AASHTO 100th Anniversary Logo

November 19, 2014

Back Road Memories

By David Dubov

I grew up in Central and West Texas in the 1960s, and my father was a photographer. Those two facts seem unrelated, but their combination meant that as a child, I spent many interesting days on the back roads of my home state, traveling to small towns and rural locations in search of my father’s perfect shot.

October 21, 2014

The Capital Beltway: A Ring of Honor All Its Own

By Michael Shean

Autumn is in full swing, and that can only mean one thing here in the D.C. area – the Maryland Renaissance Festival is open for business. But since the heavily attended fair draws visitors from across the capital region of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to its site northwest of Annapolis, traveling to it also highlights a major transportation artery: the Capital Beltway.

September 17, 2014

A Nation of People on the Move

By Tony Dorsey

Americans don’t need to worry about transportation on a minute by minute basis because we know we can travel reliably from one place to the next – using multiple modes of transportation.

This mobility has been earned through decades of hard work, dedication and investment.

August 20, 2014

Drive-in Memories

By Tony Dorsey

It wasn’t new — far from it, but the Buick Estate station wagon my family purchased in the summer of 1970 was perfect in so many ways. The wood paneling wasn’t real, but it gave the car a look of distinction that I didn’t feel any of the other cars on my street had. It was big and roomy and it had something I’d never seen before-- a sunroof. For the first time in my young life, I could look up at the sky while I was moving. I could watch rain and/or snow falling and accumulating above my head--covering the roof top. I could see the trees swaying back and forth as we traveled down our suburban neighborhood street and I saw the tops of skyscrapers like never before as we navigated the avenues of Kansas City.

July 16, 2014

The Railroad: Keeping the Future on Track

By AASHTO Communications and Publications Coordinator Zach O’Connor

I remember every Saturday as a 6-year-old kid. I would wake up, have breakfast, and go with my dad to Essex, Connecticut. It was a small town about a half hour away from where I grew up and on Saturdays, my dad would take me to see the steam train as it left the station for its tour up the Connecticut River. My eyes would light up every time I arrived at the station, always fascinated by the railroad and how it was able to transport people from one place to the next. My view is that the railroads are a mode of transportation that truly brings people together for a short (or long) period of time. A track is already set, a schedule already in place, destinations and stops already established, and yet each passenger on the train had a different motivation or story for why they were traveling or what they would do once they arrived at their destination. However, as a six-year-old, I was just excited to see the large metal locomotive move along the track.

June 18, 2014

The Interstate: More than Roads, More than People

By AASHTO’s Michael Shean

The Interstate system has always held a very strange sort of magic for me.

In the summer of 1988, my parents took my sister and me on the one and only family vacation that we’d ever have. We traveled from my hometown of Beckley, West Virginia, to the cities of Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. My father wanted to see the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and the USS Cod. Since as a child I was fascinated with aircraft, I agreed with the trip heartily. My sister was more interested in Sea World, though I could hardly blame her. Dolphins and killer whales, penguins and puffins? Sign me up. It was the longest trip that I had ever taken with my family at that point, and I hardly understood how we would get there — but I knew at least that we’d be making use of that mythical creature that my parents referred to as "the Interstate."

May 21, 2014

The Long Road Home: A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Interstate

By AASHTO Web Business Manager David Dubov-Flinn

In June of 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act and ushered in an unprecedented economic boom in the US. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this amazing achievement, AASHTO celebrated the event by staging a two-week cross-country convoy in 2006, tracing the route Eisenhower had traveled as a young Army lieutenant in 1919 – just five years after AASHO came into being.

April 16, 2014

Long Road to a Better Bridge

By AASHTO Communications Director Lloyd Brown

I remember seeing the story on television when I was a little boy. Galloping Gertie, the famous Tacoma Narrows Bridge, was swaying and bucking. People wobbled their way off the bridge just moments before the deck breaks away and falls into the Puget Sound below.

It was an amazing story, perhaps even more amazing that the only fatality that day was Tubby, a small three-legged dog who refused to get out of his owner’s car to get off the bridge.

March 26, 2014

More Than Just Another Sign: The Interstate Shield and Its Origins

By AASHTO Information Resource Coordinator Bob Cullen

Many of us have heard, in one form or another, the wise (and very transportation-oriented) saying that it’s the journey and not necessarily the destination that matters most. Based on one of my most recent excursions into highway history, I would amend those words by asserting that sometimes our biggest lessons and insights come from the process rather than the end product itself. A case in point: what was involved in coming up with the Interstate Highway System shield that’s been very much a part of our lives for more than 56 years now.

February 29, 2014

Orange Barrels

By Sonna Lynn Fernandez

I am a child of the interstate construction era. In the 1970s, I remember traveling to visit family that lived an hour away. At least once a month we would pile in my grandparents’ car and hit the Ohio interstate to travel north. As a young child, it seemed like the interstate system was always under construction. Each time we traveled I would stare at the orange barrels wondering what was going to be built this month. Because we traveled often, I was able to observe how the Ohio interstate was constructed one mile at a time. But I especially loved to watch bridges being built. One day there would nothing and within a few months, there would be cars traveling over the bridge that crossed the interstate connecting two sides of a community.

January 29, 2014

Closer Linkages

By AASHTO Information Resource Coordinator Bob Cullen

I'm somebody with plenty of postal employees in my family tree – a key example being my grandfather, whose long and productive career as a mail carrier had him delivering letters in such varied locales as the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II and the campus of Harvard University. Not surprisingly, I have always had a strong interest in postal history and in particular how the transport of mail from point A to point B has evolved throughout our nation's existence.

December 19, 2013

Personal Stories of Transportation

By AASHTO Communications Director Lloyd Brown

I never thought about highways as a kid. I never really gave much thought to the road — whether it was asphalt or concrete, four lanes or two. As a kid, the trip was not about the infrastructure but rather the destination and all that I would see along the way. After nearly 13 years working in transportation communications, I now cannot help but see the pavement markings, rumble strips, signs and lane designs. It bores my wife and son to no end.

November 21, 2013

Working Together

By Bob Cullen, AASHTO information resource coordinator

One of the most interesting but also daunting aspects of starting any new job involves absorbing not just the day-to-day happenings of the workplace but also finding out who the employer collaborates with on a regular basis beyond our own office walls and membership and why.

I learned that lesson quickly not long after I came on board AASHTO back in 1996. As the assistant to AASHTO’s deputy executive director at that time, I found myself responding to various questions and information requests involving an array of publications that stood apart from those developed exclusively by AASHTO. Those publications existed in the first place thanks to something called the AASHTO-AGC-ARTBA Joint Committee.

We invite you to submit your story, your artwork or your photographs. Was it a road trip in an old Chevy wagon? Was it catching a bus to school? Was it watching your mom or dad leave for work on a subway? Was it watching workers build a bridge that gave your neighborhood an easier, even better connection to the rest of the world? We would love to hear your story or see your photos. Any questions? Any ideas? Any stories or photos to share? Contact Lloyd Brown at lbrown@aashto.org.