Skip to main content

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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Old US Route 60/70 through Hell (Chuckwall Valley Road and Ragsdale Road)

Back in 2016 I explored some of the derelict roadways of the Sonoran Desert of Riverside County which were part of US Route 60/70; Chuckwalla Valley Road and Ragsdale Road.


US 60 and US 70 were not part of the original run of US Routes in California.  According to USends.com US 60 was extended into California by 1932.  US 60 doesn't appear on the California State Highway Map until the 1934 edition.

USends.com on US 60 endpoints

1934 State Highway Map

Conversely US 70 was extended into California by 1934, it first appears on the 1936 State Highway Map.

USends.com on US 70 endpoints

1936 State Highway Map

When US 60 and US 70 were extended into California they both utilized what was Legislative Route Number 64 from the Arizona State Line west to Coachella Valley.  LRN 64 was part of the 1919 Third State Highway Bond Act routes.  The original definition of LRN 64 routed between Mecca in Blythe and wasn't extended to the Arizona State Line until 1931 according to CAhighways.org.

CAh…

California State Route 247

Between 2011 and 2016 I drove the entirety of California State Route 247.


CA 247 is 78 mile north/south State Highway contained entirely within the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County.  CA 247 has a southern terminus at CA 62 in Yucca Valley and a north terminus at Interstate 15 in Barstow.

According to CAhighways.org the segment of CA 247 between CA 62 in Yucca Valley along Old Woman Springs Road to CA 18 in Lucerne Valley was part of Legislative Route Number 187.  LRN 187 was created by the State Legislature in 1959.

CAhighways.org on LRN 187

LRN 187 first appears as an unbuilt State Highway on the 1960 State Highway Map.

1960 State Highway Map

Old Woman Springs Road certainly ranks as one of the stranger names in the California State Highway system.  Surprisingly the story behind the "Old Woman Springs Road: name is somewhat well documented and mundane.  The name comes from the Old Woman Springs which was located in the 1850s by Colonel Henry Washington and is located just of…

Interstate 375 in Detroit; a doomed freeway?

Recently while visiting the City of Detroit I drove the entirety of Interstate 375.


I-375 is a short 1.147 mile spur of I-75 in downtown Detroit which connects to the unsigned I-375 Business Spur on Jefferson Avenue.  I-375 is the southernmost segment of the Walter P. Chrysler Freeway which carried largely by I-75 in the City of Detroit.  Construction of I-375 began in 1959 and the freeway was open to traffic by late 1964 according to michiganhighways.org.

michiganhighways.org on I-375

The average traffic count on I-375 ranges between approximately 14,000 vehicles at Jefferson Avenue and approximately 54,000 vehicles at I-75.  The low traffic counts on I-375 has recently led to proposals to put the freeway on a "road diet."  In 2013 the Michigan Department of Transportation announced that it may at some point in the future remove I-375.  In 2014 MDOT announced six proposals for I-375 which were eventually reduced to only two boulevard alternatives by 2017.  In late 2018 a six…