Boonsboro’s growth and prosperity certainly benefited from the construction of the Bank Road, later known as the National Road (now Alternate 40).  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson believed that a trans-Appalachian road was necessary for unifying the young country. In 1806 Congress authorized construction of the road and President Jefferson signed the act establishing the National Road.  That turnpike, the first Federally-funded road in U.S. history, was built between 1811 and 1834 and ultimately connected Baltimore to the western settlements and the Ohio River – right through Boonsboro.