Details for Bankhead Highway Through Arlington (Atlas Number 5507016963)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507016963

Data

Marker Number 16963
Atlas Number 5507016963
Marker Title Bankhead Highway Through Arlington
Index Entry Bankhead Highway Through Arlington
Address 230 N. Center St.
City Arlington
County Tarrant
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 677365
UTM Northing 3623920
Subject Codes Roads
Marker Year 2011
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark No
Private Property No
Marker Location southwest corner Division and Center
Marker Condition In Situ
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text THE BANKHEAD HIGHWAY, OFTEN REFERRED TO LOCALLY AS THE “DALLAS PIKE” EAST OF CENTER STREET AND THE “FORT WORTH PIKE” WEST OF THAT ROAD, PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ARLINGTON’S FUTURE BY CONNECTING IT TO DALLAS, FORT WORTH, AND THE REST OF THE U.S. THE PIKE, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE OLD DALLAS-FORT WORTH ROAD, WAS ACTUALLY IN USE AS A WAGON ROAD LONG BEFORE ARLINGTON WAS PLATTED. THE ROAD, NOW ABRAM STREET, BEING THE BUSIEST STRETCH OF HIGHWAY IN TEXAS, WAS DESIGNATED AS STATE HIGHWAY 1 BY THE TEXAS HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT, WHICH WAS FORMED IN 1917 TO CREATE A STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM. IN 1920, AS PART OF THE “GOOD ROADS” PROJECT, THE BANKHEAD HIGHWAY SYSTEM, NAMED FOR JOHN WILLIS BANKHEAD, WAS DESIGNED AS A PORTION OF THE NEW NATIONAL AUTO TRAIL SYSTEM, RUNNING FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. TO SAN DIEGO. THE ROAD MOSTLY FOLLOWED STATE HIGHWAY 1, AND WOULD BE BUILT ALONG DIVISION STREET IN ARLINGTON. THE CHOSEN SAFER ROUTE WAS ENTIRELY NEW CONSTRUCTION, 25 FEET WIDE AND EIGHT INCHES THICK, COVERING 5.84 MILES FROM THE DALLAS COUNTY LINE TO THE WEST SIDE OF ARLINGTON. BY DESIGN, RAIL CROSSINGS WERE ELIMINATED INCLUDING “DEATH CROSSING” WEST OF TOWN. THE HIGHWAY WAS DECLARED OPEN TO TRAFFIC IN NOV. 1922. OVER TIME, THE HIGHWAY HAS EXPANDED AND SOME OF ITS EARLY FEATURES NO LONGER EXIST INCLUDING JOHNSON CREEK BRIDGE’S DECORATIVE HANDRAIL AND A PEDESTRIAN UNDERPASS AT THE MASONIC HOME. IN 1926, STATE HIGHWAY 1 WAS REDESIGNATED AS U.S. HWY 80 AND AGAIN AS STATE HWY 180 IN 1991. THE BANKHEAD HIGHWAY OPENED UP BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES TO MANY SMALLER TOWNS ALONG ITS ROUTE, INCREASED COMMERCE BETWEEN EAST AND WEST TEXAS, STIMULATED AUTOMOBILE TRANSPORTATION, AND INCREASED TOURISM. OVERALL, THE HIGHWAY WAS A MAJOR FACTOR IN TRANSFORMING ARLINGTON FROM A SMALL TOWN TO A THRIVING COMMUNITY.