On June 29th, members of the U.S. transportation industry met in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 60th anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act into law, on June 29, 1956.

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Also known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, the legislation authorized the building of highways throughout the nation, resulting in the biggest public works project in the history of the United States.

And while a number of industry groups planned special events to mark the success of the highway system, there was also the acknowledgement that intense challenges lie ahead.

A report from TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based national transportation research group, noted that the infrastructure is facing increasing congestion and unprecedented levels of travel, particularly from large commercial vehicles, and the lack of sufficient funding to make the needed repairs and improvements are some of the issues that need to be addressed.

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The American Automobile Association (AAA) projected that over the July 4th weekend, an expected 36.3 million people traveled 50 miles or more from home, a 1.2% rise in travel over 2015.

AAA president and CEO Marshall Doney attributed the lowest gas prices since 2005 as one of the primary reasons for the increased traffic volume, and predicted “2016 will be a record-breaking year for summertime travel.”

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