What a Transportation Story!
Americans’ obsession with the automobile began shortly before the turn of the 20th century and initiated the Good Roads Movement. In 1905 the Ford Motor Company produced 1,599 autos and two years later it built almost 15,000. Union County’s roads were not ready for the horseless carriage. It was about 1917 when the Union County Board of Supervisors allocated $300,000 to build a road across Union County.
Eventually it became Bankhead Street within the City Limits- It’s where you are standing right now. And it was a part of a transcontinental highway that stretched from the Zero Mile Marker in Washington D.C. to the California Coast.
Not only did it pave the way for more automobiles to be able to transverse the country, it allowed for more military movement. The Bankhead Highway eventually turned into Highway 78. There are Union County roads named 178, 278. 378 and 478 through Union County as the route changed. Interstate I22 eventually evolved in the last decade.
Transportation has been a key for Union Countians to travel to school, to church and to work. It also attracted industry to the community. Today the most popular car in the world – the Toyota Corolla is made in Union County. Thanks to the Good Roads Movement and the Bankhead Highway.