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After January ist, 1906, the State Highway Department will be charged with the duty of issuing all automobile licenses in the state.
The Department also has been given charge of the old “National Road," built by the Federal government years ago and afterwards maintained by the state as a toll road. All tolls are now abolished and $100,000 has been appropriated by the Legislature for repairing and maintaining the road.
HORATIO S. EARLE,
Michigar: by legislative enactment provided for the establishment of a State Highway Department, the chief officer of which should be denominated the State Commissioner of Highways. The Commissioner was to be appointed by the Governor with the consent of the senate. “He shall be a citizen of the state and shail not be connected with any company manufacturing road materials or machinery.”
The purpose of the Department was stated to be: Giving of instruction in building, improving and repairing public roads and bridges, collecting reports from township and county highway commissioners and overseers of highways and superintendents and commissioners of streets in villages and cities, and with the execution of the laws relating to the same heretofore passed, or that may hereafter be passed.
Annual meetings were to be held in each county at which township highway commissioners were required to be in attendance and were entitled to receive their regular per diem and actual traveling expenses.
Every county and township overseer of highways. village and city superintendent, or commissioner of streets, was required to make a sworn statement each year in answer to such questions as the State Highway Commissioner may deem proper. The refusal or neglect to make such report was constituted a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not to exceed one hundred dollars.
The department was to prepare plans and specifications for public highways and give advice on road and bridge building, also gather and disseminate information in regard to road material, and was authorized to hold schools of instruction and build sample roads.
Five thousand dollars was appropriated to carry out the provisions of the act for the year 1905.
In conformity with the act, Horatio S. Earle was appointed State Highway Commissioner by the Governor, but was prevented from carrying out the provisions of the act by reason of the Auditor-General, upon advice of the Attorney-General, refusing to pay out any money under the provisions of the act.
The Attorney-General based his decision on the alleged unconstitutionality of the act, basing his opinion on ARTICLE 14. Section 9. of the Michigan constitution, which reads: “The state shall not be a party to, or interested in any work or internal improvement, nor engaged in carrying on any such work, except in the expenditure of grants to the state, of land or other property.”
The question of an amendment to the state constitution, clearing the question and making constitutional the work of the department, was submitted to the voters April 3, 1905, and was adopted by a large majority: The proposition carrying in each of the eighty-three counties of the state and by a majority of one liundred and forty two thousand two hundred and forty-four.
The Legislature has since that time enacted an amended bill, providing, in addition to he duties imposed by the bill of 1904, that he shall keep in his office maps of every township, showing the condition of the roads, together with marks on such maps to show location of road material.
Another section of the act provides for rewards of from two hundred and fifty to one thousand dollars per mile, for the completion of standard roads of different construction, should the same be approved by the State Commissioner. Not more than two miles of road in any one township is to be eligible for reward in any one year.
The appropriation set apart for carrying out the provisions of the act was thirty thousand dollars for the year 1905, and sixty thousand dollars for the year 1906. Ten thousand dollars of each appropriation was available for the running expenses of the office for that year.
State Highway Commission:
F. H. MACDONALD,
An act to create a Highway Commission for the state of Iowa was approved April 13, 1904. provided that the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanics' Irts at Ames, should act as a Highway Commission for the state.
In fulfilling the directions embodied in the act, the Board of Trustees of the State College placed in charge of the work of the Highway Department Messrs. Marston, Curtiss and MacDonald, as specified in the personnel above.
The law clefined the duties of the Highway Commission to be: The devising and adopting of plans for highway construction and maintenance suited to the several needs of the clifferent sections of the state. For the education of highway officers and students, the Commission was to carry on practical demonstrations of road construction, as well as disseminate knowledge of the subject in any other feasible plan. The Commission was to afford supervision by practical road builders of road demonstration and work.
In carrying out the directions embodied in the law, the Commission, by means of letters, circulars and personal investigations, instituted a road census of the state and an investigation as to the relationship of the prices of agricultural products to road conditions.
The topographical and geological conditions of the state are being studied with reference to road material and road construction. Experiments and tests referring to economical road construction are being made.
Literature in reference to the construction of roads and as to the work of the Commission is being published and distributed.
The State Highway Commission conducted the first good roads school of construction in America June 12th to 17th of this year. A regular course of instruction was given in the fundamental and essential features of road building and maintenance. Instruction was imparted through a condensed treatise on roads, and lectures, supplemented by practical demonstration by means of the use of modern machinery in the construction of roads and in object lesson work.
In conjunction with the above school, the Good Roads Association of Iowa held their annual meeting.
In addition to the above practical work and processes, instruction was imparted in the use of surveying instruments and in the preparation of maps. profiles and plans of road improvement.
T. W. JAYCOX,
In reference to state aid in Colorado, the State Engineer says:
“The Congress of the United States, in passing the enabling act which permitted Colorado to become a State in the year 1875, saw fit to embody in said act a clause whereby five per cent. of all moneys derived from the sale of all public lands should be turned into a fund to be known as 'The Internal Improvement Fund.' This, however, did not have reference to homestead lands. This money was to be handled and apportioned out to various parts of the state by the legislature at its regular sessions, much after the same manner as appropriations were made from the general revenue. In the early days of the state, this fund did not reach any great amount, but of late years, owing to the constant development of the irrigation systems of the state, it has created a great demand for all the agricultural state lands that were so situated as to permit of. water being put upon them, and each legislature found the sum considerably augmented over what the previous body had to distribute."
"The legislature of 1905 found it possible to distribute for the purpose of road improvement – being derived from this fund
about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This work has been put directly under the supervision of the State Engineer's office. There is, however, no direct statute requiring that the State Engineer have charge of such work, but the legislature in making the distribution for funds in the past, thought this was the proper department to handle such appropriation."
"I might add that the state will, during the coming two vears, construct out of this fund, fourteen bridges and twenty-one roads, scattered over various parts of the state."
State Highway Board:
CHARLES W. CLAUSEN,
G. Y. MILLS,
State Highway Commissioner.
The legislature of the state of Washington, at its session in 1905, passed an act providing for a State Highway Board, composed of the State Auditor, the State Treasurer and the State Highway Commissioner. The latter shall be appointed by the Governor for the term of two years ; shall be a capable and experienced Civil Engineer and Surveyor; shall receive an annual salary of two thousand five hundred dollars, together with his traveling expenses, not to exceed one thousand dollars, and shall be allowed for office expenses not to exceed fifteen hundred dollars per year.
The Highway Board shall determine what part of the appropriations made to certain specific roads by the legislature shall be allotted to each county through which they are located. Upon notice from the Board the County Commissioners of each county shall cause to be surveyed that part of the highway within their county and prepare at the expense of the county, profiles, plans and specifications to be submitted to the Highway Commissioner. No appropriations shall be available for aid in the construction of any specified road until the improvement of the road shall have been declared feasible by the Highway Board, and the maps, plans and specifications have been approved by the Highway Commissioner. County commissioners are required to secure any necessary right of way, either by dedication or condemnation, said right of way to be designated by the Highway Board. The state will pay no part of the expense of surveys, plans, supervision, inspection or right of way of roads to which aid is granted. Of the actual amount of money expended for the construction of any road, exclusive of the above items, the state shall pay twothirds and the county one-third.
The county commissioners are to advertise for bids, which shall be opened by the county commissioners with the Highway Commissioner present. Either the county commissioners or the State Highway Commissioner shall have the right to reject any bid. The contractor shall be bonded to the satisfaction of the State Commissioner.
For carrying out the provisions of the act, the legislature appropriated ten thousand collars for office expenses and one hundred thousand dollars for aid in constructing ten specified roads, ranging in amount for such roads from three thousand to twenty-six thousand dollars.
After construction and repair the roads shall be maintained by the colinties in which they are located.
For the purpose of providing the necessary state fund for carrying out the provisions of the act with reference to state aid, the proper state officers were authorized and directed to levy and collec ta tax of one-fourth of one mill upon all the property in the state subject to taxation for the year commencing March 1, 1906, and for each year thereafter. The funds provided by said tax shall be placed in a separate fund to be known as the public highway fund.
State Highway Commission:
EDMUND J. JAMES,
The 44th General Assembly of Illinois enacted two laws which were approved May 18, 1905, establishing a State Highway Commission and providing for convict labor on highways.
The first law provides that the Governor shall appoint a bi-partisan Highway Commission, consisting of three persons, to serve for a term of two years.
The Commission is authorized to investigate methods of construction, materials, and other matters relative to the construction of the highways of the state, and were constituted an advisory board for local authorities having charge of highways throughout the state.
The Commission is to receive no compensation for their services beyond their necessary expenses.
The Commission was authorized to appoint a State Engineer and employ necessary assistants.
It was made the duty of the local road authorities to furnish such information in regard to the highways under their care, as might be requested by the State Highway Commission.
Twenty-five thousand dollars per annum was appropriated for carrying out the provisions of the law.
The second law provides that, upon requisition of the State Highway Commission, the Board of Prison Industries of the State of Illinois is authorized to employ convicts and prisoners in the state in the manufacture of drain tile, machinery and other appliances used in road construction, and in preparing road materials.
Through the State Highway Commission and according to rules adopted by them, township and county road authorities were to have the use of such materials and appliances, for improvement of public highways.
The Commission are further authorized and empowered to negotiate with the railroad lines of the state for rates of transportation of such materials and machinery and may enter into contract with the railroads for such transportation.
Ohio did not take formal action looking to systematic state aid until 1904. It must not be concluded, however, that the state has never recognized the principle that the state has, and should have, a financial interest