Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Organization of the Papers

Restrictions

Online Index Terms

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series 1. Bureau of Public Roads, 1930-1968

Series 2. Clay Committee, 1951-1958 (bulk: 1954-1955)

Series 3. Federal Highway Administration, 1969-1972

Series 4. Publications and Remarks, 1947-1974

Series 5. Transporation Issues and Legislation, 1972-1994

Series 6. Awards, 1971-1997

Series 7. Associations, 1960-1995

Series 8. Consulting Work, 1972-1997

Series 9. Interstate History Projects, 1967-1989

Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A & M University

Inventory of the Francis C. Turner Papers:

1929-1997



Descriptive Summary and Abstract

Creator Turner, Francis Cutler, 1908-
Title Inventory of the Francis C. Turner Papers
Dates 1929-1997
Abstract Francis C. Turner (1908-1999) was born in Dallas, Texas, and graduated from Texas A & M University in 1929 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He worked as a highway engineer for the Bureau of Public Roads, earning a professional degree in civil engineering from Texas A & M University in 1940. Turner was selected to work on the Alaska Highway Project in 1943. From 1946 until 1949 Turner helped restore roads and organize a highway department in the Philippines, serving as coordinator of the Philippine Rehabilitation Program by 1949. Upon his return to the United States, he became Assistant to Bureau of Public Roads Chief Thomas H. McDonald. In 1954 Turner was appointed Executive Secretary to President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program, or Clay Committee, (so-called after its Chair, General Lucius D. Clay). Turner's work on this committee is widely acknowledged as being instrumental in the passage of the highway legislation that established and provided for the funding of a national interstate highway system. Turner continued to work for the Bureau of Public Roads and its successor, the Federal Highway Administration, for the rest of his career, and ultimately headed these organizations. In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Turner as Director of the Bureau of Public Roads, an occasion Johnson may have commemorated by giving Turner an inscribed copy of his book A More Beautiful America. Later, President Richard M. Nixon appointed Turner as Federal Highway Administrator (1969). Although Turner retired from this post in 1972, he remained active in the service of the highway program for the rest of his life. Influential in transportation circles, Turner was a member of an elite circle of transportation experts known as the "No Name Group, "and was also in constant demand as a consultant by agencies such as the Transportation Research Board and the International Road Federation. Perpetually researching issues relating to the transportation field, Turner remained a champion of highway causes until his death in a Goldsboro, North Carolina hospice facility in 1999. Series 1. through Series 4. of the Francis C. Turner Papers include highway engineering reports written for the Bureau of Public Roads, Clay Committee papers dating from the 1950s hearings on the development of a national interstate highway program, and speeches, publications, correspondence, and research notes generated by his career as a federal highway official. The bulk of the Turner's post-retirement and consulting work materials are found in Series 5 through Series 9, including maps, photographs, research notes and manuscript drafts for a three-year study he and Harmer E. Davis conducted for the International Road Federation. The study, A Comparative Analysis of Urban Transportation Requirements (1977), compares transportation needs in urban areas in fourteen countries, including the United States. Another large portion of the papers found in Series 7. contains papers related to Turner's membership in various associations. Throughout his lifetime Turner remained devoted to groups such as the Highway Users Federation and the American Association of State Highway Officials. Correspondence, speeches, and conference notes related to these associations reflect his continued involvement in the transportation field almost until the year of his death. The Papers also include correspondence, transcripts, and drafts of several reports recording the history of the interstate highway, a subject for which Turner was a popular informant. The most extensive project is a study by the Public Works Historical Society, commissioned by the American Public Works Association and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.
Identification TAMU ARCH 00126
Extent 22.5 linear feet
Language English.
Repository Cushing Memorial Library College Station, TX 77843-5000

Biographical Note

Francis C. Turner (1908-1999) was born in Dallas, Texas, and graduated from Texas A & M University in 1929 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He worked as a highway engineer for the Bureau of Public Roads, earning a professional degree in civil engineering from Texas A & M University in 1940 as well. As a highway engineer, he was selected to work on the Alaska Highway Project in 1943. From 1946 until 1949 he helped restore roads and organize a highway department in the Philippines, serving as coordinator of the Philippine Rehabilitation Program by 1949. Upon his return to the United States, he became Assistant to Bureau of Public Roads Chief Thomas H. McDonald.

In 1954 Turner was appointed Executive Secretary to President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program . Turner's work on the President's Committee on a National Highway Program , or Clay Committee, (so-called after its Chair, General Lucius D. Clay), is widely acknowledged as being instrumental in the passage of the highway legislation that established and provided for the funding of a national interstate highway system.

Turner continued to work for the Bureau of Public Roads and its successor, the Federal Highway Administration, for the rest of his career, and ultimately headed these organizations. In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Turner as Director of the Bureau of Public Roads, an occasion Johnson may have commemorated by giving Turner a copy of his book A More Beautiful America inscribed "To Frank Turner, with great expectations." (The book is included in Series 1. of the Papers and cataloged separately. See Items Separated section in this finding aid.) later, President Richard M. Nixon appointed Turner as Federal Highway Administrator in 1969.

Although Turner retired from his post as Federal Highway Administrator in 1972, he remained active in the service of the highway program for the rest of his life. He was influential in transportation circles, continuing his life-long membership in numerous industry associations such as the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. A member of an elite circle of transportation experts known as the "No Name Group" or "No Name Committee", he was also in constant demand as a consultant by agencies such as the Transportation Research Board and the International Road Federation. Perpetually researching issues relating to the transportation field, he remained a champion of highway causes until his death in 1999.

Over the course of his life, Turner received numerous awards, beginning with membership in the Philippine Legion of Honor in 1951. He was named a distinguished alumnus by Texas A & M University in 1969. The American Society of Civil Engineers honored him with the James Laurie Prize in 1971 and created the Francis C. Turner Lecture Series in 1989. In 1998, the Transporatation Research Board established the Frank Turner Medal for lifetime achievement in the field of transportation. Turner died in a Goldsboro, North Carolina hospice facility in 1999.

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Scope and Content Note

The Francis C. Turner Papers (1929-1997) represent 68 years of materials authored or collected by Turner. Series 1. through Series 4. include highway engineering reports written for the Bureau of Public Roads, Clay Committee papers dating from the 1950s hearings on the development of a national interstate highway program, and speeches, publications, correspondence, and research notes generated by his career as a federal highway official. The aforementioned inscribed copy of A More Beautiful America by Lyndon Baines Johnson is is included in this material.

Upon his retirement, Turner became a transportation consultant, advising local, national, and international agencies, associations, and companies on transportation issues. The bulk of these post-retirement and consulting materials are found in Series 5 through Series 9. These materials include maps, photographs, research notes and manuscript drafts for a three-year study he and Harmer E. Davis conducted for the International Road Federation. The study, published in 1977 and titled A Comparative Analysis of Urban Transportation Requirements, compares transportation needs in urban areas in fourteen countries, including the United States.

Another large portion of the papers found in Series 7. contains papers related to Turner's membership in various associations. Throughout his lifetime Turner remained devoted to groups such as the Highway Users Federation and the American Association of State Highway Officials. Correspondence, speeches, and conference notes related to these associations reflect his continued involvement in the transportation field almost until the year of his death.

The collection also includes correspondence, transcripts, and drafts of several reports recording the history of the interstate highway, a subject for which Turner was a popular informant. The most extensive project is a study by the Public Works Historical Society, commissioned by the American Public Works Association and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.

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Organization of the Papers

This collection is organized into 9 series with some series having sub series.
Series 1. Bureau of Public Roads, 1930-1968.
Subseries 1.1. Alaska Highway, 1943-1945.
Subseries 1.2. Philippine Program, 1949-1950.
Series 2. Clay Committee, 1951-1958 (Bulk: 1954-1955).
Subseries 2.1. Associations, 1954-1959.
Subseries 2.2. Subject Files, 1951-1956.
Subseries 2.3. Hearings, 1953-1958.
Series 3. Federal Highway Administration, 1969-1972.
Series 4. Speeches and Publications, 1947-1974.
Series 5. Transportation Issues and Legislation, 1972-1994.
Series 6. Awards, 1971-1997.
Series 7. Associations, 1960-1995.
Series 8. Consulting Work, 1972-1997.
Series 9. Interstate History Projects, 1967-1989.

Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged chronologically, roughly following the career of the creator. The arrangement of each series is noted in the detailed description of the papers.

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Restrictions

Access

No restrictions.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Online Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog of Cushing Memorial Library. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Names
Clay, Lucius D. (Lucius Dubignon), 1897-1978--Correspondence.
Davis, Harmer Elmer, 1905---Manuscripts.
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
McDonald, Thomas H. (Thomas Harris), b. 1881.
Mertz, Lee.
Turner, Francis Cutler, 1908---Correspondence.
Turner, Francis Cutler, 1908---Manuscripts.
Organizations
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials--History.
American Public Works Association--History.
American Road & Transportation Builders Association--History.
Highway User's Federation for Safety and Mobility--History.
International Road Federation--History.
No Name Group--History.
Public Works Historical Society--History.
Transportation Research Board--History.
United States. Federal Highway Administration--History.
United States. Bureau of Public Roads--History.
United States. President. Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program--History.
Subjects
Express highways--Government policy--United States--History.
Federal aid to transportation--United States--History.
Interstate Highway System--United States--History.
Highway planning--United States--History.
Roads--United States--History.
Transportation consultants--United States--History.
Places
Alaska Highway--History.
Philippines--History
Titles
"A more beautiful America ...": The President speaks.
A Comparative Analysis of Urban Transportation Requirements.

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Separated Material

Items separated include:

Series 1. Bureau of Public Roads [Box/Folder 1/25] A More Beautiful America by Lyndon B. Johnson. Cataloged and housed separately in stacks with call number: TAMU E 169.02 J63 1965

Series 1. Bureau of Public Roads [Box/Folder 1/26] Photographs of Turner and and colleagues, 1966-67. Oversize item.

Series 1.1. Alaska [Box/Folder 2/12] Alaska Highway News, January 14, 1945. Oversize item.

Series 1.2. Philippines [Box/Folder 2/27] "Philippine Road Inventory." Oversize item.

Series 1.2. Philippines [Box/Folder 2/29] Photograph of Quirino Bridge (Philippines). Oversize item.

Series 8. Consulting Work [Box/Folder 12/26] Seminario de Ingeniería de Tránsito. Cataloged and housed separately in stacks with call number: TAMU HE359 .M6 S45 6 (1974) VI

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Administrative Information

Provenance

Series 2. Clay Committee materials were transferred from the Department of Transportation Library to the repository by Lee Mertz at Turner's request in 1989.

The rest of the collection was transferred from the Texas Transportation Institute to the repository by Gene Hawkins in 1997.

Processing Information

Processed by Victoria R. Carter in November 2002.

Additional processing by Aletha Andrew and Amber Amescua in November 2002.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Series 1. Bureau of Public Roads, 1930-1968

These records begin with the personnel files (1929-1972) Turner retrieved from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1995. Correspondence about these files includes reference to FHWA personnel killed in the Oklahoma City bombing that year. Turner's Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) reports are arranged in chronological order, as are his BPR correspondence and reports. Subseries in Series 1. include files collected during Turner's work on the Alaska Highway and as coordinator of the Philippine Rehabilitation Program.
box-folder
1/1-4 Bureau of Public Roads and Federal Highway Administration Personnel Files, 1929-1995 (bulk: 1929-1972)
box-folder
1/5-14 Bureau of Public Roads Reports, 1930-1939
box-folder
1/15 Textbooks and Thesis, 1940
box-folder
1/16-31 Bureau of Public Roads Correspondence and Reports, 1939-1968
box-folder
Subseries 1.1. Alaska Highway, 1943-1945
box-folder
2/1-22 Alaska Highway, 1943-1945
box-folder
Subseries 1.2. Philippine Program, 1949-1950
box-folder
2/23-29 Philippine Program, 1949-1950

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Series 2. Clay Committee, 1951-1958 (bulk: 1954-1955)

As Executive Secretary of both the President's Committee on a National Highway Program (the so-called "Clay Committee") and the Inter-agency Committee,Turner collected administrative materials and correspondence for both committees. Series 2. also includes correspondence, background materials and reports. In subseries 2.1. is collected correspondence, background materials, and policy statements on the highway program by interested industry groups, associations, and politicians. The files are arranged alphabetically by the association name. Subseries 2.2. is arranged alphabetically by subject. These files contain background information on financing the highway program and publicity and public reaction to the program. Subseries 2.3. concludes the series with the official statements and testimonies heard by the Clay Committee, arranged chronologically.
box-folder
3/1-2 President's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program (Clay Committee), Organization, September 1954-June 1958
box-folder
3/3-4 Clay Committee Agendas and Calendars, September 1954-December 1954
box-folder
3/5 Inter-agency Committee, Sept.-Dec. 1954
box-folder
3/6 Highway Policy Report, 18 April 1955
box-folder
3/7-8 Highway Needs Reports, 1954
box-folder
3/9-13 Highway Plans, various sources, 1955
box-folder
3/14-17 Clay Committee Reports, 1954-1955
box-folder
3/18-22 Comments on Clay Committee Reports, various sources, including EisenhowerCabinet members and Harry S. Truman, 1954-1955
box-folder
3/23-25 Highway Bills and Amendments, 1954-1956
box-folder
3/26-30 General Committee Correspondence, 1954-1956
box-folder
3/31-32 TurnerCorrespondence, 1956
box-folder
3/33-34 General Clay's Correspondence, 1954-1956
box-folder
3/35-39 Work Materials, 1954-1955
box-folder
Subseries 2.1. Associations, 1954-1959
Addresses, panel notes, reports, and correspondence between committee members and associations; arranged alphabetically by association name.
box-folder
4/1 American Automobile Association, 1955
box-folder
4/2-4 American Municipal Association, 1954-1956
box-folder
4/5 American Road Builders Association, 1954-1955
box-folder
4/6 National Association of Motor Bus Operators, 1954-1955
box-folder
4/7 Council of State Governments, 1955
box-folder
4/8-9 Chamber of Commerce of the United States, 1954-1959
box-folder
4/10-13 Governors Conference, including address by Richard Nixon, 1954-1955
box-folder
4/14 Highways for Survival Committee, 1955
box-folder
4/15 National Association of Traffic Engineers, 1954
box-folder
4/16 National Good Roads Association, 1955-1958
box-folder
4/17 National Grange, 1954-1956
box-folder
4/18 National Highway Users Conference, 1955-1957
box-folder
4/19 National Sand and Gravel Association, 1955-1956
box-folder
4/20 The Port of New York Authority, 1955-1956
box-folder
4/21 Public Roads Council, 1954
box-folder
4/22 Truck Body and Equipment Association, 1955
box-folder
4/23 Virginia Highway Conference, 1955
box-folder
Subseries 2.2. Subject Files, 1951-1956
Arranged alphabetically by subject.
box-folder
4/24 Engineer "Manpower" Reports, 1954
box-folder
4/25-26 Financing Highways, 1954-1955
box-folder
4/27-28 Financing Public Education, 1953-1954
box-folder
4/29-34 Publicity, Public Opinion, and White HousePress Releases, 1954-1956
box-folder
4/35 State Highways, 1951-1952
box-folder
4/36 Toll Roads , 1955-1956
box-folder
Subseries 2.3. Hearings, 1953-1958
Arranged chronologically.
box-folder
5/1 Testimonies and Statements, 26 June 1953
box-folder
5/2-10 October 1954 Hearings, 7-8 October 1954
box-folder
5/11-39 Testimonies and Statements, 7 Dec. 194-30 Jan. 1958
box-folder
5/40-43 Congressional Record, annotated,

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Series 3. Federal Highway Administration, 1969-1972

This series is arranged in rough chronological order, but contains several subject files, such as a file with internal memoranda about bicycle lanes, and a file that contains notes for speeches Turner made as Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration. A 1973 letter referring to Turner's retirement and materials on Turner's participation in a FHWA 100 year time capsule dedication ceremony on 14 June 1994 are also included.
box-folder
6/1-19 Federal Highway Administration, 1969-1972

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Series 4. Publications and Remarks, 1947-1974

Published writings and official remarks and statements, bound in four volumes, in chronological order.
box-folder
6/20-23 Publications and Remarks, 1947-1974

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Series 5. Transporation Issues and Legislation, 1972-1994

Series 5. contains subject files collected by Turner on various transportation issues of the day and on the legislation related to his field. These are arranged in alphabetical order by subject.
box-folder
7/1 Automatic Speed Enforcement, 1981
box-folder
7/2 Baltimore Transit, 1973-1975
box-folder
7/3-4 Clean Air Act, 1989-1994
box-folder
7/5 Comments, Letters, Editorials, 1971-1974
box-folder
7/6-7 Energy, 1972-1975
box-folder
7/8 Gas Tax, 1981, 1988
box-folder
7/9 Highway Trust Fund, Miscellaneous Materials, 1957-1975
box-folder
7/10-12 ISTEA (Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act), 1991
box-folder
7/13 National Highway Institute, 1979-1990
box-folder
7/14 Needs Studies, Bridges, 1973-1974
box-folder
7/15 Needs Studies, Classsification Manuals, 1963-1972
box-folder
7/16 Rail, Piggy-Back Trucks, Buses, Information Copies, 1973
box-folder
7/17 Urban Growth, Information Copies, 1974

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Series 6. Awards, 1971-1997

Correspondence, certificates, and publicity about a few of the honors received by Turner over the course of his career. Similar material may be located in Series 7. Associations, if the award was bestowed by a transportation association.
box-folder
7/18-26 Awards, 1971-1997

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Series 7. Associations, 1960-1995

Turner belonged to a large number of transportation associations, both formal and informal, from national organizations, such as the Highway Users Federation, to lunch groups such as " The Road Gang." Many of the groups share the same key leaders, an attribute that is especially apparent in the intriguingly entitled " No Name Group." These files contain correspondence, speeches and conference materials, and are arranged in alphabetical order by association name. Multiple files for a single organization are in rough chronological order.
box-folder
8/1-22 AASHTO (American Association of State Highway Officials), 1960-1991
box-folder
8/23-24 ACHP (Advisory Committee on Highway Policy), 1987-1991
box-folder
8/25 APPA (A Project for Political Action), 1975
box-folder
8/26-28 APWA (American Public Works Association), 1974-1991
box-folder
9/1-10 ARTBA (American Road and Transportation Builders Association), 1975-1991
box-folder
9/11 ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), 1971-1981
box-folder
9/12-13 CERF (Civil Engineering Research Foundation), 1992
box-folder
9/14-26 HUF (Highway Users Federation), 1974-1994
box-folder
9/27 Intelligent Vehicle Highway Society of America, undated
box-folder
9/28-29 International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association, 1988
box-folder
9/30-38 No Name Group, 1988-1993
box-folder
9/39-43 Road Gang, 1972-1992
box-folder
9/44-47 TAG (Transportation Alternative Group), 1988-1991
box-folder
9/48-52 TRIP (The Road Information Program), 1973-1995

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Series 8. Consulting Work, 1972-1997

Immediately upon his retirement from the Federal Highway Administration, Turner was commissioned by the International Road Federation to help conduct a three-year study of 31 urban areas in 14 countries. Information he and co-author Harmer E. Davis gathered from cities in Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States make up the bulk of this series. However, Turner acted as consultant, both paid and unpaid, for many other agencies and associations. Correspondence, notes, maps, photographs, speeches, and reports on this work are filed in alphabetical order according to the hiring agency.
box-folder
10/1-5 AGC (Associated General Contractors of America), 1972-1992
box-folder
10/6 Arlington County Department of Public Works, 1982
box-folder
10/7-9 ATA (American Trucking Association), 1987-1991
box-folder
10/10 Bishop, Cook, Percell & Reynolds, 1987
box-folder
10/11 DES (Diesel Engine Supervisor), 1988
box-folder
10/12-13 ENO Transportation Foundation, 1981-1992
box-folder
10/14-11/3 FHWA (Federal Highway Administration), 1973-1995
box-folder
11/4-28 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, United States (Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C.), 1962-1997 (bulk: 1973-1974)
box-folder
12/1 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies Expenses, 1973-1976
box-folder
12/2-4 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, General Correspondence and Notes, 1973-1976
box-folder
12/5-6 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, Canada, 1971-1973
box-folder
12/7-8 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, Germany, 1973
box-folder
12/9-20 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, Japan, 1972-1978
box-folder
12/21 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, Korea, 1977
box-folder
12/22-26 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, Mexico, 1972-1975
box-folder
13/1 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, Sweden, 1973-1976
box-folder
13/2-4 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, United Kingdom, 1972-1974
box-folder
13/5-12 IRF (International Road Federation) Studies, Report Drafts, 1977
box-folder
13/13 IRF (International Road Federation) Consultation, Economic Commission for Europe, 1976
box-folder
13/14 IRF (International Road Federation) Consultation, International Federation of Municipal Engineers, 1979
box-folder
13/15 Article for Harmer Davis 1994
box-folder
14/1 Massachusetts Motor Transportation Association, 1991
box-folder
14/2 National Society of Professional Engineers, 1982
box-folder
14/3 Texas A & M University, 1995
box-folder
14/4 Texas Good Roads/Transportation Association Conference, 1988
box-folder
14/5-24 TRB (Transportation Research Board), 1983-1992
box-folder
14/25 Truths About Transportation, undated
box-folder
14/26 U.S.D.O.T. (United States Department of Transportation), 1973-1992
box-folder
14/27-29 U.S. Senate, 1975
box-folder
14/30-32 Virginia D.O.T. (Department of Transportation), 1974, 1991
box-folder
14/33 Vulcan Materials Company, 1973

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Series 9. Interstate History Projects, 1967-1989

Several individuals and organizations recorded the history of the development of the interstate highway system. The most extensive research was carried out by the Public Works Historical Society, under the sponsorship of the American Public Works Association and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials. The studies are arranged in chronological order.
box-folder
15/1 Pyke Johnson Notes, 1967
box-folder
15/2 Metro History Project, 1982
box-folder
15/3-19 APWA/AASHTO Project, 1983-1989
box-folder
15/20-23 Mertz History Project, 1983-1989

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