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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke June 7, 2021

Eisenhower interstate highway system airstrip myth spreads on social media

If Your Time is short

  • This is a myth, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Airplanes sometimes land on interstate highways in an emergency, but the roads aren’t designed for that purpose. 

More than 60 years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, bipartisan legislation that would help connect cities across the country. Spreading on social media more recently is something that’s being described as a "fun fact of the day."

"The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight," the post says. "These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies."

But this isn’t correct.

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

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On its website, the Federal Highway Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation writes that "this is a myth that is so widespread that it is difficult to dispel."

No legislation, regulation or policy has ever required that one out of every five miles of highway be straight. It’s not a mandate in the Federal-Aid Highway Act. Eisenhower didn’t order it. And while airplanes do sometimes land on interstates in an emergency, according to the highway administration, these roads aren’t designed for that purpose. 

We rate this post False. 


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Eisenhower interstate highway system airstrip myth spreads on social media

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