WPR News
9:29 am
Tue June 20, 2006

Trip Honors Interstate System

Laramie, Wyoming – A caravan in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the U-S Interstate system made a stop at the highest point of interstate 80 the Lincoln head monument outside of Laramie. 50 years ago next week President Dwight Eisenhower commissioned the creation of the state interstate system. American Association of state highway and transportation spokeswoman Jennifer Gavin says Eisenhower noted the need for an interstate after a long journey in the early 1900's across the old Lincoln Highway that took 62 days. Eisenhower was in the military and found the trip much too long and decided that an interstate system was necessary. He implemented that plan when he became President. Eisenhower's Great Grandson Merrill Atwater is riding in a caravan that is following virtually the same San Francisco to Washington D-C trip that Eisenhower took. Atwater says the interstate system enhanced travel and helped commerce. He notes things have changed when you consider that it now takes roughly four days to drive from San Francisco to Washington D-C on Interstate 80. Atwater spoke at the Lincoln head monument outside of Laramie. The rest area marks the highest spot on the highway.