Correspondence, clippings, resolutions, letters of condolence, photographs, graphs
State Director of Public Works, Charles H. Purcell was born in North Bend, Nebraska,
January 27, 1883. He entered state service in California as state highway engineer.
Purcell directed a $153,000,000 five year highway construction program. As chief engineer
of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, he supervised its design and construction. It
was largely through Purcell's efforts in Washington, D.C. that financing was obtained for
the project through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The bridge was completed in
November of 1936. In 1937, he was appointed a member of a national committee of highway
experts to promote maximum safety in highway design. In 1944 he was awarded the George S.
Bartlett award for outstanding contribution to highway design. He died September 7, 1951.