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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.

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Housman and Associates    CH2M Hill    Parsons BrinckerhoffAutodesk    AECOM Bentley Systems     HNTB    

Milestone Sponsors:

HDR, Inc.

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ATSSA    Michael Baker Corporation
Professional Engineers in California Government        

Leadership Sponsors:

Transpo Industries, Inc.    


A monthly update on AASHTO's 100th anniversary. Published the third week of each month. Subscribe to receive this in your inbox!

July 16, 2014

One Hundred Years Ago Today in Transportation...

The Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) was holding the second day of its annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri on June 16, 1914. “Hundreds of devotees of the motorcycle” were on hand on for that meeting, according to that day’s edition of the Arizona-based Bisebee Daily Review newspapers. That attendance alone underscored the ever-increasing popularity of that means of transportation nearly 11 years after FAM – now part of today’s American Motorcyclist Association – had been officially formed in Brooklyn, New York. Read More

AASHTO Presidential Profile: George P. Coleman of Virginia

George Preston Coleman, chairman of Virginia’s state highway commission, served as the second president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHO) during a time filled with challenges and changes for both the nascent organization and the development of roads nationwide. It was also a time in which the U.S. found itself entering into and helping to fight World War I. Read More

Then and Now

Transportation Maintenance and Expansion

Shall We Wait for Traffic's Knockout Punch?

The following speech, published in the April 1950 edition of American Highways, was given by AASHTO President D.C. Greer before the Associated General Contractors of America’s 31st Annual Convention in San Francisco. In his remarks, Greer stresses the importance of not just maintaining transportation infrastructure, but also highlights the need to think about future growth. Greer asks state highway departments to continue to look for ways to stretch highway dollars in order to “keep pace with highway demand.” Today, state DOTs are in the same situation, balancing the need to maintain current infrastructure while also preparing for future growth, all with limited transportation dollars. Read More

Did You Know?

The America's Transportation Awards Recognizes the Best in Transportation

The America’s Transportation Awards competition recognizes the best transportation projects accomplished each year by state departments of transportation. From building new bridges, bike and pedestrian paths and highways, to easing congestion and improving safety and metropolitan mobility through transit, these projects instill an appreciation of transportation as a key element of our quality of life. The 2014 competition has experienced record participation from 37 AASHTO members, nominating a total of 73 projects. Read More