Friday, January 11, 2008

Rare Find

I spent last weekend in Memphis at a Sci-Fi /Fantasy Convention. On my way home, I opted to drive US 70 between Hazen and North Little Rock. I had driven the Interstate on my way to Memphis and decided I wanted a change of scenery on the way home.
Just east of Kerr, I spotted an old concrete culvert next to the highway. My curiosity getting the better of me, I stopped to investigate. It obviously had seen better days judging by the piece broken off the east end. I figured the culvert went back 60 years or so to the time before US 70 was completely paved. Imagine my surprise when I found a date on it: 1913. This plain looking concrete culvert actually pre-dates US 70 by 11 years.
Well, I pulled out my old maps and found this road was once called the Airline Route and followed what's now US 70 from Little Rock to near Widener (paralleling the Chicago-Rock Island Railroad) then modern-day Arkansas 50 to near Simsboro.
In an era when old bridges are destroyed without a second thought to make way for new ones, it's refreshing to see this old piece of highway history still standing after nearly 95 years.

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