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The Interstate Highway System
The Interstate Highway System is the largest highway system in
the world and also the largest public works project to ever take
place in the world. As of only a few years ago, the Interstate
Highway System totaled over 46,000 miles, coming in at 46,837
miles. Its formal name is the Dwight D. Eisenhower National
System of Interstate and Defense Highways. Its other nickname is
Interstate System and is named after former United States
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose idea it was to create a
National Highway System.
It consists of limited-access highways, also known as freeways
or expressways, which connect the East Coast with the West Coast
and the Northern parts of the country with the Southern parts of
the country. The Interstate Highway System was born in 1956 with
the Federal-Aid Highway Act. Before having the system created
and approved, it was lobbied for by various vehicle
manufacturers in the United States and President Eisenhower.
There are three states that still battle over which was the
first to establish their end of the Interstate Highway System.
Those three states are Pennsylvania, Missouri and Kansas.
Pennsylvania boasts that they were the first to be a part of the
Interstate Highway System with the paving of the first 162 miles
of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Turnpike is also referred to
as I-70 and I-76. The first 162 miles opened on October 1, 1940
between Irwin and Carlisle. This piece of roadway is still known
today as "The Granddaddy of the Pikes" by Pennsylvania
Missouri claims to have signed the first three contracts under
the Interstate Highway System on August 2, 1956 and the first
one was signed for US 66, which is now known as I-44. The third
state out of this group is Kansas. Kansas claims that it was the
first state to begin paving after the act was passed. Paving in
Kansas began on September 26, 1956 for the first section of
their part of I-70.
3. Art provides a creative channel and allows the artist to
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The Interstate Highway System has posted speed limits of
roughly 65-75 MPH except for some highly congested areas in the
Northeastern region of the United States. These speed limits are
lowered to around 55 MPH. In parts of Texas, on I-10 and I-20,
the speed limits are posted at 80 MPH.
The heaviest traveled portion of the Interstate Highway System
is I-405 in Los Angeles, California. An estimated 390,000
vehicles travel this section of the highway per day. The
lightest traveled portion of the Interstate Highway System is
I-95 in Houlton Maine, near the Canadian border, where 1,880
cars per day ride this portion of the roadway.
The Interstate Highway System's roadways are easily
identifiable across the country. Their signs are the most
recognizable in the entire country's roadway system. They are
triangular at the top in red color and rounded off at the bottom
in blue color with white lettering and numbers. Written on the
signs is Interstate 95, Interstate 405, Interstate 70, etc. The
Interstate Highway System is used each day by millions of
motorists traveling to and from work, school, the doctor's,
vacation and everyday activities.
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Chicago Auto Transport