Smithsonian transportation exhibit to open in November

If you are planning a trip to Washington D.C. next fall, don’t forget to stop by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to check out the latest exhibit, “America on the Move.” The display is expected to be the largest exhibition on transportation in an American museum.

Scheduled to open in November, the 26,000-square-foot exhibit will focus on transportation history since 1876, with a special focus on the Eisenhower system of interstate highways and the role of local pavements in the daily lives of Americans. Special presentations will include an exhibition that displays hot mix asphalt pavements in a typical suburban setting in the 1950s and in an interstate highway in the 1970s. The National Center for Asphalt Technology is helping the museum ensure the look and feel of the pavements is authentic.

“Americans value their mobility, and the new exhibition will showcase the role that roads and highways play,” Mac Badgett, chairman of the National Asphalt Pavement Association Research and Education Foundation said. “Visitors to the exhibition will walk away with a new understanding and appreciation of how transportation development has helped make America the great nation it is.”

The transportation exhibit will be unique from other exhibits because it will develop exhibit-related educational outreach, including educational materials for the classroom, television and Internet. According to NAPA Chairman R.Wayne Evans, the exhibit is an opportunity to educate the public about highways.

“America on the Move will reach 6 million visitors, many of them young American students, each year,” Evans said.

The $20 million exhibition is being funded in part by a $1 million sponsorship by both the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and NAPA. The combined $2 million represents the largest single financial commitment to public education by the construction industry. Other major contributors include General Motors Corp., the History Channel, State Farm Companies, the American Public Transportation Association, the Association of American Railroads, UPS and Wirtgen America.