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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13 responses to “single frame: Brick National Road in Ohio”

  1. J P Avatar

    I am not sure I can recall seeing a brick road with yellow lines painted in the middle.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve seen this just 2 or 3 times. Seldom is an old brick road still so important as to get those lines.

  2. Patches Rips Avatar
    Patches Rips

    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. :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      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.

  3. Jim Avatar

    Peacock road on the east side of Cambridge is also paved in red brick and is part of the original National Road

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes! Stay tuned — that segment is coming up in this series.

  4. M.B. Henry Avatar

    Oh wow, I don’t often see brick roads painted like a modern one! Very cool picture – Ohio has some great scenery with brick houses and roads! :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Sure enough. The National Road in eastern Ohio is one road trip I’d love to repeat!

  5. Joe shoots resurrected cameras Avatar

    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.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      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.

  6. brandib1977 Avatar

    I’m loving all your brick road posts. Hope you got to spend some time in Cambridge. It’s a neat little town.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I spent a little time there, but not much. So much to see and just three days to see it!

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Go back at Christmas time. They have a great celebration including artfully created Dickens characters around downtown. There’s also a neat light display at their Victorian courthouse.

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