Since 1956 the Interstate Highway System has become an indispensable way to transport goods and move people, connecting cities across the country. Watch it grow over several decades and explore the map to see the history of your area.

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1956

9,067 miles covered

{The trailblazer:} Missouri’s I-70 (aka Mark Twain Highway) is the first interstate to be fully constructed with funding from the Federal Highway Act.

1957

14,879 miles covered

1958

19,877 miles covered

1959

24,387 miles covered

1960

28,034 miles covered

1961

28,802 miles covered

1962

29,207 miles covered

1963

30,329 miles covered

1964

32,266 miles covered

1965

32,729 miles covered

1966

33,547 miles covered

{Pedal to the metal:} Averaging roughly nine miles per day, the U.S. adds over 33,000 miles to the Interstate Highway System within the first ten years.

1967

34,704 miles covered

1968

35,247 miles covered

1969

35,876 miles covered

1970

36,363 miles covered

1971

36,800 miles covered

1972

36,998 miles covered

1973

37,266 miles covered

1974

37,420 miles covered

{Border to border:} The completion of I-5 in California links Canada and Mexico with one seamless route.

1975

37,839 miles covered

1976

40,053 miles covered

1977

40,534 miles covered

1978

40,800 miles covered

1979

40,885 miles covered

1980

41,377 miles covered

1981

41,607 miles covered

1982

41,859 miles covered

1983

42,145 miles covered

1984

42,650 miles covered

1985

43,668 miles covered

1986

43,697 miles covered

{Connecting the coasts:} Final sections of I-80 open to traffic, making it the first coast-to-coast highway.

1987

43,942 miles covered

1988

44,409 miles covered

1989

44,626 miles covered

1990

45,035 miles covered

1991

45,216 miles covered

1992

45,896 miles covered

{Mission I-70 accomplished:} 36 years after the first section was constructed in Missouri, I-70 opens in Colorado as it was originally envisioned in the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944.

1993

45,907 miles covered

1994

45,918 miles covered

1995

45,937 miles covered

1996

45,963 miles covered

1997

46,516 miles covered

1998

46,602 miles covered

1999

46,882 miles covered

2000

46,882 miles covered

2001

46,882 miles covered

2002

46,887 miles covered

2003

46,937 miles covered

2004

46,995 miles covered

2005

46,995 miles covered

2006

47,010 miles covered

2007

47,035 miles covered

2008

47,042 miles covered

2009

47,897 miles covered

2010

47,897 miles covered

2011

48,090 miles covered

2012

48,369 miles covered

2013

48,502 miles covered

2014

48,561 miles covered

2015

48,846 miles covered

2016

48,968 miles covered

2017

49,055 miles covered

{Over 60 years later (and counting):} Totalling over 49,000 miles, the Interstate Highway System accounts for 25% of all highway traffic in the United States.

1956
0Miles covered
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Websites for the Department of Transportation or equivalent authority in each state were used to determine when Interstates opened. The National Highway Planning Network database (last updated 2015) was used for mapping, but with some additions (e.g. in Alaska and Hawaii). The Interstate was deemed open in each state when completed and signed as such, even though sections may have existed beforehand or been added later. Mileage was calculated from mapping data. Historical notes were taken from “History of the Interstate Highway System” by FHWA.
Explore the map using the controls to slide through time, zoom in and pan around. Click the shields to view details of individual freeways.