Statement by the President Upon Signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954.
I AM VERY GRATIFIED that this important measure has now become law. I am especially glad that the scope and pace of our efforts to make up our highway deficiencies will be considerably increased.
In recent years the nation has accumulated tremendous highway needs which are becoming increasingly acute. Our highways badly need modernization and expansion to accommodate today's vastly increased motor traffic. Large-scale improvement is needed simply to remedy deficiencies not met in the past.
This legislation is one effective forward step in meeting these accumulated needs. It keeps in the States, as I deeply believe it should, primary responsibility for highway construction. At the same time, it recognizes the responsible relationship of the Federal Government to the development of a sound, nationwide highway system.
The almost two billion dollars authorized by the new law is the largest two-year sum ever provided for Federal highway programs. Nevertheless, the needs are so great that continued efforts to modernize and prove our obsolescent highway system are mandatory.
The public will welcome, I am sure, the fact that funds equivalent to revenue from Federal gasoline taxes will now be used entirely for the improvement of the nation's highways.
I am especially interested in the studies to be made by the Secretary of Commerce under the new law, and in the related studies under way in the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. Continuances of work on the Inter-American Highway and Rama Road is also important.
Note: The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 is Public Law 350, 83d Congress (68 Stat. 70).
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231946