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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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March 27
1893 In a decision on Monongahela Navigation Company v. United States, Supreme Court Justice David Brewer states that, "the power of Congress to regulate commerce carries with it power over all the means and instrumentalities by which commerce is carried on . . . . We are so much accustomed to see artificial highways, such as common roads, turnpike roads and railroads, constructed under the authority of the States, and the improvement of natural highways [waterways] carried on by the general government, that at the first it might seem that there was some inherent difference in the power of the national government over them. But the grant of power is the same."
1964 An earthquake damages roads and bridges in Alaska. BPR's Region 10 moves into action to help the Alaska Department of Highways restore service. On April 17, BPR concurs in Governor William A. Egan's emergency proclamation and allocates an initial $4.2 million in emergency relief funds.
1969 1969 Secretary of Transportation John Volpe announces a new post, Special Assistant to the Administrator, to ensure enforcement of Equal Employment Opportunity requirements. Alexander D. Gaither, currently Chief of FHWA's Equal Employment Opportunity Division, fills the position. In an order dated March 17, Volpe requires that equal practices be made part of every Federal-aid highway project contract or subcontract of $10,000 or more.
Photo: Alexander D. Gaither
Alexander D. Gaither
Special Assistant to the Administrator
for Equal Employment Opportunity
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