- May 2014
The Interstate Highway System was passed in the 1950s when the US was united. You're talking about the 1860s legislation, though.Our political system having been entirely different from the start, checks and balances are a disaster for the efficiency of large scale projects. Passing Internal improvements has always been a royal pain in this country at the federal level and at the state level, the improvements both aren't as sweeping and require too much approval. Much of the development of the US was passed through Congress cause the opposition quit to found their own country. This included the authorization to build the transcontinental railroad. People also attack these sort of projects as "pork" and people don't want to fund things that don't benefit their own constituents, everyone drags everyone else down.
Also, it's quite interesting that a lot of people dislike Congress in general but like their own Congressperson. It's as if they think that everyone other than their own Congressperson is the problem with Congress!