Texas Lakes Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

The Bankhead Highway Across the Lakes Trail Region

Bankhead Highway Sign

The Bankhead National Highway, from Washington, D.C. to San Diego, California, was the nation's first all-weather, coast-to-coast highway.  The southern road skirted the western mountains and was largely free from ice and snow, so it could be used reliably year-round.  It was named for Alabama Senator John H. Bankhead, author of the Federal Highway Act of 1916, which provided federal aid to states for highway construction.

An "All Texas" route from Texarkana to El Paso was approved when Bankhead Highway Association met at Mineral Wells in April 1919. A few branches were also approved. The primary route coincided with Texas Highway No. 1.  About 900 miles long, the Texas 1 Bankhead comprised nearly one-third of the total length of the national road. 

The Texas Bankhead became part of the route known as the "Broadway of America,"  After numbers replaced names on national highways in 1926, the Bankhead route from Texarkana became part of US-67 to Dallas, where it joined US-80.  those federal highways are often realigned and by the 1960s gave way to Interstates 30 and 20 (which merged with I-10 in far West Texas).

Despite the changes, most of the early Bankhead in Texas remains as state and county roads that connect the towns which the interstates by-passed.  The Bankhead name lives on in public memory, as do miles of Bankhead pavement from the 1920s.    Credit: Dan Smith

For more information on the Bankhead Highway read:

Texas Highway No. 1, The Bankhead Highway in Texas

The map below shows in red the path the Bankhead took through the Texas Lakes Trail Region of North Texas.  The route follows many modern roads through our communities, and some original sites still exist. 

Modern day roads that were once part of the Bankhead

City Street
Aledo Bankhead Highway
Arlington Division St.
Dallas Exposition St.
Dallas Fort Worth Ave.
Dallas Jefferson Ave.
Dallas Commerce St.
Fort Worth Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth Lancaster Ave.
Fort Worth 7th St.
Garland Main St.
Rockwall Main St.
Weatherford Palo Pinto St.
Weatherford Bankhead Highway

Follow this link for additional information about the Bankhead Highway in Texas.

Return to Our Stories