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Inventory of the California Highway Commission Records
R295  
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Series Descriptions

F3779:1-337

Series 1 Minutes 1911-1950

Physical Description: 337 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by year.

Scope and Content Note

Contains bound copies of the minutes of all CHC monthly meetings (Vols. 1-52, Vol 19 is missing), and the original initiated copies of resolutions before the Commission.
Minutes of Meetings (1911-1950) are arranged chronologically by year. Includes copies of all resolutions voted on by the Commission dealing with the awarding of contracts, the laying out of highway routes, the letting out of funds, the allocation of funds, the condemnation of property and the abandonment of highway routes; summaries of conferences with municipal and county officials and representative of automobile clubs requesting revisions or additions to proposed highway routes (after 1935, frequently verbatim transcripts); lists of bids received and contracts and work orders let; calendars of correspondence received (including a brief statement of the content); tabulations of Federal funds obtained for State highway construction and monthly lists of al employees hired, terminated, or granted a raise and their salaries (to 1924 only). Minutes from 1911-1927 frequently contain summaries of meetings of the Advisory Board of the Department of Engineering (often attended by the governor) called to discuss the State's highway program and the letting out of major construction contracts. (1928-1945) - minutes no longer contain calendars of correspondence or lists of bids, contracts and work orders, but do contain copies of the proposed budget of the Division of Highways. Of special interest is a report on the orderly addition of new roads to the State highway system which appears in the July 24, 1930 minutes of the Commission.
Original Resolutions and Correspondence (1912-1950) are arranged by date of meeting and are filed directly after the volume of minutes to which they relate. Original copies of Resolutions, which include the signature or initials of Commission members approving of the resolution and in some cases additional information which does not appear in the bound volumes of the minutes (frequently after 1930, maps of proposed highway routes). Also incoming correspondence from the Highway Engineer containing construction proposals for consideration and action by the Commission (largely from 1911 to 1915).Resolutions of the Commission presented at Advisory Board meetings from 1912-1914 are filed separately after all other materials relating to 1914. Resolutions presented at Commission meetings from 1913-1915 are filed separately after all other materials relating to 1915. Of special interest is a verbatim transcript of a meeting between the Commission and the State Board of Prison Directors to discuss the use of road gangs in the building of highways, which appears in materials relating to the October 21, 1943 meeting of the CHC.
F3779:338-1793

Series 2 Meeting Files 1957-1977

Physical Description: 1,456 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

The series contains notices, agenda and minutes from the Commission's monthly meetings. It also includes selected correspondence, rescission or recycling of adopted routes, financial resolutions on projects to be added or removed from the budget, right-of-way leases, resolutions of necessity to acquire certain real property, abandonment resolutions, director's deeds (conveyance of excess state-owned real property and exchanges), transcript of proceedings, and exhibits relating to the hearings.
F3778:11-27

Series 3 Records of Commission Hearings 1954-1956

Physical Description: 17 file folders

Arrangement

This series contains materials collected during public hearings to discuss the proposed routing of two controversial freeways in Southern California: the Riverside-Ventura Freeway and the Olympic Freeway.

Scope and Content Note

Records relating to the Riverside-Ventura Freeway (VII-LA-2-161-LA) are placed first (1954); records of the Olympic Freeway (VII-LA-173-Smca) are placed second (1955-1956). Records relating to both freeway are then organized into findings, transcripts, supplements to transcripts, correspondence, and petitions. Finding contain copies of the conclusions reached by the hearing Commissioners at the end of the public hearing, summarizing testimony and making recommendations to the full Commission. Transcripts contains testimony of the state highway engineers, and statement and testimony of interested parties. Testimonies address the need for a freeway and its probable effects on the surrounding area. Supplement to Transcripts contain copies of maps, statements, and articles submitted at hearings. The maps illustrate proposed routes, traffic flow, and population density. Transcripts are followed by a sampling (A, D, G, M, W) of Correspondence arranged alphabetically by name of sender. The correspondence consists of letters received from the public protesting proposed freeway routes, and copies of Commission replies. Placed in the front of the first folder of Olympic Freeway correspondence are copies of form letters sent in reply to all incoming correspondence. Placed last are petitions. A sampling (1 in 10) of petitions protesting the routing of freeways are also included.
F3778:28-129, F3779:2058-2071, R295.05, Box 2/10-2/11

Series 4 General Correspondence 1933-1950 1970-1978

Physical Description: 118 file folders

Arrangement

Organized into the following categories in the following order: correspondence-outside, correspondence-internal, minute records, chairman's correspondence, commissioner's correspondence, and commissioner's correspondence received. Thereunder arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence-Outside. 1933-1934. 5 file folders. F3778:28-32. Contains resolutions, protests, petitions, requests to appear before the Commission, requests for information on building programs, and invitations largely received from municipal and county officials; and replies prepared by the Commission Secretary.
Correspondence-Internal. 1933-1949. 13 file folders. F3778:33-45. Copies of letters sent by the Chairman to the Director of Public Works describing the future of the Commission; memoranda from the Secretary to members describing issues to be discussed at meetings and transmitting petitions, resolutions, and in some cases maps; incoming and outgoing correspondence with the Highway Engineer requesting information on the progress of building programs; and scattered copies of addresses delivered by members.
Minute Records. 1938-1950, 1958-1959. 2.75 cubic feet. F3778:46-129. Materials sent to the Commissions in advance of meeting including memoranda summarizing resolutions to be voted on, and reports from highway engineer on proposed building projects, the feasibility of various proposals, and providing information requested by the Commission (maps frequently included). Also contains copies of resolutions, petitions, plans, maps, and related correspondence submitted in conjunction with conference with municipal and county officials to discuss future building proposals. Transcripts of conferences appear in the minutes (see series entry 1, Minutes, 1911-1950). Of special interest is a progress report on prison labor camps (Minute Records, August 29, 1949).
Chairman's Correspondence. 1970-1976. 2 file folders. F3779:2058-2059. Chairman's Correspondence is arranged chronologically and contains letters of Fred C. Jennings, Maynard Munger, Winston R. Fuller and Joseph F. Sinnott.
Vice Chairman's Correspondence. 1973-1975. 2 file folders. R295.05 Box2/10-2/11. Vice Chairman's Correspondence is arranged chronologically and contains incoming and outgoing correspondence from William E. Leonard pertaining to Transportation Finance.
Commissioner's Correspondence. 1976-1978. 4 file folders. F3779:2060-2063. Commissioner's Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by commissioner and chronologically there under. Subject matter includes testimony before legislative committee, presentations at conferences, position statements regarding a particular legislative bill, Proposition 5, and procedures to increase public involvement in CHC matters. (note: "*" indicates persons who served as Chairman)
*Bistrin, Herman. 1976-1977, F3779:2060
Brito, Joaquin. 1977, F3779:2060
Fuller, Winston R. 1977, F3779:2060
Howard, Bruce. 1977, F3779:2060
*Leonard, William E. 1979-1977, F3779:2061
Sarguis, Francis. 1976-1978, F3779:2062
Sinnott, Joseph F. 1977, F3779:2063
*Vetter, Kenneth E. 1977, F3779:2063
Walker, Jean K. 1977-1978, F3779:2063
Commissioner's Correspondence Received. 1975-1977. 8 file folders. F3779:2064-2071. Commissioner's Correspondence Received is arranged chronologically and covers subject matter pertaining to construction of specific routes, highway safety, legislative bill analysis and funding. Also included are news clippings and news releases.
F3778:130-222

Series 5 Correspondence of Commissioner Harrison R. Baker 1943-1952

Physical Description: 93 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

The records are arranged chronologically by meeting date with meeting background memoranda placed first and the correspondence from that year proceeding thereafter.
Meeting background memoranda contain materials distributed to Commissioners in advance of meetings, including summaries of proposed resolutions regarding the budget, condemnations, abandonments, and Director's Deeds; reports by the Highway Engineer on the progress of specific highway projects, proposed highway routing, the acquisition of rights-of-way, repair programs, and roads, added to the highway system (reports frequently include alignment maps); financial status reports; statistical reports on prison labor projects; petitions from municipal and country governments dealing with highway proposals before the Commission; and miscellaneous related correspondence. Of special interest is a history of the State road gang labor system (October 5, 1943 meeting).
Correspondence consists of letters and resolutions received from municipal and county officials, associated or interested in highway construction (i.e. the Central Valley Highway Association), and from the general public requesting revisions in highway construction plans, citing hazardous points along roads, or complaining about the effects of highway construction on the surrounding countryside; replies from Baker, communication between Baker and the Highway Engineer and District of Engineers of District V and VII requesting specific information on the highway construction program in Southern California; notes on inspections tours made by the Commission; State Chamber of Commerce recommendations for building programs; and monthly statistics on the cost of prison and road gangs. Filed directly after the general correspondence relating to 1951 is a folder dealing with the opposition of the City of El Monte to the construction of the Pomona Freeway through that city. Folder contains feasibility reports, copies of memoranda between Commission members and the Highway Engineer, and copies of transcripts of hearings held by the Commission on the subject.
F3778:223-267, F3779:2086-2134, R295.06, Box 2/12-Box 2/14

Series 6 Correspondence of the Commission Secretary 1951-1958 1963-1968 1976-1976

Physical Description: 45 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged into the following categories in the following order: general correspondence placed first, arranged alphabetically by name of sender (incoming), addressee (outgoing), or subject and chronologically thereunder; district correspondence thereafter organized by district number in ascending order and chronologically thereunder; and lastly, county correspondence organized alphabetically by name of county.

Scope and Content Note

General Correspondence. 1950-1959, 18 file folders, F3778:223-240. 1963-1968, 2 file folders, F3779:2086-2087. 1975-1976, 3 file folders, R295.06 Box 2/12-2/14. Scattered letter received from the general public and copies of the Secretary's replies to public questions about highway programs; Attorney General's opinion on highway laws, opinions by the Division of Contracts and Rights of Way on the legal authority of the Commission; copies of resolutions and petitions of municipalities and counties transmitted by the Secretary to the Commission; press releases and itineraries of filed trips by the Commission.
District Correspondence. 1950-1958. 27 file folders. F3778:241-267. Letters received from the public and copies of Secretary's replies to questions and complaints about highway projects in specific highway districts; memoranda sent to Commissioners and Director of the Department of Public Works providing information requested on specific building projects; communications with district engineers (frequently containing project maps); resolutions, petitions, and reports submitted by municipal and county governments; and transcripts, Commission findings, reports, and press released relating top public hearings held by the Commission to receive comments on proposed building projects.
County Correspondence. 1967-1968. 45 file folders. F3779:2088-2134. Includes both letters received from the public-including area businesses, city administration and local residents in potential project areas-along with copies of Secretary's replies to questions and complaints about highway projects in specific counties. Letters reflect concerns, petitions, or requests for projects or changes to highway projects changes relating to a number of counties.
For a detailed list of counties, see Appendix A in the master finding aid at the California State Archives.
F3778:268

Series 7 Press Releases 1921-1923

Physical Description: 1 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Announcements of the completion of projects, the results of road building experiments, the letting out of contract, and the assets and obligations of the road building program.
F3778:269-271, F3779:1794-1933, 2135-2162

Series 8 Condemnation Resolutions 1945-1947 1964-1977

Physical Description: 171 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

The Commission had the authority to condemn property for the right-of-way of highways. Resolutions of condemnation were voted on at CHC meetings, and a summary of the resolutions appear in the Commission minutes. The files contains a copy of the Commission resolution, a description of the lands being condemned, and maps showing the exact location of the condemned property. A sampling of resolutions from one meeting per year is available for the years 1945-1947.
F3778:269-271, 1945-1947
F3779:1794-1889 #C6325-#C10194, Jan. 1964 - Aug.1971
F3779:2135-2162 #C10195-#C101518, Sept. 1971 - Sept. 1973
F3779:1890-1933 #C10687-#C11339, Oct. 1973-Dec.1977
F3779:1934

Series 9 Cooperative Agreements 1972-1973

Physical Description: 1 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged numerically by internal numbering system.

Scope and Content Note

Sampled agreements with outside agencies on right-of-way, transportation study, contract work, and Federal Aid Urban System Projects (FAU).
F3778:272-287

Series 10 Proposed Highway Contract Files 1921-1926

Physical Description: 16 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged by district, county, route, and section and chronologically thereunder.

Scope and Content Note

Records submitted to the Highway Commission by the State Highway Engineer containing information on proposed highway construction contracts, including memoranda from the Highway Engineer describing the proposal, a report by the district engineer comprising recommendations and estimate of cost, a copy of the proposed contract, notices to contractors, bond forms, and specifications.
II-Las-28-A
II-Las-29-B
II-Las-29-C
II-Las-23-C and D
III-Sac-3-B
III-Pla-37-A,B,C
IV-Mrn-1-B
V-S.B.-2-J
VI-Tul-10-F
VII-Imp-27-A
VII-Ora-60-A and B
VIII-S.Bd.-26-A
F3778:288

Series 11 Progress Reports 1912-1913

Physical Description: 1 volume

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Reports submitted to the Commission by the Highway Engineer containing a chart listing for each segment of road under construction the date of the survey, the layout, and the contract number; a brief narrative statement of the progress being made on each segment of road under construction; statement s of the assets, liabilities, and expenses of the Commission; and reports by the Highway Engineer on the problems and accomplishments of the construction programs-including criticisms of its weaknesses.
F3778:289

Series 12 Report on Additions to the Highway System 1930

Physical Description: 1 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Bound 165 page report prepared by the Division of Highways titled, Report on the Orderly Addition of New Roads to the California State Highway System. Contains recommendations by the Division for additional road construction and supportive data including traffic studies, descriptions of on-site investigations, and estimates of the probable cost of additional construction. An early draft of this report may be found in the minutes of the State Highway Commission for July 24, 1930 (see series entry 1, Minutes, 1911-1950).
F3778:290

Series 13 Seminar Transcript 1914

Physical Description: 1 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

Transcript of March 26 and 27, 1914 seminar of the Highway Bureau department heads called by the California Highway Commission. Contains copies of all addresses delivered at the seminar. Topics include: county bridges, rights of way, day labor vs. contract labor, publicity, accounting, purchasing, surveys and drafting, testing materials, drainage, mountain roads, inspection on contract work, extra work orders, various types of road construction, collecting of cost data, and maintenance.
F3779:1935-2043

Series 14 County Files 1965-1978

Physical Description: 109 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by county and chronologically thereunder.

Scope and Content Note

One of the functions of the California Highway Commission (CHC) is to determine the location of a highway after the Legislature designates the termini. The CHC works in conjunction with local county and municipal authorities in developing a recommendation for a specific freeway route. This series contains reports on factors considered on the adoption of a highway location; resolutions passed by county boards of supervisors, city councils, boards of education and private enterprises; correspondence from the general public concerning needed improvements such as sound barriers, planting, rest stops, directional signs and traffic signals; letters from legislators writing on behalf of their constituents voicing their support or opposition to the routing of a freeway or highway in their district or their concern over a dispute on the value of property which the Department of Transportation wishes to acquire for route improvement. When highway funding was scarce, many local government agencies expressed their displeasure regarding the apportionment of funds in the CHC 6-year Highway Program.
For detailed list of Counties, see Appendix B in the master finding aid at the California State Archives.
F3779:2044-2057

Series 15 Subject Files 1966-1977

Physical Description: 14 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content Note

Subject files consist of minutes, resolutions, memoranda, correspondence, circular letters and news clippings. Greater description follows each of the individual files, listed below.
Advisory Committee on Freeway Route Locations and Design Procedures. 1969-1972. 1ff. F3779:2044. The Committee was appointed by the Highway Commission and the Director of Public Works to study and make recommendations on the Commission and policy and procedures in route determinations and on the Department's policy and procedures in highway design. Chaired by Robert Boles.
Airspace Advisory Committee. 1968-1977. 1 file folder. F3779:2045. Charged by the Highway Commission and the Director of Public Works to develop a program for multiple use of freeway right-of-way, advise on formats for leasing airspace sites for advertising, parking, recreational uses. (Formerly known as the Citizen's Airspace Advisory Committee).
Federal Highway Funds. 1966-1975. 1 file folder. F3779:2046. Correspondence regarding proposed reduction in Federal Highway Funds allocations and President Ford's release of $2 billion of Federal Highway Trust Funds.
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Proposed Rules on Highway Location Procedures. 1968-1969. 1 file folder. F3779:2047
Land and Buildings Committee. 1968-1975. 3 file folder. F3779:2048-2050. Committee is responsible for seeing to major and minor construction and improvements of maintenance stations (e.g. building facilities for sand/salt storage, establishing communication lines) and district office buildings (e.g. improving heating or electrical power systems) on state owned or leased land.
Mass Transit Guideway Projects (Proposition 5). 1975-1976. 1 file folder. F3779:2051. Correspondence pertaining to proposals to change means of finding transit guideway work with state gas tax funds provided by Proposition 5 (1974).
Miscellaneous. 1971-1976. 2 file folders. F3779:2052-2053. 1976 Six-Year Highway Program comments, effect of Small Business Procurement and Contract Act, 1975-76 Fiscal Year State Highway Budget, Address by CHC Vice-Chairman Joseph F. Sinnott before State Transportation Board, February 7, 1974; resolutions; comments on Departmental Directive Draft on subject of Legislative Liaison and Contract.
Roadside Rest and Highway Planting Committee. 1972-1977. 2 file folders. F3779:2054-2055
Trucking. 1973-1974. 1 file folder. F3779:2056. Commission's stance on the proposal to increase truck weight limits on state and federal highways.
Washington D.C. Visit. 1977. 1 file folder. F3779:2057. Contains briefing paper and position statement to inform California congressional delegation and Carter Administration transportation officials of the state's transportation needs and policy in order to influence the outcome of the Federal Highway Act (FHWA) and the Urban Mass Transportation Act (UMTA). Includes notes from meetings of California Highway Commission with member of the Washington D.C. delegation.
F3779:2072

Series 16 State Highway Finance Board Minutes 1920-1924

Physical Description: 1 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

The State Highway Finance Board was created by an initiative which was passed at the general election held on November 2, 1920. The board consisted of the Governor, State Controller, State Treasurer, chairman of the State Board of Control and chairman of the California Highway Commission. The minutes reflect the function of the committee to determine the amount of bonds to be sold, the date such bonds shall bear, and the interest rate.
F3779:2073-2079

Series 17 Highway Budget Files 1927-1943

Physical Description: 7 file folder

Arrangement

Arranged in the following order: state highway fund, major project allocation for construction, minor improvement project allocation, and federal aid feeder fund, grade separation fund, access highway fund, flight strip fund.

Scope and Content Note

Within Minor Improvement Project Allocation Funding, files are arranged alphabetically by district. Highway Budget Files provide information regarding funding for various projects. Information includes county, route and section number; description of work required, amount allocated; and dates request received and approved.
State Highway Fund. 1941-1943. 1ff. F3779:2073
Major Project Allocation for Construction. 1937-1943. 1ff. F3779:2074
Minor Improvement Project Allocation. 1927-1943. 4ff. F3779:2075-2078
Federal Aid Feeder Fund, Grade Separation Fund, Access Highway Fund, Flight Strip Fund. 1941-1943. 1ff. F3779:2079
F3779:2080-2085

Series 18 Reports 1912-1934

Physical Description: 6 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by report title.

Scope and Content Note

Reports are as follows:
California Highway Transportation Survey. 1934.
Light Asphaltic Oil Road Surfaces By C.L. McKesson, Materials and Research Engineer, California Highway Commission and W.N. Frickstad, Highway Engineer, Bureau of Public Roads. (A Progress Report) [1928]
Report on California State Highways By Automobile Club of Southern California and California State Automobile Association, 1921.
Report on Organization and System of California Highway Commission By Klink, Bean & Co. Accountants. 1912
Report on the "Mecca Blythe" Route: Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona(Division VIII Riverside County 64).
Report to California Highway Commission on Organization and Progress of Work on State Highway System By Austin B. Fletcher. 1912
R295.01, Box 1/1 - Box 1/7

Series 19 Commissioner Files 1943-1977

Physical Description: 7 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged into the following categories in the following order: CHC members-biographies and appointments, Commissioners' terms and status, Commission/Commissioner photos, Commissioner decals, Branding irons-CHC.

Scope and Content Note

The records contain files relating to the members of the Commission including biographies, records of their appointment by the Governor, obituaries, news releases, correspondence, and photos. Also included are the official window decals given to the Commissioners in 1968.
R295.02, Box 1/8 - Box 1/17

Series 20 Administrative Files 1959-1977

Physical Description: 10 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged into the following categories in the following order: CHC staff duty statements; Jan. 19 farewell dinner invitation; policies and rules for CHC; Proposition 5; Relationship between the Department of Transportation and CHC; Little Hoover Commission; Legislative affairs and policy; Naming highways, freeways, and expressways; and Microfilm information.

Scope and Content Note

Administrative files include news articles, resolutions, correspondence, reports, and memoranda relating to the policies regulating the commission and their functioning activities.
R295.03, Box 1/18 - Box 2/4

Series 21 Project Files 1975-1977

Physical Description: 17 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged in the following categories in the following order: gas tax increase, project evaluation status of projects, office of structures-status of projects, southern projects pulled, projects/routes of high interest, California transportation plan, transportation plan task force issue papers, 1977 highway program, section 188.8, six-year highway planning program.

Scope and Content Note

Records relate to the project priorities and plans of the Highway Commission. Project files include correspondence reports, summaries, charts, and maps.
R295.04, Box 2/5 - Box 2/9

Series 22 Financial Files 1975-1977

Physical Description: 5 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged in the following order: Budgets, Audit Files, Audit Reports, Costs and Revenues, Cost-Benefit Analyses.

Scope and Content Note

Records consist of correspondence, reports, publications, charts, notes, and graphs, used by the Commission and Department of Transportation in establishing budgets for the Commission and allocating funds to various projects they determined eligible. Files relate to both federal aid apportionment and state funds.