Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cumberland Road For Western Wednesday...!

Sometimes in old days, the gap between Congress giving a project the green light and the actual funding could take a while. Not that much has changed, I reckon.

The Cumberland Road got off to a slow start, but proved to be invaluable in the long run.

Congress authorizes survey of Cumberland Road

Congress authorizes surveying to begin for the construction of the Cumberland Road, which sped the way for thousands of Americans heading west.

Four years earlier, Congress had recognized the importance of building a network of national roads to facilitate western immigration. The 1803 act that admitted Ohio into the Union included a provision setting aside money from the sale of public lands to use in “laying out, opening, and making roads.” By 1806, enough funds had accumulated to begin surveying a proposed national road from Cumberland, Maryland, through the Appalachian Mountains to Wheeling, Virginia, on the Ohio River.

The task of surveying the route for the new national road went to the Army’s Corps of Engineers, setting an important precedent for the military’s involvement in building transportation routes that would be used for non-military purposes. The Corps of Engineers also built the road once construction began in 1811. Progress was slow, and the Corps did not complete the 130-mile road until 1818. Its value, though, became apparent well before it was completed. Stagecoaches, heavy freight wagons, and droves of stock animals soon crowded the route in numbers far surpassing those expected. The Corps even had to maintain and repair older sections of the road before the entire route was completed.

The Cumberland Road proved such a success that Congress agreed to continue extending it westward. By 1850, this National Road, as it came to be called, reached all the way to Indianapolis. By that time, mid-western excitement over the National Road was fading in favor of a fever for canal building. The Cumberland-National Road, however, set the precedent for further government involvement in road building. The resulting network of roads greatly facilitated American expansion into western territory, and parts of the route blazed for the Cumberland Road are still followed to this day by interstate and state highways.

Seems to me that the Corps of Engineers still has a lot of projects in the works that are not finished. I'll bet you probably have some around the area where you live.

Coffee inside this morning. Kinda stormy on the patio.


linda m said...

Around here roads are under constant construction - mainly repairs. We very rarely get a brand new road and if we do it is not going where I want to go. Right now we are having major reconstruction on a major freeway. This whole project has been under construction for years. I think they are afraid to finish it because they will be laid off when it is done. It makes driving anywhere a pain in my butt.

Chickenmom said...

Last year they poured an oily tar down and covered it with a layer of gravel - Can't tell you how many patches are covering it already. I'll bring blueberry muffins to share!

texasann said...

Yep, Bubba, as I have probably said before ... I-45 South (near where you live) was under construction when we bombed Hiroshima; Hiroshima has now been rebuilt, and the Japanese have completed their country's reconstruction, but I-45 is still under repair and construction. And that's just one small part of an entire nation's infrastructure.
About your own "reconstruction" - have faith; this, too, shall pass. Soon.

Big hugs -

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
I'm sure it's something like that. Some jobs just never seem to end.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Phyllis...
Patching things up seems to be the choice anymore. Time for some new roads, I think.
Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Sis...
I don't reckon that 45 will ever be completed.
Thanks for the visit this morning!

JO said...

Something caught my eye at the begining of this article, they waited until they had the money.
Interesting. This town will take years to fix anything and by time they finish that job they will tare it all out again because it isn't big enough or some thing. In the mean time the rest of the road is so bad you will drive miles to get around the mess.

Dizzy-Dick said...

One time on a trip, we got held up in a traffic jam for hours. One advantage of traveling in a motorhome, when you are stuck in traffic, you have a bathroom and a kitchen and even a TV. It is like Briar Rabbit when thrown into the briar patch.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
Yeah, it's not likely that Congress now days would ever need to wait for money. They would merely print what was needed.
Sounds like the construction at your town is as bad as the big city!
Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Dizzy...
Sounds like a good way to travel, especially in a big traffic jam!
I appreciate the visit today!