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email cls14hotmailcomPennsylvania Turnpike CommissionThe reason I chose this topic is because my father works for the PA Turnpike Commission and in the future I would also like to be an employee for the Turnpike I thought that it would be interesting to learn more about what my father does So that is why I chose this topic In the beginning the turnpike started out as a sixty-two mile log surfaced road It was created to provide transport for settlers and their belongings over muddy grounds At that time in 1792 it was called the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Company In the 1880 s William Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie were building a railroad from Harrisburg west to Pittsburgh and over one-half of the roadbed was constructed with 7 tunnels partially excavated before Vanderbilt went broke in 1885 At that time they had to stop all construction on the railroad In 1910 ideas arose about converting the abandoned railway route into a motorway The trucking industry and the motoring public supported this idea In 1934 surveyors collected information and engineers selected routes and prepared plans In 1937 the governor signed a bill to create the PA Turnpike Commission during a period when the nation was still recovering from that era s depression President Roosevelt supported the construction of the turnpike to lower unemployment through his WPA Since bankers were skeptical of supporting the unproven nature of a toll superhighway the project wound up being financed by a loan from the New Deal s Reconstruction Finance Corporation for almost 41 million at 375 percent The WPA would also provide another 29 million in grants The PA Turnpike project limits were from Middlesex located west of Harrisburg to Irwin east of Pittsburgh a distance of 160 miles Eleven hundred engineers were employed to finish the job in twenty months A standard sight distance of 600 feet was chosen Straight-aways were designed for 100 mph and the spiral curves were
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