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War period, 1917–1920, characterized by a general standstill. (3) A period of
increased appropriations, broader legislation, close co-operation with the terri-
tory, procurement of mechanical equipment, reopening of old trails and roads;
heavier construction to withstand motor traffic, and adjustment of lines of
communication to the change resulting from the approaching completion of the
Alaska Railroad from Seward, which reached Fairbanks in 1923.
3. Activities

There have been several acts of Congress defining the scope of the board's activities.

Under the Act of June 30, 1921, the Secretary of War is authorized to receive from the territory of Alaska or other source funds contributed for the construction, repair, and maintenance of roads, bridges, trails, and related works, said funds to be deposited in the United States Treasury and expended by the Board of Road Commissioners in accordance with the purpose for which they were contributed.

The field activities of the board extend to all inhabited parts of the territory, but the largest projects and the bulk of its expenditures are located in the central part of the territory tributary to the Richardson Highway and the Alaska Railroad. Close liason is obtained with all other federal or territorial bureaus or officials.

The nature of the construction work varies from primitive pioneer cruising and blazing of pack trails to surveying and locating well graded gravel roads. In Southeastern Alaska and the centers of population of Southwestern Alaska and of the Interior, several hundred miles of road exist, well surfaced and well graded and meeting adequately the increased motor transportation thereon. A considerable amount of work is constantly required in improving portions of old roads, involving regrading, realignment, and gravel surfacing. The condition of roads here in Alaska continues to improve by thawing and drying out from year to year. For this reason, the carrying along of construction through protracted periods has not always been a disadvantage. The cruising location and clearing of the right of way and the gradual grading results in a road structure of less total cost than would have been possible had the construction been completed the first season. In many cases the construction of the road in one season is impossible. This applies to the large areas of marshy and permanently frozen ground which always require two or three seasons of exposure to the sun's rays to become dried out and compacted.

The work of the board is carried out almost entirely by its own forces. A few small contracts are let. In the general case no organization competent to do our work can be found in the district in which it is executed. The preparing of our work for letting by contract would involve elaborate surveys and constant engineering supervison, finally resulting in an overhead cost totally out of proportion to the extent of our funds.

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2 Act Jan. 27, 1905 (33 Stat. 616); Act May 14, 1906 (34 Stat. 192 [Comp. St. 88 3592, 3594]); Act March 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1052 [Comp. St. $ 2079]); Act March 3, 1913 (37 Stat. 728 (Comp. St. $ 3592]); Act July 9, 1918 (40 Stat. 863); Act June 30, 1921 (42 Stat. 90); Act March 2, 1923 (42 Stat. 1420); Act June 7, 1924 (43 Stat. 515).

4. Organization

(a) The board consists of the following:

(1) President, who has general charge of the operations of the board, conducts hearings, investigates new projects, allots available funds, and approves and certifies, on behalf of the board, all vouchers and expenditures. He spends a niajority of his time in the field keeping in close touch with the progress of the work and of conditions generally in the territory.

(2) Engineer Officer, who supervises the work of construction in the field, prepares estimates, requisitions, etc., and oversees the design of major structures. He spends most of his time in the field and undertakes a great deal of pioneer reconnaissance work. The President and the Engineer Officer interchange functions in different parts of the territory, thus expediting the handling of emergencies.

(3) Secretary and Disbursing Officer, who is in general charge of the office, handles purchases and supply, and disburses the funds of the board. He has a bonded disbursing clerk in each district who draws overdrafts on the nearest bank or commercial house to make prompt payments for labor and supplies. These overdrafts are met monthly by the disbursing officer and carried as "cash advanced" until the covering vouchers arrive; usually several months and frequently two years later. He visits each district office periodically to standardize methods and accounts. By means of the cable, telegraph, and radio, the general office is in constant touch with each district office.

(b) Geographical Organization.

(1) Juneau Headquarters.—The general office of the board is located at Juneau, the capital of the territory. This is the headquarters for all activities of the members of the board.

(2) Washington, D. C., Suboffice.-Routine business with the War Department is carried on through the Chief of Engineers, United States Army. The President of the board is required to defend the annual estimates of the board in person before the appropriations committees of Congress. He is also called upon to testify upon Alaskan affairs before various other committees and to confer with other bureau chiefs in Washington. To meet these conditions, he maintains a suboffice in Washington, D. C., for several weeks each winter.

(3) Purchasing Agent at Seattle. By informal arrangement, the District Engineer, United States Engineer Department, Seattle, Wash., has consented to act as a purchasing agent of the board. Upon request he advertises and canvasses bids, inspects and ships supplies, answers inquiries, secures information, and, in general, represents the board in Seattle.

(4) Districts.—The territory is divided into seven districts.

5. Publications

(a) Annual Report of the Alaska Road Commission.

(b) Extract from Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers, 1924. Report lipon the Construction and Maintenance of Roads, Bridges, and Trails, Alaska. (c) James G. Steese, Highway Development by the Alaska Road Commission, Engineering News Record, Sept. 27, 1923, pp. 506-508.

3 Acts of March 3, 1911 (36 Stat. 1052 [Comp. St. 2079]), and of June 15, 1917 (40 Stat. 231), authorizing employment of army officers.

(d) James G. Steese, “The Alaska Railroad,” The Michigan Technic, November, 1923, pp. 48, and 26, illustrated.

(e) James G. Steese, “Public Works in Alaska,” the Military Engineer, January-February, 1924, pp. 13–17, illustrated.


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ERNMENT 1. Origin and Mission

The Board of Surveys and Maps of the Federal Government was created by Executive Order of December 30, 1919, for the purpose of making recommendations to the several departments or to the President for co-ordinating all map making and surveying activities of the government and to settle all questions at issue between executive departments relating to surveys and maps in so far as their decisions do not conflict with existing laws. Meetings are held at stated intervals, to which representatives of the map-using public are invited for conference and advice. A central information office has been established in the United States Geological Survey for collecting, classifying, and furnishing information concerning all map and survey data available in the several government departments and from other sources.

2. History

When organized as above stated the board was composed of one member from each of the following:

Corps of Engineers, United States Army;
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, Department of Commerce;
United States Geological Survey, Department of Interior;
-General Land Office, Department of Interior;
Topography Branch, Post Office Department;
Bureau of Soils, Department of Agriculture;
United States Reclamation Service, Department of Interior;
Bureau of Public Roads, Department of Agriculture;
Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior;
Mississippi River Commission, War Department;
United States Lake Survey, War Department;
International (Canadian) Boundary Commission; Department of State;
Forest Service, Department of Agriculture;

United States Hydrographic Office, Navy Department;
appointed by the chiefs of the various organizations named and serving without
additional compensation.

Amendatory orders of March 17, 1920, and January 27, 1921, named as additional organizations for membership on the board the Military Intelligence Division, General Staff, the Federal Power Commission, and the Air Service of the Army and Naval Aviation.

The first meeting of the board was held January 13, 1920, in the Interior Building

The first public meeting was held in the auditorium of the Interior Department Building, on March 9, 1920, to which were invited representatives of all government departments and interested federal bureaus not represented on the board, engineering and technical associations, other nonfederal map-making and map-using agencies, and the public generally,

At a special public meeting of the board, held in the Interior Building, July 12, 1920, representatives of 22 nonfederal organizations were named to constitute an Advisory Council to the board. The organizations represented on the Advisory Council as originally constituted were the following:

American Association of State Highway Officials, American Automobile Association, American Forestry Association, American Geographical Society, American Institute of Electrical Engineers, American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, American Railway Engineering Association, American Society of Agricultural Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Waterworks Association, Appalachian Mountain Club, Association of American Geographers, Association of State Geologists, Federated American Engineering Societies, Geological Society of America, National Electric Light Association, National Research Council, Rocky Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Society of Automotive Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers and Map Publishers.

One additional organization, the Society of American Military Engineers, was added January 8, 1924.

The Advisory Council to the board was organized to carry out the provisions of the Executive Order of December 30, 1919, touching the relations of the board with the public. 3. Activities

The board is directed to make recommendations to the several departments or to the President, for the purpose of co-ordinating all map-making and surveying activities of the government, and to settle all questions at issue between Executive Departments, relating to surveys and maps, in so far as their decisions do not conflict with existing laws.

The board holds public meetings in the city of Washington on the second Tuesday of January, March, May, September, and November of each year, and executive meetings immediately following the public meetings, and also on the second Tuesday of February, April, October, and December.

Any one may attend the public meetings and all present are invited to take part in the discussions. The various bureaus of the government dealing with surveying and mapping look to the board for advice on technical matters.

A simple method of card indexing map information has been in use continuously, thus making it possible to furnish data readily in reply to inquiries, and a file of sample copies of the numerous kinds of maps published by federal and non federal agencies is available for easy reference. The office is in touch with government map-making bureaus, and also with commercial firms and individuals publishing maps in this country and abroad. It is also well supplied with lists and catalogues pertaining to published maps.

4. Organization

Chairman-detailed from the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Vice Chairman-detailed from the General Land Office.

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