Did You Know? 10,000 Iowans Once Built a 380 Mile Road in One Hour
Did you know...in 1910, ten thousand people in Iowa constructed a 380-mile road in one hour?! It's called the River To River Road (RRR). Spanning from Council Bluffs to Davenport, The River To River Road made a significant contribution to the Iowa excellent roads movement by providing a direct path from The Missouri River to the Mississippi River.
This road's story begins in 1909 when severe weather and lack of road maintenance took a toll on Iowa’s roads. When the letters of complaints flooded The Des Moines Daily Capital newspaper, two men decided to do something about it.
Lafayette Young, publicity writer, and J. W. Eichinger, telegraph and Iowa news editor, decided to use their connections with the newspaper to campaign for better roads. They began to outwardly show their support for the River To River Road Initiative because it passed through Des Moines, where the newspaper was located.
By 1910, they raised enough publicity for the road when Huebinger’s Map and Guide for River to River Road was published. The guide described the path of the RRR, sharing every city, town, park, historic landmark, friendly person, and relevant gas station, along the way.
“Committees of businesses and professional men and farmers in each county gladly and energetically assumed the responsibility and expense of preparation of a part of this road. The King drag was brought into action, fills were made where necessary, and in so short a time that the achievement seemed little less than miraculous, an excellent highway in all weathers was prepared the width of the Hawkeye state....” a statement from Huebinger’s Map and Guide proclaimed.