Johnson Ave looks like many other thoroughfares in Cedar Rapids with a mix of residential and retail properties along it’s three mile stretch. It is home to one of the largest Hy-Vee food stores in the city, two drug stores, medical offices, small bars and eateries, auto service centers, car washes, gas stations, a Dairy Queen store and at least five insurance agencies. The diverse residential area includes many well-kept owner-occupied homes, apartments buildings, assisted care and aging mobile homes.
Driving down this humble stretch of road today, most people would be surprised to learn that it was once part of one of the nation’s first transcontinental highways. Dedicated in 1913, the Lincoln Highway ran more than 3,000 miles from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco.