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(2) To what extent the plan should require the State or local authorities to contribute to the amount of money appropriated.
(a) State or local authorities, two-thirds; Federal authorities, one-third.
(6) State or local authorities would be willing to contribute three-fourths.
(4) Should the amount appropriated be limited to construction or maintenance, or be given jointly for construction and maintenance ?
In those States having well-organized highway departments, the appropriation might be limited to construction only. In other States, however, the Federal Government should provide for the maintenance of the Federal-aid roads.
(5) To what extent, if aid is given, should there be Federal supervision?
The Federal Government should have full and complete supervision of the expenditure of all money appropriated by it. There will always be a source of contention if the funds are turned over to some smaller political unit, as is well illustrated in our own State in the relation of the State highway department to the counties.
The Federal Government, by means of its civil service, will always be more free from politics than is the State; hence it would be wrong to turn Federal funds over to the State. I believe, too, in a strict civil service, and not by the appoinment of men because of their recommendations from political organizations. The question of prestige through appointments is the cause of discontent, the formation of political factions, and, too often, the source of trouble and even the political downfall of the official himself. If this power were taken from him as far as possible, it would often be a great relief to him. He must fight for it so long as it is within his power, but remove this right and see the estimate of public officials rise in the minds of the people.
(6) Submit a detail plan workable for Federal and State cooperation in construction and maintenance.
Let us consider two authorities-Federal and the State. (Probably the Federal would be represented by the Office of Public Roads and the State by its State highway department.)
Provision shall be made for the initiation of a Federal road by a petition for the same from the State, through its State highway department or other duly authorized authority, to the Federal Government.
Appropriation shall provide for Federal authorities to expend a certain sum on condition that the State agrees to expend some proportional amount on the designated national roads. The two shall agree upon the roads, or parts of roads, to be improved by each, and each shall approve the others plans and specifications.
Federal authorities shall have power, in case they see fit, to delegate their supervision of the expenditures to the State who shall exercise the same at all times under Federal direction and who shall surrender such part or all of such supervision to the Federal authorities when so directed.
The abutting property owners shall pay such part of the cost of improvement as is provided in the States laws to be paid on State roads.
For national roads right of way to be provided, and new right of way paid for in the same manner as for States roads, or if there be
none of the latter, then the same as for the highest class of roads now existing in the State.
The appropriation bill should permit the money to be used for either new construction or maintenance, the same to be at the discretion of the State and Federal authorities having charge of the same.
F. H. ENO, CIVIL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY,
(1) As to a general plan upon which this Federal aid should be given, it would seem to me best for it to come as an annual appropriation to be expended upon a certain class of roads and under definite supervision of Government engineers. The work to be done in cooperation with the States of the Union-an equal share to each State in the Union. Arguments may be raised against this plan upon two counts at least: First, that any appropriation should be made proportionate to the population; and, second, controlled, possibly in part by the taxable value of the property.
But it seem to me a slightly populated State or locality where the property would not be so valuable as in some thickly settled State, may be encouraged and greater good be done than in some densely populated State; and that the final good forthcoming may warrant an equal expenditure in every State in the Union.
(2) In my judgment each State of the Union should be required to appropriate an equal amount, if they are to secure Government aid.
I have not sounded our local authorities, but from their action on the topographic survey and similar public policies, I would say they would be favorable to such a plan, possibly even granting more than an equal share.
(3) I believe the roads to be chosen should be main traffic roads between cities of large population and, so far as possible, directly in line and continuations of roads to be so developed in other States. To illustrate—such roads in Ohio as the Old National Pike and other roads that might connect from Buffalo through Cleveland and other points west in Indiana and Illinois should be chosen. Generally east-and-west roads should be given preference over north-and-south roads, although a few north-and-south roads should be chosen throughout the United States.
(4) I believe the appropriation should be separated and designated, so much for construction and a certain amount for maintenance. I think it would be unwise to make one appropriation and State that it was for construction and maintenance. One appropriation should be made for construction and a definite, separate, appropriation for maintenance.
(5) I believe that Federal engineers should have general supervision of the construction of Federal-aid roads, but that so far as possible the work shoud be done through the State.
(6) I do not feel competent, in the limited time I have to give to this subject, to submit a detailed plan workable for Federal and State cooperation. My judgment would be in this that if the Government decides to go into Federal aid a commission should be appointed consisting of able enginers, attorneys, and financiers, and possibly representatives from the State, to work out a thoroughly workable plan.
WILL P. BLAIR, NATIONAL PAVING BRICK MANUFACTURERS' ASSOCIATION,
(1) As to a general plan upon which this Federal aid should be given.
The general plan for Federal aid should be based upon a direct contribution to aid the States in the construction and maintenance of post roads which should be selected traversing routes in the several States, which may be properly designated by reason of their excessive use and importance to the States as their chief market roads.
The reasons which may be advanced for the support of the foregoing plan are as follows, to wit:
It would concentrate the means and authority of the Government upon a limited number of miles of such roads as are most excessively used by the larger percentage of the traveling public. Fundamentally and primarily it would establish a system that could be most rationally followed up by the States, counties, and townships of the Union.
The authority and assistance of the Government could be limited to the roads involved in such a plan. A precedent could be thus set which would be entirely sufficient and satisfactory to the people so far as the Government is concerned, and would not involve it in a pressure for aid beyond its reasonable ability to care for. Naturally, such a system would tend to provoke a healthy rivalry between the States in taking the greatest advantage of such a system, by connecting up with it their intercounty system of State roads.
(2) To what extent the plan should require the State or local authorities to contribute to the amount of money appropriated; and to what extent you think your State or local authorities would be willing to cooperate with the Federal Government.
In carrying out the plan suggested in my answer to question 1, and answering directly your question 2, I should say the plan should be such that the National Government might extend to the State assistance equal to two-thirds, but no more, of the cost of any of the roads so planned. On the other hand, the State should be permitted to contribute to the cost of such roads to the extent of twothirds, but no more. Where the Government has extended aid in excess of 50 per cent of the cost of the roads, through her highway commission, to consist of three commissioners, she should elect which road shall first receive aid.
The reason for this plan lies in the fact that many States would be willing, in order to advance their system of chief post roads, to contribute a larger proportion of funds necessary. Where the Government contributes the larger proportion of the funds, she should in all matters be the controlling authority. This could be done by the Secretary of Agriculture acting as the balance of power in case the Government furnishes the majority of the road fund, but where the State furnishes the majority of the fund, then the Governor of the State may act as the balance of power in such matters. In all cases the State and Government, respectively, should be represented by a highway commission of three members each. I think upon this plan and bases many States would be ready to act with greater promptness.
(3) On what character of roads should the amount appropriated by the Federal Government be used ?
Unquestionably the funds appropriated by the Federal Government should be limited to the system of roads outlined in the foregoing answer to question 1.
Particularly with reference to the character of the road, which involves its manner and method of construction, plan of improvement, and material of which it is made, these main roads must be constructed of the most permanent character, such as will effect the greatest possible economy considered severally in matters of construction, maintenance, and use.
The reason for the foregoing plan of limiting the funds of the Federal Government to the system of main roads is that it is simply out of the question for the Government to scatter its efforts to a wide mileage of either construction or maintenance. It could not undertake the expenditure of sufficient money to put all the roads even in passable condition, and its efforts if so directed would be futile and unsatisfactory to the country. The character of road which involves the manner and method of its construction and the material with which it is made is the most important feature of the road problem to-day. There is altogether too much money being wasted by socalled experimental road propositions. It is both silly and foolish. There are absolutely but two kinds of material from which to construct highways that can in truth and in fact be denominated as permanent, and in the use of these two materials it is of the highest necessity that they be constructed in the most approved manner and method. The two materials of which we speak are vitrified paving brick and a character of hard block stone, including granite. Out of either of these materials roads may be constructed which may be fairly characterized as permanent; that is to say, they will last for at least a generation or more under such traffic as they will in all probability be subjected to. At least maintenance charges on such roads will be a matter of insignificance. Such roads are the only kind that are at all likely to be maintained at a high point of maximum and continuous use.
Of course the particular plan of the road must take into consideration the contingency and condition of travel. These chief post roads should not be paved in their entire width with the permanent material. In all cases a graded water-bound macadam of single width to carry a class of unshod horses, etc., should be provided. The upkeep of such graded portion of road is minimized by its nonuse during seasons of bad weather.
(4) Should the amount appropriated be limited to construction or maintenance, or be given jointly for construction and maintenance ?
The amount of appropriation should be limited definitely to construction alone. The question of maintenance should be a question separate and apart from construction and become the subject of special legislation and provision. Where the Government can and is willing and the States coincide with such judgment, and where roads of the most permanent character are built, then the Government should assume their maintenance. If, however, States are unwilling to appropriate sufficient money to build such roads in cooperation with the Government, or where roads of secondary permanency are built, or of less permanent and doubtful character, then the burden of maintaining such roads should be upon the States.
The reasons for this answer are apparent. The Government should not be called upon to maintain a road, the maintenance charge of which should be so great as to make the road itself an uneconomical one. There is more excuse for the Government indulging in an experimental road or one of doubtful character than there would be for her to build her public buildings in such manner or with such material as would result in continual expenditure for repairs. A road should never be built as an experiment. Small sections of a road may be built for experimental purposes—experiments by the Government in road building should be confined to the Office of Public Roads—but National aid in building roads for use by the people and by the Government as post roads should be kept separate and apart from a laboratory effort.
(5) To what extent, if aid is given, should there be Federal supervision ?
The answer to this question is largely indicated by answers foregoing. If Federal maintenance is undertaken, then of course Federal supervision should follow; otherwise not.
(6) Submit a detailed plan workable for Federal and State cooperation in construction and maintenance.
The establishing of a national road commission of three members. The bill should provide for the Secretary of Agriculture exercising a majority power, becoming ex officio member of this commission in such cases as may be provided for in the bill.
Such commission shall have power to appoint a corps of engineers, who shall be especially qualified to design, supervise, and construct such roads as may be determined upon under the provision of the act.
The commission shall be empowered to spend, in conjunction with a commission representing any State in the Union, à sum not to exceed $2,500,000 from the Federal Treasury in any one year, the expenditure to be made only in conjunction with a certain proportion of money, not exceeding two-thirds of the cost per mile of any particular road, and in each case at least one-third the cost per mile of such road, in each and all cases the State contributing the balance required; but no State may be allowed to furnish less than one-third the cost of the road.
Such Federal aid shall be extended only to such roads as may be designated first by the State and approved by the Federal commission as such, which may be properly defined as the main post and excessively traveled roads within such States, respectively.
The commission should also be clothed with power to make and enforce all necessary rules and regulations to carry into effect the purpose of the act.
The foregoing contains briefly my ideas, in a general way, that ought to obtain in establishing and carrying into effect a program for Federal aid in the construction and maintenance of highways. Of course I have not undertaken to suggest all of the details that should be incorporated in the bill and will be necessary to carry into effect this general plan, but I hope the foregoing suggestions will prove worthy a consideration by the committee, all of which is respectfully submitted.