Photo of I-70 under construction in November 1958

50 Years of I-70 in Kansas

The 424 mile stretch of I-70 in Kansas began construction in 1956 and was completed by 1970.

50 Years on the Road

I-70 in Kansas

We know that I-70 through Kansas gets a bad rep... But where many see 'flat' and 'boring' we see 'convenient', safe' and 'adventure waiting to happen!' When you take a little time to exit into the communities along I-70, you get a chance to experience world-class attractions and events, kind Kansans who are happy to see you and a memorable moment that may just surprise you.

I-70's history is deeply entrenched with Kansas influence. President Dwight D. Eisenhower of Abilene created the Interstate System by signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act on June 29, 1956. In fact, Kansas had the first section of Interstate in the nation, with an 8-mile stretch just west of Topeka being the first to open to travelers. The event marked the beginning of the largest public works project in modern U.S. history. But, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was this marvel of modern engineering. I-70 in Kansas started construction in 1956 and was completed in June of 1970.

When the entire 424-mile stretch of I-70 in Kansas was finished it was the longest continuous segment of Interstate highway to be completed by any state. At the time, Kansas, Missouri, and Pennsylvania were the only states to have a multi-lane I-70 from border to border. It originally cost $155.6 million (an average of $420,000 per mile) to construct the 370 miles of I-70, not including the Kansas Turnpike portion.

Meet the Kansas I-70 Association

 

Left: Paving West US-40   |   Right: The same road 62 years later

Left: Opening Day of I-70 at Junction City   |   Right: The same stretch of road 61 years later

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