The 236-mile Kansas Turnpike was constructed during 1955 and 1956 as a toll facility providing a modern highway through Kansas for the benefit of all motorists without increasing the tax burden of Kansas residents. Unlike most highways, motorists pay for the Turnpike construction and operation only when they drive on it, since there are no tax dollars used for the toll road. The Turnpike was completed in a record 22 months. When the Turnpike first opened to traffic, there were 14 interchanges. The Turnpike currently has 21 interchanges for entry and exit where U.S. or Interstate highways intersect its alignment. Otherwise, its limited access is a safety plus, and a minimum of stop and go situations are time, fuel and money-savings factors. The Kansas Legislature authorized the Turnpike Authority to sell bonds to private investors to pay for financing and construction costs of the tollway. The costs include all expenses of the Turnpike Division of the Kansas Highway Patrol. The Authority receives no tax funds to meet the costs of Turnpike operations.