The Lincoln Highway, a completely paved route from coast to coast, was proposed in 1912 by Carl G. Fisher, the automotive industrialist. He was joined by several others, including Henry B. Joy, president of the Packard Motor Company. Acknowledging the intense public interest in Lincoln at the time, they attached his name to the proposed transcontinental highway.
46 Because of Iowa's system of local taxation to pay for roads, the state's section of this proposed highway was slow to be realized. The Tama bridge is one of the few remaining monuments of this highway system. The bridge itself is a simple reinforced concrete slab; it is the bridge's railing that pulls it out of the ordinary. The city of Tama paid extra, and had the railings cast with the words “Lincoln Highway” forming the balustrades.
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