State DOTs: Those Were The Days

There was a time when some state highway departments were equipped to self-perform even heavy highway construction.

Tue March 08, 2016 - National Edition
Edgar A. Browning


In 1969 the Virginia Department of Highways used a P&H 655B shovel to load a fleet of Mack M-15X off- highway end dump trucks with earth and rock.
In 1969 the Virginia Department of Highways used a P&H 655B shovel to load a fleet of Mack M-15X off- highway end dump trucks with earth and rock.
In 1969 the Virginia Department of Highways used a P&H 655B shovel to load a fleet of Mack M-15X off- highway end dump trucks with earth and rock. The rugged excavation work continues in this photo taken from atop the deep cut section.

Today we see many state departments of transportation agencies have increasingly privatized maintenance operations on state highway mileage to include snow removal; pothole repair; grass cutting; and even litter control. The measures have been undertaken to save taxpayers money in these times of austere budgets. Contrast this with a time when some state highway departments were equipped to self-perform even heavy highway construction. The photos depict the Virginia Department of Highways working on State Route 80 approximately one mile west of Breaks Interstate Park in Buchanan County, VA on Aug. 1, 1969.


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