Philadelphia Information Locator Service
Agency Information

Public Works, Department of
Bureau of Highways

[Record group 85-3]
Agency Function
The Bureau of Highways had the charge of grading, curbing, paving, repaving, and repairing of highways of the city, and repairing sewers and bridges.

Agency History
City Councils established a Department of Highways, Bridges, Sewers and Cleansing in an ordinance approved on 29 August 1854. This department was reorganized under a new ordinance approved on 23 December 1874 as the Department of Highways, Bridges & Sewers. Under the provisions of the Bullitt Bill of 1885, the Department of Highways became the Bureau of Highways as part of the newly-created Department of Public Works beginning in 1887. In 1937, the bureaus of Highways and Street Cleaning were merged into a single bureau and Highways became a division within this consolidated Bureau. On 1 January 1950, the two divisions were reconstituted as separate bureaus. Highways became a division of the newly-created Department of Streets under the provisions of the 1951 Home Rule Charter.

Archival Records
85-3.1 Annual Reports (1889, 1912, 1914, 1916-1921, 1923, 1948, 1951)

85-3.2 Maps, Types of City Paving (1915)

85-3.3 Proposals and Specifications for Benjamin Franklin Parkway (1915)

85-3.4 Drawings & Blueprints (1917, 1938-1940)

85-3.5 License Cards for Passenger Railway and Motor Traction Companies (1897, 1906)

85-3.6 3rd Highway District. Paving Record (1 January 1920)

85-3.7 3rd Highway District. Map, Types of Street Paving (ca. 1933)


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Last updated on July 9, 1999