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Of the two hundred and forty-nine miles of recommended roads, sixty miles had been improved by local authorities, ninety-nine miles had been improved under the law up to January, 1905, leaving one hundred and fifty miles yet to be macadamized.
The General Assembly, at its January session, A. D. 1905, appropriated the sum of one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars for the construction and maintenance of the state highways; this makes a total of three hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars appropriated for three years. The General Assembly also passed an act to submit to the voters at the state election in November, the proposition of bonding the state to the amount of six hundred thousand dollars for the construction of the highways. The act passed both branches of the legislature without any opposition and it is the universal opinion throughout the state that it will be carried almost unanimously at the polls.
The Legislature of Utah passed an act, approved March 23rd, 1903, looking to state aid for highways under charge of the State Engineer. Boards of County Commissioners could designate, subject to the approval of the State Engineer, certain roads as part of a system of State Highways. Not more than two of the roads named in any county shall have the same general direction, nor should they include the streets of any cities of the first or second class. In carrying out the provisions of the act, the county commissioners were required to file with the State Engineer a correct map of the county, showing the roads so designated, their width, length and relative location, with reference to the principal roads of the county.
These roads were to be approved by the State Engineer when satisfied that they constituted part of a continuous and direct system of state highways.
Such state highways were to be under the supervision of the State Engineer, and whenever the county commissioners decided to improve the same, they were required to submit to the State Engineer a statement of the work desired to be performed, and he shall prepare plans, specifications and estimates for the information and guidance of the commissioners.
Advertisement for work shall be made by the commissioners and the contract let by the same, subject to the approval of the State Engineer, the state to become liable for one-half the cost of executing the work, except that the cost of any work on the streets of any town or city of the third class, shall be distributed, one-third to the state, one-third to the county and one-third to the town or city.
All appropriations subsequently made by the legislature for highways, except in case of special appropriations to specifically named roads, shall be expended under the provisions of this act.
In pursuance to the provisions of the act, three counties have filed maps of roads, proposed as part of the contemplated system of state highways. Is no appropriations have yet been made to carry out the provisions of the act in regard to state aid, the above are the only steps so far taken.
The law provided that the State Engineer shall prepare a comprehensive manual of road building for free distribution to the road officers of the state, the intention being to secure uniformity in the construction of public roads throughout the state.
A. W. DEAN,
As early at least as the year 1800, New Hampshire rendered state aid toward the construction of highways, and has continued the same up to the present time. Of late years the amount appropriated for aid has ranged from thirty-five hundred dollars for the biennial period 1879-1880, to seventy-seven thousand and fifty dollars for the biennial period 19031904, the aggregate since 1879 amounting to two hundred and thirty-one thousand seven hundred dollars.
During the last twenty-six years there has been an increase in a general way, although such increase has not been constant. The aid rendered has been of a special and local character to certain specifically named roads, and not on any general plan of uniform application over the state,
An act providing a state system of highway construction, and for the appointment of highway engineers, was approved April 2, 1903. This act authorized the Governor and Council to appoint a competent engineer or engineers, one at least of whom is to be an experienced road builder, and the Governor and Council were also to determine compensation to be paid.
The law contemplated the preparation of a state road map and gave authority to require local road authorities to prepare at local expense of towns and cities local road maps'or plats.
The Highway Engineer, from such map and inspection of roads, and under the direction of the Governor and Council, was to prepare plans for future construction and improvement of roads by state aid, and also prepare a bill to be submitted to the next legislature for the inauguration of a system of state work and expenditure on local and state highways.
The State 'Engineer, under certain restrictions, was to give information and advice in regard to construction and repairs of existing roads.
Seven thousand five hundred dollars was appropriated for each of the ensuing two years, exclusive of printing charges.
In accordance with the provisions of the law of 1903, a report was made to the legislature of 1905. This report embodied statistics in regard to taxation, roads and other relative matters bearing on the question of legislation, and summaries of the state aid plans in several states. With the report was submitted the drafts of three bills for consideration by the legislature. This grew out of the variance of views of needed legislation.
As an outgrowth of the movement, an act was approved February 24th, 1905. providing for state aid. The control and direction of the work is placed in the hands of the Governor and Council, who have authority to appoint a State Engineer and agents.
The law provided for an extremely complicated scheme of assessing the towns for the money necessary to state aid, and of distribution of same to the towns. In towns of over twenty-five hundred population, state aid was excluded, except to portions of the same outside of the "compact portion," to be determined by the Governor and Council.
Free engineer service was provided for consultation and advice to any town applying for the same, under control, however, of the Governor and Council.
Work under the law was to be done by contract. All highways improved by the joint fund are to be kept and maintained in repair by the local authorities, subject to the approval of the Governor and Council.
The sum of one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars annually, for six years, was appropriated for expenditure under the provisions of the act, unexpended balances to be carried over to the succeeding year. Towns and cities applying for state aid were required to devote an amount varying with the valuation of the town; for instance, a town having a valuation of one hundred thousand dollars devotes one hundred dollars to the joint fund and the state devotes three hundred dollars. A town having a valuation of eight hundred thousand dollars devotes eight hundred to the joint fund and receives three hundred and twenty dollars from the state.
It will be noticed that by the terms of the law the execution of the provisions thereof is very firmly placed in the hands of the Governor and Council
. It may be proper to state - here that the executive power of New Hampshire is vested in the Governor, who is electd at large, and five members of Council, who are elected by districts. The reason for the vestment of executive authority in this body is the fear of one-man power. Practically, the work of state aid is in the hands of the State Engineer, veiled by the placing of the power in the hands of the Governor and Council.
Up to August 29th, 1905, one hundred and ninety-two towns and two cities had applied for aid. Surveys in one hundred and twenty-five towns and two cities have been completed. Work has been advertised in sixty-three towns and two cities, and work started and let in twentyfour towns, whilst two roads are complete.
The work proposed and contracted for varies in different localities, from macadam construction to the grading of some mountain roads with narrow track and turnouts. Surveys are usually made by local surveyors, employed by the State Engineer.
State Highways in New Hampshire are certain mountains roads and one beach road, owned by the state, laid out by the legislature or conveyed to the state by towns and their maintenance is a charge on the state. State Aid Roads are built in towns and cities and are under the direction of the state by authority of the joint fund law of 1905, but are maintained by the town or city.
JOSEPH W. HUNTER,
On the 15th day of April, 1903, the Governor of Pennsylvania approved an act creating the State Highway Department and appropriating $6,500,000 to be used in carrying out its provisions during the next six years, $500,000 of which should be available during each of the first two years, $1,250,000 for the third year, the same for the fourth year and $1,500,000 in each of the fifth and sixth years. Ten per cent of the whole sum available was to be set aside for maintenance.
The act provided for the appointment by the Governor of the State of a State Highway Commissioner with an annual salary of $3,500 and $500 for traveling expenses. For completing the organization, provision was made for an Assistant Commissioner at an annual salary of $2,000 and traveling expenses $500; a Chief Clerk, salary $1,500; also a Stenographic Clerk, salary $1,000.
Among the duties of the Department was the compilation of statistics and information in regard to the mileage, character and condition of the highways of the state.
Investigation of methods of road construction was to be made ana standards established for the construction and maintenance of the highways of the state. Advice and information was to be furnished to road officials and information was to be disseminated relative to improvement of roads and encouragement given wherever opportunity offered. The Department was authorized to demand data as to road conditions from local road authorities throughout the state.
The apportionment of state aid among the counties of the state was in proportion to the mileage of county and township roads therein. It any part of the apportionment for any county was not applied for at the end of two years, it was returned to the State Treasury and was reapportioned. In order to avail themselves of state aid, county commissioners must petition the State Highway Department for the improvement of certain specified principal highways within their counties that were not included in the corporate limits of any city or borough. With the petition must be filed accurate plans and profiles of the proposed road improvement. Upon approval by the Highway Department of the petition of the county commissioners, the department was to examine the highway, and if its improvement met with approval, make careful estimates of the expense of the work which should be done.
If, upon consideration of the needs of the road and the estimates so submitted, the county and township authorities considered the improvement advisable, the State Highway Department was to contract jointly with the county and township in which the highway was located to carry out the improvement.
The township supervisors or commissioners, with the approval of a majority of the assessed valuation of real estate, had authority to petition the county commissioners for the improvement of the principal highways of the township, and upon refusal of the county commissioners to act upon the petition, could, through the court of quarter sessions of such county and a favorable jury view of the road, require the county commissioners to petition the State Highway Department for state aid.
All work under the law should be done by contract. Advertisements for proposals were to be given by the county commissioners, the contract to be let to the lowest and best bidder, with the option on part of the State Highway Commissioner, the county commissioners or the township supervisors or commissioners, to reject any or all bids. The contracts were to be made in the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, signed by the State Commissioner of Highways and approved by the Attorney-General.
The total cost of improvement under the act was to be distributed as follows: Two-thirds to the state, one-sixth to the county and onesixth to the township.
In the case of the portion of a main thoroughfare, improved under state aid, being located within borough limits, the State Highway Commissioner, the county commissioners and the borough officers could jointly arrange for the improvement of such borough road, the state being only liable, however, to one-third of the total expense and the borough being required to keep in repair and maintain such parts of the improved highway as was located within the borough limits.
The General Assembly of 1905 passed an act which was approved by Governor Pennypacker May ist, amending the act of 1903.
The amended act raises the salary of the State Highway Comnissioner to $5,000 and traveling expenses to $1,000; the salary of the Assistant Commissioner to $3,000 and traveling expenses to $1,000; the salary of the Chief Clerk to $2,000 and the Stenographic Clerk to $1,200.
The amending act also provides for six civil engineers at salaries of $2,000 and actual traveling expenses, two civil engineer-draughtsmen at salaries of $1,500, and one extra clerk at a salary of $1,200.
An additional duty placed upon the Commissioner by the amended act is, that "he shall cause to be made a complete survey of all the roads of the state,” a provision requiring an amount of work, the extent of which is perhaps beyond the conception of any of the members of the General Assembly and of few persons, except those surveyors who have had extensive experience in road surveys.
By the amended act, the surveys required for preparing estimates of cost are to be made by the State Highway Department, and the county commssioners are relieved from furnishing plans and profiles.
The act further increases the proportion of the cost of improvement payable by the state from two-thirds under the act of 1903 to threefourths of the total expense, and decreases the amount to be severally paid by, counties and townships from one-sixth to one-eighth. Under the act of 1903,any apportionment unapplied for remained to the credit of the county for two years, while under the act of 1905, such apportionment as "shall not be so applied for before the first day of May in each year, the amount so apportioned and set aside for that county, or the amount not applied for, shall be apportioned, as herein provided, to the counties that had, in that year, applications requiring the expenditure of a sum greater than the amount of their apportionment.”
Under the amendeci act, the State Commissioner is substituted for the county commissioners in directing advertisements for proposals, and the option of rejecting bids is placed in the State Commissioner alone.
The tendency, therefore, in the legislation of Pennsylvania in reference to state aid, is more and more of a paternalistic nature, which is one of the things that is considered undesirable by the authorities of the Maryland Commission, referred to above under that state.
The amended act changes the amount that the state may pay toward the improvement of connecting roads in boroughs from one-third to three-fourths of the total cost.
The State Highway Department has received petitions for state aid for about six hundred and thirty miles of road, distributed through fifty-seven counties of the state ;has completed the construction of thirty miles and expects to have completed by the close of 1905 one hundred and fifty miles, located in forty-five counties.