With so many roads to travel on throughout Tennessee, it’s rare that one would give much thought to consider what engineering marvels they actually are. Tennessee’s geography, topography, water and weather all vary from region to region, creating unique challenges to solve for as roads are built and maintained.
Roads have been an instrumental part of human history for thousands of years. From the first paved Roman roads that crisscrossed Europe, to the modern-day interstate, the history of the road is crucial to our own stories. That is certainly the case for Tennessee as we take a deep dive into the history of our state’s roadways. From the earliest wagon roads that connected the frontier's newest towns, to the essential highways of today upon which Tennessee’s infrastructure, economy, and transportation system depend.
For this episode of Highway See, we’re going to cover the history of our roads from covered wagons and stagecoach to the modern interstate system. Tune in as Chris interviews a wide spectrum of Tennesseans whose insight and historical knowledge pave the way for our journey!
Bridges are everyday parts of our lives that we often take for granted, but when one goes down, we notice their significant impact. That is where this episode of Highway See begins. On May 11, 2021, a routine inspection of the Hernando de Soto Bridge, which spans the mighty Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, revealed a fracture in an integral part of the bridge’s construction. All traffic on the bridge, and below the bridge, was brought to an immediate halt. Both I-40 and the Mississippi River, crucial veins in commerce and economic traffic, were severed. For this riveting episode of Highway See we take the deep dive into the drama of the “Memphis Bridge.”
From the discovery of the fracture, to the phenomenal team of experts who solved the issue of the repair, to the vastly successful reopening of the bridge, we cover it all. Tune into this episode for the whole story!
Long before the modern convenience of many miles of well maintained asphalt roads, a “road” was a different thing altogether. So far on Highway See, we’ve covered a big picture of the history of Tennessee’s road system. With that in mind, now it is time to start diving into the answers to one crucial question. How did these roads come about? In this episode, we’re going to step back into time to get a glimpse, through some invigorating historical documents and commentary, of the earliest days of road building and the communities involved across the state of Tennessee.
Almost 100,000 miles of roads and interstate highways span across the state of Tennessee. Today, it’s easy to take for granted the system that connects rural and urban communities to each other and the rest of America. But 200 years ago, almost none of that existed. Highway See gives an in-depth look at how roads in Tennessee came to be, starting with the collective drive of citizens and public officials to better the lives of everyone in the state.
How did we get our roads? What prompted their creation? What effort goes into maintaining them? This is Highway See. In every episode, we’ll answer those questions and get you to “see” Tennessee’s highway system for the engineering marvel that it is. Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you find your podcasts. And we’ll see you on the highway!