As "Happy 50th Anniversary, U.S. Interstate Highway System" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue (let alone fit on a cake), U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta has simply declared 2006 "The Year of the Interstate."

In celebration of this milestone, the indulgently-monikered American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or AASHTO, will mark the system's golden anniversary by taking a coast-to-coast convoy along I-80, beginning June 15 in San Francisco and finishing June 29 in Washington, D.C.-- neatly dovetailing with the anniversary of President Eisenhower's signing of the Interstate Highway Act.

All is not slow-speed Cannonballing, mind. AASHTO will also spearhead a research effort and policy conferences on the future of America's roadways. May we gently suggest starting with the potholes?

Check out a four-minute interstate primer provided by AASHTO here, or learn more about the festivities here.