Steve Melito writes "This week, CR4: The Engineer's Place for Discussion and News, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, "a giant nationwide engineering project" that transformed a nation. In 1994, the American Society of Civil Engineers described the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System as "one of the Seven Wonders of the United States". In 2006, this network of roads includes 46,000 miles of highway; 55,000 bridges; 82 tunnels, and 14,000 interchanges. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), excavation for the interstate system has moved enough material to bury the State of Connecticut knee-deep in dirt. The amount of Portland cement could build more than 80 Hoover dams, or lay six sidewalks to the moon. The lumber used would consume all of the trees in 500 square miles of forest. The structural steel could build 170 skyscrapers the size of the Empire State Building, and meet nearly half of the annual requirements of the American auto industry. Check back with CR4 all week as we cover the 'Roots of the Road,' 'the Politics of Passage,' 'Adventures in Civil Engineering,' and 'The Road Ahead.'" One of the things that's interesting about why Eisenhower pushed for the highway system was that he saw the Autobahn system in Germany during the occupation post-WWII and knew that that was one of the things that the United States needed to develop.
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