Title Bar: Put the Money Under the Rubber, The Texas Highway Department 1917-1968, from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

 

Dan Moody to Hal Moseley, March 20, 1926

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Dan Moody to Hal Moseley, March 1926

Hon. Hal Moseley --2-- 3-20-26

in my letter, Federal aid has not been allowed up Projects Number 452
and 455a, and you did not deny that on Federal Aid Project No. 413,
the other project mentioned in my letter, no Federal Aid has ever
been granted upon that portion of the high given an asphaltic
treatment.  At a recent conference in Washington, representatives
of the Federal Bureau stated specifically to a member of this De-
partment that they had repeatedly disapproved requests for Federal
aid involving bituminous surface treatment of gravel highways, for
the reasons suggested in my former letter, and for the further reason
that this type of highway construction allows a larger opportunity
than   any other for dishonesty and excessive profits to the
contractor.

I repeat that I shall not attempt to interfere with the
lawful exercise of your lawful discretion, but whenever and wherever
the discretion reposed in  you is exercised unlawfully and to
the consequent damage of the State, it may become my duty to inter-
fere, and I shall not hesitate to discharge my official duty.  Your
attempt to characterize my former letter as an effort to control
the lawful exercise of your lawful discretion is not justified by any
expression of that letter.  I sincerely hope that you may at all
times hold yourself free from  the control of outside  influences.
And I do not attempt to pass upon the relative merits or demerits
of the various types of road building or surfacing materials.  That
is the duty of your Department.

Press dispatches reveal that when you originally discussed
the matter of this second surface treatment with the Acting State
Highway Engineer, Mr. W. P. Kemper, who had been elevated to that
position by you and your associates, and in whose judgment you ap-
peared to have every confidence, he suggested that a trip of inspec-
tion should be  made before advertising for bids.  This suggestion
seems to have been vetoed by the Commission, but Mr. Kemper, upon
his own initiative, later made a trip of inspection over the roads
formerly surfaced  by the American Road Company, and upon his return
reported to the Commission his findings.  When this matter was
brought to my attention I directed one of the Assistants in this
Department to request of you that he be permitted to read the report
made by Mr. Kemper, and he was denied that privilege.  Until today
I did not know the contents of Mr. Kemper’s letter.  If the news-
paper quotations of his letter are correct, it appears that he ad-
vised you that 75 to 80 per cent of the treated surface is yet in
first class condition; that 60 to 75 per cent is still not fully ma-
tured, in that there remains unused asphalt in the surfacing that
during the next year will take up 15 to 20 per cent more cover mat-
erial if maintained with proper attention, “therefore not needing
any second treatment this year of any kind except possibly a small
amount of patching and proper maintenance.”  He further advised you
that an application of asphalt could  not be successfully made upon
a considerable portion of the highways; and that he could not rec-
ommend the full second course treatment as specified and bid on,
since the surface “will be in far better condition a year from now
to receive a second course treatment of some approved type.”  And

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Dan Moody to Hal Moseley, March 20, 1926. Attorney General to Mr. Moseley, 1925-1926, Texas Highway Department Records, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

 

Page last modified: November 14, 2011