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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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May 9
1980 The ship "Summit Venture" strikes a pier of the southbound lanes of the I-275 Sunshine Skyway Bridge across Tampa Bay in Florida. Collapse of the main span kills 35 people. Emergency relief funds help the Florida DOT build a $240-million replacement cable-stay bridge, which opens on April 30, 1987. The New York Times says the new bridge "may rank as the most impressive piece of large-scale bridge design in this country in half a century."
1982 "Illegal bidding practices cannot be condoned by government, society, or the construction industry," Administrator Ray Barnhart says via videotape in the opening address of the Anti-Trust Seminar for State Attorneys and Engineers, sponsored by AASHTO. "There will no longer be soft pats on the back, nor gentlemanly condolences. We cannot, and must not, accept such behavior."
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