This PDF file is a collection of documents from the Bureau of the Budget’s files in the National Archives about the commencement of a study of the Interstate highway program in 1959.

On February 9, 1959, John S. Bragdon, Special Assistant to the President for Public Works Planning, wrote a letter to the Bureau of Public Roads requesting some answers about highway policy relating to Interstate throughways in urban areas and the frequency of Interstate exits. We don’t have that letter, but it set in motion the documents in this PDF file:

  • A March 19, 1959 Budget memo summarizing Bragdon’s questions and the Bureau of Public Roads responses (which area attached);
  • A June 15, 2019 Budget memo forwarding a draft prospectus for a study of the federal-aid highway program, based on needs and cost;
  • Budget routing slips dated June 25 and June 29 informing the Director that Bragdon, Budget and Commerce had agreed on the scope of a study, to be requested by the President, and that the letter to Bragdon had been rewritten to make it clear that he was to be in charger, because Bragdon felt that was the only way he could get the Commerce Department to cooperate; and
  • Copies of the July 2, 1959 letters from President Eisenhower to Bragdon, Budget Director Stans, and Commerce Secretary Mueller requesting the highway study.

Originals in File P2-7 in the Records of the Bureau of the Budget, Subject Files of the Director, 1952-1951, National Archives, College Park, Maryland.