KCUR News
9:23 am
Mon June 26, 2006

Kansas and Missouri Dispute Interstate Birthplace

Kansas City – The Interstate highway system turns fifty this week, and thought there's no dispute over the date President Dwight Eisenhower signed the legislation, the vast system's starting point is a point of dispute between Kansas and Missouri. Both states lay claim to being the birth place of the 46-thousand mile super highway system. Missouri Department of Transportation director Pete Rahn, and his Kansas counterpart, K-DOT director Deb Miller sparred playfully over the issue recently in Kansas City. Rahn points to a sign on I-70, just west of St. Louis announcing the Interstate's starting point

Rahn:
You know that Missouri was the first state to have a piece of the interstate under contract and under construction, so we lay claim to the first piece of the interstate system but we also know that Kansas lays claim to it, which we just can't recognize

Miller:
Well Kansas lays claim because we had already let a section of roadway grading was already underway before then the, let the surfacing
when it was finished it was the first section of bone fide interstate open to traffic.

Miller says the first section finished on I-70 just west of Topeka. The system is widely considered the largest earth moving project in history, and is alternately credited, or blamed, for transforming American travel and commerce, and development patterns.