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Federal Laws, Regulations,
and Other Material
Through August 1960
Bureau of Public Roads
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D.C. • Price $1
The Bureau of Public Roads was created as the Office of Road Inquiry under authority of the Agricultural Appropriation Act of 1894. The Federal-Aid Road Act of July 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 355) initiated Federal aid for highways to be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture who functioned through the Office of Public Roads and Rural Engineering, and after July 1, 1918, as the Bureau of Public Roads. This authority was continued by the Federal Highway Act of November 9, 1921 (42 Stat. 212). Under the reorganization effected July 1, 1939, the Bureau was transferred to the Federal Works Agency and the name changed to Public Roads Administration. On August 20, 1949, Reorganization Plan VII of 1949 transferred the organization to the Department of Commerce and changed its name back to the Bureau of Public Roads.
The Bureau, at the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, carries out the responsibilities and authority of the Secretary with respect to Federal and Federal-aid highway construction, administration and research, more specifically described in
provisions of title 23, United States Code, entitled “Highways.
The Bureau is under the direction of the Federal Highway Administrator, assisted by the Commissioner of Public Roads. The headquarters office in Washington, D.C., is composed of an Office of Engineering, Office of Operations, Office of Administration, Office of Research, and the Office of the General Counsel. In the field, regional and division offices discharge the responsibilities of Public Roads at local level. Division offices are located in all States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. These divisions are grouped into eleven regions. The State of Alaska comprises an entire region.
The Bureau administers Federal legislation providing for the improvement, in cooperation with the several States, of roads on the Federal-aid primary, secondary, and interstate highway systems and urban extensions thereof; for the survey and construction, in cooperation with the Forest Service, of roads on the forest highway system; for the survey and construction, in cooperation with the Central American Republics, of the InterAmerican Highway and for other programs as authorized.
As the principal road-building agency of the Federal Government, Public Roads cooperates with the United States Forest Service, the National Park Service, and other Federal agencies in the construction of roads in national forests, parks, and other Federal areas. In cooperation with the Department of State and other Federal agencies, the Bureau provides assistance and advice to foreign governments in various phases of highway engineering and administration.
Public Roads conducts a program of research on all phases of highway improvement and highway transport as a basis for the development of progressive highway engineering and administrative practices.
Table of Contents
including the Highway Revenue Act, and authorization acts
Geometric Design Standards for the Interstate and Defense
Sec. 686, Authorization for Federal agencies to perform cer-
tain services and furnish supplies and materials for other