Why Does Road Construction Take So Long?

Why Does Road Construction Take So Long
From rugged dirt paths to modern superhighways, roads are one of those consistent background characters in nearly every person’s story. And, if you’ve ever been a driver, I know another similar character in your life: road construction. Most of us love having wide, smooth roadways to take us to work, to home, and everywhere else we travel.

But, we’re hardly ever excited to see a construction project starting on our favorite roadway. I’m here to change that – or least to try. I love construction – always have – and when it happens along my commute, I love it even more because I get to see the slow but steady progress each day. And, I think – or at least I hope – that if you can know a little bit more about what’s going on behind those orange cones, you might appreciate it a little more as well.

So, I’ll start with step one, and if people are interested, I’ll keep this series going. Hey, I’m Grady, and this is Practical Engineering. Today, we’re talking about earthwork for roadways. The first roads in history were probably formed as people or animals followed the same trail long enough to tamp down the vegetation and establish a route between two points.

  1. But that’s not enough for the roads of today.
  2. Why? Because the earth is full of irregularities that aren’t conducive to safe, efficient, and convenient travel.
  3. There’s a reason we have the distinction of off-road vehicles.
  4. ATVs and dirt bikes are fun, but most of us don’t want to wear a protective bodysuit for our daily commute.

Safe and efficient travel means smooth curves, both horizontally and vertically. It means grades that aren’t too steep, and it means paths that are relatively direct between points of interest. In a very general sense, that means to build a roadway, we need a way to smooth out the surface of the earth.

  • A lot of people use words and writing to communicate.
  • But, roadway engineers and contractors use the cross-section.
  • This is a special kind of drawing that shows a slice through a particular location, and it’s the literal language of road building.
  • On it, you can see the level of the earth before construction, and the proposed surface afterward.

Any difference in these two lines means some earthwork is going to be required. Areas above the proposed roadway need to be excavated away, also call cut. And, areas below the proposed road need to be filled in. Cut and fill are the most fundamental concepts in any earthwork project.

  • And, keeping cut and fill in balance with one another is a critical part of roadway engineering.
  • After all, if you need to fill in some areas, that soil is going to have to come from somewhere.
  • Rather than importing soil to a project, it makes a lot more sense to take it from somewhere that already needs it removed.

And if you’re going to have to excavate tons of soil from some part of your project, it sure would be nice if rather than having to dispose of it, you could take it to some other part of your project that needed additional material. If the amount of cut and fill on a project is balanced, every shovelful of dirt is doing two jobs: taking soil away from where it’s not needed, and gathering soil for where it is.

  • So, engineers designing roadways keep track of these quantities between each cross-section.
  • Of course, earthwork may seem simple when you’re just looking at a drawing, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind: soil is heavy, and roads are long.
  • Just because you have the same volume of excavation as you have fill doesn’t necessarily lead to efficiency.

Because if all the cut is miles away from all the fill, you’re going to have to make a lot of trips. So, roadway design not only needs to balance cut and fill but also try to minimize the haul distance. Mass haul diagrams show the net change in earthwork volume over the length of the roadway.

This gives the pros a quick understanding of the amount and distance of earthwork for an entire roadway project. But we’re still not there yet. Because, once you get all the soil in the right place, you can’t just build a road on top. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Soil’s not that strong, especially in loose piles fresh from the bed of a dump truck or scraper.

We have to compact it down. But, even that’s not so simple. There may be no other material more tested than soil – maybe blood, but if you measure by weight, I don’t know. In testing labs all over the world, probably at this very moment, there are people looking at and taking pictures of, shaping and rolling soil, inserting it into equipment, taking measurements and writing those measurements down on clipboards.

Why? Because soil is really important. The cost of building roads varies from place to place, but very roughly, it’s about $3M for a mile of 2-lane roadway. That’s about $2M for a kilometer. Roads might be the most expensive thing you touch in a typical day because they take a lot of work and a lot of material to build.

So if we’re going to go to all that expense just to make it easier to drive our cars from place to place, we need to make sure that the roads we build have a good foundation. That mainly means proper compaction. Soil settles and compresses over time, and if this happens with something on top (like a road or any other structure) it can lead to damage and deterioration.

Compaction speeds up that settlement process so it all happens during construction instead of afterwards. If soil is compacted to its maximum density, that means it can’t settle further over time. But how do we know whether it’s compacted enough? That’s where the testing comes in. Soil labs do a ubiquitous analysis called a Proctor test.

If you add different amounts of water to soil and try to compact it, you’ll see that you get different densities. With low moisture content, it’s nearly impossible to do any compaction—same thing with high moisture content. But, somewhere in the middle, you’ll get the maximum density.

  1. This estimate of the maximum density is one of the most crucial measurements in earthwork.
  2. There are a few ways to test density, but we mostly use nuclear gauges that measure the radiation passing through the soil to estimate its degree of compaction.
  3. Soil used for filling areas is first placed in roughly the correct locations by a dump truck or scraper.

Then it’s smoothed into a consistent layer, called a lift, by a bulldozer or motor grader. Finally, each lift is compacted using a compactor. This is at the heart of why earthwork takes so long to complete. You can’t compact soil more than around a foot at a time (that’s 30 centimeters).

  1. Rolling over thicker layers will only compact the surface, leaving the rest lo and free to settle over time.
  2. So areas of fill, and especially tall embankments (like the approaches to a bridge), need a lot of individual layers.
  3. By necessity, they come up slowly little by little, lift by lift.
  4. Every so often along the way, someone does a test to check the density of the compacted soil.

We compare that measurement with the maximum density measured in the lab. If it’s close, it’s okay. If not, we keep compacting until it is. That gives engineers and contractors the confidence that when the roadway surface is placed, it’s going to be there to stay.

But, it’s one of the biggest reasons that roadway projects take so long to complete. We can move a lot of earth in a short period of time, but to place and densify it into a foundation that will stand the test of time is a process, and it takes some time. One last thing I want to point out: during the construction of a roadway (or really construction of just about anything), this earthwork causes a lot of disturbance.

What used to be grass, plants, or some other type of covering over the ground is now just bare soil. That may not seem like a big deal, but to all the aquatic wildlife in nearby creeks and rivers, it is. That’s because any time it rains, all that unprotected soil gets quickly washed away from the construction site into waterways where it reduces the quality and quantity of habitat.

  • So, pretty much every construction site you see should have erosion and sediment control measures in place to keep soil from washing away.
  • Silt fences and mulch socks slow down runoff so the sediment can drop out, and rock entrances knock most of the mud off the tires of vehicles before they leave the site.
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Like it or not, roads are part of the fabric of society. Travel is a fundamental part of life for nearly everyone. Unfortunately, that means road construction is too. But, I hope this video gives you a little more appreciation for what’s going on behind the orange cones.

Why does road construction take so long in the USA?

Reasons why road repairs take so long –

  • Slow and steady: Roadwork crews work under the philosophy that working slowly, carefully, and methodically is much safer and less disruptive than rushing the work as quickly as possible.
  • Financial issues: When a crew puts in a bid and gets contracted to do a job, the government doesn’t pay them the entire amount up-front. So, if payments aren’t made on-time or funding falls through, work halts until the next check clears.
  • It’s not just pavement: Working on a road goes below the surface, and involves attending to drainage inlets, curbs, reflectors, stripes, guard rails, etc. Plus, the pavement has to be very precisely leveled and even between lanes, so the work can’t be sloppy.
  • One lane at a time: If two in a five-mile stretch, that’s not five miles of resurfacing. That’s 10.
  • Crossing the bridge: Roadwork will take exponentially more time if they, making construction and repaving far more complicated and limited.
  • Watch the weather: If it’s too cold or wet outside to pave, then progress halts. Even if the forecast is bad, crews may delay work to avoid getting drenched mid-task. And if storms dirty up their progress, they’ll have to spend time cleaning before continuing.
  • Finicky equipment: The large machinery used in construction probably isn’t brand new, so its age combined with its condition means that it could take workers extra time to get the equipment to cooperate.
  • Waiting on the boss: Before crews can move from one step onto the next, they often need to have a certified higher-up inspect and approve of the progress. However, there isn’t an abundance of these experts available throughout a state, so a lot of time can be waiting for the boss to show up and sign off.
  • Labor laws and cost: While we’d all like for construction workers to work 24/7 until the work is done, dangerous manual labor jobs have strict regulations and cost a ton of money if overtime is incorporated. Thus, with the government allotting minimal funding to such jobs, it is often cheaper to work shorter days over a longer period than long days with lots of overtime.
  1. So, while a job could technically be completed in a month or two, any or all of these factors extend that time frame to a large part of a decade.
  2. Brakes and Rotors 101:
  3. Sources :,

The News Wheel is a digital auto magazine providing readers with a fresh perspective on the latest car news. We’re located in the heart of America (Dayton, Ohio) and our goal is to deliver an entertaining and informative perspective on what’s trending in the automotive world. : Why Do Highway & Road Repairs Take So Long?

How much time does it take to build a road?

How long does it take to build a road, and why does it take so long ? – It can take years to build a road because of the enormous amount of work that is involved. It usually takes at least two or three years, and sometimes 10 or more. Before construction begins, years of homework must be done.

  1. The environmental, social and economic impact of a road must be studied.
  2. Permits must be secured; homes, businesses and utilities in the path of the road must be relocated.
  3. Often, it’s a matter of waiting for funds to be available.
  4. During construction, there are thousands of details that require attention, and unexpected circumstances can cause delays.

The weather is a major factor. A day of rain can cause a three-day delay while the ground dries out. It can take nearly a month for concrete to harden to its maximum strength. Sometimes materials are not delivered on schedule; other times workers may find underground streams that must be protected or rock hidden below the surface that must be moved.

Which country make fastest road construction?

India builds 75km of road in under 5 days; sets Guinness World Record The stretch lies on the NH 53 between Amravati and Akola in Maharashtra and was built in a record time of 105 hours and 33 minutes. Published On Jun 10, 2022 05:30:00 PM The National Highway Authority of India has created a Guinness World Record by successfully completing construction of 75km of continuous bituminous concrete road in a single lane in less than five days.

720 workers were part of the project NH 53 connects Kolkata, Raipur, Nagpur, Surat

said 720 workers, including a team of independent consultants, worked on this project. This particular stretch lies on the NH 53 between Amravati and Akola in Maharashtra. The feat was achieved in a record time of 105 hours and 33 minutes. The total length of the 75km of single-lane continuous bituminous concrete road is equivalent to 37.5km of two-lane paved shoulder road.

The record was previously achieved by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) of Qatar for constructing a road that’s part of the Al-Khor Expressway and it had taken 10 days to complete the task. Also See:

: India builds 75km of road in under 5 days; sets Guinness World Record

Can a citizen build a road?

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja Under the new Highway Development and Management Initiative of the Federal Government, private individuals will be permitted to build, operate or maintain assets on some federal highways that are up for concession. Already, the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had received the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance to the commence procurement process for the concession of 12 federal highways under the HDMI.

In January, The PUNCH exclusively reported that the FMWH had been certified to commence the concession process for 12 pilot federal highways. READ ALSO: We’ll recover money stolen through N30bn stormwater project – Obaseki The concession of the roads may also signify the return of toll gates as concessionaires will have to recoup their investments.

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission had handed over the certificate to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at the FMWH headquarters in Abuja. In a new document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on how the HDMI partnership would be executed, the FMWH stated that there were two categories, Value Added Concession and Unbundled Assets Approvals.

  • In the Value-Added Concession initiative, the ministry stated that the road pavement and entire right-of-way would be on concession for development and management by the concessionaire.
  • For the Unbundled Assets Approvals initiative, approvals/permits are issued for individual assets on the right-of-way on a build, operate and or maintain basis,” the ministry stated.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: ‘No poverty, Zero hunger’ goals, a mirage in 2030 This implies that individuals would now be permitted to develop and maintain assets on the economically viable federal highways in order to boost the economic activities on the roads.

  • The FMWH stated that the aim of both approaches was to provide adequate highway services through the development of revenue-generating assets along the highways.
  • This is key to maintaining the functionality of the highway as well as engaging and generating wealth for indigenous small and medium enterprises,” it stated.
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It further explained that the HDMI was expected to be anchored on private sector engagement via the concession of economically viable routes to technically and financially capable private companies. This, it said, would be through the management and development of the right-of-way.

  • On how individuals and groups could participate in the scheme, the government said it was determined to ensure that its assets were entrusted into capable hands.
  • N2.2bn fraud: Fayose gets permission for foreign medical trip It therefore advised interested persons, companies and groups to form consortiums of construction/road maintenance companies, financiers, toll operators, rest house operators, advertising companies, lane marking experts, refuse managers, among others.

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How much money is needed to build a road?

The cost of building a road ranges from $1.25 to $15 per square foot, depending on if it’s gravel, asphalt, or concrete.

Why are roadworks so slow?

The speed limit around roadworks is often made temporarily lower because:

There could be sharp changes in the height of the tarmac that could cause tyre damageThere could be potholes which could cause tyre damageThe surface could be slippery because of loose gravel or slick mud, leading to longer stopping distancesHumans are working in close proximity to the road and could step out inadvertently, or trip into the roadThe road is often narrower with no escape optionsMachinery is in close proximity to the road and may need to be able to cross it safelyThere’s often a lot of visual clutter making it more difficult to perceive hazardsVisibility may be reduced due to barriers or dustStones can be thrown up which could injure a road worker.

On motorways, the roadworks speed limit is 60mph, unless otherwise shown. This was raised in 2020 to decrease driver frustration and cut journey times.

Why is construction always delayed?

It’s both frustrating and costly for contractors when a construction project is postponed. However, delays can happen for various reasons such weather, equipment failures, labor shortages, missing or incorrect data, project mistakes and conflicts. There are some reasons, like weather that are beyond your control, but most construction project delays can be avoided.

Working with cloud-based, integrated construction software can keep everyone on the same page by providing equipment, materials and worker status visibility, project progress and productivity and timeline transparency — all in real time. This helps contractors complete their construction deliverables on time and within budget.

Read on for the six most common construction project delays, and tips on how to avoid them. Why Does Road Construction Take So Long

Why are houses in USA not built from bricks?

It’s mostly about costs – The classic Philadelphia row house is built with an outer layer of hard-fired brick to protect the interior from the elements, with lower-grade salmon brick within. In these homes, the masonry is load bearing, and does structural work.

  1. Only inside the four corners of the brick walls is wood used to make floors, joists and other interior fixtures that won’t be exposed to the elements.
  2. But the new houses going up in Philly and other traditional row house cities like Baltimore and Brooklyn come with wooden bones and exteriors made of a range of materials.

These “stick built” structures have a wood frame, which is then sheathed by insulation and a layer of metal, vinyl, stucco, or composite materials. When builders use brick and stone, they come as decorative flourish. Why Does Road Construction Take So Long 3300 Mantua Avenue is one of many new developments utilizing wood frames. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY) The shift away from structural brick began after World War II. Mid-century consumers wanted suburban homes that looked distinct from their urban counterparts and newer building codes no longer required brick.

That, meant less demand for both the material and the masons needed to install it. Seventy-five years later, the market for brick looks very different. It’s often shipped from far away and the labor costs are high. “Masonry constriction is just not cost effective right now — it’s cheaper to build in steel than it would be to get masons out there,” said Anthony Delgott, the owner of Hybar Construction.

Delgott builds mostly in Graduate Hospital and Point Breeze, two old row house neighborhoods that have seen a surge of reinvestment over the last decade or two. “I can stick-frame a whole house for $18 a square foot,” Delgott said. “I would have to pay triple that for masonry.” And the costs wouldn’t stop there.

There are other historical building techniques that are no longer allowed under contemporary building codes. If a builder chooses brick, the codes today require more masonry than 19th century builders would have needed to use. These costs makes reproducing the building styles and materials of 100 years ago virtually impossible for most builders.

But even for those who are willing to pay a premium for a historic look, there are environmental costs to consider.

Why houses are not built with concrete in USA?

Wood Homes are Faster to Build than Concrete – Under our current system, many construction companies and builders state that using wood makes building a home faster. Obviously, the people in the current system are used to building homes with wood; however, that doesn’t mean building with concrete couldn’t become more efficient in the future.

Also, prefabrication and modular building methods have become popular for smaller homes. Many homes have parts built in a factory, and the parts are then transported to the site and installed. Wood makes this possible. Concrete would be heavier to transport and more difficult to install once on the site.

Again, all this is subject to our “current” system. In the future, there could be prefabricated homes that use concrete.

Why are houses in North America not made of bricks but wood?

Historical availability of wood – When European colonizers first came to the United States, they opted to construct many houses and commercial buildings from wood because it was readily available. Additionally, many settlers chose wood as a building material because structures can be built more quickly than when using brick or cement.

  • However, this has come at a high environmental price.
  • Forest experts estimate that in 1630, around half of land in the US was forested, totaling more than 1.02 billion acres.
  • By 1910, this level had fallen to approximately 721 million acres,
  • This widespread deforestation led to the endangerment and extinction of many animals and many other long-term consequences,

In the twentieth century, deforestation and ecosystem degradation motivated many environmentalists to call on the government to exercise more control over the logging sector. Nevertheless, the United States continues to be a significant player within the global timber market, occupying the top spot on the list of countries with the highest annual harvesting volumes.

Which country highway has no speed limit?

Germany’s autobahn may soon have speed limit of 130 kmph. Here is why Set aside bread, beer and sausages. Germany can claim its fame to fast cars and autobahn, its national highway network. The country is the biggest automobile hub in Europe, being home to some of the major carmakers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW. It is also home to highways that has no speed limits. Why Does Road Construction Take So Long File timelapse photo of a section of Autobahn in Germany. There is Nurburgring for racing, where experts are often seen testing supercars and hypercars, then there is autobahn for the rest of the lot. It is a highway network where driving fast is a licence that no other public roads in the world gives.

However, all that could change if reports are to be believed. As Germany heads to polls later this month, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), led by Olaf Scholz, is seen as the favourite to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel. If the SPD manages to win, they have promised to put a speed limit on autobahn to a maximum of 130 kms per hour (81 miles per hour).

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The proposal has already received nods from its possible alliance partners the Greens and Left party. The discussion about a speed limit on German roads has been going on for years. Though a lot of people think autobahn is a highway without any legal speed limit, it is partly true.

  • According to ADAC, Germany’s national automobile association, around 40 per cent of autobahn has speed restrictions.
  • There is a speed recommendation of 130 kmph to ensure safety of commuters.
  • The speed restrictions are stricter at curves, near construction sites or cities.
  • Andreas Scheuer, Germany’s Minister of Transport, said, “The German autobahns are the safest roads in the world.

We tend to have problems with road safety on country roads, that is what our focus must be.” Surprising as it may sound, the proposal to limit speed on autobahn is not due to safety concerns. It is actually to make the environment cleaner. According to the German Environment Agency, a 130 kmph speed limit on autobahn could bring down greenhouse gas emissions by 1.9 million tons every year, about one per cent of Germany’s overall transport emissions.

  • It is nearly five per cent of total vehicular emissions on highways.
  • The emission can drop further if speed limits are reduced more.
  • Scheuer also thinks that if number of ICE vehicles keep dropping with people opting for cleaner electric vehicles, the emission figures will also drop more drastically.
  • With automation and autonomous driving, the average speed will drop anyway.

A driver of an electric car knows if you change the pace too often or drive too fast, you will quickly run out of range of your car,” he added. Recently, France has implemented a 30 kmph speed limit in most parts of Paris in an attempt to reduce accidents and making Paris more pedestrian-friendly. : Germany’s autobahn may soon have speed limit of 130 kmph. Here is why

What is highest speed limit in the world?

The speed limit was born in 1861 when the United Kingdom introduced a 10 mile per hour maximum known as the Locomotive Act. The UK is today one of the only places in the world to show speed limits in miles per hour, along with the USA while most other countries use kilometres per hour. Today there is only one country in the world which has no speed limits at all – the Isle of Man – though famously there are areas of the German autobahns (motorways) which have only advisory speed limits known as ‘richgeschwindigkeit’. Ironically fatalities on the autobahns have been less than some countries with lower speed limits like Japan where the limit is 100kph.

Speed limits vary in the various American states and between 1995 and 1999 Montana had a ‘reasonable and prudent’ speed limit which was non numerical. In the Northern Territory of Australia a speed limit of 110 or 130kph was introduced in 2007 after years of having no limits. Poland has the world’s highest speed limit which is 140kph on motorways, though the Austrians dabbled with having a 160kph variable limit on motorways in 2006.

Variable speed limits are used on the M25 motorway in Britain with great success and they cut down on accidents and delays. Germany also has an advanced computer controlled variable speed limit system. The United States generally has quite low speed limits at about 50mph on many freeways. Netherlands Speed limit cut to 100km/h (62mph) in 2020 by the Dutch courts in order to reduce pollution. The new speed limit is enforce between 06:00 to 19:00. Bewteen 19:00 and 06:00 the speed limit is 120km/h You may be interested in;

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Why don’t they build concrete houses in USA?

Why are US Homes Made of Wood and Bricks Instead of Concrete? Why Does Road Construction Take So Long Are you wondering why US homes are made from and bricks instead of concrete? In this article, I’ll share some of my research on the topic and give you some ideas. There are a few reasons why US homes are made of wood and bricks instead of concrete. The first reason is availability,

How long did it take to build the highways in the US?

Construction – 1955 map: The planned status of U.S Highways in 1965, as a result of the developing Interstate Highway System I‑55 under construction in Mississippi, photo from May 1972 Some sections of highways that became part of the Interstate Highway System actually began construction earlier. Three states have claimed the title of first Interstate Highway. Missouri claims that the first three contracts under the new program were signed in Missouri on August 2, 1956.

  1. The first contract signed was for upgrading a section of US Route 66 to what is now designated Interstate 44,
  2. On August 13, 1956, work began on US 40 (now I-70) in St.
  3. Charles County.
  4. Ansas claims that it was the first to start paving after the act was signed.
  5. Preliminary construction had taken place before the act was signed, and paving started September 26, 1956.

The state marked its portion of I-70 as the first project in the United States completed under the provisions of the new Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The Pennsylvania Turnpike could also be considered one of the first Interstate Highways, and is nicknamed “Grandfather of the Interstate System”.

  • October 17, 1974: Nebraska becomes the first state to complete all of its mainline Interstate Highways with the dedication of its final piece of I-80,
  • October 12, 1979: The final section of the Canada to Mexico freeway Interstate 5 is dedicated near Stockton, California, Representatives of the two neighboring nations attended the dedication to commemorate the first contiguous freeway connecting the North American countries.
  • August 22, 1986: The final section of the coast-to-coast I-80 ( San Francisco, California, to Teaneck, New Jersey ) is dedicated on the western edge of Salt Lake City, Utah, making I-80 the world’s first contiguous freeway to span from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean and, at the time, the longest contiguous freeway in the world. The section spanned from Redwood Road to just west of the Salt Lake City International Airport, At the dedication it was noted that coincidentally this was only 50 miles (80 km) from Promontory Summit, where a similar feat was accomplished nearly 120 years prior, the driving of the golden spike of the United States’ First transcontinental railroad,
  • August 10, 1990: The final section of coast-to-coast I-10 ( Santa Monica, California, to Jacksonville, Florida ) is dedicated, the Papago Freeway Tunnel under downtown Phoenix, Arizona, Completion of this section was delayed due to a freeway revolt that forced the cancellation of an originally planned elevated routing.
  • September 12, 1991: I-90 becomes the final coast-to-coast Interstate Highway ( Seattle, Washington to Boston, Massachusetts ) to be completed with the dedication of an elevated viaduct bypassing Wallace, Idaho, This section was delayed after residents forced the cancellation of the originally planned at-grade alignment that would have demolished much of downtown Wallace, The residents accomplished this feat by arranging for most of the downtown area to be declared a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places ; this succeeded in blocking the path of the original alignment. After the dedication residents held a mock funeral celebrating the removal of the last stoplight on a transcontinental Interstate Highway.
  • October 14, 1992: The original Interstate Highway System is proclaimed to be complete with the opening of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon in Colorado, This section is considered an engineering marvel with a 12-mile (19 km) span featuring 40 bridges and numerous tunnels and is one of the most expensive rural highways per mile built in the United States.

The initial cost estimate for the system was $25 billion over 12 years; it ended up costing $114 billion (equivalent to $425 billion in 2006 or $535 billion in 2020 ) and took 35 years.