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About this collection

This Historic Construction Contracts collection contains the first 100 California state highway construction contracts.  In 1910, after a vote by the people of the state, the "State Highways Act" took effect.  This law authorized the Department of Engineering to issue $18 million in bonds for a continuous and connected state highway system.  Contract No. 1 was awarded and signed in July 1912, with work beginning the same year.  The awarding of this contract marked the beginning of construction on Legislative Route 2-A, now known as San Mateo County Route 82, between South San Francisco and Burlingame.  Other notable portions of the system built during this time period included the Ridge Route in southern California and the Yolo Causeway.

Types of information in these contracts include Contract and Specifications, final reports, preliminary estimates of cost, extra work orders, and correspondence concerning highway construction. The information in these documents indicates: When the contracts were signed and completed; location; District numbers; legislative route numbers; length in miles; names of the contractors and resident engineers; type of work done, and; approximate modern route numbers. The modern numbers are accurate to the best of our knowledge, however some routes may no longer exist.

 
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