Tag Archives: Eisenhower Interstate Highway System

“Breaking Down” the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System

The I-40 “Crosstown.”    Almost every Central Oklahoman has heard about it, not because of where it goes (across town, duh) but what it is doing.  And that what is falling apart.   Before we get into that, let’s go over some history.

The recent family vacation took the Bings through middle America and the Deep South, mostly courtesy of the interstate highways that crisscross our great land.   We are all familiar with those little blue shield signs, each bearing the trademark large white font number, and a distinctive “East,” “West,” “North,” or “South.”    I heard about the origins of the system that slightly predated my mid 1960’s initial existence and the man who signed them into being, but I had never seen it promoted on location.    But, as our trip brought us closer to home after about 1,500 miles of sojourning, I saw it at the entrance to a beautiful southern rest stop deep into Mississippi:  “Eisenhower Interstate System”.

According to our informative friends at Wikipedia, “The Interstate Highway System was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The opening of Interstate 70 in Colorado through Glenwood Canyon in 1992 is often cited as the completion of the originally planned system The initial cost estimate for the system was $25 billion over 12 years; it ended up costing $114 billion (adjusted for inflation, $425 billion in 2006 dollars).”

I don’t know about you, but I find both $114 billion and $425 billion to be large sums of money. And yet, it is not enough. Continue reading “Breaking Down” the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System