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A Look at the History of the Federal Highway Administration
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October 30
1917 A pathfinding tour to find the best route from Washington, DC, to Atlanta, GA, for the proposed transcontinental Bankhead Highway (Washington, DC, to Los Angeles, CA) leaves the Capitol after ceremonies in the Rotunda. OPRRE's M. O. Eldridge joins John Oliver La Gorce of National Geographic Magazine and A. G. Batchelder of AAA as official "Pathfinders." The highway is named after Senator John Bankhead, a leader in the fight for the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916. (See January 16, 1912.) On April 20, 1919, Eldridge and Batchelder again joined a Bankhead Highway pathfinding tour, leaving Mineral Wells, TX, to identify a route to the Pacific Coast. The tour reached Los Angeles, CA, on May 2, but Eldridge had left the group, apparently at San Diego. One account reported that the "journey through Arizona was through a continuous battle of competitive entertainers . . . . All sought to convince [the pathfinders'] minds by bewildering their stomachs." Batchelder skipped the trip to Los Angeles as well. The account suggested that, "Perhaps he feared he would have to undergo another banquet."
1974 At the Pier 7 Restaurant in Washington, DC, the FHWA Wives Association holds its first luncheon, featuring Administrator Norbert Tiemann as guest speaker. Susan Evers chairs the Membership Committee and Mary Lamm is President. All wives of current and retired employees of FHWA (and BPR) are eligible for membership.
1984 The Motor Carrier Safety Act is signed by President Ronald Reagan. The Act directs USDOT to reissue the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, preempt State safety requirements affecting interstate commerce that are not compatible with Federal regulations, and establish procedures for determining the safety fitness of carriers.
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