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Mail Tribune 100, May 10, 1922

News from 100 years ago
The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

May 10, 1922

3,721 MILES OF HIGHWAY BUILT OR CONTRACTED

While Oregon is recognized as one of the most progressive states in the building of good roads, and while the average person knows the state has carried on an extensive program, few realize just what has been accomplished in the past five years with such a small percent of the money being raised by direct taxations.

When the contracts are let by the highway commission this month, which will complete all the work of the two principal highways, Columbia, including the old Oregon Trail, and the Pacific highway, there will be 3,721 miles of highways of all types, including grading, macadam and paving, completed or in course of construction in the state that have been built in the five-year program from 1917, costing in round numbers $50,000,000, paid as follows: $35,126,000 by the state; $6,590,000 by the government; $8,134,000 by counties; $208,000 by railroads, all of which will be completed this year.

This shows that a very small percent is paid by direct tax represented in the amount paid by the counties. The major part, $35,000,000, will be paid by auto licenses and tax on gasoline, which not only takes care of the principal and interest on the bond issues, but also takes care of the maintenance of highways. The county monies will now be used on lateral roads and will make a big showing in the next few years. The money spent by the railroads is for overhead crossings.

The Columbia highway and the old Oregon Trail, extending from Astoria to Ontario, is 550 miles long and is recognized as one of the most scenic in the United States.

The Pacific highway, the next in scenic wonders, from Portland via the west side through Forest Grove, McMinnville, and Corvallis, connecting with the main east side highway at Junction City, through Medford to the California line is 352 miles long.

There are 41 sectional or lateral highways consisting of about 2,800 miles all over the state. The Dalles-California is one of the principal ones that will be completed this year excepting a few small gaps. Some of the other leading laterals are the John Day-Roseburg-Coos Bay, Corvallis-Toledo, Tillamook-Portland.

This program of the commission does not include work being done by the federal government on the Crater Lake highway, post roads in national parks, etc., in which the state commission pays a part.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com