The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is celebrating 100 years of service with multiple events across the state in addition to a traveling exhibit that will “highlight the agency’s ongoing mission of connecting Texans.”
As part of the centennial celebration, TxDOT will have a refurbished 1918 Liberty Truck travel across the state serving as a traveling exhibit to showcase the agency’s history district-by-district. The exhibit will include historical photos and a visual timeline “highlighting significant dates and achievements.”
“Through 100 years of collaboration and leadership, TxDOT has helped connect communities to commerce and people to opportunity by building and maintaining the backbone of our healthy economy—now the 10th-largest in the world,” says Gov. Greg Abbott. “That robust transportation system paves the way to prosperity for more families and more businesses each and every day. On behalf of the people of Texas, I congratulate TxDOT on their first 100 years and look forward to continuing our work to accelerate economic opportunity and fuel Texans’ freedom to aspire.”
“We are extremely grateful for the century of support from our elected leaders and citizens who most recently authorized measures to increase highway funding, which will allow us to deliver new projects to keep Texans moving for the next 100 years,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Our traveling centennial exhibit affords us a great opportunity to thank the public and share a uniquely historical perspective of how our roadways have evolved from their early beginnings into the expansive network we know today.”
The TxDOT Story
Born as the Texas Highway Department on April 4, 1917, the earliest incarnation of the Texas Department of Transportation was tasked with a challenge that continues today – there’s a lot of ground to cover in Texas.
In its first nine months, the Texas Highway Department registered nearly 200,000 automobiles and drew the first official map showing the routes of 8,865 miles of improved roadways that would tie Texas together.
As Texas grew, so did the department’s responsibilities. In the 1970s, its scope would stretch beyond roads and highways to local and regional public transit providers. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the agency was assigned additional duties, including aviation and railroads along with ports and waterways. It also was given a new identity – the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT for short.
Today, TxDOT continues to address the state’s ongoing and growing transportation needs. From its humble beginnings of 10 employees and a 1918 construction project creating a 20-mile road between Falfurrias and Encino to the world’s first precast network arch bridge in Fort Worth, TxDOT has grown into one of the state’s largest agencies with more than 11,000 team members maintaining 80,000 miles of Texas roadways.
It’s been a century of service and TxDOT looks forward to the next 100 years of connecting Texans to what matters most.