1 = borrow pit n 1.
1897 Galveston Daily News (TX) 16 May 4/2, The Aransas Pass railway company ordered to open the bar pit on the north side of their track from the crossing of the Richmond road to the Southern Pacific railway ditch. 1915 Dallas Morning News (TX) 12 June 9/3, Grading work . . will be delayed probably a week by the washout yesterday of the track to the bar pits on the west side of the Trinity River. 1945 Denton Rec.–Chron. (TX) 26 Mar 4/6, Texarkana, Ark. . . Mrs. Viola Allie Fultz, 33, and her two daughters . . were drowned yesterday while attempting to cross the ramp of a levee bar pit. 1950 AmSp 25.85 OR, Barrow-pit is common in road-making, to mean the ditch or excavation beside a roadway; frequently it shortens to bar-pit in the same meaning, and occasionally the meaning is extended . . to include any excavation made for the purpose of securing fill material. 1958 PADS 30.11 IA, Railroad construction workers use the variants barrow-pit, folk-etymologized borrow-pit, and shortened bar-pit to refer to an excavation from which gravel is taken to build up the roadbed. This excavation is not necessarily near to the roadbed. 1965–68 DARE (Qu. C4a, . . Fairly large body of fresh water) Inf LA20, Bar pits [ˈbɔˌpɪts] back of the levee; (Qu. C14, A stretch of still water going off to the side from a river or lake) Inf AR55, Bar pit [bɑ:pɪt]—where they dug the levee; (Qu. C27, A hillside or deep hole where stone is taken out) Inf FL21, [bar] pit—gravel and clay taken from it; FL27, Bar pit—[for] sand. 1967 DARE FW Addit AR52, Bar pits—where they took out material to make a levee. 1971 Delta Democrat–Times (Greenville MS) 24 Mar 1/2, Gordon Hartley outlined complaints by several fishermen over boat rental fees and launching fees in a bar pit owned by Reynolds. 1999 Telegraph (Alton IL) 1 July sec A 9/5, The area is in a “bar pit” on the other side of abandoned railroad tracks from U.S. 67 but is within about 200 feet of the highway. 2004 Marler Reflections on Life 64 cLA (as of 1930s), Bar pit. = Borrow pit. Road builders borrowed dirt from land near the road to fill in the road-bed. This left a pit that filled with water. So we fished in the bar pit.
2 = borrow pit n 2. chiefly West See Map
1900 Dallas Morning News (TX) 3 May 8/3, The train was slowed up and crept along the track amid pouring rain and pelting hail, with the bar pits on either side of the road raging torrents, until the sectionhouse near Heidenheimer was reached. 1935 Olney Enterprise (TX) 10 May /5 (newspaperarchive.com), The bar-ditches of the 100-foot right-of-way are graded at an angle that will permit a car to leave the pavement, enter the bar-pit and return to the pavement without overturning. 1950 [see 1 above]. 1950 AmSp 25.165 CO, The ditch by the side of an upgraded road is called ‘bar pit,’ ‘borrow pit,’ ‘barrow pit,’ ‘bar ditch,’ ‘borrow ditch,’ ‘barrow ditch,’ ‘grader ditch,’ and ‘gutter.’ . . The word pit is much more frequent than ditch or gutter. 1958 PADS 30.11, Bar-pit and its variants. . . are clearly a feature of the southwestern quarter of the Upper Midwest. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. N24, A ditch along the side of a graded road) 18 Infs, chiefly West, Bar pit; (Qu. N25) Inf CO3, Bar pit. [17 of 19 Infs old] 1966 Silver City Enterprise (NM) 17 Mar 4/3, The drive through the Burro Mountains was very pretty, most of the snow is gone and clear water is trickling down the bar pits. 1971 Wood Vocab. Change 53, A ditch provided in the course of such grading. . . in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas it is bar pit. 1973 Allen LAUM 1.272 Upper MW (as of c1950), Several infs. have the variant bar pit or bar ditch. 1977 Pinedale Roundup (WY) 21 July 6/4, Kerback . . told officers that another vehicle was on his side of the road and Kerback had to take to the bar pit to avoid collision.