Interstate 68

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Interstate 68 marker

US 119 at Morgantown, WV
US 40 / US 219 near Grantsville, MD

Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Main • Auxiliary • Business

Interstate 68 (I-68) is a 112.6-mile (181.2 km) Interstate highway in the U.S. states of West Virginia and Maryland, connecting Interstate 79 in Morgantown to Interstate 70 in Hancock. I-68 is also Corridor E of the Appalachian Development Highway System. From 1965 until the freeway's construction was completed in 1991, it was designated as U.S. Route 48 (US 48). In Maryland, the highway is known as the National Freeway, an homage to the historic National Road, which I-68 parallels between Keysers Ridge and Hancock. The freeway mainly spans rural areas, and crosses numerous mountain ridges along its route. A road cut constructed for it through Sideling Hill exposed geological features of the mountain and has become a tourist attraction.

U.S. Route 219 and U.S. Route 220 overlap with I-68 in Garrett County, Maryland and Cumberland, Maryland, respectively, and U.S. Route 40 overlaps with the freeway from Keysers Ridge to the eastern end of the freeway at Hancock.

The construction of I-68 began in 1965 and lasted for about 25 years, being completed on August 2, 1991. While the road was being built, it was predicted that the completion of the road would improve the economic situation along the corridor. The two largest cities connected by the highway are Morgantown and Cumberland, both with populations of fewer than 30,000 people. Despite the fact that the freeway serves no large metropolitan areas, I-68 provides a major transportation route in western Maryland and northern West Virginia and also provides an alternative to the Pennsylvania Turnpike for westbound traffic from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

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