Scenic USA - Ohio

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of historic sites, points of interest, and a large
sampling of America's parklands. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided, but in no means should they be considered an endorsement.

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National Road Bridges

National Road Bridges - New Concord, Ohio

Photos by Gregory S. Hamilton
Greg Hamilton Photography

   Recently celebrating its 200 year anniversary, America's first "super highway" began construction in 1811, linking older communities in the eastS-Bridge View to newly settled territories west of the Appalachian Mountains. George Washington, early supporter of a National Road, feared that new populations in The Great Interior could form political ties with Spain and England, whose influences still prevailed in the west. Washington and another young surveyor, Albert Gallatin, formulated a plan and route that would eventually tie together the six mid-eastern states.
   During its first decade of use, long before the automobile, populations in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois leaped from 700,000 to nearly 4 million. Built, using only physical labor and draft animals, the land was cleared, valleys filled, mountains leveled, and a macadam roadbed was created. America had its first highway, known as "The Hard Road." LaVale Toll House - Maryland
   Today, a few unique S-bridges bring attention to the vast amount of work and craftsmanship used to build the National Road. The S-shape, regardless of many theories kicked about, was purely an engineering decision. The shortest distance across a river or stream was a perpendicular line to the riverbank. The bridge approaches, often askew, were used to set the road back on course.
   Along with stone mile markers and historic toll houses, only a few of these S-shaped bridges remain. Built with local sandstone and utilizing the finest craftsmanship, these bridges have weathered the test of time. Designated as an All American Road and added to the National Scenic Byway list, the Historical National Road often lores sightseers from Interstate 40 to investigate this historic byway.

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