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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
Table of Contents - October 31 - November 1
Also in October
1939 The New York World's Fair closes for the year. The most popular exhibit proved to be General Motors' Futurama, designer Norman Bel Geddes' vision of the future--1960. Over 5 million visitors had taken a seat in the exhibit's moving armchairs for a 15-minute tour of a "City of Tomorrow," with its buildings linked by pedestrian ways high above street traffic, and beyond, a network of 14-lane superhighways. Some 10,000 scale model cars demonstrated how in 1960, vehicles would move at three prescribed speeds, the movement controlled electronically. Business Week reported last month that, "The federal Bureau of Public Roads is inclined to pooh-pooh the plan (though there are such as believe the bureau might do with a few new ideas)." The Futurama exhibit helps to create public support for the "Interregional Highways" concept that became the Interstate System. PRA's exhibit, "Highways of History," is included in the 1940 New York World's Fair. The sketches and paintings are based on dioramas prepared by BPR artist Carl Rakeman and exhibited around the country. Albert C. Rose of PRA's Visual Education Branch conducted the research for the display. (See March 31, 1976.)
Picture, Also in October
Interior of PRA exhibit workshop, New York World's Fair.

"Who can say what new horizons lie before us if we but have the initiative and imagination to penetrate them--new economic horizons--new social horizons--new horizons in many fields, leading to new benefits for everyone, everywhere."
General Motors' Futurama
1939 New York World's Fair

Picture, Also in October
This diorama of a six-lane divided roadway was used at the New York World's Fair in 1939 to illustrate the method of making highways safer by separating both railroad and highway grade crossings.

1970 Work on a four-lane I-65 bridge across the Tennessee River near Decatur, AL, is to stop at the end of the month, and resume March 1, 1971, because some 65,000 ducks and geese are expected to settle in for the winter at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. FHWA, the Department of the Interior, and the Alabama State Highway Department agreed that no construction would proceed while the ducks and geese were settled in the area, and the contractors made their plans accordingly.
1975 The title of FHWA's Division Engineers is changed to Division Administrators. Administrator Norbert Tiemann explains that the new title is consistent with the titles used at the Federal and Regional levels and, more important, better reflects the nature and scope of the position. "As the role of the Federal Highway Administration has gradually evolved from essentially an engineering function to the much broader responsibility of highway management, so, too, has the assignment of the Division Administrator changed."
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