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Highway History

Origins of the Interstate System

Origins of the Interstate Part 7 of 7

CONGRESSMAN DAVIS

The Honorable Clifford Davis, M.C., Tenn., spoke to the AASHO Convention of the revenue impasse that the House bill encountered:

...Let me put you at ease, gentlemen. You are going to have, in my considered judgement, a good road bill in this next session of Congress. Let me give you one piece of advice, or one suggestion. I would urge you in your resolutions to insist on a road bill, but lay off the revenue, because then you will get yourself in the same shape in which we found ourselves. But when we do reach agreement on language early this year, I do hope then that you will influence in a personal way, by a telephone call or a letter or a personal message, your own members in the Congress. Let's do this thing in an orderly, high-class way without pressure and without so-called lobbying. We can do it.

...Our committee concluded that the special system of financing as proposed by the Administration Bill was not conducive to sound fiscal management. Now, of course, you appreciate that I am giving the majority view of the committee. The accumulation of governmental obligations and the expenditures of proceeds thereof not by a budget but by a corporation without apportionment to the States would be basically unsound.

Indeed, there is no reason for the government to create a corporation which would require the payment of approximately $11 1/2 billion in interest to build some $25 billion worth of roads. We could not get by with that philosophy.

...the Senate bill...authorized appropriations for a five year period...then they quit...Our Committee believes that the amounts recommended...should constitute a reasonable start toward meeting the deficiencies in highway improvements...not only the first installment...

Our committee in the House had witnesses representing all of the agencies interested in the program. I think without exception all who appeared stressed the importance of authorizing the whole program now in order to avoid the possibility of inefficient and expensive build-ups and let-downs...

All past Federal-aid bills have contained apportionment formulas for dividing the monies authorized to the States on the basis of population, area, and mileage. This concept would not meet the objective of completing the Interstate System in a given period of time, nor would it...assure simultaneous completion...

...The only concept which will fully accomplish the objectives is to compute the estimated cost of completing this system in each State and allocating to each State the amount of federal funds necessary to permit the State to do the job...

...After hearing appropriate testimony, we were convinced that we would not have enough (resources) to make a sound economic start in the program under 13 years...

...I will give you the reason the highway bill failed. Under the constitution, all revenue bills originate in the House of Representatives. I tell you no specific suggestions were made in the Senate to pay for this much needed road program. The House Bill would have passed but for the fact that leadership insisted that we put tax provisions in the bill. This was almost unprecedented. We had a very limited time to hear witnesses on the tax provisions. We ran into great difficulty with the petroleum interest, the tire industry, and those engaged in trucking, and I can tell you that that is a very minimum, mild statement I have just made.

In truth, we had only 12 hours to hear witnesses on the important money angle. It was agreed everybody in the United States wanted highways, but nobody wanted to pay for them. I voted against the bill when it got in that bad shape. I felt that a better job could have been done on any increase in tax provisions to pay as we go, and pay as we use, if the Committee on the House Ways and Means had been given the responsibility which rightly belonged to that committee. They have career staff experts on duty the year around. They have the benefit of the advice of the Department of the Treasury. That committee is headed by an able Tennessean, Jere Cooper.

Not being an experienced member of the tax-writing committee, and with only 12 hours to be informed on the tax provisions, I was not willing to vote for a bill so important, and on which I thought so all-inclusive, which required so much money without all the equities having been carefully considered with ample time for presentation of views of those who would be required to meet the additional cost of operation. This is but the fair American way.

...I think the House Bill was sound until we so quickly had the tax feature thrust upon it. The bill, as you know, was warmly contested, and even more warmly defeated.. Between now and the first of the year the whole country, and all the interests involved, must take a realistic view and come back afresh and get this bill out of the way as soon as possible.

...When we get down to the bill for the President's signature, it will require some compromises, the meeting of minds, level-headedness, and constructive thought. In this, all of you may be most helpful if you will dedicate your best advice to those of us who serve you in Congress and have need of that advice...

COMMISSIONER CURTISS

C.D. Curtiss, Commissioner, Bureau of Public Roads, told the AASHO Convention the $101 billion needs study estimate was being erroneously reported in the press as the cost of the Federal program. Three other speakers mentioned the same thing as being a factor in the failure of the Congress to pass legislation in 1955. He said that the acquisition of rights-of-way, especially on the urban Interstate was the biggest problem and noted that legislation had been introduced to give the Federal Government the authority to acquire such rights-of-way upon the request of the States. He asked if the States really wanted this feature. He said that many States still did not have the legal authority to control access. He announced the designation of the remaining 2,300 miles of urban Interstate:

...Today I would like to discuss with you some of the subjects which appear important to me and my associates in the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Public Roads, as we look to the future. There is no occasion to dwell on the magnitude of our highway needs. They are well recognized. In March, 1955, the President submitted to Congress a report prepared by the Bureau with the cooperation of the State highway departments showing the estimated cost of construction needed to modernize all of the Nation's roads and streets in a period of 10 years to be $101 billion. This is indeed a familiar figure to all of you. Although compiled by the Bureau of Public Roads, the estimates are those of the State highway departments. Unfortunately, this figure has been publicized so as to leave the erroneous impression that it represents the estimated cost of a Federal program-rather than an overall estimate of total cost of needed improvements in the next 10 years.

Some of the data developed for this report were used by the President's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program headed by General Lucius D. Clay, and were stressed in the Committee's basic statement of the problem to be solved. Committees of the Congress gave very careful consideration to these same facts and particularly to the obvious need to launch a program for improvement of the interstate system on a scale that would bring this most important network to completion within a reasonable period. The need to continue substantial support to the other Federal-aid systems also received serious attention.

The fact that no final legislative action was taken was disappointing to many, but the almost universal recognition of the problem which developed at the hearings and the will to do something about it is most encouraging. Predictions are being rather freely made that favorable action will be taken in the next session of the Congress...

He said that right-of-way acquisition was the number one problem in the highway program..."This brings up an important question - what changes, if any, should be made in Federal-aid legislation covering right-of-way acquisition? Some of the bills introduced in Congress would provide for Federal acquisition of right-of-way on the interstate system, if requested by the States. Such rights-of-way would later be deeded back to the States. Do the States want the Bureau to be granted such authority? The Bureau has no desire to enter this field, except as requested by the States where existing legal bottlenecks impede an accelerated program for the vital interstate system."

He said that control of access was also a very important issue and that many States did not have the legal authority to do it.

...On September 15, 1955, approval was given to the designation of the remaining balance of 2,300 miles of the National System of Interstate Highways. This approval, including the 37,700 miles approved in 1947, completed designation of the 40,000 miles authorized by the Congress in...1944. In this latest approval only urban area additions were included. Although requested by some States, no new intercity routes were approved. This action was in keeping with the statement made at the time the original designation in 1947 was announced...

This action in completing the designation of the full 40,000 miles was somewhat overdue as a number of States were pressing for additional urban mileage in order to facilitate their planning for urban area projects in utilizing their share of the $400,000,000 already authorized for projects on the interstate system. In order that the needs of all States could be considered, action was delayed until requests for urban additions from all the States could be considered. Since these requests totaled 3,400 miles it was necessary to eliminate 1,100 miles. In reviewing the requests of the States, criteria presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Public Works on April 15, 1955, and approved by the Department of Defense, were used. Only general locations were fixed. Detailed final locations will be made as projects are developed for improvement and such locations may or may not coincide with present roads and streets. In many instances extensive studies of traffic needs, right-of-way costs, and design problems must precede fixing of the exact location...

PRESENTATION OF THE BARTLETT AWARD TO WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST, JR.

In January 1956 at the annual convention of the American Road Builders' Association, L.L. Colbert, President, Chrysler Corporation, presented William Randolph Hearst the Bartlett Award for three years of intensive campaigning in the Hearst newspapers for an expanded highway program:

...I want to say right now and without any qualifications that in my opinion no other man in the country has done so much over the past three years to bring to the attention of the people of the United States the urgent and staggering needs of the Nation for better highways.

He has spent so much time and effort on highways in recent years that I am sure he wonders sometimes whether he isn't a highway commissioner at large. He tells me that although people still ask him what is happening on the world's news fronts, more often than not they ask him about roads.

Now as much of a man as Bill Hearst is, he hasn't done all the work on this highway campaign himself. Early in the game, back in 1952, he had a talk with Bill Lampe, who was then Managing Editor of the Detroit Times, and told him that from that time on until further notice he would be the editor in charge of information on better roads for all the Hearst papers. To explain why he needed a national better roads editor he said that every time he went to Detroit he heard automobile men talking more and more about highways and about how in the long run the lack of adequate highways would hurt not only the automobile business but the whole economy. He had become convinced that it was a very big and important matter-one worth pushing hard.

He asked Bill Lampe to begin his new assignment by finding out just how big and tough the highway problem really was. So a staff of writers went to work immediately to get all the facts together.

This took several months, but at the end of that time Bill Hearst and his editors were dead sure they had a worthwhile and exciting job on their hands. The man who took charge of that first big research job deserves a special vote of thanks. That man is John O'Brien. In the three years since then he has been Chief Staff Writer for the Hearst highway campaign, and has had a hand in most of the strong editorials and informed new accounts appearing in the Hearst papers.

...Between October, 1952, when the campaign started to roll until the end of 1955 the Hearst papers printed nearly three million lines on the highway problem. This is enough to fill 1,229 full newspaper pages. Or put it another way. This is enough to fill the columns of an average-size metropolitan daily with nothing but stories and editorials on highways for 76 consecutive days.

...Sooner or later this country is going to reach the great objective that the Hearst highway campaign has kept before the American people during the last three years. In large part as the result of this campaign the voters are going to expect their political representatives to pass adequate highway legislation in the present session of Congress. Of one thing we can be absolutely certain-Bill Hearst and his editors are going to go right on publishing the facts and building public pressure until the country gets the kind of road system it must have to grow and prosper...

HEARINGS ON H.R. 8836
Committee on Public Works
The Subcommittee on Roads

House of Representatives, 84th Congress, second session, February 7 through March 5, 1956.

To Amend and Supplement the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916.

This bill, sponsored by Congressman Fallon, Md., was essentially the same as his bill that went down to defeat in 1955. It was incumbent on the House to pass something in order to respond to the Gore bill already passed in the previous session of the Senate. The bill provided authorizations through 1969 at a 90-10 matching ratio and apportioned on the basis of the cost estimate already presented to the Congress. It also contained the reimbursement feature to pay for roads already built to Interstate standards and on the system. It also called for expediting the AASHO Road Test as the basis for recommending size and weight standards to the Congress. It authorized the Secretary to acquire land for rights-of-way for the Interstate upon the request of a State. It continued the rest of the highway program pretty much as it was.

WITNESSES

  1. Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks accompanied by Louis S. Rothschild, Undersecretary for Transportation, Phillip A. Ray, General Counsel, C.D. Curtiss, Commissioner of Public Roads, F.C. Turner, Assistant to the Commissioner, and H. J. Kaltenbach, Solicitor, Bureau of Public Roads. Secretary Weeks entered a prepared statement into the record. Excerpts follow:

    ...The need for an expanded and adequate highway program was definitely established by representatives of farm organizations, industry, labor and other interests, and officials of State and Federal agencies at hearings before your committee during the last session of the Congress, and I will not attempt to further confirm these needs. However, I should like to point out that the President has emphasized repeatedly, in his State of the Union and budget messages and his economic report, that a greatly improved highway system is vital for both economic development and national defense, as well as to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

    We are very gratified that H.R. 8836 accomplishes the principal objectives of the President's program for completion of the National System of Interstate Highways by authorizing construction of the system as a single integrated project, requiring the Federal Government to assume the principal responsibility for financing the program, and providing for apportionment of funds among States on the basis of need.

    In contrast to the practice of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954, and previous acts authorizing appropriations for the Interstate System on a 2-year basis, H.R. 8836 provides total authorizations of $24,825 billion for the 13-year period...ending June 30, 1969.

    We believe it imperative that completion of the Interstate System be authorized as one project rather than on a piecemeal approach. I have referred to the President's statements on the need for an improved highway system, and I should like to quote from his State of the Union message concerning the necessity for authorizing the Interstate System as an entire project.

    In my message of February 22, 1955, I urged that measures be taken to complete the vital 40,000-mile Interstate System over a period of 10 years at an estimated Federal cost of approximately $25 billion. No program was adopted.

    If we are ever to solve our mounting traffic problem, the whole Interstate System must be authorized as one project, to be completed approximately within the specified time. Only in this way can industry efficiently gear itself to the job ahead. Only in this way can the required planning and engineering be accomplished without the confusion and waste unavoidable in a piecemeal approach. Furthermore, as I pointed out last year, the pressing nature of this problem must not lead us to solutions outside the bounds of sound fiscal management. As in the case of other pressing problems, there must be an adequate plan of financing.

    ...We also believe that it is very necessary that the Interstate System be completed over a period of 10 years, as recommended by the President rather than over a 13 year period as provided in H.R. 8836...

    In this connection, we understand that the Committee on Ways and Means is drafting a bill designed to provide revenues considered necessary for the highway program, and that such bill will be consolidated with any bill reported out by your committee.

    We believe that this is the only method which will fully accomplish the objective of completing the Interstate System in a given period of time in accordance with the needs determined by the States with the cooperation of the Bureau of Public Roads. The formula used in previous acts for apportioning funds among the States on a basis of population, area, and mileage would not permit this to be accomplished. Nor would such formula assure simultaneous completion of the entire system. However, we suggest that provision be made for reevaluation of the needs of the Interstate System in the several States to take care of designation of the remaining 2,300 miles in the 40,000-mile system subsequent to the computations set forth in House Document No. 120.

    ...The States have the responsibility, under the various Federal-aid statutes, for the planning, construction, and maintenance of projects in the interstate and other national highway systems. They also have the responsibility for enforcement of speed, highway marking, and other phases of highway use. Despite the dominant role of the Federal Government with respect to the Interstate System, we do not believe there should be any change in these traditional Federal-State relationships and responsibilities. In this concept fall such provisions as the one relating to regulation of sizes and weights of motor vehicles. We believe that Federal participation in the Interstate System should parallel existing Federal-aid highway procedures except only for limited power in the Federal Government to acquire rights-of-way at a State's request where necessary to assure limited access...

    ...We are surprised to encounter the provision in H.R. 8836 relating to credits to the States for existing free or toll highways located on the Interstate System. Although a similar provision was contained in bills implementing the report of the President's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program (the Clay Committee), no such provisions were incorporated in the highway bill passed by the Senate (the Gore bill) or in the bill reported by your committee (the Fallon bill).

    In any event, we have given the proposal a great deal of thought, and do not favor it at the present time. The President's program for the Interstate System contemplates "completion" of a system in accordance with needs and not the "purchase" of one. Obviously, more roads can be completed if those already built are not bought. Furthermore, the States would not appear to be hurt by failure to extend credit for such roads. In general, toll roads have been set up on a sound fiscal basis, and have not cost the States a penny. No amount has been included in the authorizations for the Interstate System for toll and free road credits, and it would therefore be necessary to increase the authorizations or cancel a part of the needed program if such credits are to be extended...

    He went on to compliment the Committee for continuing the regular Federal-aid highway program on two year-authorizations as in the past.

    Chairman Buckley, New York, led the discussion about the reimbursement feature. He was concerned about the New York Thruway which was just being completed. He said that New York was entitled to 1,216 miles on the Interstate System but would only get 516 miles (of new construction). He saw this as a penalty for New York having been progressive in their highway program. This same point of view was expressed for the New Jersey Turnpike, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and others. California was cited as being penalized because of the extensive freeways that had been built there. There were implications, if not threats, that the Congressional constituency representing those States would vote against any Interstate bill that did not contain the reimbursement feature.

    Congressman Dempsey led discussions objecting to the just announced designation of the remaining 2,300 miles of urban Interstate. He was confused in that he inferred that the designation of each mile carried with it the allocation of so many dollars, and therefore, the allocations were not balanced between States. It took a lot of discussion to get this cleared up. He was also confused about contract authority. Apparently some payments had been held up because of the failure of Congress to pass a supplemental appropriations bill quickly enough. Secretary Weeks entered testimony into the record to show that Congress had a pattern over the years of appropriating less than the Administrations asked for initially, thus requiring supplemental appropriations, and they had not always acted expeditiously on those.

    There was considerable discussion of increasing the Interstate mileage as an alternative to reimbursement to compensate the aggrieved States. The Secretary opposed that idea.

    Representative Brady Gentry, Texas, and ex-president of AASHO strongly opposed the reimbursement feature by pointing out that only 12 States had any toll roads, and they were mostly self-supporting, being paid for by motorists from all the States.

    Commissioner Curtiss spelled out in detail the proposal for basing apportionments on new estimates of the remaining cost to complete the Interstate System made every two years.

  2. Rex Whitton, Missouri, represented AASHO as President. He was accompanied by R.H. Baldock, Ore., John Volpe, Mass., W.A. Bugge, Wash., and A.E. Johnson, Executive Director.

    Mr. Whitton presented the latest AASHO Policy statement which called for completion of the Interstate in 15 years, matching on a 90-10 basis, apportionment on successive cost estimates, leaving to the States the questions of truck sizes and weights and utility relocation. It further suggested payments from the general fund when highway user revenues were insufficient, and suggested the possibility of increased highway user taxes and perhaps Federal bonding. Conspicuously absent was the reimbursement feature for roads already built which was prominent in the AASHO Policy the year before.

    In commenting on specific legislation before your committee, we will first refer to H.R. 8836, introduced by Chairman Fallon, of Maryland. We wish to compliment Congressman Fallon for his broad knowledge of the highway problem and what it takes to remedy it. We think that the program he has outlined in the bill is especially fine and we commend him on his fortitude in reintroducing his program after its defeat during the first session.

    We note that provision is made for the reimbursement of any existing free highway or toll highway located upon the Interstate System which measures up to the standards of construction required for that system. We realize that a point of equity is being recognized here, but we also know that it raises a very difficult problem. The first large sums of money made available for the program should, in our opinion, not go for reimbursement for existing facilities; however, this issue is not covered by our official policy statement...

    As the hearings went on, there was considerable support developed for the idea of getting the program going and then considering the reimbursement problem toward the end of the Interstate System program.

    We believe that the section allowing the Federal Government to acquire rights-of-way at the petition of the States is needed to expeditiously construct the Interstate System because of the varied pattern of highway acquisition and controlled access laws that exist in the several States. The States are presently at work on a research project to study the several State statutes, constitutional provisions, and court decisions in this regard, but a correction of the highway right-of-way acquisition problem at the several State levels cannot come soon enough to build the Interstate program in the time that we have...

    A bill was introduced during the first session of the 84th Congress by Congressman Buckley, H.R. 234, which is a recodification of the Federal-aid highway laws of the United States. The highway officials would like very much to see this bill called up and enacted as it puts all of the several highway bills since 1916 in one package and would greatly simplify the administration of Federal-aid affairs...

  3. Mayor Ben West, Nashville, Tenn., representing the American Municipal Association:

    ...We believe that the need for highways is so overwhelming that it justifies almost any compromise to get started. We in the cities just cannot wait any longer. The situation is beyond being critical and is now approaching a point where "desperate" would be a more adequate word to describe our needs. We must have an adequate expanded highway bill in this session of Congress. To accomplish this, we believe that Congress should postpone for future consideration those aspects of the program that do not need to be settled immediately. Thus, in limiting the area of controversy to those matters that are essential to getting the program underway, Congress will greatly enhance the chances of a road bill becoming law in 1956.

    When Congress adjourned the last session without having passed a national highway program, the American Municipal Association, along with millions of others, felt a deep sense of disappointment and frustration. We queried all the cities of the Nation of over 50,000 population to determine the effects of the failure of Congress to enact an adequate highway bill...

    ...this tabulation shows that in 85 cities, representing 38 States and the District of Columbia, 129 projects totalling an estimated $5,500 million are adversely affected by the failure of the expanded highway program to pass...

    Municipal planning for city streets and other projects such as urban renewal is at a standstill or proceeding at a snail's pace because there is no assurance of the extent of participation of the Federal Government in the interstate system or the rate of participation. Cities cannot plan for connecting streets to an interstate highway that hasn't been planned and that may not be constructed for a generation

    Cities are rapidly coming to the end of the line as far as improving the traffic capacity of present city streets and highways is concerned. Yet the traffic counts continue to mount. During the past year we have not been able to even keep pace with the increased traffic of a single year to say nothing of the accumulated backlog. There has been a net increase of 3 million vehicles in the year since we appeared before you on this question in 1955. We are worse off today than we were only 1 year ago.

    City officials are worried about the civil defense implications of present inadequate highways. They are concerned about the possibility of enemy attack and the new evacuation policy in the light of their positive knowledge that if it is nearly impossible to properly evacuate the evening business migration to the suburbs in a reasonable length of time, how can they evacuate the entire population of the city under an emergency situation?..

    ...Cities are particularly interested in the interstate system. Of the $25 billion Federal share for this system, an estimated $14 billion will be allocated for construction in urban sections. By our calculations, at the present rate of Federal contributions of $175 million per year and taking the total estimated cost of $25 billion for the entire interstate system, it would take 143 years to construct the highways that we should have had years ago...no real start has been made on the interstate within the cities...with the exception of Kansas which has built 94 miles at a cost of $39 million...

    He questioned the adequacy of the current needs studies to reflect the costs of the Interstate in the cities. He recommended the postponement of the reimbursement question in the interests of compromise. He asked for a requirement that each highway department have an urban unit and that it might be necessary, at some point in the future, to require that the cities designate one agency to act for them. Presumably, he was talking about the metropolitan area.

A series of witnesses who were members of the American Roadbuilders' Association testified that the industry was completely able to take on the larger program, and they were for the bill down-the-line.

A series of witnesses from New York State and toll road commissions testified for the reimbursement provision.

The Associated General Contractors testified against the Davis Bacon requirements and any involvement on the part of the Federal Government in labor relations. The AFL-CIO took the opposite side in extensive testimony. This subject generated a lot of heat.

According to the AASHO Golden Anniversary published in 1964:

In this receptive atmosphere, the House Roads Subcommittee and the Ways and Means Committee, by agreement, separately undertook to develop the program, the one part on the legislation and the financial features as another.

Many features of the 1955 bills were adopted, or adapted.

A Joint Committee bill was approved by the House on April 27, 1956.

Shortly after, the Senate Public Works Committee replaced the program feature of the House Committee Bill with a modified version of the Gore Bill, mainly with respect to the apportioning method, and the Senate Finance Committee modified the House Bill's finance features with the so-called Byrd Amendment to limit the expenditures of the program to the Highway Trust Fund balances available. Senator Harry Byrd also demanded assurances that the Interstate System would be planned to where it would not constitute the physical barrier imposed by some Toll turnpikes and would give consideration to local as well as through traffic needs. The bill was approved by the Senate with some amendments on May 29, 1956.

The House-Senate Conferees developed a compromise bill by June 25, and on the next day both the Senate and the House approved it by overwhelming votes.

On June 29, 1956, the President signed the bill into law.


THE INTERSTATE SYSTEM IS A REALITY

And so, some seventeen years after Toll Roads and Free Roads in which the Interstate System was first formally proposed to the Congress, the program was launched to begin the second Golden Age of the highway program.

FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATOR SELECTED

An editorial in the American Highways, October 1956, announced the appointment of Tallamy as Federal Highway Administrator and the appointment of Volpe to serve in the interim until Tallamy was free to take his seat. Curtiss was to remain in the position of Commissioner of Public Roads.

Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks, who is charged with the responsibility of administering the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 released the information on October 12th, that President Eisenhower has selected Bertram D. Tallamy of Sand Lake, New York, chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority and a Past President of the American Association of State Highway Officials to fill the new position of Federal Highway Administrator. The new position is at the same level as an Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

Mr. Tallamy is far-famed for engineering know-how and executive competence. He will have direct responsibility for the administration of the Bureau of Public Roads and the new National Highway Program. His many years as the Superintendent of Public Works of New York State and his experience in planning, constructing and operating the New York Thruway, coupled with his unique combination of talents provide him with the qualifications to handle this all-time record road program.

He will assume his duties early next year after completing the commitments of his present position.

President Eisenhower also announced that in order to maintain the pace in getting the new program under way he was appointing John A. Volpe of Malden, Massachusetts, as Administrator in the interim.

Mr. Volpe has been until recently, Commissioner of Public Works for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of State Highway Officials has been active in highway affairs both in his home state and in the nation. Mr. Volpe has made an outstanding record as an administrator and as a public servant. He is one of the best informed men in the country on the subject of planning adequate highways.

Secretary Weeks announced that Charles D. Curtiss, Commissioner of Public Roads since January 14, 1955, under whose guidance the new highway program has progressed ahead of schedules will continue to serve as Commissioner under the new Administrator. Curtiss, a career man has been aligned with the Bureau of Public Roads since 1919.

All three men are highly respected and trusted by the men who direct the activities of the State Highway Departments. The maintenance of the spirit of cooperation and understanding between the Bureau of Public Roads and the State Highway Departments that has been outstanding in Federal-State relationships is a necessity for the big road program to succeed. The naming of these three men assures that relationship will continue.

Updated: 10/09/2013
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