Brick segment of old US 40/NR

Brick National Road in Ohio
Canon PowerShot S95

The National Road in eastern Ohio offers an abundance of old pavement, both brick and concrete. You can still drive on a lot of the old brick, but very little of the concrete.

This short segment of brick is in Cambridge, on its far west side. See it on a map here. The National Road and US 40 used to leave Cambridge proper on Dewey Ave., which becomes McPherson Ave. and Manila Rd. on its way out of town. When it reaches a railroad track, it curves to parallel it for maybe 300 feet. It’s clear that at one time the road crossed the track where it now curves, but it would have been a dangerous crossing due to a shallow angle.

Manila Rd. ends at Phillips Rd. Turn right and cross modern US 40. On the other side lies this brick segment, which lasts for maybe 200 or 250 feet before asphalt takes over again.

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Photography, Road Trips

single frame: Brick National Road in Ohio

A segment of old US 40 in Cambridge, Ohio, that is paved in brick.


13 thoughts on “single frame: Brick National Road in Ohio

  1. Patches Rips says:

    I’m always astonished when I see brick roads; I’ve seen some here in Ontario, too. Laying miles of interlocking brick must be a herculean labour. It must wear like iron, but at the same time, I can’t imagine the surface is great once the snow starts to fly. It must be like driving on unrelenting black ice. Brick roads always strike me as an expensive way to solve one problem by creating another. But as long as you don’t have to actually drive on them, they’re certainly elegant and lovely and a kind of Thirty-Seventh Wonder of the World or something. :)

    • I knew a girl in high school whose dad built roads for a living. He said the biggest challenge with brick roads is that in the winter plowing them can be a challenge. The plow can hang up on loose bricks. I think that’s what she said. And that, she believed, is why so many brick roads are now covered over in asphalt.

  2. I remember lots of brick roads in Ohio when I was a boy but they have paved over so many. Last time I was in Ohio was April of last year and I talked to my aunt about it. She said that there’s a rule about major highways being all pavement or something. If you ever go to the town of Mount Vernon you’ll see about half and half in a crisscross pattern through the old parts of town. I remember it being all brick but then my memory could be faulty.

    • Or they could have paved over some of it. Brick roads are hardy, but they do eventually need maintenance, and so many road departments just slather asphalt over them.

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