- Happy birthday, America’s Interstate Highway System! We wish we could say you look good for 60 years old, but real talk: You do not. Sure, you’ve grown—when President Eisenhower authorized you in 1956, you were just a glimmer of asphalt. Look at you now! Fully 47,662 miles of roads, bridges, ramps, and curves, the meshwork that defined American post-war expansion and exceptionalism.
But, dude, you’re floundering. The Department of Transportation estimates that by 2030, you might have an annual $86 billion funding gap—and that’s just to keep your flabby highways and bridges functioning. Actually improving the darn things could cost up $150 billion per year.
Meanwhile, you’re mostly funded by a federal gas tax that hasn’t gotten an update—not even for inflation—since 1993. Additional pocket change comes in fits and starts. And the country is growing. More people will want more of you, even if it feels like time to take a nap. So here: Your three-step guide to getting your butt back in shape.