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Sidewalk Highway / Ribbon Road

Between Miami and Narcissa, OK

East < GO > West

The Sidewalk Highway / Ribbon Road follows the old Ozark Trail and was paved in 1921/2 and then served as Route 66 from 1926 to 1937. Today you can still drive the whole original alignment, but the original 9 foot wide pavment only exists in two sections that total about 6 miles. The pavment on the rest of the original road has been widened.

This section runs from south of Miami to Hwy 69 and the other from south of Narcissa to just west of Afton. It's called the "Ribbon Road or "Sidewalk Highway" because the original asphalt topped pavement was only nine feet wide on the straight sections. The conrete included low curbs on each side that can be seen in the photo above.

But wait ... why a 9 foot wide road? Because they had enough money to pave half the length of this section full width or the whole length at only 9 feet wide.

If you drive this road GO SLOW, especially when rain, snow or other cars or trucks are present!

Directions: At the south end of Miami go straight ahead at Hwy 10 (Hwy 69 / Route 66) onto 125 which also becomes E St SW as it curves west then south crossing the river then keep going straight ahead when 125 turns east. (For the newer (better road) route turn west at Hwy 10 (Hwy 69 / Route 66) and follow 69 to Afton.)

When you get to the "T" at E 130 Rd where you have to turn, go west about 1/2 mile to S550 Rd. A few feet past S550 the new pavement ends and the original Ribbon Road begins. This section of the original pavement is about 3 miles long.

GPS: 36.830015, -94.891055

The overall roadbed width doesn't change much from the modern pavement to the Ribbon Road section, but where the pavement is with-in that roadbed does. The 9 foot wide "ribbon road" runs right down the middle of the overall roadbed width. The difference between old and new is that the Ribbon Road has wider gravel shoulders. That's important to know because you'll need to have at least one set of wheels on the shoulder if you meet an oncoming vehicle.

At the next "T" turn south onto S. 540 RD, this corner like all others on the "Ribbon Road" is a bit of a curve, or "rounded". It hardly noticable, but the pavement on the curves gets wider by a few feet than on the straight sections of the road. The curves are also banked a bit with the outside being higher than the inside.

A mile down the road you want to turn west onto E. 140 RD and follow that to Hwy 69. This is where the Route 66 Marker is located. This is where this section of the 9 foot wide pavement ends.

xThis photo is looking east from the monument at the intersection of the Ribbon Road and Hwy 69. It was placed at the west end of the Miami section of the Ribbon Road or Sidewalk Highway in the fall of 2012. The concrete curbs of the original roadway are easily seen in this photo.

x The inscription on the marker reads as follows:

Historic Route 66
Ribbon Road-
Sidewalk Highway

Completed in 1922
as Federal Highway
Project No. 8.
Running 15.46 miles
from Miami to Afton.
The only remaining 9'
section of original
pavement on
the old Route 66
system, Taken out of
service in 1937.
A National Register of
Historic Places Site.

Much of the original pavement is covered with gravel, but you can see the original pavement and curbing in many places. From this monument you go south a short way on Hwy 69 to the Technical Center where you turn west onto the southern section of the Ribbon Road which takes you the rest of the way to Afton.

Turn south on Hwy 69 when you leave here.

Photo(s): 2013



x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.