SAN ANTONIO - One hundred years ago next month, America entered World War I. But just two days before that historic move, a state agency we now know as the Texas Department of Transportation was created.
TxDOT is responsible for the maintenance of Texas highways, so there isn't a lot of extra time to have a party.
However, a celebration on Wednesday morning at the San Antonio district office for employees, retirees, and partners provided an outdoor museum of sorts.
Photos of Texas highways from years past sparked nostalgia.
A World War I surplus truck used by the Texas Highway Department, as it was originally called, drew a lot of attention.
There's not much to it or some of the other original equipment used to build the state's first highways, at least when compared to TxDOT's new technology.
A mobile barrier attached to a large truck helps protect lives in a crunch, and large machinery helps crews get the job done quicker.
"When the department started with just 20 miles of highway to 80,000 miles of highway, it's just amazing how much the system has developed, how many people have moved to the state of Texas and how it's going to continue to grow," said Laura Lopez, a TxDOT spokeswoman.
But TxDOT doesn't just build and maintain roads.
The agency showcased its safety campaigns, which include a simulator that aims to teach life-saving lessons, like the importance of buckling up.
It's just one tool among many that's driving the agency into its next 100 years.
TxDOT created a website that has photos, videos and stories from the last century. You can visit the site by clicking here. The website also provides a schedule for when and where the public can see the WWI surplus truck as it tours the state.
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