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  • A10. A Short History of the Long Roads – The Interstate Highway System

A10. A Short History of the Long Roads – The Interstate Highway System

  • 09/15/2022
  • 10/13/2022
  • 5 sessions
  • 09/15/2022, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • 09/22/2022, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • 09/29/2022, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • 10/06/2022, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • 10/13/2022, 1:00 PM 2:30 PM (EDT)
  • Zoom at home or Zoom in Kennedy 119


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“Coast to Coast without a Stoplight,” proclaimed the Saturday Evening Post in 1956. Planned as part of our national defense infrastructure, the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System transformed the mobility of civilians, and with it, American life. Distant locations were connected while communities inside cities were divided from one another, sickened by noise and pollution or obliterated altogether. We will study the Massachusetts experience, including the Massachusetts Turnpike, I-290, and the Big Dig. We will also see what’s been done to repair the ecological and social damage caused by these asphalt arteries and how infrastructure improvements will change highways of the future.

Recommended Reading: Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life, Cornell University Press, 2013

Karl Hakkarainen is a retired IT professional and longtime WISE instructor. He has taught courses on technology, history, music, law, digital humanities, and other subjects. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Mount Wachusett Community College. His grandchildren still seek, and sometimes heed, his advice on computers, smartphones, and related gadgets.

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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
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