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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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September 26
1956 Paving begins on an 8-mile section of U.S. 40 (I-70) between Valencia and Maple Hill Roads west of Topeka, Kansas. When the section opens on November 14, the State Highway Commission of Kansas posts a sign identifying the project as the first to be completed under provisions of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. At the start of paving, BPR's O. P. Shallenberger joins representatives of the State and Koss Construction Company in writing the historic date in the pavement. (See August 2, 1956.)
1957 O. K. Normann, recently appointed Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Research, is the first recipient of the Theodore M. Matson Memorial Award, named for the late director of Yale University's Bureau of Highway Traffic. The award is presented "in recognition of . . . the advancement of the Science . . . of Traffic Engineering."
1973 Speaking during National Highway Week before the Chicago Association of Commerce, Administrator Norbert Tiemann discusses "The Quiet Revolution" in the highway program. After discussing changes in environmental review to make the highway program a good neighbor, Tiemann summarizes by quoting Mark Twain: "Always do the right thing. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest."
"The Department of Transportation was given a mandate by President Nixon to develop a total transportation system for this Nation in which all of the travel modes--highways, rails, airways and waterways--are interconnected parts, each making its own distinctive contribution to the whole in an interrelated, cooperative way."
Norbert T. Tiemann
Federal Highway Administrator
September 26, 1973
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