Posts Tagged ‘ Auto Trails ’

Historical Cities – Oakland, San Jose, and the South Bay


American Auto Trails – Oklahoma’s U.S. Highway 70


American Auto Trails – Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway at Google Maps


New American Auto Trails Guide – Oklahoma’s U.S. Highway 70


Caddo Publications USA has completed the latest in the American Auto Trails series, Oklahoma’s U.S. Highway 70.

The text for the guide is available for free at our website,

You can follow along the travel route on our map at Google Maps.

The eBook version of the guide will be available on Amazon on September 1st.  View our other available guides at



Retracing A Segment of Oklahoma’s U.S. Highway 70

In Oklahoma: A Guide to the Sooner State, on which this guide is based, the travel route of U.S. Highway 70 is indicated as turning south at the junction with U.S. 277 on D1990 Road.


US 70 crosses over a long bridge spanning a wide expanse of river-bed sand and a narrow stream to the TEXAS LINE, 268.5 m., at a point 2.5 miles northeast of Burkburnett, Texas (see Texas Guide).


This earlier route of U.S. Highway 70, 277, and 281 connected with Oklahoma Highway 36 at that highway’s current junction with E1990 Road, south of the present Kiowa Casino. That earlier route then continued to the present intersection of Oklahoma Highway 36 and Interstate Highway 44 (Exit 1).  The current route of Interstate Highway 44 and U.S. Highways 277 and 281 south from Exit 1 to the Red River bridge follows the earlier route of U.S. 70 into Texas.

Today’s traveler can follow D1990 Road southwest from Randlett southwest to a point at the east side of Interstate Highway 44.  However, that highway bisects the old route and the traveler turns south, parallel to the current expressway, to an intersection with E1990 Road, 0.7 miles east of Oklahoma Highway 36.

The aerial photo below clearly shows the earlier curved route of the highway beyond Interstate 44 to Oklahoma Highway 36.

Aerial US 70

The portion of the Rand McNally map of Oklahoma (1927) below shows the earlier route of U.S. Highway 70.

RandMcNally 1927

This map was created prior to the designations of U.S. Highways 277 and 281, and predates the designation of Interstate 44 on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike by 55 years.  On March 3, 1945, the route of U.S. Highway 70 from Randlett was realigned to follow Oklahoma Highway 32 west to Davidson, Oklahoma, before turning south with U.S. Highway 183 to Oklaunion, Texas.  U.S. Highway 277 still followed the previous route to Burkburnett.

1948 Highway Map

Forgotten Landmark-St. Louis & San Francisco Railway, OK Highway 2 and US 271

Forgotten Landmark-St. Louis & San Francisco Railway, Oklahoma Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 271 between Poteau and Antlers

The “Frisco” had its origin as the South West Branch of the Pacific Railroad, building southwest from St. Louis in the 1850s. War and financial difficulties plagued the road in its several early incarnations, including John C. Frémont’s South West Pacific (1866-1868), the South Pacific (1868-1870), and as part of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad (1870-1876). The modern history of the “Frisco” can be dated from the organization of the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway Company in 1876. This road fell into receivership in 1893, emerging in 1896 as the new St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Company. This firm likewise failed, in 1913, being reorganized in 1916 as the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company. This corporate identification was retained, despite further financial difficulties, until it was absorbed by the Burlington Northern in 1980. Headquartered in St. Louis, the “Frisco” served a wide area, with terminals in St. Louis, Kansas City (Mo.), Dallas, Memphis, Birmingham, Mobile, and Pensacola (Fla.). The “X-shaped” system maintained a primary junction at Springfield (Mo.). At its peak, in the 1930s, the road operated on over 5,000 miles of track.

The Great Depression of the 1930s made revenues disastrously fall. However, no large-scale abandonments took place before 1940, although the company was again in receivership since 1932. On its feet again by 1947, the Frisco struggled on with growing competition of road and air, and most passenger services were cut back or ended. Several branches were closed, but of the old main lines only this line, from Poteau to Hugo, was closed by the end of the twentieth century.

Railroad Piers over Rock Creek off OK 82 at D4478 Road, south of Bengal

Track path parallels U.S. 271 along south side of highway from Albion to Tuskahoma

Pier remains over tributary to Kiamichi River 1.5 miles west of U.S. 271 in Clayton on OK Highway 2


Forgotten Landmark-Blue River Highway Bridge, Old U.S. 70, Blue, OK

Blue River Highway Bridge, Old U.S. Highway 70, southwest of Blue, Oklahoma

U.S. Highway 70 parallels the route of the St. Louis & San Francisco (Frisco Railroad).  Prior to the creation of the Federal Highway System in 1926, this route was referred to as the Bankhead Highway, a segment of the Rand McNally Auto Trails system.  The Bankhead Highway traversed the southern United States, beginning in Washington D.C. and traveling through Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas, and Phoenix to San Diego. West of Little Rock, Arkansas, the Bankhead Highway ran in two parallel routes.  The northerly route followed U.S. 70 from Little Rock to Roswell, New Mexico.



The highway bridge in the photos below is located along a portion of the old U.S. Highway 70, whose route travels south of the current route between Bokchito and Hugo.  This bridge was constructed in 1921 by the General Construction Company of St. Louis under the direction of the Federal Aid Project.  During 1921, 162 miles of highway were constructed by the state under the Federal Aid and 32 miles were built by counties.  The total estimated cost was $4,847,000.


Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2090) at Blue River

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2090) at Blue River


Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2090) at Blue River

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2090) at Blue River

A similar bridge was constructed over Caddo Creek, east of the town of Blue (photos below).

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2080) at Caddo Creek

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2080) at Caddo Creek

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2080) at Caddo Creek

Old U.S. 70 (County Road E2080) at Caddo Creek