Question: In reference to the Interstate, is it true that one out of five miles is straight so airplanes can land on there if needed?

  Answer: No, this is a myth that is so widespread that it is difficult to dispel. The myth typically states the requirement came from President Dwight D. Eisenhower or the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. However, no legislation, regulation, or policy has ever imposed such a requirement. Airplanes do land on Interstates in an emergency, but the highways are not designed for that purpose.

According to the United States Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration, the Interstate System was first described in a Bureau of Public Roads report to Congress, Toll Roads and Free Roads, in 1939. It was authorized for designation by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, with the initial designations in 1947 and completed in 1955 under the 40,000 mile limitation imposed by the 1944 Act. President Eisenhower didn’t conceive the Interstate System, but his support led to enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which established the program for funding and building it.

  If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,