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Historical Piece of National Road to be Preserved

In Elementary School or in a college American History class, you may have had an assignment to write a report on the history of highways and transportation of the United States. Or more specifically, you had to write a report or learn about the National Road and its importance to the westward growth of our country.

And in that report, you wanted to show how the National Road evolved over time from graded and compacted soil, to crushed limestone, and finally concrete and asphalt. You could explain the different styles of construction and even possibly draw a cross section of road showing the various 'eras' of the highway.

But what if you could see a real sample of that cross section, over 200 years of national transportation history all in one piece. That would really tell the story wouldn't it?

Well thanks to the construction of the Mon-Fayette Expressway, a real cross-section has been found, and now is on its way to being preserved for various historical groups and even possibly the Smithsonian.

The discovery was made nearly a year ago, when workers doing excavation for an expressway bridge uncovered the piece of history. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission contacted the National Road Heritage Corridor (NHRC) about the discovery. The contractor Golden Triangle Construction, Co. removed the slab and transported it to Fort Necessity for storage.

After a year of fund raising, the slab is being transported to Carlisle for preservation. The preservation process will enable the slab to be cut into pieces allowing more than one cross-section exhibit to be showcased.

Currently, the NRHC has raised enough funds for one exhibit, and that will be housed at Fort Necessity as part of the Fort Necessity-National Road Interpretive and Education Center.

More details:
National Road hits the road; making history once again ---Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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