Fifty years ago the nation embarked on its greatest public works project, the construction of the Interstate Highway System. President Dwight D. Eisenhower provided strong support for the building of an Interstate Highway System that would improve traffic safety, reduce travel times and improve the nation’s economic productivity.

Serving as the most critical transportation link in the state’s economy, Oklahoma’s Interstate highways have significantly improved the lives of the state’s residents and visitors. In Oklahoma, and throughout the nation, the Interstate system allows for high levels of mobility by greatly reducing travel times and provides a significantly higher level of traffic safety than other routes.

But 50 years after President Eisenhower articulated a vision for the nation’s 20th Century transportation system, Oklahoma faces a challenge in modernizing its system of aging, increasingly congested Interstate highways. If Oklahomans are to continue to enjoy their current level of mobility on Interstate highways and bridges, the state will need to make a commitment to providing the public with a 21st Century highway system.

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