The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 4, Page 17.


Valparaiso Man Designs Highway Transportation System of the Future

Revolutionizing of the American system of highways is proposed in designs drawn by Noah M. Amstutz, of Valparaiso, research engineer, after ideas originated by T. E. Steiner, of Worcester, O., president of the Victory Coal Company, Tunnellton, W. Va., and active in other business enterprises.

The plan was presented to high officials, organizations and the public press, with the result that a resolution was introduced in congress by Congressman Jennings Randolph, of West Virginia, including the Steiner plan.

The idea was developed by Mr. Steiner with assistance of Mr. Amstutz of giving employment to idle men and vitalizing industries as a means of national recovery.

Four super-highways are proposed, one east and west and three north and south. An approximate twelve billion bond issue is expected to buy the right-of-way and build the four highways, leaving enough to amortize the interest on the whole issue for a period of five years at which time all road should be completed and then the income will pay the interest and provide a singing fund to retire the bonds.

The right-of-way of each highway would be 450 feet, forty-five feet of which would be for private cars, forty-four feet for trucks and buses, twenty feet between, with barrier fence in center for parking, thirty feet outside for ditches, drainage cuts and fills and road bed protection, and 125 feet for landscaping and beautifying and preserving natural scenery. Every twelve miles the right-of-way is to be widened to 3,000 feet providing service centers and entrance and exit ramps.

The highway is to be lighted all the way for safe and comfortable night driving, and to miss all cities, but to provide feeders from cities into it where entries are provided.

Income is to be derived from tax paid by private cars at the rate of one-fourth cent per mile and the bridge tolls; from taxes derived from trucks and buses paid on the basis of benefits derived; from franchises granted to railroad companies to operate trucks and streamlined buses trains; from airplane companies to operate airplanes along lighted highway over the landscaped 125 feet; from landing fields at service centers and for gasoline stations, repair shop, restaurants, tourist camps, swimming pools and so forth.

These highways will be built, operated and maintained independent of the states. The states through which they are built will receive most of the gasoline tax derived from purchases within their borders which will enable them to build and maintain their existing roads.

The government can maintain military camps in these service centers and can use the whole road for military purposes.

With completion of these four super-highways other similar super-highways will be built in other sections of the United States.

Super-highway advantages are enumerated as follows: Catch up with the streamlined age and utilize speed and safety that manufacturers have built into automobiles; solve the unemployment problem, do away with federal relief and enable the government to balance the budget; employment of idle capital in a self-supporting and self-liquidating project; an additional means of national defense in transporting armies and armoured fleets in times of war; the investment of idle capital would be the nucleus around which would radiate a stimulation of all business in the United States.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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