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July 13
1925 Chief Thomas MacDonald represents BPR at the opening of the 42-mile, $390,000 Wendover Cut-Off across the Great Salt Lake Desert in western Utah, creating an entrance to Nevada and California. A contemporary account notes that the cut-off crosses "what is probably the most inhospitable waste that the vicissitudes of mother earth have produced." Construction was possible only because the Western Pacific Railroad, its line parallel to the new road, carried men and materials to construction sites. In the opening ceremony, Utah Governor George Dern, Nevada Governor J. G. Scrugham, and Secretary of Agriculture William Jardine shovel the final salt barrier from the roadway (later included in U.S. 40).
Photo: Thomas H. MacDonald
Thomas H. MacDonald
Chief, Bureau of Public Roads
"I feel that the completion of this road is, first of all, a lesson in the value and wisdom of cooperative endeavor in the construction of the principal roads . . . . We may well derive, as the best result of this effort, an increased resolution to go forward to the completion of the important task of road improvement in the same spirit everywhere, until we shall have reached the goal toward which all our efforts are directed--the completion of a well balanced and thoroughly articulated system of highways for every State and for the nation as a whole."
The Honorable William M. Jardine
Secretary of Agriculture
July 13, 1925
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