Atoka plans for Jefferson Highway renaissance
ATOKA, Okla. (KTEN) — Plans for the Jefferson Highway date back to 1915 with a push for an international route from Winnipeg, Canada to New Orleans.
More than 100 years later, parts of the original route remain. The Oklahoma section runs parallel to U.S. 69, and Atoka County Chamber of Commerce economic development director Carol Ervin said it's a popular journey for history buffs.
"They'll maybe do it in two or three legs, and some people will do the entire Pine to Palms in one trip," Carol Ervin, member of Atoka Chamber of Commerce said.
Ervin said Atoka is expecting 2,000 visitors a day when Reba's McEntire's restaurant opens later this year, and that's why there are plans to spotlight the historic highway.
"People from all over the country come in, so to have them stop here and let us host them and show them what all we have to offer," said Cindy Wallis with the Atoka Museum.
Atoka is modeling its plans to promote the Jefferson Highway after another historic roadway in Oklahoma: Route 66.
The next step towards completion includes placing markers along the highway.