There is much satisfaction in writing the first annual
report of a State Highway Department. The contrast is so
apparent during the first year, and so much depends upon the character of the work and the results accomplished during
that period. I do not know of another instance, during the
first year of its existence, where a State Highway Commission
has had placed in its hands, voluntarily by the county authorities, a sum as great as $1,735,000.00 to be expended for them. The confidence that has existed has made it a pleasure to have executive charge of the work of the Highway Commission. Its activities have at all times been heartily supported by the press of the State. Without this support, the result would be different.
Finally, I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation of the
sympathy, confidence and encouragement I have at all times
received from the two men who have made possible this year's highway work in Oregon ; I mean, Honorable Samuel Hill and Honorable Simon Benson.
HENRY L. BOWLBY,
State Highway Engineer.
December 1, 1914.
The law creating a State Highway Commission was passed
at the 1913 session of the Legislature. It is a satisfactory law
as far as it goes. Under its provisions the Highway Department has been in operation for eighteen months and a good
start has been made toward inaugurating a new era in the
public road and bridge business of Oregon.
A system of state or trunk roads has been adopted and a
start, in a small way, made toward the construction of this
system. The rate at which these trunk roads will be built
and become of use to the public is now only a question of how fast the money is made available for this purpose. (Bowlby 7)
Another provision that should be made in this law is one
placing in the hands of the State Highway Commission the
entire jurisdiction over the roads designated in the adopted
system of state roads. It should not be possible for a fran
chise of any kind to be obtained over a state road except such
as may be granted by the State Highway Commission. The
enactment of this provision is of very great importance, in
order to make it impossible for portions of a trunk road to be
used as a right-of-way for an electric interurban railway or
for some other public utility.
A provision should be enacted placing in the State High
way Department the supervision of the design and construction of all bridges and culverts costing five hundred dollars or more. Attention is especially directed to that portion of this report dealing with the construction of highway bridges in Oregon. Such a provision should make it mandatory that the State Highway Engineer shall prepare the plans, specifications
and estimates for all bridges costing five hundred dollars or
more, and that a certificate in writing be obtained from the
State Highway Engineer stating that the bridge is properly
built, before a settlement is made with the contractor and the
bridge accepted. (Bowlby 7-8)
4. History >