makes us American:  the unassailable right to choose our own path. Freedom.

Here is the "Making of" video of a PBS documentary released in 1997, Divided Highways:  The Interstates and the Transformation of American Life, itself based on a book by the same name written by Tom Lewis (a new edition was released in May, 2013).

Whether you hate driving or are a born road warrior, the next time you get on an interstate and ease into a nice 65 mph cruise, don't forget you're taking part in the American dream. It's something we each benefit from tremendously. Take a moment to appreciate it.

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