Interstate Highway System at Twenty-Five

Archive Report

Interstates: The Road Ahead

Continued Importance of Highway System

Twenty-five years ago, on Nov. 14, 1956, the first segment of the nation's Interstate Highway System was opened. The eight-mile stretch of road near Topeka, Kan., now has grown into a huge family of odd- and even-numbered highways connecting virtually every major population center in the United States. As of June 30, 1981, exactly 40,438 miles of Interstate highway had been opened to traffic, at a cumulative construction cost of nearly $80 billion.

Many of the older parts of the highway system need to be upgraded to meet current standards, and Interstate segments adding up to about 2,000 miles remain to be built. But many of these segments probably will be canceled for environmental and financial reasons.1 For ...

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