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travel would reduce the cost of operating of vehicles over the highways of the States?
Nr. STOLDT. It would definitely reduce the cost.
Senator THURMOND. Is there any question in your mind that this system of highways would relieve many traffic jams and congestion that now exist in and hear the suburban and urban areas of the cities?
Mr. Srolur. This system of highways naturally would save many, many hours, days, over a period of a year in time lost.
Senator THƯRMOND. As the years go by, say 10 years from now, if such a system of highways is not constructed, do you predict a terrific, almost unbearable congestion and jam to result?
Mr. STOLDT. I do. The best sources have predicted how much that traffic will be developed. These miles traveled will be developed within a 10-year period. Some have said a 50-year period. I agree and am of the opinion that miles of travel, vehicle miles of travel, will develop somewhere between 10 and 15 years.
There are a number of our metropolitan areas now that previously eliminated their street rail systems that are now contemplating having to restore those systems due to the fact that your traffic congestion in your metropolitan areas is becoming an impossible situation.
This system of highways, of course, has been in my opinion made necessary by several different reasons. In the first place, in Oklahoma-and I think that Oklahoma is comparable to the other Statesour main highways, our Interstate System, was constructed in the early twenties.
Naturally they were designed for conditions as they existed at that time.
Senator THURMOND. The convenience of the people.
Mr. STOLDT. And for the convenience of the people, and the main purpose was from farm to market or from community to community.
That was the way that our highway system was developed. A major portion of our main highways, our primary system, was constructed at that time by county bond issue.
The State highway department, I think, was first created in 1915, that again as an advisory board to county commissioners, up until the early twenties, and it was in the early twenties before the highway department actively got into the construction of highways in Oklahoma.
Now, with this terrific increase in traffic and the situation of freight moving over the highways since 30 years ago, nad today has made it, I think, imperative that this system of highways be constructed.
Our problem has changed from, as I said, farm to market and from community to community. We still have that problem, and we are still going to have to take care of that problem and serve those people and maintain those roads from farm to market.
At that time, it is my guess that 90 percent-I am talking about some 30 years ago-of all the inland freight in the United States moved by rail.
Today even not considering the tremendous increase in tonnage of freight that moves today over what moved 30 years ago, today 75 percent of all the freight that moves in the United States moves by highway.
Therefore, when you are talking about this system of highways, you are not talking about the highway that we need in Oklahoma tó serve our own people; we are talking about a highway to serve military needs and to move this freight.
Senator THURMOND. And to evacuate people, if necessary.
Mr. STOLDT. I think it is a national problem and not a State problem; for military purposes, of course. I think in a case of an emergency that the military should have the authority to block all other traffic off of this road if necessary, and, regardless of the construction of this road, we are still going to have to maintain our existing alinement, pavement that we need and that everybody in Oklahoma considers the Interstate System.
In other words, we are going to have to maintain and improve United States Highway No. 66 across the State of Oklahoma. We are going to have to do the same with Highways Nos. 77 and 62. So, this will eliminate any problem that we are now having.
It will solve an interstate traffic and freight problem and a military problem; but it will not necessarily solve any of our local problems in Oklahoma. I think definitely it is a national problem.
Senator THURMOND. You will still need to construct and maintain your system of highways for the convenience and necessity of the local residents of your State, will you not?
Mr. STOLDT. That is definitely correct.
Senator THURMOND. However, such a system as this would be available for evacuation of your citizens if the need should arise.
Mr. STOLDT. Correct.
Senator THURMOND. In view of your statement, do I construe it to be your opinion then that the present system of construing roads is desirable and should be continued, and that in addition have an Interstate System which we would call a defense system of highways, it is your opinion that that should also be construed but as a separate entity, so to speak, from this present system, and that such a defense system should be provided almost entirely from the Federal Government?
Mr. STOLDT. That is correct.
Senator THURMOND. I would like to ask you this: If such a plan is proposed-and I want to say that there has been considerable thought that has been given to the very things that you mentioned this morning by several of us would there be serious objection to the financing of this plan through a system of tolls in view of the deficit which the Federal Government now has and the need for some system of financing without causing the Federal Government to go terrifically in debt again without a prospect of paying that debt ?
Mr. STOLDT. Again that will have to be an opinion. I am of the opinion that there would be objection to the financing of this program by the collection of tolls. However, I am just as certain that if this system of highways is not constructed by the Federal and State Governments that we will have a system of toll roads.
That is already provided for in the State of Oklahoma. Of course, you know that the Turner Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, has been completed and open for some 21/2 years, and that contracts will be let in the immediate future for the toll road from Tulsa northeast toward Joplin.
Authority has been voted by the people for the turnpike authority to construct a toll road from Oklahoma City north toward Wichita, Kans., which also is one of the interstate routes.
There is another toll road authorized in Oklahoma from Oklahoma City southwest, which does not parallel any existing interstate alinement; but I am of the opinion that these roads are necessary.
They will be constructed either by the Federal and the State government or by toll authorities.
Senator THURMOND. Do I construe correctly your statement then that the need for these roads is so urgent that if the Federal Government does not build the roads, the States will be forced to do it even if they have to put on tolls? Mr. STOLDT. Through turnpike authorities, that is correct. Yes, sir. Senator THURMOND. Of course, tolls are not always desirable.
Mr. STOLDT. I stated-maybe I was misunderstood in the start of the statement about those that it was my opinion that there would be considerable objection on the part of the people for the Federal Government and the State of Oklahoma themselves as such to go in and construct these roads and then collect a toll on them.
Senator THURMOND. If this system of roads should be constructed, the defense system, as we called them, the Interstate System chiefly by the Federal Government or altogether by the Federal Government, as the case may be, what system do you recommend to finance these roads?
Mr. STOLDT. I do not believe that I would be able to give you an answer that would mean anything to that question.
I am sure that you gentlemen are far better qualified to consider how these funds should be raised and so forth, than I would be.
Senator THURMOND. It is going to take money to build them.
Senator KERR. Are you telling the Senator that you are an engineer and not a financier ?
Mr. STOLDT. Yes, sir.
Senator THURMOND. It seems to me though that this gentleman has a pretty broad comprehension of this problem about as well as any man that has been before this committee. I will say that to you.
I would like to ask you this question: If it were necessary to levy tolls to build this road system rather than not build it, then would you favor it?
Mr. Stolbt. Yes, sir; personally I would. That is one individual.
Mr. STOLDr. We need the roads. We are going to have to get the roads somewhere. I as an individual—and I definitely am not speaking for the Governor of Oklahoma, nor the members of the highway commission, nor the people of the State of Oklahoma—but I say I personally would be in favor of paying a toll on it if that is the only way these roads can be constructed.
Senator THURMOND. Of course, there would be other roads available for the local people to use without tolls if they didn't see fit to use this top system of fast roads and pay the toll.
Mr. STOLDT. That is correct.
Senator THURMOND. So they would have a choice and they would not be forced to use this system on which tolls would be required if the system did require tolls.
Mr. STOLDT. That is right.
Senator McNAMARA. Continuing that same line of thought, would you be more favorable to increasing the Federal gasoline tax a cent to a cent and a half rather than have tolls to pay for them?
Mr. STOLir. Personally I would, but I again hate to speak for anybody other than myself on matters of this kind.
Senator McNAMARA. I think you have indicated quite an objection not only of yourself but on the part of your people. You have some experience in this matter, because you have had a toll road in operation.
Mr. STOLDT. Yes, sir.
Senator MCNAMARA. Then you are in a position to know whether your people would have more or less objection to an increase in the gasoline rate, and so your expression and your thought is that it would be less objectionable than toll roads?
Mr. STOLDT. Yes, sir.
Senator McNAMARA. Your thought about your statement about the defense highways is that your people would get considerable use of, save wear and tear on the car by the better road, safer driving, et cetera; in view of that would they object to paying at least a portion of these so-called defense highways?
Mr. STOLDT. I think that is right. I do not think there would be any objection on that as contained in this bill.
Senator McXAMARA. You are talking about the 5 percent?
Senator McSAMARA. That is only on acquisition of rights-of-way, is it not?
Am I right on that, Mr. Chairman?
Senator KERR. Does not S. 1160 contemplate the States continuing to pay the same amount for the Interstate System that they would be paying in 1954 and 1955 and 1956 ?
Senator GORE. As I understand the Clay plan, it contemplates that, but I find no such provision in the bill.
Senator KERR. I see.
Mr. STOLDT. I am of the opinion that the people in Oklahoma would be willing to go along on that basis, where they would continue to contribute through this period the same amount of State money for the Interstate System as they are now contributing.
Senator McNAMARA. "There is some mention made of an airborne army in your line of questioning, Senator
Senator Gore (interposing). May I correct my statement there?
On page 19 of the bill, I find that payments to the State made pursuant to this section shall be subject to the following conditions:
(1) That construction of projects on the Interstate System in each State shall be in accordance with the standards approved by the Secretary;
(2) That the State participates in the costs of construction in each fiscal year in an amount in cash or services no less than that which would have been required as its matching amount payable for construction of projects on the Interstate System under the provisions of section 2 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1956 ; and
(3) That the State will have the same obligations as to maintenance of the projects constructed under this Act that it has under Federal-aid highway legislation.
Senator McNAMARA. Then it develops that it is not 5 percent, but a greater amount.
Senator GORE. I want to point out further that it is not clear at all as to whether the cost of rights-of-way are encompassed in that legislation. That is something we will have to have an explanation about.
Senator McNAMARA. This so-called use of highways by airborne armies that has been mentioned here as an element of hazard in that, too, because we know that highways are two-way streets.
The enemy comes down those streets, as well as our people going up, so that is something to take into consideration.
You indicate $800,000 would be your share of this $16 million for acquisition of property. If you are going to use these highways more or less for evacuation of heavily populated areas, then have you considered the cost per mile of condemnation in the presently built-up in this $800,000 ?
The reason I ask that is the last witness said that it would cost $4 million a mile to acquire property in the heavily populated areas.
a Mr. STOLDT. We have that problem pretty well in hand in Oklahoma. In other words, Oklahoma City and Tulsa have both developed an urban plan, and on this particular toll that we are thinking about in both areas, the right-of-way has been acquired in the Oklahoma City urban area, and in the Tulsa urban area, with the exception that Tulsa is now figuring out an expressway through their business part of their town.
That, we hope and they hope, may be added to the Interstate System as their city route, and they are contemplating calling a bond election to pay for that right-of-way.
So I do not think in the Tulsa area and Oklahoma City area that we are confronted with any right-of-way problem.
Senator McNAMARA. You made one point in the early part of your testimony that the specifications went far beyond what you needed for practical purposes in your State. Do you think generally they are too tough?
poses Mr. STOLDr. For the type of road that we are talking about, I do not think the requirements as to design standards are too rigid at all. I think it was necessary. The point I tried to make is that the people in Oklahoma, regardless of what I may think as director of highways, are not going to let me build that highway.
Senator McNAMARA. They cannot afford to put that much in it, can they!
Mr. Srolur. No, sir.
Senator NEUBERGER. I just wanted to ask one question, because I, too, have been impressed with the excellent presentation, so I am going to ask a sort of little thing: Do you not think it might be better in the long run instead of going so far into debt and paying so much