Ed Rodgers, a native of Union City, Tennessee, obtained his civil engineering education from the University of Tennessee. From 1917 until 1919 Mr. Rodgers served in the U.S. Army in France.
After returning home, for the next seven years he worked for the Tennessee Highway Department, until moving to Alabama in 1929. From 1929 to 1943 he served as County Engineer of Baldwin County, Alabama.
Mr. Rodgers along with Governor Sparks was instrumental in formulating the Farm to Market Act of 1943. As passed by the Legislature it provided for setting aside one cent of the state’s gasoline tax to be distributed equally among the 67 counties on a 50/50 matching proviso, to be used in the construction of county roads under the supervision of the Highway Department.
Due to the general increase of the nations business, a demand for the extension of the highway systems, and betterment of existing roads, another cent was added to the gasoline tax which meant a tremendous increase in highway construction from 1945 to 1955.
Mr. Rodgers assisted in the forming of The Alabama Road Builders Association in 1947. He and the membership were instrumental in implementing this new program.
In 1943 he came to Montgomery to become Assistant Highway Director.
On June 18, 1946, Mr. Swift resigned as Highway Director to accept appointment as U.S. Senator to fill out the unexpired term of Senator Bankhead. Mr. Rodgers became the Acting Highway Director for the remainder of the administration. He promoted a “Low Cost Road Program”, which consisted in taking a worn out road and making use of existing lines, grades and whatever base material remained, to establish its original dimensions, correct deficiencies and apply a surface treatment.
Considerable mileage was reclaimed in this manner.
In 1947, after the completion of the Sparks administration, he became Engineer-Manager and the editor of the magazine for the Alabama Road Builders Association.
He reorganized and incorporated the small organization and made it an important part of road building in Alabama.
In 1962, Rodgers resigned from his position with the association to serve a second time as Highway Director, this time under the Wallace administration. Rodgers returned to the Association in 1964 as a consultant and remained there until his retirement in 1972.
Mr. Ed Rodgers, contractor, county engineer, Highway Director and Association Manager died February 19, 1983 at the age of 87.