Original Sunken Trace RoadPart of the original Sunken Trace road
The 445-mile parkway follows the general path of the old Natchez Trace, originally a footpath for Native American Choctaw and Chickasaw (Littman). The parkway runs from Natchez, Mississippi, across the northeast corner of Alabama, and into Tennessee. The Northern Terminus (Tupelo-Nashville) ends just out of Nashville after passing by Franklin, Tennessee. The final leg of the parkway was completed in 1996 (Littman). Representative Thomas J. Busby of Mississippi introduced the first of the bills into Contgress to construct a paved road along the route of the old Trace. Work began under the Public Works Administration, and included the Works Project Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The survey was completed by the National Park Service and in May 1938, the Natchez Trace Parkway was established by Congress as part of the NPS (Lyon). Moreau B. Chambers of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, with the CCC and National Youth Administration, completed work in Lee County, Mississippi in 1937. The archeological survey was directed by Jesse Jennings, with the cooperation of WPA.
The construction of the 155-foot tall double arch concrete bridge near Franklin, Tennessee is one of the outstanding features of the historic Trace parkway. The bridge, which was the “nation’s first segmentally constructed concrete arch bridge” was completed in 1994, and spans 1, 648 feet across Birdsong Hollow and TN Highways 96. The last remaining gap in the development of the parkway (near Jackson, MS) was completed in 2005.
Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved from fhwa.dot.gov. Littman, M. (2013). Tennesse. Moon Handbooks/Avalon Travel Publishing. Lyon, E. A. (1996). A New Deal for Southeaster Archaeology. Tuscaloosa, AL: The University of Alabama Press. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory database.
Project originally submitted by Susan C. Allen on October 8, 2013.
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