Highway 80
(Bygone Byways(TM) since 2001)

The Broadway of America, the Bankhead Highway and others would ultimately become a portion of one of America's original 1926 U.S. Highway family - old Highway 80.  Once truly a grand transcontinental highway stretching from coast to coast, old Highway 80 encompassed portions of  many early important 'named' auto routes such as the aforementioned Bankhead and Broadway of America routes.  Old 80 also encompassed portions of the Ocean to Ocean Highway, the Dixie Overland Highway, the Old Spanish Trail;  the Southern National, the Lone Star Route, the Pinal Pioneer Parkway and even the Lee Highway.  Whew!  I know of no other highway that evens come close to being an integral part of so many of the early auto trails.  However, as the need for ever faster transportation became apparent, Highway 80, like its other brethren, found itself being bypassed and decommissioned as the new interstates took an increasingly larger share of the traffic and business. 

Unlike Route 66, U.S. 80 still exists today, though severely truncated.  Replaced by the asphalt mega-ways of I-30, I-20; I-10 & I-8 in the American SW, its starting point remains in Georgia, but this once sea-to-sea roadway now officially ends in Dallas, Texas.  It's demise in the Southwest began in California when it was decommissioned in 1974, then in in the Seventies, it was truncated to Benson, AZ.  Completely decommissioned in Arizona in the late 80's, the old highway struggled for a little longer in New Mexico, but gave up the ghost there as well in '91 (dates courtesy of Rob Droz's great U.S. Highway pages).

I'll try to capture here for you, the inquisitive roadie, those portions of old U.S. 80 that I've had the pleasure of driving.  As I learn more, I'm sure I'll have more to add, so please check back every now & then!  But for now, check out some of my Highway 80 experiences in the intriguing states of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.   


Click on the map for "no-nonsense" driving directions for each state! 

"Submitted for your approval..."

Folks, it's HERE!  Drive the Broadway of America by Jeff Jensen.  
The definitive Highway 80 drive guide through the American Southwest!

Click on the image below to see a sample of the text, the tours, and most importantly, my turn by turn maps!

"As one who has spent two decades exploring, charting, and documenting Route 66, I can say without hesitation that Jeff Jensen has elevated himself into the upper echelon of road scholars with Broadway of America.  His exceptional accounting of the old US 80 and Bankhead Highway corridor leaves no stone unturned, revealing a marvelous grab bag of ruins, old roadbed, and other roadside attractions. The maps are dead-on and the images mouth-watering. I've made the trip twice and can't wait to do it again!"
Jim Ross

Author, Oklahoma  Route 66
Co-author and Publisher, Roadside USA

Georgia.  From the beginning, Highway 80's long trek across the continent on 80 began here.  Come explore a little bit of those origins courtesy of fellow roadie Chris Hunger of Savanna, Georgia.  This just wets your appetite for more from the Peach state!

Louisiana.  Like a southern afternoon after a plate of crawfish and creole, ol' 80 wanders through the delta, bayous and woods of the state in a leisurely manner.  The old road doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get to where its going, and neither should you be.  Follow along and enjoy the hospitality and peacefulness of the old Dixie Overland through Louisiana.  

80-TX-El Paso-Sun Valley Motel Sign 7.JPG (149645 bytes)

Texas.  A whooole lot of it too!  Stock up on the fixin's, 'cuz there's over 800 miles of the Dixie Overland Trail and Bankhead Highway to be explored through these here parts.  Heck, that doesn't even include the historic or alternate!  Though today's U.S. 80 officially ends in Dallas, there exist many bypassed segments of yesterday's 80 for your cruising enjoyment.

New Mexico.  Bolting across southern New Mexico like a jackrabbit, old Highway 80 used to zip across open rangeland on its dash to the west coast.  Decommissioned here in '91, there doesn't appear to be much left along the newer segments now.  However, there are a few gems to be found along some of the older segments in the center part of the state.  Come on in, and I'll show you what I've found!

80-AZ-Yuma-Yuma Cabana Motel Sign.jpg (112815 bytes)

Arizona.  Twisting through Arizona like a serpent, old 80 once tied together such far-flung towns such as Douglas and Yuma with the more urbanized centers of Phoenix and Tucson.  Although completely decommissioned in Arizona, most of old 80 still exists as state or county highways.

80-CA-Buckman Springs Exit.jpg (89531 bytes)

California.  Paralleled (mostly) or overlaid by I-8 across the entire bottom of the state, Highway 80 still remains in drivable condition in several long segments.  The stretches of old 80 between El Centro past Plaster City to In-Ko-Pah Gorge and the road through Jacumba on into Pine Valley/Descanso Junction are particularly historic and scenic drives.  Real time capsules...not to be missed.

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