First Concrete Paved Road in the United States

Car suspensions everywhere are thankful for an innovation which took place in 1891 in Bellefontaine, Ohio, the completion of the first concrete paved road in America. George Bartholomew, the man who is credited with the invention of concrete paving, moved to Bellefontaine due to the abundance of high quality limestone and clay which would be used in the construction process. Bartholomew adamantly pitched to the city council permission to build a test patch of paved road outside the Logan County Court House on Court Avenue. Many were skeptical that the pavement would not be able to sustain normal traffic or weather conditions. Eventually, Bartholomew had gained approval from Bellefontain’s city council, however he was required to provide all of the concrete at no charge to the city and put up a $5,000 bond (about $125,000 today) if the pavement did not last more than 5 years. Not only did the Court Avenue pavement endure the 5 year requirement, but the original concrete still exists today. The methodology for paved roads won Bartholomew first prize at the Chicago World Fair for engineering technology and helped spread the invention worldwide.

 

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