Asphalt and Politics: A History of the American Highway by Thomas L. Karnes

By Thomas L. Karnes

From animal paths to superhighways, transportation has been the spine of yank enlargement and progress. This exam of the interstate street approach within the usa, and the forces that formed it, contains the advent of the car, the great Roads circulate, and the Lincoln street organization. The ebook deals an research of kingdom and federal highway investment, sleek road-building concepts, and the successes and screw ups of the present road procedure.

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The men would gain military and mechanical experience. The army could test all its new vehicles, tires, and parts, aided by technical representatives of the manufacturers who would accompany the detachment. Recruiting officers could exhort young men along the way. As the detachments moved across the land, each nightly bivouac in another small town would provide a public relations bonanza. Implicit in all this were the enormous gains to be made by the Lincoln Highway Association and its program for better roads.

But first the organization had to be formed. Several meetings were held in Detroit in early 1913, usually chaired by Fisher and hosted by Henry Joy, who soon made it clear that he had ideas independent from Fisher’s. The leaders eliminated Fisher’s homely proposed road name and subscribed to Joy’s suggestion of honoring Abraham Lincoln, as the person best signifying the national import of the road. So they agreed upon a Lincoln Highway and created a Lincoln Highway Association. It began its official life in Detroit’s Dime Savings Bank Building, henceforth the national headquarters of the LHA, on July 1, 1913.

Interested towns could request LHA approval of their plan including location, drainage, sub-surface work, and a promise of future maintenance of one 34 Asphalt and Politics mile of sixteen-foot (changed to eighteen in 1918) highway. The town — or county — would perform the labor and provide equipment, frequently state-owned. The Portland Cement Association, through the LHA, would supply the cement needed to build the road, free of cost. The wholesale price varied somewhat during the active years, but it appears that one mile would use about 3,000 barrels at a cost of some six or seven thousand dollars.

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