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Therefore, the President proposed to increase funds for the Interstate System, while boosting the Federal share to 90 percent.

Under his proposal, the States would continue paying the same amount in matching funds for the Interstate System that they had been paying under the 1954 Act.

Later, during his World War II stint as Commander of the Allied Forces, his admiration for Germany's well-engineered Autobahn highway network reinforced his belief that the United States needed first-class roads.

As a result, Eisenhower formed internal committees to study the idea, enlisted the Nation's Governors to offer suggestions, and met with Members of Congress to promote the proposal.

The States will own the new Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge. The final estimate of the cost of the Interstate System was issued in 1991.

It estimated that the total cost would be 8.9 billion, with a Federal share of 4.3 billion.

In all, Federal-aid legislation authorized a total of 9 billion to pay the Federal share of the cost of Interstate construction.

(Interstate Construction funds were authorized through Fiscal Year 1996.) To Top Why does the Federal Government pay 90 percent of the cost?

Congress rejected this plan, but adopted a proposal to finance the Interstate System on a pay-as-you-go basis with revenue from highway user taxes.

When legislation failed in 1955, observers predicted that in the presidential election year of 1956, the Democratic Congress would not approve such a significant plan sought by a Republican President.

Nevertheless, President Eisenhower continued to urge approval and worked with Congress to reach compromises that made approval possible. Through the remainder of his years as President, he searched for ways to solve the problems that plagued the program in its early years and pushed for continued work on the Interstate System.

His leadership in promoting the and moving the program forward on schedule has earned President Eisenhower the title "Father of the Interstate System." To Top How long is the Interstate System?

Currently, the Interstate System is 46,876 miles long.

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