ATLANTA — This week marks the 100th birthday of Georgia Department of Transportation. A century ago — on Aug. 16, 1916 — the seeds were planted for what would grow into the Georgia DOT. The rutted dirt roads, not fit for bicycles and automobiles, were their way to becoming the paved infrastructure that is now the 10th largest in the nation.
The State Highway Department of Georgia was formally created by the Georgia legislature, as a result of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, which mandated formation of a state highway department to receive federal funds. In 1972, the department became the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Earlier this year, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring 2016 as Georgia Department of Transportation’s Centennial Year and recognized Georgia DOT for constructing, maintaining and operating a transportation system that has increased mobility and enhanced quality of life while providing economic growth.
Commissioner Russell R. McMurry said during the Centennial launch earlier this year, that Georgia DOT is proud of its legacy of employees striving to provide the best possible transportation system for Georgians. He also recently contemplated the future.
“While a centennial is a time to reflect on the past, it is also a time to look ahead to new challenges,” McMurry said. “Drones, connected vehicles, self-driving cars — these are just a few of the evolving technologies that will have a tremendous impact on transportation in the not-too-distant future. In the next century, Georgia DOT will continue to embrace change and rise to meet new challenges, break new barriers and positively affect more lives.”
Emily Dunn, chairwoman of the State Transportation Board, said, “To reach this 100-year milestone took the tireless efforts of many people … those with vision, those with passion, those who took a stand. Georgia DOT thrives today and is set to do great things in the future.”
Georgia DOT celebrates the centennial throughout 2016. For all things centennial, visit www.dot.ga.gov/centennial. There you’ll find a statewide event calendar, decade-by-decade timeline, historical items, videos, and award winning student art. You can even take a Centennial Road Trip.