The Meridian Road was organized in 1911 by a group of "good roads" boosters. Proposed as a direct north-south automobile route through the central United States, its name was derived from the Sixth Principal Meridian. In 1912 the route was largely established through six states, connection Winnipeg, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Meridian Road, later renamed the Meridian Highway, eventually extended to Mexico and became U.S. Highway 81. In northern Nebraska, the road connected Norfolk, Hadar, Pierce, Wausa, and Crofton, crossing the Missouri River at Yankton, South Dakota. The route of the highway was relocated in 1939, eventually bypassing all of the smaller communities from Norfolk to Yankton.
This marker stands on a segment of the original highway laid out in the fall of 1911, which followed section line roads north and west to Pierce. It includes a steel truss bridge built in 1915 and improvements such as concrete culverts and graveled roadbed dating to the 1920s. This segment has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is preserved and maintained by Pierce County.