Happy 100th birthday, Texas Department of Transportation

Posted in: Cultural Resources

Click on the image to access the interactive map.

Today marks the birthday of the Texas Department of Transportation. As a native Texan, I am excited and proud, particularly because of my personal involvement in preserving my state’s history. Over the past 23 years, I have worked on hundreds of cultural resource identification and regulation compliance projects for TxDOT. These projects ranged from the Big Bend Mountains to the Big Thicket swamps and from the Rio Grande to the Red River.

Let me share a little of our history and where we are today.

On April 4, 1917, Governor James E. “Pa” Ferguson signed the bill creating the State Highway Department of Texas, which later became TxDOT. The agency grew from distributing federal road aid and registering automobiles to managing an over 80,000-mile State Highway System.

And, where are we 100 years later?

  • Texas has over 53,000 bridges, more than any other state.
  • Drivers in Texas logged 188.4 billion miles on state-maintained highways in 2015.
  • TxDOT has over 11,000 employees designing, constructing and maintaining the state’s transportation system.

If you are intrigued, be sure to visit TxDOT’s centennial website. The video is great and you’ll enjoy the photo gallery that invites you “to ride along through time to see how TxDOT has grown.”

Here are two additional exhibits celebrating the history of TxDOT:

From humble beginnings, TxDOT now connects 28 million Texans through an excellent network of highways, airports, rail lines and public transit. Happy birthday, TxDOT.

Rick Mitchell

About the Author

Rick Mitchell, AICP, Mead & Hunt Practice Leader for our Cultural Resources team, conducts architectural surveys and preservation planning with a focus on transportation projects. He led Mead & Hunt’s work on the Harbor Bridge project. A sixth-generation Texan, Rick enjoys discovering and documenting the state’s rich cultural and architectural history.

Read more posts by Rick Mitchell

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