A few years before before President Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, the nation was treated to articles like the one that is attached herein - articles that detailed all the very many flaws that existed in the American road system:
"The most highly motorized nation on earth faced the danger of finding itself all gassed up with no place to go. As the budget-harried [Truman] Administration pressed for a 20% cut in highway aid to states, legislators and private groups warned that U.S. roads were fast crumbling."
"The U.S. has 350,000 miles of surfaced primary roads, but about 20,000 miles become unusable or too dangerous every year. One warning sign: U.S. auto deaths, now over 1 million, equals the American dead in all wars since the Revolution".
As of 2013, the United States has the largest and most advanced road network in the world - covering a distance of 6,506,204 km. (China's road system covers 4,193,000 km).
Read about the Great Depression and the U.S. auto industry...