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American Roads: Site Map > Auto Trails > Auto Trail Articles > Touring Topics article November 1912 p14

LOS ANGELES RAISES HUGE HIGHWAY FUND

Los Angeles and San Diego raise funds for transcontinental roads.

― from Touring Topics, November 1912, page 14-15.

 

With the campaign under way that has for its purpose the raising of a fund of not less than $100,000 in Los Angeles alone to complete the California portion of the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway there is assured an easy, well-maintained motorway for automobiles from the Arizona State line to the Pacific Ocean within the next few months. To the eastward there is already a good automobile road through the State of Arizona, and New Mexico is actively engaged in constructing a statewide highway that will carry automobile tourists through that commonwealth and will connect with the best traveled routes through the middle western and eastern states. California has already expended a considerable sum in improving the roads through the less traveled parts of Imperial and Riverside Counties but there is a vast amount of work yet to be done before the route is made easy and safe for general motor traffic, and here it is that the public spirited automobile enthusiasts of Los Angeles have volunteered their services and their cash, and that the work will be well and speedily done, is not to be doubted.
The Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Association, which was formed about one year ago at Phoenix, Arizona, was originally composed of good roads boosters of Arizona, New Mexico and California. Since the date of the first meeting the membership has been increased by scores of thousands and includes good roads bodies and motoring associations in all the States through which the proposed trans-continental route passes. The eastern members of the Association have formed their own subsidiary organizations which have busied themselves in remedying the poor road conditions of their own particular sections and each of the three original states that formed the parent association has done valiant service in improving that portion of the nation-wide roadway that lies within its limits. The efforts of the California contingent in actual road-building have produced less marked results than have been shown by the other states owing to the fact that road-building through the shifting sands of southeastern California present engineering problems of extreme difficulty. More than $10,000 that was raised through private subscription has been expended and a great many miles of new roadways have been built and numerous surveys have been made for the purpose of determining which of the several possible highways between Brawley and the Arizona state line is most feasible. All this preliminary work was accomplished and its expense borne by the members of the Association living outside of Los Angeles, and no aid was asked from the motorists of that city until the total expense of building the route was ascertained. When the reports of the engineers were in it was estimated that a fund of $100,000 must be available to build the proper roadway and to safeguard it from the effects of sand drifts. Following the estimates presented by the engineering corps a meeting of Los Angeles citizens was called and an auxiliary association was formed to raise the required amount and to co-operate with the parent association in spending the money on the roadway. Although the work of collecting the fund has only been under way during the past month, cash to the amount of $35,000 has been raised and pledges have been received that make it certain that the sum sought will be in the hands of the treasurer long before it is needed for the actual work of highway construction. No time is being lost in hastening the work and gangs of road builders have been engaged in improving those portions of the route between Brawley and Ogilby and additional forces will be supplied as fast as their assistance is required.
Another good roads association of Southern California has its headquarters in San Diego and is made up of motorists of that county and of El Centro County [sic]. This body, which is known as the San Diego-Yuma Highway Association, has raised approximately $50,000 to build a roadway that will connect Arizona with the Coast at San Diego and which will traverse the southern end of the rich and populous Imperial Valley. The principal difficulty with which this good roads association has to contend is similar to that which confronts the Los Angeles body, in that there is a considerable mileage of roadway that must be built through sandy stretches in which it is difficult to secure a good, permanent roadbed. However, this latter body has already built the greater part of its route and is engaged in overcoming the problems that confront it between Holtville and Yuma, and anyone familiar with the enterprise of the citizens of both Los Angeles and San Diego knows absolutely that within the next few months there will be two good passable automobile routes over which the motorists of Arizona and the East may reach the Southern California coast.

 

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