1922: A Vital Piece of Roadway is Completed in Nevada

December 11, 1922

The Nevada State Department of Highways (forerunner of the present-day Nevada Department of Transportation) completed work on a section of road in Humboldt County in the state’s northern region. This 10.8-mile (17.4 -kilometer)-long section was located between the unincorporated community of Stonehouse and the county’s border with Lander County. The work done on the section specifically involved grading a 10-foot (3.1-meter)-wide gravel surface within a roadbed.

The Nevada State Department of Highways had been established in 1917. “We at the Department of Highways are aware that the citizens of Nevada are entitled all there is to know of this department,” proclaimed the department in 1921 in its first newsletter. “We of Nevada have inaugurated a great state highway building program to extend throughout the years to come – the responsibility for which is founded in a definite organization which must have the confidence of the public for whom it is working.”

That same year, the department’s ambitious road-building program received a much-needed boost with funds made available through the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1921. George W. Borden, who served as the department’s state highway engineer from 1921 to 1926, oversaw the various construction projects throughout Nevada that were made possible because of those federal funds. In his introduction to a department report submitted to Nevada Governor James G. Scrugham on New Year’s Day in 1923, Borden noted that “1921-1922 has been of one of great accomplishment for the Nevada Department of Highways.”

As the report also confirmed, the construction project for the section between Stonehouse and Humboldt County’s border with Lander County was particularly urgent because of that section’s overall condition. According to the report, “The gravel surface on all but 1.25 miles [2 kilometers] is well compacted, and by dragging and shaping this section during the winter an excellent road will be available in the spring. This project eliminates one of the worst sections in the state.”

The work performed on that segment of the Silver State’s roads network proved to be durable beyond the following spring. This much was verified by William David, secretary of the Nevada Highway Association, in an assessment he prepared on highways in the northern part of the state after an extended period of heavy rain during the summer of 1923. David’s assessment, which was published by the Reno-Gazette Journal in late August of that year, documented that the “Stone House to Lander county” segment was still in good shape despite those relentless downpours.

Additional information on that road construction project in Nevada’s Humboldt County in 1922 is available at Nevada Highway Construction Project – 1922 .

For more information on the history of highways in Nevada, please check out https://www.nevadadot.com/home/showdocument?id=6950.

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