Highways: Transformation by Road

The nation's highways, spreading inexorably across the U.S., are not only transforming American life but having deep effects on business. Last week in Manhattan, Federal Highway Administrator Rex M. Whitton announced that the vast program to build 41,000 miles of interstate highway has just about reached the halfway mark: 19,950 miles opened, another 6,100 miles under construction. There is nothing halfway, though, about the economic impact that the $46.8 billion program has already made on dozens of areas across the U.S.

Since 1956, when Congress authorized the program, federal and state...

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