D.C. ceremony marks interstate system’s 50th anniversary

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A cross-country convoy to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the interstate highway system concluded with a Washington, D.C., ceremony Thursday, June 29, a half-century to the day after President Eisenhower signed the system’s landmark funding appropriation.

The nation’s capital marks both “the physical end of this expedition” and “the beginning of our voyage to keep the interstate system safe and strong for the next 50 years,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

Mineta noted that earlier in the week, the 12-member Surface Transportation Commission created in 2005, tasked to “find a new way to fund our highways” and “reduce the costs of congestion,” had met in Washington for its second monthly work session. “Nothing less than the future of the U.S. economy is at stake,” Mineta said.

“This is a great day,” said U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, chair of the House transportation committee. He denounced those who blame America’s highways for global warming and reminded the audience that climate change has occurred before in planetary history, long before human beings. “Some folks call me a flatlander, an end-of-the-Earth type guy