The Coachella Valley is a desert valley in Southern California which extends for 45 mi in Riverside County southeast from the San Bernardino Mountains to the northern shore of the Salton Sea. It is the northernmost extent of the vast trough which includes the Salton Sea, the Imperial Valley and the Gulf of California, it is 15 mi wide along most of its length, bounded on the west by the San Jacinto Mountains and the Santa Rosa Mountains and on the north and east by the Little San Bernardino Mountains. The San Andreas Fault crosses the valley from the Chocolate Mountains in the southeast corner and along the centerline of the Little San Bernardinos; the fault is visible along its northern length as a strip of greenery against an otherwise bare mountain. The Chocolate Mountains are home to a United States Navy live gunnery range and are off-limits to the public; the Coachella Valley is sometimes referred to as the "Desert Empire" to differentiate it from the neighboring urbanized Inland Empire and the Imperial Valley.
Geographers and geologists sometimes call the area, along with the Imperial Valley to the south, the "Cahuilla Basin" or the "Salton Trough". The valley contains the resort cities of Palm Springs and Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indio, La Quinta, Indian Wells and Cathedral City as well, altogether with a population of 500,000 in April, declining to around 200,000 in July and rising to around 800,000 by January, it is sometimes included in the Inland Empire region. Separate from the Inland Empire, it is a small to medium-sized metropolitan area consisting of Palm Springs and other smaller incoporated cities, consolidated into the Coachella Valley. Coachella Valley connects with the core of the Greater Los Angeles area to the west via the San Gorgonio Pass, a major transportation corridor that includes Interstate 10 and the Union Pacific Railroad. There is a large population of seasonal residents in the winter months, known as snowbirds, which at peak times may surpass 100,000 with another 3.5 million annual conventioneers and tourists.
There is some contention as to the origin of the name. Early maps show the area as "Conchilla," the Spanish word for "seashell." Since the area was once a part of a vast inland sea, tiny fossilized mollusk shells can be found in just about every remote area. Local lore explains the change in the name from Conchilla to Coachella as a mistake made by the map-makers contracted to transcribe the data supplied by the Southern Pacific Railroad's survey party. Rather than redraw the expensive maps, the railroad chose to instead begin calling the area by the misspelled name "Coachella" rather than its traditional name "Conchilla." Some believe that the name Coachella was made up, but that theory is rather unlikely. Though the area had been surveyed by Edward Fitzgerald Beale in 1857, whose survey party used camels to cross the desert along the path of the historic Bradshaw Trail, it wasn't until the coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad and the discovery of abundant artesian wells in the 19th Century that the area began to expand.
Cindarella Courtney was the first non-Indian child born in Indio in 1898. The first boy, David Elgin, was born in 1899; the coming in 1926 of U. S. Route 99 northward through Coachella and Indio and westward toward Los Angeles more or less along the present route of Interstate 10 helped further open both agriculture and tourism to the rest of the country. So too did the coming of State Highway 111 in the early 1930s, which cut a diagonal swath through the valley and connected all of its major settlements. Dr. June McCarroll a nurse with the Southern Pacific whose office fronted U. S. 99 in Indio, is credited with being the first person to delineate a divided highway by painting a stripe down the middle of the roadbed in response to frequent head-on collisions. The standard was adopted worldwide. Doctor McCarroll is memorialized by a stretch of I-10 through Indio named in her honor; the Coachella Valley was popular among celebrities from Frank Sinatra to Dakota Fanning who came and continue to come to enjoy vacations and winter homes in the desert resort community.
It became a major real estate destination in the 1980s and 1990s, no longer limited to senior citizens, winter residents and retirees. Families with young children and young adults became interested in Palm Springs and surrounding communities for lower cost housing and apartment rents. Palm Springs has become a world-famous tourist attraction; as a tourist destination, the Coachella Valley can be considered a Southwest attraction like Las Vegas, Phoenix, or Santa Fe, or as a part of Southern California along with San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles. In a 2003 Condé Nast publication review, Palm Springs was ranked one of the top 10 global vacation destinations, the smallest one in population; the area is surrounded on the southwest by the Santa Rosa Mountains, by the San Jacinto Mountains to the west, the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the east and San Gorgonio Mountain to the north. These tend to average between 5,000 and 7,000 feet. Elevations on the Valley floor range from 1,600 feet above sea level at the north end of the Valley to 250 feet below sea level around Mecca.
In the summer months daytime temperatures range from 104 °F to 112 °F and nighttime lows from 75 °F to 86 °F. During winter, the daytime temperatures range from 68 °F to 88 °F and corresponding nights range from 46 °F to 65 °F making it a popular winter resort destination; the surrounding mountains create T
History of California's state highway system
The state highway system in the U. S. state of California dates back to 1896, when the state took over maintenance of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road. Construction of a large connected system began in 1912, after the state's voters approved an $18 million bond issue for over 3000 miles of highways; the last large addition was made by the California State Assembly in 1959, after which only minor changes have been made. The first state road was authorized on March 26, 1895, when a law created the post of "Lake Tahoe Wagon Road Commissioner" to maintain the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road, now US 50 from Smith Flat - 3 miles east of Placerville - to the Nevada state line; the 58 mile road had been operated as a toll road until 1886. Funding was only enough for minimal improvements, including a stone bridge over the South Fork American River in 1901. In 1895, on March 27, the legislature created the three-person Bureau of Highways to coordinate efforts by the counties to build good roads; the bureau traveled to every county of the state in 1895 and 1896 and prepared a map of a recommended system of state roads, which they submitted to the governor on November 25, 1896.
The legislature replaced the Bureau of Highways with the Department of Highways on April 1, 1897, three days after it passed a law creating a second state highway from Sacramento to Folsom - another part of what became US 50 - to be maintained by three "Folsom Highway Commissioners". This was the last highway maintained by a separate authority, as the next state road, the Mono Lake Basin State Road, was designated by the legislature in 1899 to be built and maintained by the Department of Highways. Several more state highways were legislated in the next decade, the legislature passed a law creating the Department of Engineering on March 11, 1907; this new department, in addition to non-highway duties, was to maintain all state highways, including the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road. On March 22, 1909 the "State Highways Act" was passed, taking effect on December 31, 1910 after a successful vote by the people of the state in November; this law authorized the Department of Engineering to issue $18 million in bonds for a "continuous and connected state highway system" that would connect all county seats.
To this end, the department created the three-member California Highway Commission on August 8, 1911 to take full charge of the construction and maintenance of this system. As with the 1896 plan by the Bureau of Highways, the Highway Commission traveled the state to determine the best routes, which ended up stretching about 3100 miles. Construction began in mid-1912, with groundbreaking on Contract One - now part of SR 82 in San Mateo County - on August 7. Noteworthy portions of the system built by the commission included the Ridge Route in southern California and the Yolo Causeway west from Sacramento; because the first bond issue did not provide enough funding, the "State Highways Act of 1915" was approved by the legislature on May 20, 1915 and the voters in November 1916, taking effect on December 31. This gave the Department of Engineering an additional $12 million to complete the original system and $3 million for a further 680 miles specified by the law. At this time, each route was assigned a number from 1 to 34.
In 1917, the legislature gave the California Highway Commission statutory recognition, turned over the 750 miles of roads adopted by legislative act, until maintained by the State Engineer, to the commission. Where not serving as extensions of existing routes, these - and routes subsequently added legislatively in 1917 and 1919 - were given numbers from 35 to 45. A third bond issue was approved by the voters at a special election on July 1, 1919, provided $20 million more for the existing routes and the same amount for new extensions totaling about 1800 miles, adding Routes 46 to 64 to the system; the three bond issues together totaled 5560 miles, of which just over 40% was completed or under construction in mid-1920. The Department of Engineering became part of the new Department of Public Works in 1921, the California Highway Commission was separated as its own department in 1923. In order to pay for the roads, a 2-cent per gallon gasoline tax was approved in 1923; the legislature continued to add highways to the system, including the Mother Lode Highway in 1921 and the Arrowhead Trail in 1925.
In January 1928, the California State Automobile Association and Automobile Club of Southern California, placing guide and warning signs along state highways, marked the U. S. Highways along several of the most major state highways; the California Toll Bridge Authority was created in 1929 to acquire and operate all toll bridges on state highways, including the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and Carquinez Bridge. After 1927 and 1929, in which no highways were added to the system, the legislature authorized the construction of 23 new routes in 1931, which were numbered from 72 to 80 when not forming extensions of existing routes. Two years another 213 sections of highway were added doubling the total length of state highways to about 14000 miles. Many of these new routes, as well as a number of existing routes, were incorporated into the initial system of state sign routes in 1934 posted by the auto clubs; the Division of Highways took over signage on stat
Riverside County, California
Riverside County is one of fifty-eight counties in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,189,641, making it the 4th-most populous county in California and the 11th-most populous in the United States; the name was derived from the city of Riverside, the county seat. Riverside County is included in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area known as the Inland Empire; the county is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area. There is a high concentration of sprawling tract housing communities around Riverside and along the Interstate 10, 15, 215 freeways. Rectangular, Riverside County covers 7,208 square miles in Southern California, spanning from the Greater Los Angeles area to the Arizona border. Geographically, the county is desert in the central and eastern portions, but has a Mediterranean climate in the western portion. Most of Joshua Tree National Park is located in the county; the resort cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Desert Hot Springs are all located in the Coachella Valley region of central Riverside County.
Large numbers of Los Angeles area workers have moved to the county in recent years to take advantage of affordable housing. Along with neighboring San Bernardino County, it was one of the fastest growing regions in the state prior to the recent changes in the regional economy. In addition, but significant, numbers of people have been moving into Southwest Riverside County from the San Diego-Tijuana metropolitan area; the cities of Temecula and Murrieta accounted for 20% of the increase in population of the county between 2000 and 2007. Riverside County was named for the Santa Ana River in 1870; the indigenous peoples of what is now Riverside County are Cupeño and Cahuilla Indians. The Luiseño lived in the Aguanga and Temecula Basins, Elsinore Trough and eastern Santa Ana Mountains and southward into San Diego County; the Cahuilla lived to the east and north of the Luiseño in the inland valleys, in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains and the desert of the Salton Sink. The first European settlement in the county was a Mission San Luis Rey de Francia estancia or farm, at the Luiseño village of Temecula.
Grain and grapes were grown here. In 1819, the Mission granted land to Leandro Serrano, mayordomo of San Antonio de Pala Asistencia for the Mission of San Luis Rey for Rancho Temescal. Following Mexican independence and the 1833 confiscation of Mission lands, more ranchos were granted. Rancho Jurupa in 1838, El Rincon in 1839, Rancho San Jacinto Viejo in 1842, Rancho San Jacinto y San Gorgonio in 1843, Ranchos La Laguna, Temecula in 1844, Ranchos Little Temecula, Potreros de San Juan Capistrano in 1845, Ranchos San Jacinto Sobrante, La Sierra, La Sierra, Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Nuevo y Potrero in 1846. New Mexican colonists founded the town of La Placita on the east side of the Santa Ana River at the northern extremity of what is now the city of Riverside in 1843; when the initial 27 California counties were established in 1850, the area today known as Riverside County was divided between Los Angeles County and San Diego County. In 1853, the eastern part of Los Angeles County was used to create San Bernardino County.
Between 1891 and 1893, several proposals and legislative attempts were put forth to form new counties in Southern California. These proposals included one for one for a San Jacinto County. None of the proposals were adopted until a measure to create Riverside County was signed by Governor Henry H. Markham on March 11, 1893; the new county was created from parts of San Diego County. On May 2, 1893, seventy percent of voters approved the formation of Riverside County. Voters chose the city of Riverside as the county seat by a large margin. Riverside County was formed on May 9, 1893, when the Board of Commissioners filed the final canvass of the votes. Riverside County is the birthplace of lane markings, thanks to Dr. June McCarroll in 1915 when she suggested her idea to the state government; the county is the location of the March Air Reserve Base, one of the oldest airfields continuously operated by the United States military. Established as the Alessandro Flying Training Field in February 1918, it was one of thirty-two U.
S. Army Air Service training camps established after the United States entry into World War I in April 1917; the airfield was renamed March Field the following month for 2d Lieutenant Peyton C. March, Jr. the deceased son of the then-Army Chief of Staff, General Peyton C. March, killed in an air crash in Texas just fifteen days after being commissioned. March Field remained an active Army Air Service U. S. Army Air Corps installation throughout the interwar period becoming a major installation of the U. S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Renamed March Air Force Base in 1947 following the establishment of the U. S. Air Force, it was a major Strategic Air Command installation throughout the Cold War. In 1996, it was transferred to the Air Force Reserve Command and gained its current name as a major base for the Air Force Reserve and the California Air National Guard. Riverside county was a major focal point of the Civil Rights Movements in the US the African-American sections of Riverside and Mexican-American communities of the Coachella Valley visited by Cesar Chavez of the farm labor union struggle.
Riverside county has been a focus of modern Native American Gaming enterprises. In the early 1980s, the county government attempted to shut down small bingo halls operated by the Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission In
California Department of Transportation
The California Department of Transportation is an executive department of the US state of California. The department is part of the cabinet-level California State Transportation Agency. Caltrans is headquartered in Sacramento. Caltrans manages the state's highway system, which includes the California Freeway and Expressway System, is involved with public transportation systems throughout the state, it supports Amtrak's Capitol Corridor. In 2015, Caltrans released a new mission statement: "Provide a safe, sustainable and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability." The earliest predecessor of Caltrans was the Bureau of Highways, created by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor James Budd in 1895. This agency consisted of three commissioners who were charged with analyzing the state road system and making recommendations. At the time, there was no state highway system. California's roads consisted of crude dirt roads maintained by county governments, as well as some paved roads within city boundaries, this ad hoc system was no longer adequate for the needs of the state's growing population.
After the commissioners submitted their report to the governor on November 25, 1896, the legislature replaced the Bureau with the Department of Highways. Due to the state's weak fiscal condition and corrupt politics, little progress was made until 1907, when the legislature replaced the Department of Highways with the Department of Engineering, within which there was a Division of Highways. California voters approved an US$18 million bond issue for the construction of a state highway system in 1910, the first California Highway Commission was convened in 1911. On August 7, 1912, the department broke ground on its first construction project, the section of El Camino Real between South San Francisco and Burlingame, which became part of California State Route 82; the year 1912 saw the founding of the Transportation Laboratory and the creation of seven administrative divisions, which are the predecessors of the 12 district offices in use as of 2018. The original seven division headquarters were located in: Willits Mercantile Building for Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties Redding C.
R. Briggs Building for Lassen, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties Sacramento Forum Building for Alpine, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Plumas, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Tuolumne and Yuba counties San Francisco Rialto Building for Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Sonoma counties San Luis Obispo Union National Bank Building for Monterey, San Benito, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo counties Fresno Forsythe Building for Fresno, Kern, Madera, Merced and Tulare counties Los Angeles Union Oil Building for Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura countiesIn 1913, the California State Legislature began requiring vehicle registration and allocated the resulting funds to support regular highway maintenance. In 1921, the state legislature turned the Department of Engineering into the Department of Public Works; the history of Caltrans and its predecessor agencies during the 20th century was marked by many firsts. It was one of the first agencies in the United States to paint centerlines on highways statewide.
In late 1972, the legislature approved a reorganization, suggested by a study initiated by then-Governor Ronald Reagan, in which the Department of Public Works was merged with the Department of Aeronautics to become the modern California Department of Transportation. For administrative purposes, Caltrans divides the State of California into 12 districts, supervised by district offices. Most districts cover multiple counties; the largest districts by population are District 4 and District 7. Like most state agencies, Caltrans maintains its headquarters in Sacramento, covered by District 3. Transportation in California State highways in California United States Department of Transportation List of roads and highways Official website Named Highways, Freeways and Other Appurtenances in California
State highways in California
The state highway system of the U. S. state of California is a network of highways that are owned and maintained by the Highway Division of the California Department of Transportation. Each highway is assigned a Route number in the Streets and Highways Code. Most of these are numbered in a statewide system, are known as State Route X. United States Numbered Highways are labeled US X, Interstate Highways are Interstate X. Under the code, the state assigns a unique Route X to each highway, does not differentiate between state, US, or Interstate highways; the California Highway Patrol is tasked with patrolling all state highways to enforce traffic laws. California's highway system is governed pursuant to Division 1 of the California Streets and Highways Code. Since July 1 of 1964, the majority of legislative route numbers, those defined in the Streets and Highways Code, match the sign route numbers. For example, Interstate 5 is listed as "Route 5" in the code. On the other hand, some short routes are instead signed as parts of other routes — for instance, Route 112 and Route 260 are signed as part of the longer State Route 61, Route 51 is part of Interstate 80 Business.
Concurrences are not explicitly codified in the Streets and Highways Code. The state may turn them over to local control. If the relinquished segment is in the middle of the highway's route, the local jurisdiction is required to install and maintain signs directing drivers to the continuation of that highway; the state may delete a highway and turn over an entire state route to local control. Business routes are not maintained by the state unless they are assigned legislative route numbers. A few routes or sections of routes are considered unrelinquished - a new alignment has been built, or the legislative definition has changed to omit the section, but the state still maintains the roadway — and are Route XU. There are two such unrelinqushed routes, with State Route 14U, an old alignment of State Route 14, as the most recent example of such, where the process to relinquish 14U started on January 1 of 2018, along with State Route 103U being the other unrelinquished route within the system; some new alignments are considered supplemental and have a suffix of S.
Both types of suffixed routes are considered spurs. Current or former unsigned suffixed routes include State Route 156U, signed as State Route 156 Business through Hollister, State Route 180S, the freeway replacement for State Route 180 in Fresno; the first legislative routes were defined by the State Highway Bond Act in 1909, passed by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor James Gillett. These, extensions to the system, were numbered sequentially. No signs were erected for these routes; the United States Numbered Highways were assigned by the American Association of State Highway Officials in November 1926, but posting did not begin in California until January 1928. These were assigned to some of the main legislative routes in California. Signs were posted by the Automobile Club of Southern California and California State Automobile Association, active in signing national auto trails and local roads since the mid-1900s. In 1934, after the major expansion of the state highway system in 1933 by the California Legislature, California sign route numbers were assigned by the California Division of Highways.
The California sign route numbers were assigned in a geographical system independent of the legislative routes. Odd-numbered routes ran north–south and even-numbered routes ran east–west; the routes were split among southern California and central and northern California as follows: 0 or 1 modulo 4: central and northern California 2 or 3 modulo 4: southern CaliforniaFor instance, State Route 1 and State Route 4 were in central and northern California, State Route 2 and State Route 3 were in southern California. A rough grid was used inside the two regions, with the largest numbers — all less than 200 - in eastern California and near the border between the two regions; the Interstate Highway System numbers were assigned by AASHO in late 1959. In 1963 and 1964, a total renumbering of the legislative routes was made, aligning them with the sign routes; some changes were made to the sign routes related to decommissionings of U. S. Routes in favor of Interstates. Since the 1990s, many non-freeway routes in urban areas, have been deleted and turned over to local control.
This transfers the cost of maintaining them from state to local budgets, but gives local governments direct control over urban arterial roads th
Indio is a city in Riverside County, United States, located in the Coachella Valley of Southern California's Colorado Desert region. It lies 23 miles east of Palm Springs, 75 miles east of Riverside, 127 miles east of Los Angeles, 148 miles northeast of San Diego; the word Indio is Spanish for Indian. The population was 76,036 in the 2010 United States Census, up from 49,116 at the 2000 census, an increase of 55%. Indio was referred to as "the Hub of the Valley", a Chamber of Commerce slogan used in the 1970s. Today the nickname is the "City of Festivals", a reference to the numerous renowned cultural events held in the city, most notably the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Railroad line construction east out of Los Angeles began in 1873. Trains were operated to Colton on July 16, 1875, to Indio on May 29, 1876. Moving on eastward from Indio, the railroad reached the west bank of the Colorado River opposite Yuma on May 23, 1877. There was delay in getting military authority to lay tracks across the Yuma Indian reservation, it was September that year before the bridge was completed so trains could operate into Yuma.
The Southern Pacific Railroad was to have joined those of the Texas & Pacific, one of several railroads holding, or seeking, federal authority to build lines from various sections of the country west to the Pacific Coast. But the rail-head of the T & P was at a standstill far off in Texas, so Southern Pacific continued building eastward.. The City of Indio came about because of the need of a halfway point for the Southern Pacific Railroad between Yuma and Los Angeles, since the engines needed to be refilled with water. At first, the would-be city was called Indian Wells, but since many other areas had that name, Indio was chosen instead. After the railroad's arrival in 1876, Indio started to grow; the first permanent building was hotel. Southern Pacific tried to make life as comfortable as it could for their workers in order to keep them from leaving such a difficult area to live in at the time, it was at the center of all social life in the desert with a fancy dining room and hosting dances on Friday nights.
While Indio started as a railroad town, it soon became agricultural. Onions, grapes and dates thrived in the arid climate due to the ingenuity of farmers finding various means of attaining water, first through artesian wells and through the valley’s branch of the All-American Canal. However, water was a major problem for Indio and the city was flooded several times until the storm water canals were created throughout the Coachella Valley. Businessmen and women found this last frontier land of the continental United States as an ideal place to start fresh. Dr. Harry Smiley and his wife Nell were early residents and stayed in Indio after their car broke down on the way to Los Angeles and became people of influence and helped shape the area. A. G. Tingman was an early storeowner and first Postmaster of Indio, but well known for taking advantage of miners as they headed to the mountains, selling at rather high prices. Dr. June Robertson McCarroll became a leading philanthropist and successful doctor in Indio.
She was responsible along with the Indio Woman’s Club for pressing California into adopting the placing of white lines down the streets after she nearly got hit one too many times by passing vehicles. Though these early founders of the city are considered pioneers, they still partook in the lifestyles of their friends living in such areas as Los Angeles. Indio established itself and kept up with the trends as they were brought in by the railroads. By the turn of the 20th century, Indio was more than a fading railroad town. Schools were built, the La Casita hospital provided medical services, families established roots. By 1920, about one to two thousand year-round residents lived in Indio, while it doubled to 2,500 to 5,000 during the winter months and was advertised as a health resort for senior citizens and those with respiratory diseases and ailments in the rest of the 20th century. Indio served as the home of the USDA’s Date Station, a place where leading scientific research was taking place on the fruit that would become a major part of the culture of Indio.
The station started in 1907 and was responsible for the ability of local farmers to better understand this unique crop and make the Coachella Valley a leader in American date crops. This created a tie to the Middle East that led to the theme for the County Fair with the Middle Eastern flair. Coachella and Thermal soon became larger cities than Indio, but Indio remained the “Hub of the Valley,” as it was called. With the burning of the majority of Thermal and the decline of Coachella, Indio grew again. By 1930, Indio was a thriving area and incorporated. On September 6, 1930, storekeeper Fred Kohler received the first business license in Indio. Indio was aided by the visiting soldiers from Patton’s training grounds in Chiriaco Summit located 30 miles to the east. However, Indio saw another decline as the valley’s population begin to move west towards newer cities such as Palm Desert. However, there is now a reversal in this trend and the eastern section of the valley is poised to once again become the center of the Coachella Valley.
The city had significant unemployment rates in the late 20th century and from the recession in the late 2000s. The rate in 2006 was under 5 percent after the loc
National Highway System (United States)
The National Highway System is a network of strategic highways within the United States, including the Interstate Highway System and other roads serving major airports, rail or truck terminals, railway stations, pipeline terminals and other strategic transport facilities. Altogether, it constitutes the largest highway system in the world. Individual states are encouraged to focus federal funds on improving the efficiency and safety of this network; the roads within the system were identified by the United States Department of Transportation in cooperation with the states, local officials, metropolitan planning organizations and approved by the United States Congress in 1995. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 provided that certain key routes such as the Interstate Highway System, be included; the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 is a United States Act of Congress, signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 28, 1995. The legislation designated about 160,955 miles of roads, including the Interstate Highway System, as the NHS.
Aside from designating the system, the act served several other purposes, including restoring $5.4 billion in funding to state highway departments, giving Congress the power to prioritize highway system projects, repealing all federal speed limit controls, prohibits the federal government from requiring states to use federal-aid highway funds to convert existing signs or purchase new signs with metric units. The act created a State Infrastructure Bank pilot program. Ten states were chosen in 1996 for this new method of road financing; these banks would lend money like regular banks, with funding coming from the federal government or the private sector, they would be repaid through such means as highway tolls or taxes. In 1997, 28 more states asked to be part of the program. Ohio was the first state to use a state infrastructure bank to start building a road. An advantage to this method was completing projects faster. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the 160,000-mile National Highway System includes roads important to the United States' economy and mobility, from one or more of the following road networks: Interstate Highway System: The entire Interstate Highway System is included in the NHS, but retains its separate identity within the NHS.
Other Principal Arterials: Highways in rural and urban areas which provide access between an arterial and a major port, public transportation facility, or other intermodal transportation facility. Strategic Highway Network: The entire network of highways which are important to the United States’ strategic defense policy and which provide defense access and emergency capabilities for defense purposes. Major Strategic Highway Network Connectors: Highways which provide access between major military installations and routes which are part of STRAHNET. Intermodal Conectors: Routes which provide access between major intermodal facilities and the other four subsystems making up the NHS; the system includes 4% of the nation's roads, but carries more than 40% of all highway traffic, 75% of heavy truck traffic, 90% of tourist traffic. All urban areas with a population of over 50,000 and about 90% of America's population live within 5 miles of the network, the longest in the world. U. S. Roads portal This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of Transportation.
STRAHNET description at US military's Transportation Engineering Agency STRAHNET article at the GlobalSecurity.org Weingroff, Richard F. "Backbone: Creation Of The National Highway System" National Highways System Proposed in 1913 State-by-state maps of the National Highway System of the Federal Highway Administration