Interstate and U.S. Highway Facts
|Interstate and U.S.
Congress passed a Federal
Aid Highway Act in 1944 that described a "National System of
Interstate Highways" limited to 40,000 miles. The
act did not provide any funding, however.
In 1956, Congress
appropriated $25 billion for construction of the Interstate system
from 1957 through 1968. The
figure later was considerably revised.
Today, in addition to having the nation's largest highway system overall, Texas also has more Interstate highway mileage than any other state. There are now 23 interstate highways in the state with a total of 3,417 centerline miles.
The longest Interstate
Highway in Texas is IH 10, running for 878.7 miles between El Paso
The shortest Interstate
Highway in Texas is IH 110, a length of 0.919 mile, in El Paso
The longest highway in Texas is U. S. 83, which
extends from the Oklahoma state line near Perryton, to the Mexico
border at Brownsville. It is 783.5
The shortest U. S.
Highway in Texas is US 71, a length of 2.942 miles, in Bowie
U. S. 281
runs from the Red River
border of Oklahoma and Texas on the north to the Rio Grande border on
the south, through Wichita Falls, San Antonio, and McAllen. Agricultural roads east of U. S.
281 are generally designated farm to market roads. Those west of U. S. 281 are generally
designated ranch to market roads.
There are 16 interstate
highways in the state and 45 U. S. highways.
Interstate Highway/urban expressway was
the Gulf Freeway (I-45) in Houston.
The first major portion of this road
opened in 1952.
Interstate 40 opened in July
1984, superseding the famous Route 66.
If Interstate or U. S.
Highways are east-west highways, they get even numbers; north-south
routes get odd numbers. Loops
and spurs get three digits incorporating the number of a linking
interstate or U.S. highway.
The famous Route 66
was renamed Interstate 40 in July 1984.
Route 66 signs started disappearing
from Texas highways in 1985, when citizens heard they would be
removed. The signs were sent to
Austin for public auction.
U. S. 81 and U. S. 287
in Montague County are
paved with gold. When 39 miles
of these roadways were paved in 1936, sand taken from a local pit was
mixed with paving material. The
sand contained gold but in small amounts.
According a roadside historical
marker, the gold in the sand was valued at 54 cents per ton, or
$31,000 in these sections of highway.
For more information, you can go to the Statistical
Roadway Information page.
FACTS COURTESY OF TRANSPORTATION NEWS, OCTOBER 1997, TEXAS HIGHWAY
MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 1967, AND TRANSPORTATION PLANNING & PROGRAMMING