It's the 60th Birthday of the Interstate Highway System

A new report commemorates the 60th birthday of the interstate highway system with statistics (some politically motivated) that summarize the state of the nation's largest public works project.

1 minute read

June 29, 2016, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Highway Interchange

Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock

"The interstate highway system hits 60 – years, not miles per hour – this week amid unprecedented travel, growing congestion and a backlog for repairs," according to an article by Bart Jansen.

The article relates statistics from a report by TRIP: A National Transportation Research Group [pdf] that analyzes data from the Federal Highway Administration. Since President Eisenhower signed the system into law on June 29, 1956, vehicle miles traveled in the system has grown from 626 billion to 3 trillion, and the number of vehicles using the system has grown from 65 million to 260 million, according to the report. The article also makes clear that the report is pushing a narrative of the interstate highways system as underfunded and deteriorating.

Alex Chrichton picked up news of the report in a separate article, noting that TRIP includes representatives from the engineering, construction, and highway industries. Chrichton's coverage focuses especially on the poor marks delivered to New York state's system of interstate highways.

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