Spain crossed the threshold of the twentieth century with the clear conviction that the modernisation of the territory by means of public works was a pending issue. The basic road network had by then been planned, though construction was not yet complete, and local networks were still lacking. The railways did not provide full coverage as regards either connectivity or service, and hydraulic works were seen as being essential to the positive exploitation of territorial resources. At the same time, new patterns of mobility were emerging, giving rise to a considerable increase in the number of goods and persons being transported, along with the evolution and integration of the automobile, which rapidly replaced traditional collective means of passenger transport. As a result, it became necessary to extend overland communication networks as well as modernize them in accordance with this new mobility. The response was divided between decisive action on the existing road system and projects for the first motorways that were formulated in the late twenties, though not actually constructed until forty years later.