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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
Table of Contents - June 30 - July 1
Also in June
1897 1897 The first object lesson road is built by ORI at the entrance to the New Jersey Agricultural College and Experiment Station at New Brunswick, NJ. The work, conducted by General E. G. Harrison of Asbury Park, NJ, involves placing 6 inches of trap rock macadam, 8 feet wide, on a 660-foot section of the main road from the town to the college farm. ORI's cost consisted only of Harrison's salary and travel expenses, the expense of transporting loaned equipment, and part of the wages of the equipment operators. Otherwise, the road cost $321, which was paid by the college.
Photo: Carl Rakeman's painting showing construction of the first object lesson road.
Carl Rakeman's painting showing construction of the first object lesson road.
1923 This month's issue of The Highway Magazine contains an article on "Doctoring the Sick Highways," based on an "authentic interview" with BPR's Chief Testing Engineer, Earl B. Smith. Smith tells the reporter, "It is known that there are four important factors to be considered in road design, namely: impact; pressure or weight of the passing load; horizontal shear and tractive forces; subgrade and soil conditions . . . . More progress has been made in the study of impact than any of the other factors."
1954 Volume 1, Issue 1 of The News in Public Roads is issued. According to a note from Commissioner F. V. du Pont, "Our purpose is a serious one--to enable our employees to know our organization better and convince them that it is doing a work of great public benefit." He adds that with employees widely dispersed around the world, "If the publication succeeds in bringing us closer together with a common understanding and purpose, it will be worth the effort in producing it." The initial editor is C. M. Billingsley of the Research Reports Branch. John Zolyak takes over with the August 1957 issue, continues as editor after the newsletter becomes Federal Highway Administration News (May 1967), and remains editor through the August 1979 issue. The newsletter was renamed FHWA News on December 24, 1969.
1964 The HRB of the National Academy of Sciences releases the first published report of the Nationally Coordinated Highway Research Program ("Highway Structure Protection and Snow and Ice Removal," based on research by Bertram D. Tallamy Associates of Washington, DC). AASHO, with BPR cooperation, sponsors the program, underwrites the research, and identifies areas of greatest research need.
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