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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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November 23
1912 An OPR engineer and his assistant, stationed in Natchez, MS, complete their assignment of devising a road system for Adams County. Beginning August 24, they made the necessary surveys for relocation, investigated materials, designed road structures, and advised county officials on the best methods of construction, administration, and maintenance.
1920 A. T. Goldbeck and Ira B. Mullis represent BPR at a meeting of the subgrade committee of the Federal Highway Council in Wilmington, DE, under General T. Coleman Du Pont. The subject: Why highways fail. W. P. Blair of Cleveland, OH, attributes the failure to the fact that 20 million people had been added to the country, practically without 1 inch being added to transportation facilities. General Du Pont states that addressing subgrade/foundation problems is the most important duty facing highway agencies. C. M. Upham, State Highway Engineer of Delaware, describes his department's field tests to determine the bearing powers of various kinds of soil.
1963 BPR activities on reconstruction of Cambodia's 133-mile Khmer-American Friendship Highway are suspended, with approximately 30 percent of the work completed, when the Nation's Chief of State requests cessation of all aid from the United States. Negotiations result in the sale of the contractor's equipment and supplies to the government. BPR personnel remain in the country during the transfer, then close out the project in January 1964.
1967 FHWA announces that the airport access problem is being melded into the recently inaugurated TOPICS program (See February 13, 1967), in accordance with the USDOT's concept of a fully-coordinated transportation system. "No TOPICS program," according to the instructions issued today, "should be advanced beyond the planning stage unless adequate attention has been given to this high priority item." Administrator Lowell Bridwell notes that this priority is needed because, "Getting from an airport to a city's downtown sometimes takes longer than the air flight."
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