|Lincoln Highway seen West of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania|
AMERICA’S FIRST INTERSTATE--The Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental improved highway for automobiles across the U.S. It was formally dedicated on Oct. 31, 1913. A century ago, paved highways like those we take for granted, were few in numbers and often nothing more than dirt ruts, especially outside city limits.
As corporate America embraced the automobile, industrialists were keen on the reality of a nationwide network of roads, especially one that ran coast to coast.
The first highway to link east and west was called the Lincoln Highway. It was an idea fostered by Frank Seiberling (Goodyear Tires) Carl Fisher (Indianapolis Speedway founder and Henry Joy (Packard Motor Co.).
But the Lincoln Highway wasn’t a planned roadway construction job. Instead it was a patchwork of existing highways that became the signed highway. Since 1913, the constantly changing Lincoln Highway runs from New York City’s Times Square to Lincoln Park at the Western edge of San Francisco.
The first officially recorded length of the entire Lincoln Highway in 1913 was 3,389 miles. Over the years, the road was improved and numerous realignments were made, and by 1924 the highway had been shortened to 3,142 miles. Counting the original route and all of the subsequent realignments, there is a grand total of 5,872 miles. Back then the trip by car took a month. A century later you can drive the transcontinental Lincoln Highway in a week or less.
Today, the Lincoln Highway Association has identified the old route via Google Maps.
|Eastern Terminus of the Lincoln Highway, 42nd & Broadway, Manhattan. Note street sign below yoga banner above.|
|Lincoln Highway through Pittsburgh, PA. It makes a left over the bridge.|
|Via Springfield, Illinois and the Lincoln Memorial|
|Google Maps IDs the Lincoln Highway outside of Gothenberg, Nebraska|
|West end of Lincoln Highway at Lincoln Park, San Francisco|