The Secret to Our Streets

Did you know highways all follow a code? I-90 from Seattle to Boston, I-80 from northern California to New Jersey – these east-west highways get even numbers, and north-south highways get odds. Small east-west numbers start way south, ending with I-90 up north. Small north-south numbers start out west with I-5 through Washington, Oregon and California, while I-95 runs down the East Coast. With over 46,000 miles of road, we need a good way to keep track.

Wee ones: If you were numbering interstates in order, what number would come after I-5?

Little kids: Can you name all the numbers from 1 to 10 that could be east-west (even) interstate numbers?  Bonus: Can you name all the multiples of 10 from I-10 to I-90?

Big kids: I-90 is the longest interstate at 3,020 miles, and the 2nd-longest is I-80 at about 2,900 miles. About how much longer is I-90?  Bonus: On the big highway signs for interstates, that little blue and red shield is 3 feet tall! It looks tiny only because it’s so high up. How much taller than that shield symbol are you, in inches?




Wee ones: I-6.

Little kids: They will be the even numbers: 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10.  Bonus: I-20, I-30, I-40, I-50, I-60, I-70, and I-80. But there’s no real I-50 or I-60, since they’d run right near the US highways with those numbers.

Big kids: 120 miles longer.  Bonus: Different for everyone… find your height in inches and subtract 36 inches, since that is 3 feet.

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