New Roads and Automobiles
Combined forces of the government, states and counties will spend for highway improvement in 1918 the amazing total of $263,096,610. This is the announcement contained in the first detailed survey of the nation’s road building plan issued by officials of the touring bureau of the B. F. Goodrich Rubber Company, who have been in contact daily for two months with highway commissioners of the states. While this sum is eighty-two per cent, of the expenditures of any previous year and in money figures that of 1917 by $118,797,750, road officials of the government and states said it represented merely a “drop in the bucket” of what should be spent before the war was concluded. They admit the railroad situation has made imperative lavish road appropriations, the total of this year is little better than half what Secretary McAdoo has announced as necessary for the upbuilding of the overtaxed American railroad system. Calculations by government officials state that with good highways, motor trucks and motor vehicles 200 per cent, more freight may be carried than the railroads. In these same calculations they estimate the value of highways at $6,240,000,000. Data supplied the Goodrich touring officials discloses that the productive possibilities of communities were considered above all else in determining the sums to be allotted for road improvement. Thus the south and middle west appropriations exceed those of other regions by many millions. Texas, for instance, leads all others with contemplated highway development, announcing the amazing asignment of $25,000,000 for road improvement, where last year it spent only $5,000,000.