Documenting the American South

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The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway

Oral History Interview with Sam Bushnell, June 18, 1996

Transcript (14 p.) PDF
Complete Audio File (MP3 format / ca. 90 MB, 49:10) MP3
Abstract Sam Bushnell worked as an engineer for Nello L. Teer Company, which built several sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway. In this interview, Bushnell gives very specific details on road construction of the parkway, including excavation of mountains and grading of roads and curves. He talks about problems that plagued construction, such as a lack of access to some sections and the dangerous conditions that workers faced. He also talks about the bidding process for construction rights, which was once handled by individual counties, and how problems with this method led to the formation of the Highway Department.
Date June 18, 1996
Interviewee Bushnell, Sam
Interviewee occupation Engineer
Interviewee DOB April 30, 1914
Interviewer Ramirez, Sarah
Subject Road construction
Grading
Access road