It is difficult to imagine any part of the United States without the roads and bridges that make it possible for us to travel there. With literally millions of miles of roads in the United States alone, here are some interesting facts you might not have known.
1. The road network in the United States is the biggest one in the world.
The road networks in China and India, countries which have the most people living in them, are second to the United States.
2. The George Washington Bridge is the most traveled bridge in the United States.
This bridge connects Fort Lee, New Jersey, to Manhattan, New York. In 2015, it saw about 100 million vehicles. Not only is it the most traveled bridge in the United States, but it is also the most traveled bridge in the world.
3. In 1902, the world’s first speeding ticket was issued.
The driver was traveling at 45 miles per hour.
4. Today, it would only take a month to drive to the moon.
If a modern car drove at an average of 60 miles per hour straight up in the air, it would be at the moon in less than a month.
5. There are 4.09 million miles of roads in the United States.
This includes roads in Hawaii and Alaska. About 72 percent of these roadways are in rural areas. Over a third of all roadways in the United States are not paved.
6. There are 47,432 miles of interstate highways in the United States.
While this might seem like a small number compared to the 4.09 million miles of United States roads, interstate highways account for over a quarter of all traffic. Another 175,514 miles are major roads.
7. The federal government is only responsible for 3.4 percent of all national roadways.
Out of the 3.4 percent of roads the federal government is responsible for, many are in national parks, Native American reservations, and military bases. Local authorities are responsible for keeping up over 77 percent, and state highway agencies are responsible for about 19 percent of roads.
8. The highest mileage on a single car is over 3 million miles.
The car is a Volvo made in 1966. The owner drives over 100,000 miles each year to visit car shows.
9. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the United States and the 8th longest in the world.
The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connects Brooklyn to Staten Island over the Hudson River. At 4,260 feet long, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is 228 feet above the water. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1981.
10. One out of every seven jobs in the United States is related to transportation.
From truck drivers, to bus drivers, to train operators; the transportation industry gives over 14 percent of workers their jobs.
11. There are over 47,000 structurally deficient bridges in the United States.
This does not mean the bridges are in danger of collapsing. They are still safe for drivers to use, but they are in need of significant repair. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association believes it will take more than 80 years to repair all of these bridges. A few of the bridges on the list include Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in California, and the Pensacola Bay Bridge in Florida.
12. In the United States, the trucking industry is responsible for more than 70 percent of all freight each year.
Even if goods are transported on trains or ships, it is likely they will travel by truck at some point.