AUSTIN FIRM CONTRACTS WITH TEXAS HISTORICAL COMMISSION TO RESTORE HISTORIC HIGHWAYS
published on September 16, 2012
The Texas Historical Commission has contracted with the Austin consulting firm of Hardy-Heck-Moore to begin surveying the Texas route of the coast-to-coast Bankhead Highway, established in 1916. This is being heralded as the first step on a journey to identify, designate, and promote the historic highways of Texas.
“Communities along the route will once again benefit from having this iconic Texas thoroughfare in their backyards,” said THC Commissioner Tom Alexander. “With the renewed interest in identifying and designating the Bankhead and other historic highways of Texas, the project will give travelers an opportunity to experience first-hand the real places that tell the real stories of Texas, and help to expand tourism statewide.”
In partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation, federal transportation enhancement funds will enable the THC––using the Bankhead Highway as a pilot––to prepare a historic context for Texas highways statewide. The Bankhead Highway was a transcontinental roadway from Washington D.C. to San Diego that today parallels Interstates 20 and 30 from Texarkana to El Paso. In 1916, the Bankhead Highway Association was created, named for Alabama Sen. John Hollis Bankhead, who was a leading proponent of “good roads.” In 1920, much of the Bankhead became Texas State Highway 1. As leisure auto travel along the Bankhead increased in popularity, the impact on neighboring communities was significant, with many travelers stopping in towns for service and food.
“The Bankhead and other nearly forgotten roads of Texas will once again attract travelers and tourists,” said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “We believe the Historic Highways Program will renew interest in historic roadways and adjacent communities, generating economic activity and providing opportunities for job growth.”
Rep. Carol Kent of Dallas wrote the bills that established the Historic Highways Program during the 81st legislative session, but funding was not provided. By partnering with TxDOT, the THC procured the necessary transportation enhancement funds to move forward. The historic context and survey of the Bankhead Highway are the first components of a larger Historic Highways initiative that will include making data available to the public through updates to the THC Atlas, and developing heritage tourism components to attract travelers to these classic corridors of the past that helped shape the Texas of today.
Texas REALTOR® Brian Talley congratulates Austin-based firm Hardy-Heck-Moore for helping the THC initiate its Historic Highways Program. Brian is the founder of Regent Property Group. Its mission is to improve the lives of clients by helping them make wise financial decisions with regard to their real estate sales and purchases. Looking for a luxury home in Central Texas? From Barton Creek to Steiner Ranch, Brian helps home-buyers stay on top of the Austin real estate market.
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