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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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May 29
1899 Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson rescinds former Secretary J. Sterling Morton's restrictive letter of October 3, 1893, to ORI Director Roy Stone and directs him to emphasize practical, over educational, work. The new policy makes formal the understandings agreed to in 1897 after Wilson became Secretary.
1925 The Chicago Regional Planning Association is organized under the laws of Illinois to coordinate street, highway, park system, zoning, and other plans. In part, the impetus for this association comes from a highway traffic survey in the summer and fall of 1924 by the BPR and the Cook County Highway Department. The two agencies joined with the Illinois Division of Highways and the Chicago Planning Commission in an agreement that the four parties would not depart from the plan developed as a result of the surveys. On May 6, 1937, during the 14th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Regional Planning Association, Chief Thomas MacDonald referred to the 1924 study: "By coordinating highway improvements according to an established plan with a known sequence of improvement, each community involved will secure the greatest possible benefit for the least expenditure."
"The [Chicago] regional planning project is the fundamental scheme for having the best talent in all lines for which plans are laid, sit together with the officials of governments or private companies [to] lay down a program for the office and technical staff to follow . . . . Then highways, sewers, water supply mains, drainage projects, zoning and all other public and private undertakings may be intelligently planned so far as is humanly possible."
Daniel H. Burnham
President Chicago Regional Planning Association
Highway Engineer and Contractor
September 1926

"If long years of public service have disclosed to me a ruling principle for accomplishment, it is that those having the authority and charged with the responsibility for carrying improvements into effect must have a major part in the preparation of the plans."
Thomas H. MacDonald
Chief, BPR
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