Prairie Rivers of Iowa, which manages the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway for the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Iowa Byways program, is celebrating the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway’s centennial anniversary along with the state of Iowa. A proclamation by the state of Iowa was issued by the governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, on Oct. 21
The Lincoln Highway holds a statewide significance with the byway crossing Iowa, river to river, connecting thirteen counties, and forty-four communities. Iowans were instrumental in the establishment of the Lincoln Highway and the formation of the modern Lincoln Highway Association. As the Lincoln Highway was the first coast-to-coast improved highway in the United States, stretching from New York City through Iowa to San Francisco, Iowans celebrated the formal dedication of the highway on Oct. 31, 1913, through speeches, music and special events throughout the state.
The Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway is Iowa’s longest byway, or state-designated scenic or heritage roadway. Spanning 460 miles from Clinton to Council Bluffs, the byway reflects Iowa’s portion of the historic Lincoln Highway. Celebrating its centennial in 2013, the Lincoln Highway was one of the most significant roads for early automobile travelers and demonstrated the effectiveness of high quality, well-maintained roads for moving people, products and commerce nationwide.
The Year 1913 was significant for Prairie Rivers of Iowa’s partner, the Iowa Department of Transportation as well. Leighton Christiansen, librarian for the Iowa Department of Transportation, speaks on behalf of both milestones. "Congratulations to the Lincoln Highway Association. It is neat that the Iowa Department of Transportation shares its centennial year with the Lincoln Highway. The DOT’s predecessor, the Iowa State Highway Commission, was created in 1913 to meet the needs for roads and bridges that the young automobile and mechanized farming ages brought with them. And in 1913 the Lincoln Highway (now Lincoln Way) ran right along the Iowa Highway Commission’s front yard in Ames. I hope folks take a celebration trip along the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway,"