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This estimate covered only the mileage (42,795 miles) built under the Interstate Construction Program.It excluded turnpikes incorporated into the Interstate System within the mileage limitation and the mileage added as a logical addition or connection outside the limitation but financed without Interstate Construction funds.As a result, the FHWA obligation results in reimbursements to the State for the Federal share over several years.The included a provision named after Senator Harry Flood Byrd (D-VA), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, to ensure the Highway Trust Fund would contain enough money to pay the bills.President Eisenhower insisted that the financing mechanism for the Interstate System be "self-liquidating," so that it could not add to the national debt.The president favored a toll highway network financed by bonds, but his aides convinced him that traffic volumes would not generate enough revenue in most corridors to repay bondholders with interest.
The Highway Trust Fund financing mechanism established in the satisfied President Eisenhower's "self-liquidating" demand.When legislation failed in 1955, observers predicted that in the presidential election year of 1956, the Democratic Congress would not approve such a significant plan sought by a Republican President.Nevertheless, President Eisenhower continued to urge approval and worked with Congress to reach compromises that made approval possible. Through the remainder of his years as President, he searched for ways to solve the problems that plagued the program in its early years and pushed for continued work on the Interstate System.The authorized 5 million a year for the Interstate System (FYs 19), with a Federal-State matching ratio of 60-40.The increased Federal share reflected the common understanding that the Interstate System is vitally important to national goals. Eisenhower began to promote creation of a program to build the Interstate Construction Program, the Nation's Governors made clear to him that they did not want to be forced to increase State taxes to pay the additional matching funds for the national program.
Separate legislation allows the Federal Highway Administration to approve additional mileage if it meets full Interstate standards and would be a logical addition or connection.