Westbound: The Golden Stripe
Blue Earth, Minnesota
Interstate 90 is the longest road in America, 3,081 miles from Boston to Seattle. Its east and west paving crews met just west of Blue Earth, Minnesota, in September 1978. To mark the event, the connecting roadway slab was made of gold-tinted concrete -- a "Golden Stripe" as a nod to the Golden Spike that joined the transcontinental railroad. Two Minnesota National Guard trucks met nose-to-nose at the Stripe, recognizing the interstates' original purpose as a National Defense Highway system. 2,500 people attended the ceremony on September 17, including Miss America and the Jolly Green Giant, who had just arrived from the statue factory and was held aloft by a crane.
The Golden Stripe survived the wear and tear of millions of vehicles for almost 30 years. But by 2006 this stretch of interstate was crumbling and had to be repaved. In recognition of the Stripe's importance, the roadway's golden shoulders were left untouched, and can still be seen today. Matching historical markers were unveiled at twin Rest Areas, adjacent to the Stripe, on either side of I-90.