Building the early interstate highways through New England's Green Mountains
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, known as the Interstate Highway System, is both the largest highway system in the world, as well as the largest public works project in history. Here is a fascinating look at the early years of building that system.
This pictorial history details the construction of the original Interstate Highway System in Vermont's picturesque and largely rural mountainous region through the late 1950s to late '70s. During this short time, contractor driven construction equipment innovation was remarkable: 2 1/2 cubic yard shovels were replaced with 4-8 yard shovels and then by massive wheel loaders up to 17 cubic yards; 15-22 ton rock trucks were upped to 50 tons; rudimentary spreading methods with dump trucks using tailgate chains were replaced with CMI Autogrades; and many contractors devised and built ingenious contraptions to increase production. The work attracted many large established road building firms from other States — Lane, Perini, Palazzi, L. G. Defelice, Green Construction from Des Moines, Iowa, as well as Cartier Construction, a division of McNamara from Montreal - seen here clearing and grubbing, pioneering, rock drilling, mucking peat bogs, and excavation sequences including trucks and shovels, loaders, pan scrapers, and a wheel excavator. The manufacturers of construction equipment constitute a virtual directory of the period; Caterpillar, Euclid, Allis-Chalmers, International, Dart, P&H, Bucyrus-Erie, Northwest, Lorain, Lima, Gradall, Barber-Greene, Blaw Knox, CMI, and more.
All of the photos selected for use in this book were taken by Vermont Department of Highways photographer, Donald Wiedenmayer. They are among the finest historical images of road construction equipment ever published.