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 19
1965 "A terrible mistake has been made in cities," landscape architect Lawrence Halprin tells The Los Angeles Times. The week before, he and other members of a board appointed by Administrator Rex Whitton to draft guidelines for design and location of urban expressways, had met with Whitton. Halprin says Whitton understands that, "It wasn't realized that as freeways come to cities, they have to not only move people but . . . do this in a way that is not going to destroy the cities." (See May 1, 1968.)
1972 Secretary of Transportation John Volpe says FHWA will require installation of crash cushions on new Federal-aid freeways, high-speed roads, and high-volume roadways at locations that cannot be designed to eliminate roadside hazards. The devices can help reduce the toll--4,500 lives a year--from crashes with fixed objects.
1987 The 33.8-mile "Missing Link" of I-95, from PGA Boulevard in North Palm Beach to Fort Pierce, FL, opens, completing all of I-95 with the exception of a planned connection between the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turnpikes.
1991 Amid numbing cold, officials gather for the opening of I-476--best known as the Blue Route--in Bucks County, PA. The opening ceremony lasts only 30 minutes because, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, "No one wanted to see the specially designed, 50-foot-long red, white and blue ribbon whipped away by the wind before [Governor Robert] Casey could cut it." The Inquirer calls the Blue Route "the most costly, most bitterly opposed highway in Pennsylvania history," but the 21.5-mile, $600-million highway is hailed for its environmental sensitivity and harmony with its surroundings.
1995 Secretary of Transportation Federico Pea announces plans to reorganize the USDOT by combining ten Modal Administrations into three based on the strategies of consolidation, downsizing, and streamlining. The plan would abolish the FHWA.
1997 With Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater looking on, Gloria J. Jeff takes the oath of office as Deputy Administrator. As Associate Administrator for Policy, she had taken on the role of Acting Administrator prior to the arrival of Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle. (See December 2, 1997.) Jeff is the third woman, and the first African American, to hold the position of Deputy Administrator.
previous next

Return to FHWA By Day