Old Red Trail: Resisting the Interstate

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The modern interstate system was not universally welcomed in North Dakota.  Plans for Interstate 94 included dividing some farms, bypassing towns, restricting water drainage, and limited access.  Interviews with North Dakotans in this clip include reminiscences about the early days of the interstate, such as one person who recalled when someone tampered with construction by pulling out stakes and piling them neatly next to the future road’s path.  Even teaching North Dakotans how to use the interchanges and on- and off-ramps was a challenge after the Old Red Trail became the state’s first interstate highway.

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Bob Dambach (Producer); Dave Geck (Editor); Kim Stenehjem, Hope Deutscher (Associate Producers); Dave Geck, Travis Jensen, Lee Westad, Kak Lee, Doug Van Tassel (Videographers); Barbara Gravel (Production Manager); Bob Dambach, Bennett Kubischta (Executive Producers)


Old Red Trail [Documentary]. USA: Prairie Public Broadcasting.

Grade Level

3 - 12

Subject Matter

Social Studies, Science

Related Media

  1. Old Red Trail: How the Old Red Trail Came to Be
    Video: The modern-day interstate highway system that runs through North Dakota has a long history, starting in the early 20th century.
  2. Old Red Trail: Beginning
    Video: A discussion of the early days of the Old Red Trail, including the pioneer drivers who first plotted the route in 1914, as well as how it got its name.
  3. Old Red Trail: Early Red Trail Travel
    Video: Early travel on the Old Red Trail was difficult due to poor roads and weather conditions.
  4. Old Red Trail: Birth of the Interstate
    Video: The Old Red Trail owes its existence to the Federal Highway Act, signed into law by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.
  5. Old Red Trail: Construction Changes
    Video: A discussion of improvements in road construction in North Dakota over the past 50 years.

Related Links

The Old Red Trail
Teacher resources, video clips, and other information regarding the Prairie Public documentary about the history of Interstate 94 in North Dakota.