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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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February 14
1968 In response to public concern following the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967, the USDOT announces a comprehensive program to analyze the safety of over 703,000 highway and railroad bridges. President Lyndon Johnson's Task Force on Bridge Safety, headed by Administrator Lowell Bridwell, will conduct the survey in cooperation with the State highway agencies, AASHO, the Association of American Railroads, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "We are giving first priority," Bridwell says, "to those bridges built before 1935 which are carrying highway traffic and those which pass over deep ravines or water where a collapse might result in catastrophic loss of life and property."
1978 Members of the Arlington County Board, VA, protest construction of I-66 by presenting an exhibit, entitled "Felled Oak," to Deputy Administrator Karl Bowers. The exhibit includes a portion of an oak tree planted in 1888 and labeled "Victim of I-66."
1997 In the White House Oval Office, President Bill Clinton looks on as former Federal Highway Administrator Rodney E. Slater (1993-1997) takes the oath of office as the 13th Secretary of Transportation. In announcing the selection on December 20, 1996, President Clinton said, "He has built bridges both of steel and goodwill to bring people closer together." Slater becomes the second FHWA Administrator to serve as Secretary (John A. Volpe, Administrator in 1956-1957, became Secretary in 1969 and served through 1972).
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