What could be more emblematic of America than the open road? From Jack Kerouac to "Thelma and Louise", an unbroken expanse of land with a solitary road calls forth images of romantic waywardness and infinite grandeur. In the beginning of the 20th century, a national, uninterrupted system of highways was merely a pipe dream. A National Road was built in 1815 that ran between Maryland and St. Louis, and facilitated immigration to the central United States. This road, however, fell into disrepair.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1938 was the first serious attempt to develop a national roadway system. Under the auspices of the Bureau of Public Roads, the goal of this act was to study the feasibility of a toll-financed system of three east-west and three north-south superhighways, finally advocating for a 26,700-mile network instead. Congress passed further legislation in 1944 that expanded this network to 40,000 miles, but progress was slow.
Dwight Eisenhower had long realized the importance of highways, even before he became president in 1953. In 1919 as a young lieutenant colonel in the army he had accompanied the first transcontinental military motor convoy from Washington, DC, to San Francisco. Like most American motorists, the soldiers traveled on dirt roads and crumbling bridges; it took about two months for them to cross the country. And years later, during World War II, he observed the advantages of the German autobahn network, which made for safe and efficient mobility. The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 set aside $175 million for the construction of an interstate highway system, further increasing this aid in 1956. The legislation of 1956 also provided for an extended network of 41,012 mi. and nationwide design standards.
Interstates are named in a systematic way. Major routes are designated by single- or two-digit numbers. If a route runs north-south, it is given an odd number, and if route a runs east-west, an even number. For north-south routes, numbering conventions begin in the west. Thus I-5 runs north and south along the West Coast, while I-95 runs north and south along the East Coast. For east-west routes, numbers begin in the south. Major routes usually traverse cities and are the shortest and most direct line of travel. Connecting interstate routes that travel around a city carry three-digit numbers.
Here we present you the whole collection of Interstate signs with state specification. Altogether 497 different signs. The great majority of signs refer to highways in operation, but we have also included both extinct and planned routes. You can choose either by route number or state. We wish you a good ride!
|Interstate Trivia|| |
| >||Total mileage:||46,726 mi.|
| >||Route with lowest designation:||1 (Hawaii)|
| >||Route with highest designation: ||990 (New York)|
| >||Longest interstate route:||I-90 (WA to MA, 3,020 mi.)|
| >||Shortest (2-digit) interstate route:||I-97 (MD, 17 mi.)|
| >||States without interstates:||1 (Alaska)|
| >||State with most interstates routes: ||New York (29)|
| >||State with most interstate mileage: ||Texas (3,233 mi.)|
| >||Route which traverse the most states:||I-95 (16)|
| >||East-west transcontinental routes:||I-10, I-80, I-90|
| >||North-south transcontinental routes:||I-5, I-15, I-35, I-55, I-65, I-75, I-95|
| >||One-state (2-digits) interstates:||18|
| >||Most costly route:||I-95 (ca $8.0 billion)|
| >||Oldest interstate segment:||Part of Grand Central Parkway, Queens (NYC), from 1936, incorporated into I-278|
| >||Longest underground tunnel in interstate system:||Eisenhower Tunnel, CO (1.69 mi.) in I-70|
| >||Longest underwater tunnel in interstate system: ||Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, NY (1.72 mi.) in I-478|
| >||Longest suspension bridge in interstate system:||Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, NY (0.80 mi.) in I-278|
| >||Highest point in interstate system:||11,192 ft ASL (I-70, at Eisenhower Tunnel, CO)|
| >||Lowest point in interstate system (excluding tunnels):||52 ft BSL (I-8, at El Centro, CA)|
| >||State capitals not served by interstate system: ||Juneau (AK), Dover (DE), Jefferson City (MO), Carson City (NV), Pierre (SD)|
| >||Rest areas:||ca 1,200|
| >||Interchanges:||ca 14,200|