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
December 7
1915 OPR completes construction of bituminous experimental roads on the grounds of the Department of Agriculture. Construction involves two wing drives leading from the sheet-asphalt pavement in front of the main building to the sheet-asphalt plaza in the rear. The experiments were designed to study the behavior of cold-application tars and asphaltic oils of the types suitable for surface treating water-bound and penetration macadams. The roads chosen for the experiment were 16 feet wide and had been resurfaced with limestone macadam in the fall of 1911. In June 1912, they were treated with a molasses-lime mixture, but the treatment was followed by 10 days of heavy rain, during which the mixture was entirely washed off and the surface soon became dusty. Although limited to delivery wagons, carriages, and automobiles, the surface had worn perceptibly by the time the bituminous experiments began.
previous next

Return to FHWA By Day