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Episode 442

Interstate 80 in Iowa
Sat, 2018-Jul-21 00:31 UTC
Length - 3:00

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 21 July 2018 is Interstate 80 in Iowa.

Interstate 80 (I-80) is a transcontinental Interstate Highway in the United States, stretching from San Francisco, California, to Teaneck, New Jersey. In Iowa, the highway travels west to east through the center of the state. It enters the state at the Missouri River in Council Bluffs and heads east through the southern Iowa drift plain. In the Des Moines area, I-80 meets up with I-35 and the two routes bypass Des Moines together. On the northern side of Des Moines, the Interstates split and I-80 continues east. In eastern Iowa, it provides access to the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Northwest of the Quad Cities in Walcott is Iowa 80, the World's Largest Truckstop. I-80 passes along the northern edge of Davenport and Bettendorf and leaves Iowa via the Fred Schwengel Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River into Illinois.

Before I-80 was planned, the route between Council Bluffs and Davenport, which passed through Des Moines, was vital to the state. Two competing auto trails, the Great White Way and the River-to-River Road, sought to be the best path to connect three of the state's major population centers. The two trails combined in the 1920s and eventually became U.S. Highway 32 (US 32) in 1926. US 6, which had taken the place of US 32, became the busiest highway in the state. In the early 1950s, plans were drawn up to build an Iowa Turnpike, to be the first modern four-lane highway in the state, along the US 6 corridor. Plans for the turnpike were shelved when the Interstate Highway System was created in 1956.

Construction of I-80 took place over 14 years. The first section opened on September 21, 1958, in the western suburbs of Des Moines. New sections of Interstate opened up regularly over the next twelve years, though construction in eastern Iowa was completed in 1966. The final piece of I-80 in Iowa, the Missouri River bridge to Omaha, Nebraska, opened on December 15, 1972. By the 1980s, I-80 had fallen into disrepair in Iowa and across the country. Federal funding was freed up in 1985 to allow reconstruction of the highway.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:31 UTC on Saturday, 21 July 2018.

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These podcasts are produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content.

They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

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