On March 29, 1803, Congress authorized construction of the Cumberland Road. The Cumberland Road, later called the National Road, originally stretched from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia).
 
The Cumberland Road became a “gateway to the West” that made westward expansion of the United States possible. Starting in 1811, thousands of pioneers took the Cumberland Road to the frontiers of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
 
Today, millions of travelers still navigate the Cumberland Road—it forms the eastern part of U.S. Highway 40, which stretches from Utah to New Jersey.
authorize
Verb

to allow or give authority to.

Congress
Noun

legislative branch of the government, responsible for making laws. The U.S. Congress has two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

construct
Verb

to build or erect.

expansion
Noun

process of enlarging.

frontier
Noun

largely unpopulated area that is slowly being opened up for settlement.

navigate
Verb

to plan and direct the course of a journey.

pioneer
Noun

person who is among the first to do something.