Dollarway Road–America’s longest paved highway in 1914

History

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Arkansas is full of a lot of cool stuff.

We’ve got the only public diamond mine in the world, the beautiful Ozarks and Ouachitas, gorgeous and plentiful lakes and some mighty fine people.

But did you know that in 1914, Arkansas also had the longest paved highway in America?

It all started when bicyclists began Arkansas’s Good Road Movement which, in turn, resulted in the inception of the Good Roads League of the State of Arkansas in 1896.

In 1907, the Arkansas Legislature authorized the creation of Road Improvement Districts that would be responsible, for both planning and funding, roads and highways in their area.

Road Improvement District 4 in Jefferson County was responsible for the development of a paved road from Pine Bluff to the Jefferson County/Saline County line.

The 23-mile road was complete in 1914 and, at that time, was the longest paved road in the United States. It was a concrete roadway that was 9 feet wide including 6-inch curbs and gravel shoulders. Rumor has it that it was called Dollarway Road because of the estimated cost of $1 per linear foot although the final coast was $1.36 per linear foot.

While most of the road has since been overlaid by the new construction of Arkansas Highway 365, there are some original sections still visible at the Dollarway Road Park south of Redfield off Arkansas Highway 365 and a bridge (the first reinforced concrete bridge in Arkansas) along Reynolds Road south of the junction with Arkansas Highway 365.

Read more at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

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