The Lincoln Highway

The idea of the Lincoln Highway came from the fertile mind of Carl Fisher, the man also responsible for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Miami Beach. With help from fellow industrialists Frank Seiberling and Henry Joy, an improved, hard-surfaced road was envisioned that would stretch almost 3400 miles from coast to coast, New York to San Francisco, over the shortest practical route.

The Lincoln Highway Association was created in 1913 to promote the road using private and corporate donations. The idea was embraced by an enthusiastic public, and many other named roads across the country followed.

Americans’ enthusiasm for good roads led to the involvement of the federal government in building roads and the creation of numbered U.S. routes in the 1920s. The Federal Highway Administration and the Interstate Highway System are the culmination of these efforts.

The Lincoln Highway eastern terminus was Times Square, at Broadway and 42nd Street, in New York City. The route proceeded west for one mile along 42nd Street to a ferry that took travelers across the Hudson River to New Jersey. The current Lincoln Tunnel is just two blocks south of this site.

From Weehawken, New Jersey, the Lincoln Highway followed a circuitous route through Jersey City to Newark. During the Lincoln Highway era, the route through Newark was already the busiest roadway in America.

From Newark, the route connected with current New Jersey State Route 27. Heading southwest, the Lincoln Highway ran through the towns of Rahway, Edison, New Brunswick, and Trenton. There is much early American history along the way.

At Trenton, the Lincoln Highway crossed the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.

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