Dixie Highway

From Academic Kids

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Dixie Highway in St. Johns County, Florida. This section was previously part of the older John Anderson Highway.

The Dixie Highway was a United States automobile highway first planned in 1914, to connect the US Midwest with the US South. It was part of the National Auto Trail system, and grew out of an earlier Miami to Montreal highway. The final result is better understood as a small network of interconnected paved roads, rather than a single highway. It was constructed and expanded from 1915 to 1927.

The Dixie highway was inspired by the example of the slightly earlier Lincoln Highway. The prime booster of the idea was promoter and businessman Carl G. Fisher. It was overseen by the Dixie Highway Association, and funded by a group of individuals, businesses, local, and state governments. In the early years the US Federal government played little role, but from the early 1920s on it provided increasing funding, until 1927 when the Dixie Highway Association was disbanded and the highway was taken over as part of United States highway system, with some portions becoming state roads.

The route of the Dixie Highway was marked by a red stripe with the letters "DH" on it, usually with a white stripe above and below. This was commonly painted on telephone and telegraph poles along the route.

Some locally built roads had the 'Dixie' name added, even though they may not have been part of the official highway; for example, the Cheney Highway east from Orlando, Florida became the Cheney Dixie Highway.



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Monuments like this, and even arches over the roadway, were put up by counties as they built sections of highways including the Dixie Highway. This one is on US 1, the east mainline of the Dixie Highway, at the Brevard/Volusia county line, and was probably originally located about a mile to the east on the old road.
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Southbound on the west mainline entering Osceola County; this is now Orange Avenue.

The Dixie Highway had two main routes, both starting in Miami, Florida in the south.

The eastern route parallelled the Atlantic Ocean north to Savannah, Georgia, then went inland through Augusta, Georgia, Greenville, South Carolina and Knoxville, Tennessee, north through Lexington, Kentucky, Toledo, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and on to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, with an extension into Ontario, Canada.

The western route went inland through Orlando and Tallahassee, Florida, north through Atlanta, Georgia, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Indianapolis, Indiana to Chicago, Illinois.

The Dixie Highway also included a number of roads connecting the two branches, and numerous spurs.

By 1925 the Dixie Highway system had 5,786 miles of paved roads. In places it incorporated older local and county paved roads.

In rural areas, the paved portion was often just a single lane; when two vehicles needed to pass each other, one or both needed to pull partway onto the road's shoulder.

Much of the southern portion of the highway was paved with brick from Alabama.


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Northbound at the railroad crossing in Dania, Florida.
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A brick section of the old Dixie Highway East Florida Connector (SR 3) on the west side of Lake Lily in Maitland, Florida. It was built in 1915 or 1916, paved over at some point, and restored in 1999.

The following State Road numbers were assigned to the Dixie Highway in 1923; for information about old alignments, see those pages:

West Mainline

East Mainline

South Florida Connector

Central Florida Connector

East Florida Connector

North Florida Connector

South Georgia Connector

Tampa-St. Petersburg Loop

The Dixie Highway after the U.S. Highway system

The eastern route Dixie Highway mostly became U.S. Highway 25. In the late 20th century, the route was largely paralleled and in some sections replaced by Interstate 75, which starts in Miami, Florida and ends in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

The eastern portion from Jacksonville, Florida south was largely replaced with U.S. Highway 1.

The name "Dixie Highway" persists in various locations along its route where the main flow of long-distance traffic has been rerouted to more modern highways and the old Dixie Highway persists as a local road. In some South Florida cities, Dixie Highway (or sometimes Old Dixie Highway) parallels "Federal Highway" (US 1), sometimes just a block away. In some of these cities and towns, Dixie Highway is the north-south axis of the street numbering system, although its diagonal route (not quite straight north-south) makes it not quite the best choice for this use.

See also:

External links



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