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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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August 23
1902 With $5,000 from Allegheny County, MD, OPRI builds an object lesson road on the Old National Turnpike, between Frostburg and Cumberland, under supervision of Charles T. Harrison. The project eliminates one of the worst hills on the turnpike, where the old roadbed was worn out and washed away. Because the theory behind object lesson roads is "seeing is believing," this project was a good choice. The road is alongside a trolley line and can be seen by passengers.
1922 General John J. Pershing signs a map showing a system of national routes deemed by responsible military authorities to be of special importance to national defense. The map was prepared in response to a request from Chief Thomas MacDonald. The War Department's general position is that a system designed to serve the Nation's industrial and commercial needs would adequately serve the military.
1954 The Training and Education Branch and the Personnel Branch are consolidated as the Personnel Branch and Training Office under Robert Winfrey.
1968 In Austin, TX, President Lyndon Johnson signs the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which contains new provisions on relocation housing (decent, safe, and sanitary housing for displacees) and funding for the Interstate and other established categories, as well as TOPICS (Traffic Operations Program to Improve Capacity and Safety), formerly an FHWA pilot project. Administrator Lowell Bridwell says the relocation provision "represents one of the most significant pieces of housing legislation ever adopted."
1988 Section 5164 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act amends the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 by designating the metric system as the preferred system of weights and measures for trade and commerce. Each Federal Agency is required to begin using the metric system before the end of FY 1992 in procurements, grants, and other business-related activities, except when use of the system is impractical or is likely to cause a loss of markets for United States firms.
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