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"Clearly Vicious as a Matter of Policy": The Fight Against Federal-Aid
PART ONE: Unease in the Golden Age (Page 1 of 6)
A Rocky Start
The Federal-aid highway program got off to a rocky start. America's entry into World War I on April 2, 1917, tied up resources, including the workers and materials needed for road construction. By the time the war ended in November 1918, the Federal-aid highway program had little to show for the effort that went into its creation. According to America's Highways 1776-1976, the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering (OPRRE)19 had approved 572 projects, totaling 6,249 miles by July 1918, with an estimated cost of $42.28 million (Federal share: $16.05 million). Of this total, only five projects, totaling 17.6 miles, had been completed.20
Aside from the difficulties of construction during wartime, flaws in the original program had become clear. The restriction of Federal-aid to "rural post roads" proved a stumbling block. Although the OPRRE encouraged the States to focus on main highways, the main highways often were not the "rural post roads" that were eligible for Federal-aid. As explained in the American Automobile Association's (AAA) magazine, American Motorist:
The very restrictive construction put upon the definition contained in the old act made it next to impossible for many of the roads to qualify for Federal aid as post roads. Rural delivery routes in very [many] cases deviate from the main road so as to reach the individual patron, and it frequently happens that the most important road in a community has no mail route actually located on it for considerable distances. The old act, as interpreted by the Secretary of Agriculture, required that the mail actually be carried on the road, or that a reasonable prospect be shown that mail would be carried within a short time after improvement.21
This was, according to the article, "one of the chief weaknesses of the original act." It was especially a problem for the large, sparsely populated western States that had long lengths of road through difficult terrain and unpopulated areas.
Further, the large heavily populated States found the statutory limitation of $10,000 per mile burdensome. In these States, the growing volumes of traffic required heavier and wider pavements that often cost $40,000 to $50,000 per mile.
Another problem related to the nature of a State highway agency. When President Wilson signed the Act, six States had no semblance of such an agency (Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, South Carolina, and Texas), while nine States required additional legislation before they would have an agency capable of performing the functions required by the new law (Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming).22 The OPRRE worked with many of these States to draft laws based on the OPRRE model State highway bill.
By July 1, 1917, every State had given its assent to the terms of the Act and every State had a State highway agency within the meaning of the Act.23 Even here, however, problems occurred because 17 States had barely complied with the requirement. They had established weak State highway agencies that yielded to the counties as a basic political unit for building and maintaining roads as well as matching Federal-aid funds.
Moreover, the cooperative spirit between the Federal and State highway agencies that had been a goal of the program had been dampened by the OPRRE's heavy-handed reviews of State plans. In Building the American Highway System, historian Bruce Seely explained the problem that began early in the program:
[Office of Public Roads] engineers were convinced "the present system is generally a sort of rat hole through which to squander the road fund," especially after one state submitted plans for a road that would have frequently been under water. As a result the OPR conducted very thorough inspections of state plans in both the district and national offices... Some of the blame rested on the states, which provided complete drawings for only half of the proposed projects. But equal responsibility belonged to overzealous and inflexible federal engineers.24
The flaws in the program and its execution prevented it from achieving its potential. These failures gave opponents - particularly advocates of Federal construction of long-distance national roads - the opportunity to challenge the Federal-aid premise as new legislation was considered in 1919 and 1921.
The Fight For National Roads
Before the war ended, a new organization had emerged on January 21, 1918, during a meeting in Chicago's Congress Hotel when about 150 delegates formed the Highway Industries Association. S. M. Williams, sales manager of the Garford Motor Truck Company, had promoted the idea during meetings in December 1917 with industry representatives, particularly those from companies involved in the manufacture and sale of the machinery, materials, and equipment used in highway construction and transportation.
The stated goal of the organization was:
To assist in coordinating the highways with the other transportation agencies of the country; to encourage the development of highways that will advance the economic life of the nation; stimulate their use in such a manner as to facilitate and cheapen the transportation of food, raw materials and finished products, and cooperation with Government agencies, both state and national, to the end that our highways may be of maximum service in the transportation system of the country.
The initial focus of the association was to assist in the war effort at a time when road-related industries were suffering from the same limitations that had hindered the Federal-aid program. A permanent organization was formed during the meeting, with Williams as president. The vice presidents were A. R. Hirst, Wisconsin's State Highway Engineer; E. J. Mehren, editor of the weekly Engineering News-Record; and S. T. Henry of the Allied Construction Machinery Corporation. Henry Shirley, who had been Maryland's Chief Engineer and the first president of AASHO (1914-1916), became secretary of the association after resigning from his Maryland post on April 15, 1918.
Williams, however, made clear he had a larger goal. The January 21 meeting, he said, could "go down in history as having real benefit to not only the industries represented in this meeting, but to every industry in the United States." He added:
Transportation is the very backbone of progress and without the development of transportation in all its phases, industry will be crippled regardless of whether we are in war or in peace.
Although the Federal Government had assisted with the railroads, he said, little consideration had been given to waterways and "practically no thought for the highways, which are in reality the very foundation of transportation." He had to conclude, unfortunately, that despite years of effort trying to convince Washington to do something about roads, it was only recently that something had finally happened.
The lack of foresight in Washington had been demonstrated when the war began, he said, and officials thought that from a military standpoint, the railroads would be equal to all demands for transportation. That turned out not to be the case, but no provision was made for upgrading highways. Washington, he said, was also overlooking the need to supply food to the army abroad, our Allies, and our own people at home, all of which required "the movement of crops from farm to market." He added, "Crops cannot be moved to advantage over mud roads."
Although the participation of Hirst and Shirley suggested the cooperation intended during the war, Williams made his real goal clear when he quoted an editorial in the January 17 issue of The Manufacturers Record:
Build more highways and build them promptly, even at the expense of tens of million, or of hundreds of millions, if necessary, must be the order of the day, or else the nation will be tremendously handicapped in this great contest.
To accomplish this goal, Williams said, "considerable work is necessary." First, they would have to convince Washington that highways "are a real economic necessary and they must be developed to the highest possible degree consistent with surrounding conditions and demands." Second, they would have to "educate those who do not realize the importance of highway transportation."25
Death of a Leader
With the war over, Secretary of Agriculture David Houston advocated an expanded Federal-aid highway program. Late in 1918, he announced that he wanted the Federal-aid program to resume as quickly as possible with larger appropriations. Aside from the value of good roads, he cited the desirability of furnishing work for returning soldiers and those no longer needed in the defense industries during the readjustment period. In an address to a conference of editors of agricultural journals, Houston endorsed the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916:
There need be no delay in the execution of such a program; the nation has already provided the machinery in the Department of Agriculture and in the state highway commissions. The Federal-aid road act was fruitful of good legislation, and each state in the Union now has a central highway authority with power and funds to meet the terms of the Federal act.
Because the States had been considering road systems and making surveys, plans, and specifications, the time had arrived to move forward with the most important projects, with due regard to military and other needs:
There is no necessity for any departure from this scheme. The suggestions made have been canvassed with the President, the Secretary of War, and the Postmaster General, and these officials are in accord with the view that additional funds should be made available to the Department of Agriculture, and that they should be expended through the existing machinery.26
By letter, Secretary of War Newton Baker agreed with Secretary Houston "that there should not only be a prompt resumption of road construction under the Federal Aid Road Act... but also that additional funds should be made available to your department for the extension of such work."
President Wilson also supported the idea in a letter to Secretary Houston:
I heartily agree with you that it would be in the public interest to resume in full measure the highway construction operations under the Federal Aid Road Act, and to do so as speedily as possible. I understand the necessity which existed for their contraction during the stress through which we have been passing, but that obstacle is now removed. I believe that it would be highly desirable to have an additional appropriation made available to the Department of Agriculture, to be used in conjunction, if possible, with any surplus state and community funds, in order that these operations may be extended. It is important not only to develop good highways throughout the country as quickly as possible, but it is also at this time especially advisable to resume and extend all such essential public works, with a view to furnishing employment for laborers who may be seeking new tasks during the period of readjustment. Knowing that the Department of Agriculture and the state highway authorities in each state have been carefully working out road systems and developing plans and specifications, I have no doubt that all activities in this field can be vigorously conducted through these two sets of existing agencies, acting in full accord.27
With plans for highway expansion under consideration, the shape of the postwar program was the main theme of a Joint Highway Congress of the Highway Industries Association and AASHO in Chicago, December 11-13, 1918. AASHO held its annual meeting in the Hotel LaSalle on December 9 and 10. The Highway Industries Association held its meeting at the Congress Hotel on December 13. The two associations held joint sessions at the Congress Hotel on December 11 and 12.
As participants convened, cooperation between State highway officials and officials of the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) was improving even as progress was made in addressing the flaws in the program. Logan Waller Page, who had been Director of the BPR since 1905 and had played a key role in enactment of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, was seeking support for program changes he had prepared with the help of AASHO. His proposal reworded the post road restriction, removed the limitation on expenditures per mile, and increased Federal funding to $450 million over 4 years, including $50 million in the current year (FY 1919), another $75 million on July 1, 1919, and $100 million a year for the following 3 years. But the drive for long-distance roads was still strong. As Seely observed, Page's efforts "were being swamped by calls for a national highway commission."28
Director Page was scheduled to address the joint session on "Highway Control by the Federal Government Under War Conditions." He would not, however, live to deliver the speech. On December 9, 1918, he was at the Hotel LaSalle in Chicago attending a meeting of AASHO's executive committee. He became ill during dinner and retired to his room, where he died a few hours later.
Fork in the Road
Following Page's death, AASHO considered two resolutions about the future of Federal involvement in road improvement. According to a recollection of these events, written in 1943 by Iowa State Highway Engineer Fred R. White, AASHO "began to waver on the principle of Federal-State cooperation conceived by its founders and written into the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916." He described what occurred during the annual meeting in Chicago:
It was inevitable that the battle of Federal-aid versus National Highways would come to a show-down at that convention. And it did. On the show-down resolution to endorse the National Highway plan, the convention voted 50-50. It was a tie. With the delegation present and voting from every State represented at the convention, we were split exactly even. By that slender margin and with not a single vote to spare, did this Association cling to its ideal of Federal-State cooperation laid down by its founders.
You will find no account of this incident in the official records of the Association. With rare judgment and foresight the presiding officer suggested that in a matter of this importance and with the Association so evenly divided, it would be well to expunge the record from the Minutes of the convention. Both sides readily agreed. The record was expunged.29
A contemporary account stated:
A long debate on these two measures followed their introduction and after a close vote had been taken, the matter was referred to committee with instructions to bring in a modified measure.30
The result was a compromise favoring Federal-aid, with some elements added to satisfy supporters of national roads. AASHO endorsed Page's legislative proposals, introduced by Senator Claude A. Swanson (D-Va.), for consideration during the third and final session of the 65th Congress (December 2, 1918 to March 3, 1919) and called for a revamping of the BPR:
Resolved, that the executive committee is requested not to submit any further legislation than the Page bill to the present short session of Congress; that the executive committee formulate and submit to the various state departments, as soon as may be, a separate bill providing for a Federal body or officer with adequate power and funds to administer all Federal and Federal-aid highway laws, which are now, or may hereafter be, in effect. It is the sense of this meeting that the law should be so drawn as to take the fullest possible advantage of the experience and personnel of the present Federal administrative body, the effectiveness of which is hampered by the present limitation on salaries, and the present too great centralization of the administrative functions, especially as concerns construction matters.
AASHO also favored "an adequate federal highway system upon which the federal aid funds may be concentrated," adding that the Federal system of roads "should be selected by the various states and connected at the state lines by the Federal department in cases where connections are not made by adjoining states." The resolution continued:
Nothing in any federal enactment should prevent any state from gaining all the federal aid accruing to it nor deprive any state of the full administrative and legal control of all highways within its borders, and of the location of the improvements on the federal highway system.31
During the joint session with the Highway Industries Association, AASHO's Federal-aid supporters were far outnumbered by representatives of AAA, the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce (NACC), the trucking industry, and other interests favoring a national highway system constructed by the Federal Government. The delegates, according to an account in Good Roads magazine, "were overwhelmingly in favor of the more far-reaching plan of federal participation." Engineering News-Record stated that the discussion "waxed strongest on the question of proposed Federal legislation" and noted AASHO's resistance to "any bill which might curtail or restrict the powers of state officials."
AASHO, however, was outnumbered. Despite AASHO's concerns, the Joint Highway Congress approved a resolution that began by quoting President Wilson's recent statement. The participants resolved:
BE IT RESOLVED: That a federal highways commission be created to promote and guide this powerful economic development of both highways and highways traffic and establish a national highways system.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the present appropriations for the federal aid to the states be continued and increased and the states urged to undertake extensive highway construction so as to keep pace with the development of this country and its transportation needs and that in carrying out the provisions of the present Federal Aid Act, or any amendment thereto, the state highway departments shall cooperate with the federal highways commission.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That all governmental activities with respect to highways be administered by the federal highways commission.
When the Highway Industries Association met in its separate convention on December 13, its members approved a proposal by editor Mehren, who argued that the time was ripe for a national highway system, built and administered by the Federal Government. There was little opposition to his resolution proposing a 50,000-mile system, consisting of 5 east-west routes and 10 north-south routes. The system would include 2 percent of all roads, would pass through every State, and could, Mehren estimated, be built for $1.25 billion, or $25,000 per mile. At $100 million a year, the Federal Government could build the system in about 12 years.32
Adjustments, Not an Overhaul
Little time remained to affect the highway bill under consideration in the short post-war Congress.
Several measures had been proposed in addition to Page's ideas, embodied in the Administration bill introduced by Senator Swanson. Senator Bankhead and several members of the Senate and House introduced nearly identical bills to modify the definition of "rural post road," increase approved funding levels, and extend funding through FY 1925. Senator Reed Smoot (R-Ut.) of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads had introduced a bill that would establish a United States Highway Fund by issuing 50-year bonds to generate up to $1 billion that would be loaned to the States for road construction. Another bill, also sponsored by Senator Swanson, embodied a proposal by the Postmaster General to use revenue from motor parcel post to improve a Federal network of motor express routes.33
In the end, an amendment introduced by Senator Bankhead was incorporated into the Post Office Appropriation Bill for 1920, which President Wilson approved on February 28, 1919. The Bankhead amendment authorized additional funds to supplement current authorizations ($50 million more for FY 1919, and $75 million each for FYs 1920 and 1921). Bankhead explained why:
By reason of the fact that highway improvement has been held back during the past two years, large amounts of money have accumulated in State and county treasuries, many bond issues have been held back, and many improvements which ordinarily would have been made during the past two years will be undertaken in the near future. This will insure a much larger outlay in 1919, and it would seem that if the Federal Government is to become an influential factor in highway work, its contribution should be very materially increased.34
In addition to increased authorizations, the legislation amended the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 to address concerns about the program. It increased the limitation of payments to $20,000 per mile to aid States with higher traffic volumes. Another key change involved the definition of "rural post road," which the Bankhead amendment changed to read:
... any public road a major portion of which is now used, or can be used, or forms a connecting link not to exceed ten miles in length of any road or roads now or hereafter used for the transportation of the United States mails.
This definition retained the "post road" concept from the Constitution, but essentially made every road, including the long-distance roads, eligible for Federal-aid funding. Senator Charles S. Thomas (D-Co.) objected to the revision, saying it "commits the United States to the improvement of every cattle trail, every cow path, and every right of way in the United States." America's Highways 1776-1976 observed:
This, of course, was exactly the effect desired by the Administration when it proposed the amendment. The new post road definition ended the pretence that Federal aid for highways rested even in part on Congress' constitutional power to establish a postal system.35
With these changes, Congress addressed the immediate concerns, but postponed resolution of the main issue - Federal-aid vs. Federal roads - until after the 1920 Presidential election. Congress would then have to decide whether to continue Federal-aid funding after FY 1921.
Federal Highway Council
On February 25, 1919, P. St. J. Wilson, Chief Engineer of the BPR, addressed the annual convention of the American Road Builders Association (ARBA) on operations of the BPR under the Federal Aid Road Act. Although any law, he said, would require amendment over time, the Federal-aid law "has developed comparatively few weaknesses." He pointed out that the Post Office Appropriation Bill, then awaiting the President's signature, dealt with the "post road" restriction and the $10,000 limitation, adding:
It is a striking tribute to the effectiveness of the act that no other amendment, looking to any change in the existing measure, has been found necessary.
With the increased funding through FY 1921, he said:
I do not know whether the States will be able to meet this tremendous appropriation, but it is a stirring call to them to rise to the great task of doing a double duty, first, of providing needed public improvements; and second, of meeting the great problem of unemployment.36
The effectiveness of the 1916 Act, even with the 1919 amendments, was questioned later in the convention when S. M. Williams headed a session on national highways. He called for "development of our highways upon broad and intelligent lines" to benefit industry and "every man in the country, because I do not know of any man, regardless of what his profession may be, that does not have a personal interest in highway development."
Other speakers used the wartime experience to support national highways, pointing out that the inability of the Nation's railroad network to carry the wartime load had given motor trucks and highways the opportunity to demonstrate their importance. As T. Coleman Du Pont of the National Highways Association explained, the Federal-aid program was not adequate for the task ahead. It had helped the States build "a piece of road here and there... without regard to improving the roads that will ultimately come into a system of national highways." Further, many of the roads that had been improved happened to be "those sections of the road where people who are prominent in political parties had a pull."37
Mehren presented a report on behalf of the Committee on National Highways. He summarized the benefits of a national highway system built and maintained by the Federal Government, identifying them under the headings: political or spiritual; economic; military; and the example it would set for all highway construction and maintenance. A 50,000-mile system would serve "directly or with a reasonable degree of directness, 87% of the population of the country." The committee also advocated a Federal Highway Commission "which would have no other duty or responsibility than that of studying, planning, building, and maintaining the national highway system."38
During the Business Meeting, ARBA adopted resolutions expressing satisfaction with the increased funding for the Federal-aid highway program but also endorsing creation of a Federal Highway Commission to "promote and guide this powerful economic development of both highways and highway traffic and establish a national highway system." The Proceedings included an editor's note stating:
The resolution relative to the creation of a national highway commission and the establishment of a national highway system provoked some opposition. After considerable discussion, however, the meeting adopted the resolution as presented by the committee by a vote of 41 to 17.39
Even before the Post Office Appropriation Bill became law on February 28, Senator Charles E. Townsend (R-Mi.) introduced a bill to establish a Federal Highway Commission, each member to be appointed by the President and paid $10,000 a year. The commission would establish a Federal highway system of not less than two trunkline roads in each State. Appropriations would total $425 million through FY 1923. The Secretary of War would provide surplus motor vehicles and equipment to the commission, which would take over all government highway agencies. Senator Townsend did not ask Congress to approve his bill during the present short session. He introduced it to secure comments and criticism that would lead to intelligent action during the 66th Congress, which would begin in May.40
Since the Joint Highway Congress in December 1918, the Highway Industries Association had reached out to organizations around the country seeking support for a Federal Highway Commission. By February 1919, 425 chambers of commerce and boards of trade had endorsed the proposal, as had 350 other organizations, including Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs and national and State good roads organizations. Within the next few months, according to Seely, "thirty-eight state highway departments supported this effort, as did tire manufacturers, the auto makers, the National Grange, the Portland Cement Association, and Rotary International."41
On April 8, 1919, Williams and other advocates returned to Chicago to organize the Federal Highway Council. Its mission would be to support creation of a Federal Highway Commission and a national system of interstate highways. Williams, who was named council chairman, told participants that, "Unfortunately we have not, as a country, awakened to the fact that our highways have an earning capacity which can only be increased with the improvement of the highways." The benefits of the proposed interstate highway system included a lower cost of farming, the increased comfort and pleasure of every man, woman, and child, and "a better country by welding together in closer association its different sections."
In addition to Williams, council leadership included Shirley, secretary-treasurer; du Pont, vice chairman representing the National Highways Association; and representatives of AAA, the NACC, ARBA, and the Great Northern Railroad Company. The board of directors and advisory committee included many State highway officials, including Hirst, and industry representatives.42
From the State perspective, the council represented mainly the interests of eastern and north central States that had well-defined, limited State highway systems and strong highway departments. An article about creation of the council in the May 1919 issue of Highway Engineer and Contractor quoted several State highway officials without identifying them. A "prominent official representing the Highway Department of one of the largest states" was quoted as writing in support that he hoped the commission would not seek State cooperation, which would prove to be "most unsatisfactory and embarrassing to the commission." He explained:
Where co-operation is necessary, any state can hamper and obstruct construction until the demands of that particular state, or perhaps a small coterie of men within the state, are satisfied.
Another "prominent state highway official" said: "When local co-operation is required the needs of local traffic will always be given preference as against the needs of through traffic in locating roads to be improved." Relying on the States to select roads would force through traffic "to make considerable detours and not travel the most direct routes."
Yet another "prominent state highway engineer" endorsed the Townsend Bill concept of a commission headed by several men rather than the present BPR with its single head:
With a problem as diversified as in the construction and maintenance of highways throughout the United States, I believe we should have the benefit of the composite judgment of men representing different interests and parts of the country.
These sentiments, although attributed to State highway officials, were common throughout the debates about the Federal role in transportation from 1916 through 1921. As reflected in du Pont's comments to ARBA, many highway advocates, particularly those who favored long-distance roads over farm-to-market roads, considered the States to be the source of pork-barrel politics. This defect could be avoided only if the Federal Government took over the design and construction of Federal roads.
At the same time, the BPR had come to symbolize the State-oriented view that advocates of long-distance roads saw as lacking in vision. Criticism of the BPR, therefore, became part of the debate over the direction of the Federal road program. Engineering News-Record called the BPR "the most conservative body in the country on highway policy," echoing the words of its editor.43
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- The Federal road agency has gone through several names: Office of Road Inquiry (1893-1899), Office of Public Roads Inquiries (1899-1905), Office of Public Roads (1905-1915), Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering (1915-1918), Bureau of Public Roads (1918-1939), Public Roads Administration (1939-1949), Bureau of Public Roads (1949-1967), and Federal Highway Administration (1967 to the present). This article uses the name of the agency at the time of the events described. America's Highways, p. 213-214.
- America's Highways 1776-1976, p. 100.
- "Closing Days of the 65th Congress Bring Huge Federal Aid Road Appropriations," American Motorist, March 1919, p. 39.
- Page, Logan W., Report of the Director of the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering, October 16, 1917, p. 2.
- The State Supreme Court would overturn Indiana's authorizing legislation, necessitating new legislation that would not allow creation of a permanent State highway agency until 1919.
- Seely, Bruce E., Building the American Highway System: Engineers as Policy Makers, Temple University Press, 1987, p. 48.
- "Highway Industries Association Organized," Good Roads, January 26, 1918, p. 41.
- "Would Expedite Highway Development," Engineering News-Record, December 5, 1918, p. 1045.
- "Wilson for Early Resumption of Construction Work," The Road-Maker, January 1918, p. 16.
- Seely, p. 52.
- White, Fred R., "Federal-State Road Building Plan vs. Complete National Control," American Highways, January 1943, p. 11-12.
- "The Road Meetings at Chicago," Good Roads, December 21, 1918, p. 243-244.
- "The Road Meetings at Chicago," p. 243-244;
- "State Highway Officials and Highway Industries Association to Meet at Chicago, Illinois," Good Roads, December 7, 1918, p. 218; "The Road Meetings at Chicago," Good Roads, December 21, 1918, p. 243-244; "National Highway System Gets Strong Backing" (p. 1108), Mehren, E. J., "A Suggested National Highway Policy and Plan" (p. 1112), "Representative Highway Congress in Chicago Unit for National System" (p. 1145), Engineering News-Record, December 19, 1918, p. 1112.
- "Six Highway Bills Introduced in Congress During December," Engineering News-Record, January 2, 1919, p. 66; "Proposed Federal Aid Measures," Good Roads, January 4, 1919, p. 7; America's Highways 1776-1976, p. 102.
- "Senator Bankhead on Federal Road Legislation," Southern Good Roads, March 1919, p. 6.
- America's Highways 1776-1976, p. 102.
- Wilson, P. St. J., "Operations of the Bureau of Public Roads Under the Federal Aid Road Act," Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Convention of the American Road Builders' Association, February 25-28, ARBA, p. 13.
- Du Pont, an engineer trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was President of the family's E. I. du Pont de Nemours Powder Company in Wilmington, Delaware, a United States Senator, and a good roads advocate. He had financed and built a major highway through Delaware, known as the Dupont Highway, and donated it to the State as an object lesson for others around the country to duplicate. For information on the National Highways Association, see "Good Roads Everywhere: Charles Henry Davis and the National Highways Association" at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/davis.cfm.
- Proceedings, p. 143-167.
- Proceedings, p. 222-225.
- "New Highway Bill Introduced in Congress," Engineering News Record, February 27, 1919, p. 446.
- Seely, p. 52.
- "Federal Highway Council Formed," Engineering News-Record, April 17, 1919, p. 790; "Federal Highway Commission," Highway Engineer and Contractor, May 1919, p. 53-54.
- "National Highway System Gets Strong Backing," Engineering News-Record, December 19, 1918, p. 1108.