Skip to contentU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Home > About FHWA > Highway History > FHWA By Day


A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
Table of Contents - Previous Day - Next Day
November 24
1901 The Southern Railway Good Roads Train arrives in Mobile, AL, and will stay through the 30th. On the 29th, Director Martin Dodge will address a convention, speaking on the "Relation of Roads to Rural Population" ("While all who live in the country must go to the city, a smaller proportion, though a greater number, with their carriages, bicycles, and automobiles, go from the city to the country."). The train got underway on October 29, 1901, in Alexandria, VA, and will conclude on April 5, 1902, in Charlottesville, VA. It will travel as far west as Tennessee and as far south as Georgia (participants took off for Christmas between December 21, 1901, and January 9, 1901). The train was initiated by Samuel Spencer, president of the Southern Railway Company, and cosponsored by the National Good Roads Association and OPRI. The first stop had been Winston-Salem, NC, reached on October 30 (an object-lesson road was constructed on North Liberty Street). (See February 13, 1902.)
Photo: The crushing plant in operation at Winston-Salem, NC., during a demonstration of macadam road building.
The crushing plant in operation at Winston-Salem, NC., during a demonstration of macadam road building.
"While without the aid of taxation we have been able to secure cheap transportation by means of the railroads, we have not obtained the cheap transportation over the common roads which we ought to have."
Martin Dodge
Director, OPRI
November 24, 1901

1906 OPR begins work on an 8,927-foot shell drive around the U.S. Naval Station in New Orleans, LA. The foundation course is of oyster shells 7 inches thick, with a 4-inch wearing surface of clam shells. Completed July 26, 1907, the road cost $14,569.23, well within the appropriation of $15,000 made for the work.
1932 The High-Level Viaduct ("Pulaski Skyway") over the New Jersey meadows on the approach to the Holland Tunnel opens. As part of a 12-month traffic census requested by the State Highway Commission, BPR includes a time study of delays, between Jersey City and Newark, before and after the viaduct opened. The study is completed in September 1933. The report indicates that the viaduct undoubtedly attracted traffic that previously had avoided the route because of congestion. "There is also every reason to believe that the traffic on the viaduct will increase during the next few years to a volume which could not have been adequately served by the old route" (Public Roads, February 1934).
1968 FHWA announces that for the first time in history, the annual motor vehicle mileage rolled up on the Nation's highways will top the one trillion mark. To make the figure more understandable, FHWA's E. M. Cope points out that one trillion miles would equal 40,400,000 trips around the world at the Equator.
1978 As part of USDOT's anti-inflation fight, Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams instructs FHWA's field offices to work closely with State highway agencies to ensure that every aspect of the Federal-aid construction program is examined for potential cost-reduction methods. In particular, he asks them to re-examine all projects where bids exceed original cost estimates by 7 percent to determine if they should be modified or reissued.
previous next

Return to FHWA By Day