Life looked very different before the US Interstate Highway System was funded in 1956. Well-structured roads connecting cities didn’t really exist, which kept people within their own communities more often than it does today and made travel between cities a lot more difficult.

As highways were constructed, the US enjoyed major economic growth and an increase in cultural exchange between people from different regions. 

In short, the highway is a testament to human innovation and engineering. Building highways that are able to withstand the amount of traffic they’ll receive is a process that requires precision and planning.

The highway construction process


Before the first shovel hits the ground, an extensive planning phase sets the stage for highway construction. Engineers and planners evaluate factors like traffic patterns, environmental impact, and community needs.

Taking a strategic approach that accounts for more than just the engineering of the highway itself helps to make sure that the highway aligns with both present and future requirements, contributing to local infrastructure in a positive way.


The design phase translates conceptual plans into detailed blueprints. Engineers use advanced software to create designs that account for terrain, elevation, and drainage. This stage is critical in optimizing the highway’s layout for safety, efficiency, and longevity.


With the plans in place, the construction crews commence excavation, preparing the ground for the highway’s foundation. This stage involves earthmoving equipment and machinery to clear, level, and shape the terrain according to the previously determined design specifications.


Paving is the step where the highway takes its tangible, recognizable form. Asphalt pavers and other specialized machinery lay down the road surface. Using quality materials and industry-determined techniques ensure durability and a smooth driving experience for years to come.


Adding the finishing touches brings the project to completion. These are important features like road signs and safety measures, as well as proper drainage.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a highway that facilitates efficient transportation, but also prioritizes the safety and convenience of its users.

Machinery and technology in road construction

Highway construction requires specialized equipment, all of which is necessary for bringing the project to life.


Bulldozers are used for excavation, leveling the ground and clearing obstacles. They’re built to be strong and versatile, making them suitable for different types of terrain and soil.

Asphalt Pavers

Asphalt pavers are precision instruments in road construction, laying down the road surface accurately. They ensure the uniform application of asphalt, which allows the finished road to be durable and last a long time.

Advanced technology

Modern road construction increasingly makes use of cutting-edge technology, including GPS-guided equipment and telematics. These innovations keep the project efficiency and accurate while ensuring the safety of workers during the construction process.

A multifaceted process

The process of building a highway takes a lot of meticulous planning, advanced technology, and collaboration between people from many different disciplines. Well-constructed highways connect communities and allow for economic and social development within a region.

Highways are lifelines that can keep regions in the United States connected and thriving. If you’re interested in a career that’ll have a positive impact on your community, check out our Careers page for open positions today!