Interstate Highway System

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The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly called the Interstate Highway System or Interstate Freeway System, and colloquially abbreviated "the Interstate", is a network of limited-access roadways (also called freeways or expressways) in the United States. It is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed its formation. As of 2006, the system has a total length of 46,876 miles (75,440 km),[1] making it both the largest highway system in the world and the largest public works project in history.[2] The Interstate Highway System is a subsystem of the National Highway System.

This freeway system serves nearly all major U.S. cities, with many Interstates passing through downtown areas. The distribution of virtually all goods and services involves Interstate Highways at some point.[3] Residents of American cities commonly use urban Interstates to travel to their places of work. The vast majority of long-distance ground travel, whether for vacation or business, uses the national road network.[4] Of these trips, about one-third (by the total number of miles driven in the country in 2003) use the Interstate system.[5]


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