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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Dwight in Livingston County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Shifting Roadways

Changes Driven by the Auto

 
 
Shifting Roadways Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
1. Shifting Roadways Marker
Titles have faded but marker text is still readable.
Inscription.  Lions Lake is a testament to the changing face of Route 66. Dwight started as a farming community on the Chicago & Alton Railroad. When automobiles began replacing horses, people demanded better roads. Borrow pits, like Lions Lake, supplied the raw materials necessary for building major paved arteries through the country.

Road construction of State Route 4 through Dwight (parts of which became Route 66) in the early 1920s used steam-powered equipment assisted by mule and human labor.

Lions Lake

This lake began as a borrow pit dug for road fill when the Route 66 Bypass was built in 1946. In the 1990s, this area became a community park and the water-filled pit was named Lions Lake. Many of these former borrow pits can be seen along the old highway.

A Shifting Roadway

· In the early 1920s, State Route 4 (following the Pontiac Trail) was constructed on the northwest side of Dwight and ran through downtown.

· In 1926, Route 66 connected Dwight to the nation. A portion followed Route 4, but it bypassed downtown to the northwest.

· By 1946,
Shifting Roadways Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
2. Shifting Roadways Marker
increasing traffic mandated the building of a four-lane Route 66 Bypass that ran northwest of the original alignment.

· Finally in 1977, Interstate 55 opened still further northwest and ended the era of Route 66.
 
Erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the U.S. Route 66 🛣️ series list.
 
Location. 41° 4.874′ N, 88° 26.645′ W. Marker is near Dwight, Illinois, in Livingston County. Marker is on Old U.S. 66 west of Odell Road. Marker is at the Dwight Lions Lake parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 911 S Old Rte 66, Dwight IL 60420, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mom and Pop Motels (approx. 0.7 miles away); Welcome to Dwight (approx. 0.9 miles away); Dwight, Illinois (approx. 0.9 miles away); Full Service on Rte 66 (approx. 0.9 miles away); A Well Connected Village (approx. 1.1 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 1.2 miles away); 1879-1979 (approx. 1.2 miles away); Pioneer Gothic Church (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dwight.
 
More about this marker. This is one of four "Wayside Exhibits" in Dwight erected by the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway group.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 54 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Feb. 25, 2021