Highway Chronicle Chapter IV:
Franklin County Highways are Built
In 1826, the
general assembly approved legislation incorporating the Columbus & Sandusky
Turnpike Company to build a highway to the Lake Erie region. The 106-mile long
turnpike was opened in 1834 for $75,000. The compacted clay and loam surface,
however, proved to be inferior to macadam construction and was often described
by disgruntled travelers as “the long line of mud.”
roadways, consisting of logs embedded side by side across mud-prone areas, were constructed
to provide passable surfaces. Heavy use eventually caused them to slump and
become hazardously bumpy.
roads with 8-foot long boards laid upon an extensive 16-foot wide framework of
stringers was another early innovation, but maintaining
the wooden members was arduous work.
the lack of uniformity in construction, a highway boom across Franklin County
eventually included the Columbus & Portsmouth Turnpike (1847), Columbus
& Harrisburg Turnpike (1849), Columbus & Worthington Plank Road,
replacing the Franklin County section of the Columbus & Sandusky Turnpike
(1850), Columbus & Groveport Turnpike (1850), Johnstown Plank Road (1852),
Columbus & Granville Turnpike (1852), Franklin & Jackson Turnpike
(1852), Columbus & Sunbury Plank Road (1852); and the Clinton & Blendon
Plank Road to Westerville (1854).
early thoroughfares were operated by incorporated highway companies that
financed construction and maintenance costs through stock sales, toll
collections, and government appropriations.
Blossoms, County Surveyor Adopts Road Duties