The Journey Down Four Florida Roads

Journalist and author James Williams will join us on May 11th to discuss his latest book “Four Florida Roads.”

“Four Florida Roads” is a narrative of these iconic roads: Bellamy Road, Tamiami Trail, U.S. 301 and Interstate 95. Williams calls his book an eccentric history of the state, as seen through powerful personalities that produced Florida’s highway network. “Four Florida Roads” opens with the origins of native and Spanish trails, then moves on to half of the Pensacola-St. Augustine Road. Williams calls it the Burch-Bellamy Road, 1824 Florida’s first Federal U.S. road. The Tamiami Trail’s epic construction across one of the earth’s largest and oldest swamps connected South Florida’s east and west coasts. In the telling of U.S. 301’s history Williams focuses on Bradford County’s transition from a horse and buggy society into an auto culture. A section on America’s interstate system and Florida-95 ends the 20th Century. The book closes by covering contemporary issues and the future of planning roads and machines to drive over them: solar roads, Electric Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles and even Autonomous Aeronautical Vehicles. The history of these four roads form “an eccentric but revealing history of the state.”