U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
202-366-4000


Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Highway History

 

Du Pont Gallery

Click on image for larger version


Portrait photograph of Francis V. (Frank) du Pont, Commissioner of Public Roads, Bureau of Public Roads (1953-1955). The wealthy Commissioner had served without pay on the Delaware State Highway Commission (1922-1949), 23 of those years as chairman, before becoming Commissioner and was a longtime member of the American Association of State Highway Officials and the American Road Builders’ Association. [FHWA Photograph]

On April 1, 1953, Francis V. du Pont became Commissioner of Public Roads, head of the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR). In this image, Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks (left) congratulates Commissioner du Pont (right). Looking on is former Commissioner Thomas H. MacDonald, who had headed BPR from 1919 until this day. [Source: Better Roads, May 1953]

At the American Road Builders' Association's (ARBA) annual convention in January 1954, Commissioner of Public Roads Francis V. du Pont (left) spoke with a long-time friend, General Eugene Reybold, ARBA's Executive Vice President. Reybold, a Delaware native, had met du Pont when they worked on the $44 million Delaware Memorial Bridge, which opened on August 15, 1951. At the time, it was the sixth longest main suspension span in the world. [Source: American Road Builders’ News, January-February 1954]

Commissioner du Pont addressed the American Roads Builders’ Association’s (ARBA) annual convention in January 1954. While there, he spoke with West Virginia's Jennings Randolph (right), Assistant to the President of Capital Airlines and treasurer of ARBA. Randolph, a former member of the House of Representatives (1933-1947), would serve in the Senate (1958-1985) where, as Chairman of the Committee on Public Works, he played a major role in advancing the Federal-aid highway program and the Interstate System. [Source: American Road Builders’ News, January-February 1954]

In January 1955, Commissioner of Public Roads Francis V. du Pont resigned to work for Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks as an unpaid consultant to promote President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s proposals to advance the Interstate System. His successor was Deputy Commissioner Charles D. “Cap” Curtiss, who had earned his nickname as a Captain in World War I and joined the Bureau of Public Roads in 1919. Curtiss took the oath of office on January 14, 1955. [FHWA Photograph]

On November 29, 1957, former Commissioner du Pont (center) was one of the many dignitaries in Baltimore for the opening the toll Harbor Tunnel across the Patapsco River (now part of I-895), finally giving motorists a way to bypass the traffic lights and jams of city streets. Other dignitaries included Representative George H. Fallon (left), a Baltimore native who as chairman of the Subcommittee on Roads, Committee of Public Works, was one of the authors of the landmark Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 that launched construction of the Interstate System. They were joined by J. N. Robertson, Director of the District of Columbia’s Department of Highways and a former president of the American Road Builders’ Association. [Source: American Road Builder, January 1958]

Former Commissioner du Pont was a member of American Road Builders’ Association’s (ARBA) Engineering Division for many years. During ARBA’s January 1958 convention, he participated in the Engineer Division’s Joint Committee Meeting. In this photograph, du Pont is at the head of the table, on the left. [Source: American Road Builder, February 1958]

In mid-1958, the Engineering Division of the American Road Builders’ Association met at the organization’s headquarters to consider recommendations on highway consulting engineering fees. Participants included former Commissioner of Public Roads Francis V. du Pont (front row, right) and his successor, former Commissioner Charles D. (Cap) Curtiss, who had left his post in October 1957 (front row, left). [Source: American Road Builder, June 1958]

In mid-1960, the Executive Committee of ARBA's Engineering Division met at the Statler Hilton Hotel in Washington. Former Commissioner Francis V. du Pont is seated, far right. [Source: American Road Builder, August 1960]
Updated: 08/22/2019
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000