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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: 217/782-6953
SEPTEMBER 9, 2002 FAX: 217/782-8714
TTY:217/524-4875
www.dot.il.gov

National Road Scenic By-Way Receives Highest Honor

SPRINGFIELD, IL- The National Road in Illinois' has been designated an All-American Road. Status as an All-American Road, is the highest honor for a roadway in the United States.

To receive All-American Road status, the road or highway must be considered "a destination unto itself." It must provide an exceptional driving experience for travelers that driving the road is the primary reason for their trip.

"This is a tremendous honor for the Department to receive All-American status on one of our highways. We are proud of the historical significance that our roads and highways have played in the nation, " said Kirk Brown, Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation.
The National Road, courses its way though six states, over 825 miles and is the longest multi-state historic road to archive All-American Road status. In Illinois, the National Road runs along U.S. 40 from Marshall to Collinsville and eventually to the Eads Bridge at St. Louis.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced this honor for The National Road. There are currently 75 scenic by-ways in 39 states, with only 20 having All-American Road status. Illinois has 5 scenic by-ways, the National Road is the first to receive the highest award.


Cumberland County Covered Bridge

The National Road represents 250 years of American history, stemming back to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who believed a trans-Appalachian land link was needed to unify the expanding United States. In 1806 Congress authorized construction of the first federally funded road in U.S. history extending from Cumberland, Maryland to the Ohio River. The route was later extended to the Mississippi River at St. Louis.

The highway was seen as a way to unite the developed eastern part of the U.S. with its western frontier. It carried people, mail and goods, speeding development and communication across the country. The National Road became US 40 in the 1920s and pavement of the highway began. It once again became a major national east-west artery, and remained so until Interstate 70 replaced it in the 1960s.

Sites of interest in Illinois along The National Road include the Lincoln Log Cabin, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, the Cumberland County Covered Bridge, the Stone Arch Bridge at Marshall and the historic State House in Vandalia.
For more information about The National Road you can visit their web site at www.nationalroad.org.

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Stone Arch Bridge at Marshall
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