Farmers needed good roads to sell their crops, so the construction of good roads and interstate highways went hand-in-hand with agricultural development. In addition, better roads contributed to an important non-agricultural crop – suburbs. As road conditions improved, commuters were able to move farther from their jobs.
When he began his political career in Georgia in 1961, former Speaker of the House Tom Murphy had to use Highway 78 to get from his home in Haralson County to downtown Atlanta. By the time he retired forty-two years later, Murphy could take I-20 all the way to Atlanta, cutting his travel time in half thanks in large part to the lobbying Murphy did to finish I-20. Business and industry leaders also depended on good roads. One of the builders of Six Flags Over Georgia, John C. Hunt, Jr., called access to I-20, “the most important part of our business.” (See “How Six Flags Came to Cobb County” under Works Cited)