As transportation has evolved throughout the past century, the association also changed from a mostly highway focused organization to its present-day embrace of all forms of transportation. This happened as various federal agencies were brought together under the U.S. Department of Transportation, and state governments followed suit with similar reorganization of their programs. AASHO, recognizing and appreciating the increasingly multi-faceted role of its member departments, became the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in 1973.
The association, going beyond just a simple name change, expanded its mission to include alls modes of transportation including air, public transit, rail, and water. In addition, AASHTO membership was broadened to encompass a wider array of state officials.
AASHTO has also fostered stronger ties with other transportation organizations. This has included the creation of membership categories for counterpart agencies in other nations and eligible U.S. government entities at the federal, state, and local levels. AASHTO also welcomes as associate members municipalities with major transportation responsibilities.
As all these accomplishments and others underscore, we have a lot to celebrate as AASHTO fast approaches its centennial in 2014 -- even as we continue working together on the major challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.