History of the Automobile and National Highway System

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Technology for creating an automobile

1870 - 1880

Horseless Carriage

1890 - 1905

AAA-American Automobile Association

1902

Model T Ford

1908

US Route 1 and US Route 66 created

1910

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Ford Assembly Line Plant in Highland Park, MI thriving

1912

The Lincoln Highway was America's first transcontinental highway

1913

The Lincoln Highway was the first road across the United States of America. It originally spanned coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. In 1928, a realignment relocated the Lincoln Highway through the northern tip of West Virginia.

Great Depression

1929

Automobile ownership declined during the Depression.

WW II

1939 - 1945

Rationing and military production lines limited the number of automobiles that could be manufactured

Interstate and National Defense Highway Act Passed

1956

AASHTO develops numbering scheme for Interstate Highway System

1957

In the numbering scheme, east–west highways are assigned even numbers AND the south–north highways are assigned odd numbers.

The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 (HBA)

1965

Requires the Federal Highway Administration to ensure that the State transportation departments maintain "effective control of the erection and maintenance" of signs, displays, or devices, including outdoor advertising signs that are visible from the highway, beyond 660 feet of the Interstate right-of-way outside urban areas, and erected with the purpose of their message being read from the highway.

AASHTO present highway numbering policy initiated

1973

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) present numbering policy dates back to August 10, 1973. Within the continental United States, primary Interstates – also called main line Interstates or two-digit Interstates – are assigned numbers less than 100.

Congress enacts National Maximum Speed Law to 55 MPH

1974 - 1987

Law repealed: Power returned to states for setting speed limits

1995

Interstate Highway System (IHS) is 46,876 miles in length

2006

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the Interstate Highway System (or simply the Interstate), is a network of limited-access highways (also called freeways or expressways) in the United States.

Yearly changes and designations of IHS corridors continues..

2008

National Highway System (NHS) approximately 160,000 miles

2010

Note: *The Interstate Highway System (IHS) is a subsystem of the National Highway System.