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HISTORY OF HIGHWAY ENGINEERING

3000BC – Abraham travelled from Haran to Canaan
 Earliest Egyptian roads
3400BC – Wandering of the Israelites in the wilderness led by Moses
2000BC- earliest Babylonian roads
March 16, 1521 – Magellan came to Homonhon
March 31, 1521 – Magellan came to Butuan
Datu Zula – head of Cebu when Magellan came
1521 to June 12, 1898 – reign of Spaniards to the Philippines
Before 18
th
century – US and Europe introduced planks/woods perpendicular to the length of the
road called 'Corduroy arrangement'
18
th
century:
 Pierre Marie Tresaguet (France) – introduced broken large stones at the bottom type of
road
 Thomas Telford (England, 1802) – introduced large stones at the bottom, smaller stones
at the surface type of road
 McAdam (England, 1815) - Single-sized aggregate layers of small stones, with a coating
of binder as a cementing agent, are mixed in an open-structured roadway.
 Daniel Boone – blazed a forest to make a road, also called the wilderness road

1811 – First contract for road construction was signed
1830 – First coast to coast US highway
1841 – 800mi of roads, McAdam-type roads
Toll roads/turnpike – payments should be made before passing these roads
1
st
toll road: connecting Ohio and Virginia
Most famous toll road: connecting Lancaster and Philadelphia
1868 – construction of roads all over the Philippines were put under the Insular of Manila led by
Governor General Pascual Enrile
 Laguna, Rizal, Tayabas and the north provinces:
5m width of the road, 0.5m ditches on both sides
 Panay Island – minimum width of road: 8m
6m width at the center, 80cm thickness of pavement
 South of Laguna, Rizal and Tayabas:
- 4.5m width at the center, 0.75m width of ditches on both sides
- 25cm thickness of pavement, 8cm thickness of ditches
1893 – first concrete road was constructed
1896 – first state-aid law (the government should fund the construction of roads) was passed
1897 – the pack of Biak na Bato was signed
1896 – Katipunan started
November 1897 – Aguinaldo (President of the Rebelled Government) made peace with the
Spaniards and some Filipino rebels were paid and went to Hongkong
May 1, 1898 – the Spanish-American War in the Philippines started and took one day to finish
June 12, 1898 – independence was granted by the Spain to the Philippines
1900 – Spaniards encouraged foreign trade
1901 – the Civil Government in the Philippines was established
 Act No. 370 was established during the time of the Civil Government by Philippine
Commission
- Philippine Roads were rehabilitated under the rule of the US Government, the US Army
Engineers
- P4M to construct and rehabilitate the roads and bridges in the Philippines
 Act No. 83 of the Philippine Commission created the office of the provincial supervisor
1902 – The Philippine Commission passed Act No. 222 creating the Department of Commerce
and Police, under which was the Bureau of Engineering and Construction of Public Works
(buildings not included, only horizontal works)
- Act No. 444 created the office of consulting engineer
1904 – Advent of motor vehicles in the US
1905 – Act No. 1401 abolished the office of the provincial supervisor, instead, Engineering
Districts were created supervised by the District Engineer
 Act No. 1407 – organized the Bureau of Public Works
1907 – Double-Sedula Law was passed, authorized by the higher government
- the Provincial Board must increase the quota paid by the people
- the extra income was allotted for roads and bridges rehabilitation acts or operations
- an incentive of 10% of the total revenue of the islands of the Philippines was divided
among the provinces who participated in the Double Sedula Tax Collection
- the Government appropriated P1.7M
- all the Provincial Boards were required to allot P350 per kilometer for repairs and
salaries of the Kamineros (street cleaners) annually
- the Government gave P15,000 as price for provinces with best maintained road,
P10,000 greatest kilometer foot road as bonus and P5,000 a month for provinces which
gave more funds for road construction
1910 – Advent of motor vehicles in the Philippines
1912 – Licensing of vehicles in the Philippines
1916 – Act No. 2666 the Department of Commerce and Police became the Department of
Commerce and Communication under that was the Bureau of Public Works
1917 – all the states participated in the state-aid law
1928 – Tax on gasoline for vehicles in the Philippines
1932 – Act No. 4007 the Department of Commerce and Communications became the Department
of Public Works and Communications, under which is the Bureau of Public Works, under
which were seven divisions, one of which is the Construction Division (Horizontal and
Vertical Government-fund projects), under which is the Highway Section
1935 – Commonwealth Government was established (Pres. Manuel L. Quezon)
1939 – Refund from coconut oil (excise tax from US); the biggest budget for road construction
(P54,127,705) from excise tax
December 8, 1941 to May 8, 1945 – World War II
- Engineers from US formed a committee to restore/repair the highways
President Harry Truman – the US president who ordered the bombing of Hiroshima (August 6,
1945) and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945) during World War II
- Initiated the improvement of the Philippine roads and highways damaged during the
war, he wrote a letter to the Administrator of the Federal Works Agency in the US
(August 20, 1945) ordering the head to send army and navy officers formerly
connected with the public roads administration to make an investigation, attend the
damage and recommend improvements to the Philippines
April 30, 1946 – Philippine Rehabilitation Act of 1946 or the Public Law 370 was made by US
Law makers
 Philippine Rehabilitation Act of 1946 or the Public Law 370
- The US Government appropriated $120M for the Philippine Rehabilitation, only
$40M was allotted for highway construction and improvement
- The Philippines must send 10 Filipino Engineers to US: 8 must come from the Public
Roads Agency and 2 must come from the military to study (research, planning,
traffic, design, construction, financing and programming of roads – all about roads
and highways)
July 4, 1946 – President Manuel Roxas became the first president of the Republic, published
Executive Order No. 94 making the Highway Section as the Highway Division under the same
department, Department of Public Works and Communications
- The independence granted by the US to the Philippines
- Philippine-American Friendship Day
April 15, 1948 – President Manuel Roxas died, so his Vice President, Elpidio Quirino act as the
president of the Philippines
1949 – President Elpidio Quirino won against Jose Laurel
June 20, 1953 – the Philippine Highway Act of 1953 was approved for the betterment of
highway administration
 Philippine Highway Act of 1953
- signed on June 20, 1953 through Republic Act No. 917 by President Elpidio
Quirino
August 26, 1954 – Republic Act 1192 was passed making the Highway Division to Bureau of
Public Highways

1976 – through of the 1973 Constitution Amendment, the Department of Public Works,
Transportation and Communication became a ministry: Ministry of Public Works,
Transportation and Communications and the Department of Public Highways became Ministry
of Public Highways
1979 – The Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (MPWTC) was split
into the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) and the Ministry of Transportation and
Communications (MTC)
January 30,1987 – together with the approval of the 1987 Constitution, MPW and MTC were
merged into Department of Public Works and Highways
President William McKinley – the US president who declared war against Spain
USS Texas – first battleship of US
USS Maine – second battleship of US
USS Maine sank – The catalyst for the US-Spain War
Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) – detainment and interrogation facility of the United States military