Interstate System marks a golden anniversary
Jan 25, 2006 10:29 AM, from staff and wire reports
United States Secretary of Transportation Norman Y Mineta took part in an event kicking off "The Year of the Interstate"--coast-to-coast activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the US Interstate Highway System.
"This network of roads is the backbone of the strongest and fastest-growing economy anywhere," said Mineta, who delivered his comments at the Transportation Research Board annual meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC. "We're in a new century now ... time to start thinking about the next 50 years, and how we're going to build and maintain those new roads to keep the economy moving forward."
"The Interstate System has long been considered one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time, but it has also been the linchpin of the US economy," said Harold Linnenkohl, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation.
AASHTO plans a national coast-to-coast convoy in June that will hark back to a trip made in 1919 by Dwight D Eisenhower, then a young soldier. That early trip--a muddy, tortuous journey from Washington DC to San Francisco CA that took months--turned the man who got the Interstate system approved by Congress into a good-roads advocate throughout his life.
AASHTO's convoy will begin June 15 in San Francisco and travel the Interstate 80 corridor to Washington DC, arriving June 29, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Interstate Highway Act by former President Eisenhower. In addition, AASHTO is also conducting a research program and is planning policy conferences on options for the future Interstate Highway System.
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