Map Showing Proposed System of State Highways in 1917
Public works on an enormous scale
In 1917, the newly appointed highway commission and state highway engineer proposed that an 8,865 mile network of state highways be built. At the time, none of the approximately 148,000 miles of road in Texas were paved.
Highway development got off to a difficult start as early corruption and the Great Depression slowed the initial growth of the highways. In its first 20 years, the highway department built 21,000 miles of main highways. After World War II, development took off in earnest with the farm-to-market and interstate highway systems. The demand for paved roads grew and the highway department responded, tripling the mileage of highways to 66,000 miles by 1967.
Today there are over 300,000 miles of roads in Texas.
Courtesy Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin
Books and Printed Material
Time Period: 1866 - 1936
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