Victory Highway

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Victory Highway
Route information
Existed: 1921 – 197?
Major junctions
West end: San Francisco
  St. Louis
East end: New York City
Highway system

The Victory Highway was an auto trail across the United States between New York City and San Francisco, roughly equivalent to the present U.S. Route 40.


The Victory Highway Association was organized in 1921 to locate and mark a transcontinental highway via St. Louis, generally south of the Lincoln Highway.[1] The road was to be dedicated to American forces who died in World War I, and a series of Victory Eagle sculptures would mark the route. By 1922 the organization had decided to run from New York City southwest to Camden, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, and Washington before turning west to San Francisco.[2] Washington was later removed from the route, which ran west from Baltimore to Cumberland, Maryland. At Cumberland, it picked up the old National Road to Vandalia, Illinois, which was already marked as part of the National Old Trails Road.[3] It continued to follow that auto trail near Fulton, Missouri, and then followed a different route across the rest of that state, passing through Jefferson City on its way to Kansas City. The highway continued west from Kansas City to Denver over the Golden Belt Highway,[citation needed] and then ran via Salt Lake City, across the Great Salt Lake Desert on the Wendover Cut-off and Nevada, and via Sacramento to San Francisco.[4][5] It crossed the Antioch Bridge and passed through the Broadway Tunnel west of Sacramento.[6]

Since it mostly overlapped the National Old Trails Road east of St. Louis, the Victory Highway was little-known there.[citation needed] However, it took a different route through New Jersey. While the National Old Trails Road crossed the Delaware River at Trenton,[7] the Victory Highway crossed on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Camden, heading northeast via Burlington and Hightstown to Perth Amboy roughly on the present U.S. Route 130 and County Route 615.[citation needed] After crossing the Victory Bridge into Perth Amboy, it turned east over the Outerbridge Crossing and through Staten Island to the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan. After the Outerbridge Crossing was completed in 1928, the only two ferries remaining on the highway were the Staten Island Ferry and the San Francisco-Oakland Ferry at the other end.[8]


  1. ^ Reno Evening Gazette. May 16, 1921.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[full citation needed]
  2. ^ The Star and Sentinel. April 22, 1922.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[full citation needed]
  3. ^ Weingroff, Richard F. "From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System". Highway History. Federal Highway Administration. 
  4. ^ Auto Road Atlas (Map). Rand McNally. 1926. 
  5. ^ Midget Map of the Transcontinental Trails of the United States (Map). Clason Map Company. 1923. 
  6. ^ California Highway Commission, Investigation and Report on Toll Bridges in the State of California, 1929, p. 29
  7. ^ [ old trails association-usdotmap.jpg Official Map of National Old Trails Road Association] (Map). National Old Trails Road Association. 
  8. ^ Oakland Tribune. March 21, 1926.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[full citation needed]