October 2, 1930 USCGC Saranac, one of the Lake-class cutters of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), was officially commissioned as a vessel of that military branch. This cutter had been launched in April of that year at the yards of the General Engineering and Drydock Company in Oakland, California. USCG Captain John Boedker oversaw the... Continue Reading →

October 1, 1936   The Cape Columbine Lighthouse first went into service on the west coast of the Union of South Africa (predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa). That area had long been notorious for the hazards to vessels posed by numerous submerged rocks and reefs in the local waters. Both the lighthouse... Continue Reading →

On August 6, 1938, a newly constructed steel through arch bridge was formally opened in Middlesex County in south-central Connecticut. This structure, spanning the Connecticut River and connecting the city of Middletown with the town of Portland, took the place of a drawbridge that had been opened in 1896. The building of a replacement bridge... Continue Reading →

Antonio Valent, the son of a seaman who immigrated to Texas from Spain, was born in 1884 in the town of Point Isabel (now Port Isabel) in the Lone Star State. He launched a fishing business in that region of the Gulf coast in 1902. The market for the fish he caught was initially restricted... Continue Reading →

September 28, 1899 The first electric trams to operate in Perth, the capital city of what was then the British colony of Western Australia, made their official debut. (A little over a year later, Western Australia became a state as part of the newly formed Commonwealth of Australia.) The new transit system – owned and... Continue Reading →

September 25, 1967 In Southern California, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at El Cajon Boulevard and Boundary Street in San Diego for Interstate 805 (I-805). Planning for that route dated back to 1956, the same year in which the Interstate Highway System itself first came into existence. After the groundbreaking ceremony, I-805 was constructed in phases. It... Continue Reading →

September 24, 1929 U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) Lieutenant James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, who would achieve lasting fame as commander of the Doolittle Raid during World War II, made his most significant contribution to aeronautical technology when he guided a Consolidated N-Y-2 Husky training biplane over Mitchel Field in New York in what was the... Continue Reading →

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a newly built bridge across Lake Champlain was officially opened to traffic on November 7, 2011. The Lake Champlain Bridge connects Crown Point, New York, with Chimney Point, Vermont. This structure replaced a bridge that had opened at that location in 1929 and was demolished in 2009. It took only about... Continue Reading →

September 22, 1986 The Alex Fraser Bridge was officially opened in Canada. This cable-stayed bridge carries British Columbia Highway 91 over the Fraser River and connects the cities of Richmond and New Westminster with the community of North Delta in the metropolitan region of Vancouver, British Columbia. The northern end of the bridge is on Annacis... Continue Reading →

As a young engineer, Victor M. Mendez wasted little time deciding what to focus on in his career. “Thinking back, I migrated to transportation very early,” he said in an interview with the Washington Post in 2012. “I remember how satisfying it was to be able to say I helped design and construct a road... Continue Reading →

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