The US Interstate Highway System

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The US Interstate Highway System. Alex Harkins Jake Taylor. Contents. History Planning Construction Engineering Standards Early standards Modern standards Engineering and Politics Lobbying. History. The Road is long but never narrow - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Alex HarkinsJake TaylorThe US Interstate Highway SystemBig part of our daily lives.. Intro stuff

AKA Dwight D Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways1ContentsHistoryPlanningConstructionEngineering StandardsEarly standardsModern standardsEngineering and PoliticsLobbying this needed?2The Road is long but never narrowThe interstate flying even fasterWe travel forward, sometimes back, always fast-Anonymous

History3 for Interstate HighwaysThe military needs to be mobile in case of an emergency.

Before the Interstate Highway System there was no quick way to move military vehicles and troops through out the country. 5PlanningThomas H. MacDonald

Federal Highway Act of 1921

General John J. PershingPershing Map

President Roosevelt MacDonald was a Civil Engineer and politician and played a big part of the building of the National Interstate System. He was head of the Bureau of Public Roads during the key stages of the Systems development.

1921 provided funds for road construction and improvement. $75 million a year. Brought up possibility of a national system of interconnected highways.

The Army, under a request from the Bureau of Public Roads, provided a list of roads considered necessary for national defense. In 1922 Pershing submitted a network of 200,000 miles of proposed highways.

In the late 1930s Franklin D Roosevelt devised a hand drawn map of eight superhighways and gave it to MacDonald. First formal description of the current highway system.

6PlanningPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower

Funding for the interstate didnt come until 1952 and it was only $25 million

President Eisenhower drove a huge campaign for the highway system. He had an appreciation for the autobahn network in Germany while serving during WWII. He recognized its necessity for a national defense system. Under his presidency the planning process gave way to construction.

7ConstructionFederal Aid Highway Act of 1956

Significant dates:1986 Completion of I-801990 Completion of I-101991 Completion of I-901992 - Completion of the original Interstate Highway SystemThe Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 authorized the start of the construction of the Interstate Highway System.

I-80 was the first of three coast to coast highways to be completed. San Fran CA to New York NYThe other two are I-10 (Santa Monica CA to Jacksonville FL) and I-90 (Seattle to Boston)

In 1992 the original plans of the Interstate Highway System were completed with the completion of I-70 through Glenwood canyon, which is considered an engineering marvel.

Instead of the original $25 million cost estimate in 1952 the system was completed for $114 billion ($425 with inflation) and it took 35 years to build.

8Engineering standardsEngineering standards are rules used by engineers everywhere with specifics on design and construction processes. Standards can be worldwide or vary from place to place. They are made with the safety of the public in mind and so they are created with safety factors from anywhere between 200 to 400 percent.9Early Highway standardsEarly 1900sAASHODesign criteriaDesign vehicleDesign speedAlignment American Association of State Highway Officials, created in 1914.

Design criteria for roads in the early 1900s was a lot simpler than today. In 1914 one third of American transportation was still horse-drawn.

Road designers struggled with defining what we now call a design vehicle and a design speed. A typical roadway was 16 feet wide, and vehicles usually straddled the centerline; severe crowns as much as 20 inches allowed quick water runoff, but they were difficult for motorized vehicles to traverse. Typical speeds were 1520 mph for cars and 1012 mph for trucks, while horse-drawn vehicles rarely exceeded 8 mph.

The alignment of roads required a much smaller degree of curvature, due to modern vehicles being able to travel much faster.10Early highway standards1950sDesign CriteriaControl of AccessDesign vehicle (automobiles)Design speed (40-50 urban/mountainous, 60-70 rural)Alignment (high speed = low curvature)SuperelevationSight distance (stopping distance)Divided Highways (ADT of >800)Right of way (two lane, divided) change drastically in the 1950s. AASHO creates highway design standards known as the blue book, due to the cover color.

Standards of the 1950s include:

Control of Access access was needed where ever possible to increase efficiency and decrease travel time.

Design vehicle motor vehicles which can travel at higher speeds are more common now, very little horse drawn transportation

Design Speed. Minimum and desirable design speeds are 40 mph and 50 mph,respectively, for urban sections. Corresponding rural values range from 40 mph and 50mph for mountainous topography to 60 mph and 70 mph for flat topography.

Alinement Control. All curves sharper than 1 shall be super-elevated. All curves sharper than 2 shall be designed with approach transition curves. Maximum and desirable degrees of curvature range from 4 and 3, respectively, for a 70 mph design speed to 14 and 11 at 40 mph

Sight Distance. Adequate stopping sight distance must be provided on all roads. Two-lane roads should have frequent sections with sufficient sight distance for safe passing

Divided Highways. Where the traffic density is 800 or more, a divided highway facilityshall be constructed. The median width is 1540 feet wide for rural sections, and 412feet for urban sections

Right-of-way. Right of way is the width reserved for road space. Takes future add-ons of the roadway into account. Rural right-of-way shall be 120220 feet for two-lane highways and 150250 feet for divided highways.

11Modern day standardsChangesAASHTO green bookControl of AccessDesign speedLane width

Since the 1950s, much of the standards have remained the same.

AASHTO (modern day AASHO) stands for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The AASHTO green book is the engineering standards guide used by engineers all over America when designing roadways.

Control of Access minimum interchange spacing is specified as one mile in urban areas and 3 miles in rural. (trivia the minimum is one mile, long enough for military aircraft to take off and land)

Design speeds have changed little, except an increased limit in rural areas (75-80 mph)

Minimum lane width is 12 feet. Smaller width may indicate an older road. Change is due to the change in the design vehicle and safety purposes.

12Numbering SystemPrimary Routes have one and two digits. Main HighwaysOdd numbers travel north to south (increasing west to east)Even numbers travel east to west (increasing south to north)No repetition

Auxiliary Routes have three digits. These highways often form loops and are usually found in urban areas. These numbers can be repeated in different states. is lobbying?Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by many different types of people and organized groups, including individuals in the private sector, corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or advocacy groups.

The nspeAll NSPE members automatically qualify to join one of six practice-specific engineering interest groups. Each provides members with benefits unique to their field, including opportunities to:1) Network within their communities of practice across geographical lines2) Build leadership skills and professional alliances3) Give input on products and services designed to serve the whole engineering community4) Help recognize leading and emerging engineers within your field with awards and scholarships5)Join in mentoring young engineers within your practice community.Benefits of lobbying involving engineeringThe benefits that Engineers can experience from lobbying are manyIncrease payHelp design major projects and the use of funds that are accorded to themInvolve them into the mainstream political forumGuarantee that they will receive that benefits from the jobs that they help create

What works best in lobbying?Delivering the straight facts to lawmakers;Having active allies in a Congressman's district;Mobilizing grassroots action, such as phone calls and letters;Getting along well with politicians and their staffs.(2)

The Road is long but never narrowThe interstate flying even fasterWe travel forward, sometimes back, always fastConclusionOne of the largest, if not the largest, civil engineering projects of the world. Huge part of daily American life. Both engineering and politics played a big part in the building of this system and many other technologies of the modern world. (something summary-ish like this)19Works cited20


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