In all, Federal-aid legislation authorized a total of 9 billion to pay the Federal share of the cost of Interstate construction.
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The authorized $175 million a year for the Interstate System (FYs 19), with a Federal-State matching ratio of 60-40.
The increased Federal share reflected the common understanding that the Interstate System is vitally important to national goals. Eisenhower began to promote creation of a program to build the Interstate Construction Program, the Nation's Governors made clear to him that they did not want to be forced to increase State taxes to pay the additional matching funds for the national program.
Later, during his World War II stint as Commander of the Allied Forces, his admiration for Germany's well-engineered Autobahn highway network reinforced his belief that the United States needed first-class roads.
As a result, Eisenhower formed internal committees to study the idea, enlisted the Nation's Governors to offer suggestions, and met with Members of Congress to promote the proposal.
His leadership in promoting the and moving the program forward on schedule has earned President Eisenhower the title "Father of the Interstate System." To Top How long is the Interstate System?
Currently, the Interstate System is 46,876 miles long.
This estimate covered only the mileage (42,795 miles) built under the Interstate Construction Program.
It excluded turnpikes incorporated into the Interstate System within the mileage limitation and the mileage added as a logical addition or connection outside the limitation but financed without Interstate Construction funds.
The concept of an Interstate system as we know it was first described in a 1939 report to Congress called Toll Roads and Free Roads. The ideas expressed in the "free roads" portion of the report evolved through further study and experience before approval of the authorized designation of a "National System of Interstate Highways," the legislation did not authorize an initiating program to build it.