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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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September 15
1923 The Oregon State Highway Department surveys statewide traffic today (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.). BPR uses the data to prepare a map of Oregon traffic observed, represented by width of lines, on that date. The heaviest traffic is on the Pacific Highway between Aurora and Oregon City (2,239 cars passing a given point). Traffic in the central, eastern, and southern parts of Oregon is so light that it cannot be shown by width of line. Numbers are used instead (e.g., "3T" means "3 trucks" and "44A" means "44 automobiles").
1955 BPR designates 2,300 miles of urban area routes as part of the National System of Interstate Highways (as it is officially called until 1956), completing designation of the 40,000 miles authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1940 (See August 2, 1947). The Yellow Book, so-called because of its yellow cover, is published to show urban sections of the Interstate System and is distributed to each Member of Congress.
1971 The structural aerodynamic research facility at the Fairbank Highway Research Station in McLean, VA, is officially named the George S. Vincent Memorial Aerodynamic Laboratory in honor of the eminent structural engineer who served with BPR from 1919 to 1963 and was in charge of the lab from its opening. Vincent died of a heart attack in 1968 while in route to Washington, DC, for a technical meeting in his capacity as special consultant to FHWA on collapse of the Silver Bridge (See December 15, 1967.)
"Named in honor of the man whose tireless efforts brought to ultimate fruition a program of research leading to significant improvements in the aero-dynamic design of suspension bridges, this facility stands in tribute to George S. Vincent . . . . All who worked with him respected his integrity, treasured his friendship, and enjoyed his never-failing sense of humor."
Commemorative Plaque
George S. Vincent Memorial Aerodynamic Laboratory
September 15, 1971
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