Longest highways in America
President Dwight D. Eisenhower considered the U.S. Interstate System one of his most important achievements in office, and Americans agree, having dubbed the highway network the “Greatest Public Works Project in History,” the Federal Highway Administration says.
At a total of 46,876 miles long, the interstate network is estimated to have cost $128.9 billion to construct, with the federal government contributing 90% of that cost. The highway network has succeeded in making road travel safer and more efficient. The Interstate System is the safest road system in the country, with a fatality rate of 0.8 compared with a rate of 1.46 for all roads. When the construction of the interstates began in 1956, the fatality rate was 6.05, the Federal Highway Administration reports.
Today, the interstates are essential to American travel—as of 2016, approximately a quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the U.S. took place on the Interstate System, according to national data.
Stacker has compiled a list of the longest interstates in the United States using data from the Federal Highway Administration. Read on to find out which ones are the lengthiest.
Total length: 528 miles
I-49 runs through Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri, and passes through several major southern cities, including Kansas City, Shreveport, and Fayetteville. In 2017, a new 4.25-mile segment of the interstate was added in Louisiana, according to KSLA 12 News.
Total length: 610.1 miles
Five states are home to I-77: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio. The interstate is home to the East River Mountain Tunnel, which connects Virginia and West Virginia, and is one of only two places in the U.S. where a mountain road tunnel crosses a state line, Appalachian Magazine has reported.
Total length: 622.1 miles
I-76 passes through Colorado, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and is a gateway to both Denver and Philadelphia. It has been thought that the interstate was numbered to honor Philadelphia as the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, but the Federal Highway Administration has debunked that theory.
Total length: 636.7 miles
Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri are all home to I-44, which runs through Oklahoma City and Springfield. Though even-numbered interstates run east to west, according to the Federal Highway Administration, I-44 runs southwest to northeast.
Total length: 666.1 miles
I-85 traverses Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and passes through Montgomery, Atlanta, and Charlotte. When the highway was opened in 1964, it became South Carolina’s first Interstate Highway, the Federal Highway Administration has said.
Total length: 700.8 miles
Six states—Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas—rely on I-69, which runs through Indianapolis, Flint, Memphis, Houston, and Corpus Christi. The interstate is one of the country’s “Corridors of the Future” as designated by the Transportation Department, and was chosen based on its proposal to limit traffic congestion.
Total length: 755.5 miles
I-29 passes through Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota, stopping in Fargo, Kansas City, and Sioux City, and racking up more than 700 miles. The interstate crosses into Canada at the Pembina-Emerson border crossing. This is the only border crossing open 24 hours a day in North Dakota, making it the most heavily trafficked, according to the Mid-America Freight Coalition.
Total length: 855.0 miles
Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York are all linked by I-81, which runs through several cities including Binghamton, Syracuse, Harrisburg, Scranton, and Hagerstown. According to Miller’s House Museum in Virginia, the interstate largely follows a path down the Appalachian Mountains created by migrating animals and early American settlers.
Total length: 887.3 miles
I-65 traverses Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana, connecting cities such as Birmingham, Montgomery, Louisville, and Indianapolis. In 2017, a Kentucky woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy on I-65 North in the backseat of her car, WLTX 19 reported.
Total length: 963.5 miles
Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia are all connected by I-64, which passes through St. Louis, Louisville, Charlottesville, Richmond and Virginia Beach. In 2009, Missouri dedicated the section of I-64 that runs through St. Louis as Jack Buck Memorial Highway, in honor of the city’s famed Cardinals sportscaster, according to Major League Baseball.2018 All rights reserved.