Kansas Department of Transportation celebrates I-70 golden anniversary

From left to right, Kansas Senator Rick Billinger; Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of President...
From left to right, Kansas Senator Rick Billinger; Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Secretary Brad Loveless; and Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz participated in I-70’s 50th anniversary celebration this morning at the Kanorado weigh station.(Kansas Department of Transportation)
Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 3:45 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz was among those gathered Thursday at the Kanorado weigh station near the Kansas/Colorado state line to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the completion of Interstate 70 in Kansas.

KDOT said Kansas completed the first section of Interstate in the U.S. on Nov. 14, 1956, under the Federal Aid Highway Act.

“This eight-mile section of I-70 is just west of Topeka,” KDOT said. Celebrations of completed sections of I-70 continued for the next 14 years until the final section was opened on June 17, 1970.

KDOT said in the past 20 years, Kansans have invested about $1.2 billion in I-70′s expansion, repair, and maintenance.

“We will continue to focus on preservation and maintenance of our state’s Interstates,” Lorenz said. “I am proud to say that preservation is specifically called out as a top priority in the new Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program. At KDOT, we are committed to fulfilling our responsibility.”

I-70, the direct east-west route through Kansas, originally cost $155.6 million to construct 370 miles, not including the Kansas Turnpike portion.

“At the time I-70 opened, it was the longest continuous segment of Interstate highways to be completed by any state in the nation,” KDOT said.

Today, across the U.S., the major east-west Interstate runs from central Utah to just east of Baltimore, Maryland.

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