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Ak-Sar-Ben, Ah-a-Mo: 1938

Ak-Sar-Ben, Ah-a-Mo: 1938

November 1938. The Ak-sar-ben toll bridge over the Missouri River between Iowa and Nebraska at Omaha. View full size. Photograph by John Vachon.


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Tom Landry Highway

That section of I-30 was named after The Man in the Hat in 2001.

Yo, slr in tx guy!

Toll roads in Houston/Harris County may be permanent, but things are a bit more civilized in the neighboring Chicken Fried Nation of Dallas-Fort Worth. What is now Interstate 30 between the two downtowns was once called the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. The toll booths disappeared (along with the tolls!) in 1977.

Yo, Nilbog guy!

"Your Tolls Will Make It Free"

They told us that story here, too. Maybe they meant your Trolls will make it free. The purported idea is that once the cost of building the road has been recaptured, the public will be granted unfettered access. And if you believe that story...

Maybe it happened somewhere at sometime, but not in Harris County.


Apparently there's more to the story than that. According to Wikipedia it began in the 1890s when a group of local business leaders were trying to keep the Nebraska State Fair in Omaha. One of the things they wanted to try was to bring the Mardi Gras floats from New Orleans to Omaha. While in New Orleans this group was so impressed by the Mardi Gras Krewes that they decided to establish an organization based on that concept in Omaha. When asked to come up with a name one of the members said "Why not reverse the name of our beloved state, since everything seems to be going backwards these days?" Thus was born the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben.

One of the things that the Knights did was to buy the Douglas Street Bridge (the first road bridge across the Missouri River) and rename it the Ak-Sar-Ben Bridge. As the sign says they hoped to end the practice of charging tolls. The Bridge eventually became a free bridge in 1947. It was replaced by a girder bridge for I-470 in 1966 and demolished in 1968. Among other things the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben owned an operated a race track and arena complex from 1920-1990, and were minority owners of an AHL hockey team from 2005-2007.


"Your Tolls Will Make It Free"


Beyond that, the toll booth seems to be on the wrong side of the road for a Drive-on-the-left country...


..for clearing that up Dave. Dumb ole me, I thought it was some type of Arabic name. Wonder how much the toll was to cross the bridge?
I currently work as a toll collector in AD-IR-OLF but I wouldn't want to put that (name) on a sign, these drivers are usually confused enough.

Neat sign

Love the wording on the sign. Can anybody tell us the origin for the name of the bridge?

[Nebraska spelled backwards. - Dave]

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