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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
Table of Contents - March 31 - April 1
Also in March
1905 OPR's 1-year civil engineering training program, begun in the fall of 1904 for college graduates, is given formal status. First year salary: $600. Arthur E. Loder is the first civil-engineer student to receive special instruction in road building.
1919 American Motorist, AAA's magazine, quotes Thomas Edison: "I think the Federal Government should emulate France and establish a national college where men would be specially taught road and bridge building only."
"I have traveled over four thousand miles of French roads, main and lateral, built by the central government and also kept in perfect repair, and I note with pain and humiliation the horrible mess that is made by us in our road building, arising from dense ignorance and otherwise."
Thomas A. Edison
American Motorist
March 1919

1960 After BPR orders, at the Defense Department's request, a 16-foot vertical clearance for all overhead structures on the Interstate System, Michigan becomes the first State to raise an expressway overpass. The 500-ton beams, carrying Clear Lake Road over I-94 east of Jackson, were the first span of a partially completed deck.
1963 Twenty-five highway and associated engineers participate in a 3-week course on the application of nuclear energy to the highway program. The Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, Inc., sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission, collaborated with BPR in conducting the course, which was initiated by Percy L. Blackwell, Chief, Nuclear Energy Branch.
1970 The National Highway Safety Bureau separates from FHWA to become NHTSA.
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