From the ITD Vault: 50 Years Ago
Idaho's portion of National Interstate 90 will stretch across the northern panhandle of the state from Washington to Montana. This route provides a four-lane divided freeway, which matchesthe capacity and volume of modern-day traffic.
Although the route extends from coast to coast, development of the 74-mile portion located in Idaho is considered one of the most difficult engineering and construction assignments in the national program. Since the first Interstate work on 1-90 commenced in 1956, this most difficult and time-consuming undertaking has presented many obstacles.
Hurdles yet facing the program are: building the roadway through the northern panhandle of the city of Wallace with a minimum of damage to existing structures and obtaining the right of way passing through federal lands dotted with mining claims between Mullan and Lookout pass.
As the route grows, it opens new avenues to the scenic grandeur of Idaho's outdoor beauty. It is bringing together the people, materials, machinery and resources. It is helping to reduce the chances of their families being in an accident, and causing less wear on the family car by reducing trip time and mileage.
Linking the past with the present, Idaho Highway Department Historical Signs point out the locations in Northern Idaho that played an important part in the development of the Great Northwest. Interstate 90 follows very closely the original route surveyed by Captain John Mullan. (Read Historical Sign below.)
All of Idaho's Interstate highway projects are financed with 92% federal highway-user funds and 870 state highway-user matching funds.
When complete in 1972, Interstate 90 will become one of four Interstate routes in Idaho forming major links to the national network of future highways across the nation.