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Old Tampa Highway

Along the boundary of the Osceola-Polk County in Central Florida exists a portion of brick roadway known as the "Old Tampa Highway."  The Old Tampa Highway was once part the Western Route of the Dixie Highway and early US 17/92.


The Old Tampa Highway actually is somewhat lengthy segment of highway that still exists from the outskirts of Kissimmee in Osceola County west to Davenport in Polk County.  Most of Old Tampa Highway is paved and largely is lined with modern residential structures.  Near Reedy Creek the route of Old Tampa Highway is bisected by a closed bridge west towards County Route 532/Osceola-Polk Line Road.  This has led to an odd circumstance where a small part of Old Tampa Highway on the Osceola County side is still maintained as a local through route with a brick surface.

Pulling off of Osceola-Polk Line Road onto Old Tampa Highway the asphalt surface quickly gives way to brick. 



Old Tampa Highway is signed with a 30 MPH limit and generally spot patched with asphalt.  The surface quality isn't great but nowhere near as bad as it probably could be considering it dates back to the days of the Auto Trails.


Old Tampa Highway slows winds it's way alongside a nearby rail towards the Polk County Line.  The Polk County Line is obvious due to the resumption of a asphalt surface and concrete monolith.









The Polk County Line was marked in the early 1930s at major roadways by concrete monoliths.  In the case of the Old Tampa Highway monolith it was erected in 1930.  Several other monoliths can be found on, one that comes to mind off the top of my head is located at the junction of US Route 98 and County Route 54.


The Polk County monoliths are supposed to display the text "Oct 1930 Welcome to Polk County Citrus Center."  Amusingly the south face of the Old Tampa Highway monolith has a spelling error stating "Citurs Center."



Looking back eastward on Old Tampa Highway really is like looking back in time...aside from the modern turn warning sign and garbage cans.


Old Tampa Highway can be seen on this 1924 Florida Auto Trail map as part of the West Dixie Highway and Lee Jackson Highway.  Old Tampa Highway is also shown as a paved highway.

1924 Florida Auto Trail Map

US Route 92 was plotted out between Daytona west to Tampa as one of the original US Routes which took it on a course over the Old Tampa Highway.  US 17 was extended from Jacksonville south to Punta Gorda in 1932 which multiplexed it onto US 92 on Old Tampa Highway.  This 1931 Florida State Road map shows US 92 on Old Tampa Highway along with Pre-1945 Florida State Road 2.

1931 Florida State Road Map

I'm uncertain when Old Tampa Highway was replaced by modern US 17/92 but it appears that it was replaced by the late 1930s.  This 1940 State Road map appears to show the current alignment of US 17/92 .

1940 Florida State Road Map

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