For all of you travelers who’ve ever been on U.S. 40, the section also known as the National Road, students at Ball State University may want your story. The students are doing a documentary about the highway and want to include stories from people who live and travel along this stretch of American history. (Read about project and contacts.)
Why this highway? As the first federally-funded highway after it was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1806, it played an important part in American expansion west and the development of the Midwest. Part of the road paralleled George Washington’s and General Braddock’s military road that was built from 1754 to 1755. Today, parts of U.S. 40 still stretch across the United States almost as far as Park City, Utah, but the original highway when it was the National Road started in Cumberland, Maryland and ended in Vandalia, Illinois.
The Ball State film project will also include a Web site, touch screen kiosks and educational shows. If you end up involved, let us know. I love this shot by artistic pursuits on Flickr. This is the Wheeling, West Virginia suspension bridge that crosses the Ohio River along U.S. 40. I traveled this way many times as a kid. Hmmm, maybe I need to contact Ball State.