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Public Works, Department of
Board of Highway Supervisors

[Record group 85-100]
Agency Function
The Board of Highway Supervisors existed to prevent frequent and unnecessary openings in street pavements, and to secure more systematic and economical repaving over underground installations. All applications for permission to open city streets for the installation of underground structures are submitted to the Board for approval or disapproval. It prescribes and enforces rules governing the time and manner in which streets may be excavated and repaved. It also passes uopn the location of all underground street structures, whether owned by the city or by public utilities.

Agency History
The Board of Highway Supervisors was created by an ordinance approved on 17 March 1884, and consisted of the Chief Commissioner of the Highway Department, the Chief Engineer & Surveyor, the Chief of the Water Department, the Superintendent of Police and Fire Alarm Telegraph, and the Superintendent of Distribution of the City Gas Works. After the reorganization of city government under the Bullitt Bill of 1885, Councils amended the composition of the Board with another ordinance of 30 December 1886. It was then composed of the Director of the Department of Public Works, and the Chiefs of the Bureaus of Highways, Water, Gas, Electrical, City Property, and Surveys. The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter dictated the abolishment of the Board of Highway Supervisors but the Administrative Board authorized its reestablishment in 1952 as part of the Department of Streets

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Last updated on November 8, 2000