Governor Laura Kelly today marked the 50th anniversary of the completion of I-70 in Kansas. The 424-mile stretch of I-70 was the longest continuous segment of Interstate highway to be completed by any state in the United States. At the time, Kansas, Missouri and Pennsylvania were the only states to have a multi-lane I-70 from border to border.
“Kansas’s highways exemplify President Eisenhower’s vision to improve travel throughout the United States,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I’m proud that my administration is building on that model by developing and passing the new Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program this year. Preserving and innovating our state’s infrastructure will be critical to our ongoing efforts to bring new business to Kansas.”
In March, Governor Kelly signed Kansas’ new 10-year transportation program, fittingly named the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). The program will preserve the state’s existing system and provide flexibility to address current and future infrastructure opportunities and challenges.
“Thanks to the support of legislators and Governor Kelly, the IKE program provides the flexibility we need to help achieve our transportation goals,” said Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz. “At KDOT, we are ready to do all we can to support a bright future for our state and build on Eisenhower’s great legacy.”
Kansas’ own, President Dwight D. Eisenhower is known as the father of the Interstate system, signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act in June 1956 which created the system and transformed America.
Eisenhower’s vision stemmed from his participation in a historic 1919 U.S. Army motor convoy to assess the difficulties of transporting soldiers and military equipment across the United States. On that cross-county expedition, which took 62 days, he realized the potential value of an interconnected, quality road system across the U.S.
Fifty years ago, the busiest stretch of I-70 carried an average of 55,000 vehicles a day. Today, that same stretch carries an average of 85,000 vehicles each day, moving people and goods while playing a vital role in the economic health of Kansas.
For more information on the IKE program, visit: www.ksdot.org/IKE/ike.asp.