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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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June 30
1924 For the opening of the Mount Hood Loop in Oregon, BPR officials join a caravan of automobiles carrying Forest Service, State and county officials, prominent citizens, and the press. They leave Portland, OR, drive to Government Camp, around the mountain to Hood River, and then back to Portland over the Columbia Highway, thus making the first complete circuit (173 miles) of Mt. Hood by way of the Loop Highway--in 8 hours. BPR supervised construction of the 37-mile section through Mt. Hood National Forest.
Photo: Tooth Rock Tunnel on the Columbia River Highway in Oregon
Tooth Rock Tunnel on the Columbia River Highway in Oregon.
1933 For the first time since 1916, the fiscal year ends without definite provision by Congress for continuation of the Federal-aid highway program. However, the National Industrial Recovery Act, approved June 16, provided $400 million for Federal-aid roads and $50 million for forest, park, public lands, and Indian reservation roads. (The Federal-aid program would be reestablished, June 18, 1934, by the Hayden-Cartwright Act for FYs 1936 and 1937).
1961 Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges inaugurates operation of the National Driver Register Service in BPR's computer room to maintain records of motor vehicle operators whose license has been revoked. (On June 13, 1967, Administrator Lowell Bridwell announced that the register had made 31,921,825 searches, resulting in 182,679 identifications warranting further investigation.)
1972 Frank Turner retires as Federal Highway Administrator, ending a BPR/PRA/FHWA career that began immediately after his graduation from Texas A&M University in 1929.
"While many organizations both in and out of Government are impersonal machines, I've always thought of [the FHWA family] as individuals who were dedicated to doing a piece of the public business more as a service to your friends and neighbors than merely a source of employment."
Frank Turner
Federal Highway Administrator
June 30, 1972
1993 A Federal Grand Jury in New York indicts eight individuals for allegedly evading $85 million in Federal tax on 946 million gallons of gasoline between 1983 and 1988. This is the largest fuel tax evasion case ever brought by the Department of Justice and brings the total evasion alleged in various indictments over the past 6 months in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to almost $200 million. FHWA's fuel tax evasion project played a significant role in assisting the Internal Revenue Service and State revenue agencies.
2010 George Austin Hay, a multimedia specialist in FHWA's Publishing and Visual Communications Team, retires at the age of 94 after 55 years of Federal service, including 37 with FHWA. In his final days at work, Hay is congratulated by Secretary Ray LaHood, Deputy Secretary John Porcari, and Administrator Victor Mendez. On July 2, The Washington Post covers the retirement - in part because of Hay's sideline as an actor who appeared as an extra in such films as North by Northwest (1959), Being There (1979), Her Alibi (1989), The Contender (2000), and Ladder 49 (2004).
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