Discover America - Best By Car
|AASHTO updates to the US highway system||
"... and you may ask yourself, where does that highway go to?" -- Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime
"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything. From the Interstate, America is all steel guardrails and plastic signs, and every place looks and feels and sounds and smells like every other place." -- Charles Kuralt, On the Road with Charles Kuralt
"Life doesn't happen along the interstates. It's against the law." -- William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways
US Route Log
State Highway Links
Historic Route Logs
Early Route 66
Highway Sign Makeover
Route 66 News
Looking for the current, official US route number database? AASHTO finally has it online
For pictures of every endpoint of every US route and maps clearly showing each route: Dale Sanderson's US Ends.com
This web site is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the US numbered highway system, often called US routes. The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO), working in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Public Roads, laid out the US highway system along primary intercity roads of the day. Preliminary planning of routes to be included began in 1924. A list of proposed route numbers was ready in late 1925. The final list of US highways was agreed upon on November 11, 1926. In the early years, auto-tourists followed the US routes like they had the Auto-Trails. During the Great Depression, the U.S. and state governments put men to work improving and extending the nation's roads and highways. The US highway system carried the bulk of intercity vehicular traffic and people migrating west to California. These highways helped the US win the Second World War, allowing great flexibility in ferrying men and materials across the nation, supplementing the nation's fixed rail system. After the war, highways swelled with cars mass produced in factories tooled up to supply wartime needs. Roads built in the 1930's were inadequate for the faster and wider cars of the 1950's. Roads were widened, straightened, and divided. It was not enough. AASHO declared the US numbered highway system "outmoded" in August 1947. With Germany's Autobahns as an example of the highways Americans wanted, President Eisenhower signed a bill creating the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways on June 29, 1956. "Future Interstate" shields cropped up like weeds as the new superhighways were built along or on top of US routes. The plan was for both numbering systems to co-exist, maintaining established travel routes. California started the process of relegating US highways to a lesser place in modern life on July 1, 1964 with the decommissioning or truncation of most of its US routes. Another milestone (or was that a millstone?) was the completion of the McLean, TX bypass on I-40 / Route 66 in 1984. Others have cited the removal of the last traffic light on I-90 in Wallace, Idaho on September 15, 1991 as the Interstate System's completion because the original 1956 plan super slabs were now in place. In my opinion, the decertifying of the famed Route 66 on June 27, 1985 was the eulogy for old time travel. Now someone could go from Chicago to Los Angeles without seeing landmarks like the Blue Swallow Motel (Tucumcari, NM), Roy's Cafe (Amboy, CA), or Lucille's Service Station (Hydro, OK). US 66 was replaced by five Interstate numbers in addition to numerous state routes: I-55, I-44, I-40, I-15, and I-10. No single official highway number currently carries traffic between Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA, despite the fact that a single highway number linking those two cities had been a priority since US route planning began in 1925. The number crunchers believe that a single number connection between two cities is no longer important. Now, US 66 is back as "Historic" Route 66. Business blooms where it had once withered in the Interstate's shadow, like Henry's Rabbit Ranch (Staunton, IL). People still want to travel that single number, that storied old pavement and experience the great American road trip. Maybe those bean counters in the highway departments were wrong.
Modern Interstate highways are wonderful ways to get somewhere fast, from one big city to another without all the small towns, stoplights and tourist traps in-between. It is mass transit - moving lots of people and goods as efficiently as possible. It's the fast food way of getting there. Large parts of the old US highway system can still take you someplace, to where someone lives, works or plays. It is not just the destination that is important, the journey is, too. Think of it as savoring a sit-down meal instead of whisking through a drive-thru. One of the goals of this site is to show where these highways go and have gone. Maybe you will recall road trips from your past, or be inspired to take another one. Maybe you will learn a little more about the historic routes you travel. Recall those twisty old two-lane roads, neon lined motels, and a time when most gas stations had service bays instead of food marts. Enjoy the site. I hope you learn something. E-mail me if you do. So hit the road and Happy Motoring!
|U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830): The current complete United States highway list in sequential order, with their termini. All US highways past and present are listed here, with their length in miles and (historical maximum extent), if different from current length. Each road is linked to its location in the North-South or East-West page.|
|North-South U.S. Highways: The odd numbered highways from US 1 on the Atlantic coast to US 101 on the Pacific coast, with branches listed in order, both past and present, with states the roads pass or passed though (with links to other sites), the roads that replaced it, and other notes, such as years of commissioning and decommissioning and major extensions and truncations. Each road is hyper linked to its location on the sequential page. This is the page with the recently extended US 425, the truncated US 65, and the oddly numbered US 17-1, which ran from Petersburg, Virginia to Wilmington, North Carolina.|
|East-West U.S. Highways: The even numbered highways from US 2 along the Canadian border to US 98 along the Gulf of Mexico (and US 400), with branches listed in order, both past and present, with states the roads pass or passed though (with links to other sites), the roads that replaced it, and other notes, such as years of commissioning and decommissioning and major extensions and truncations. Each road is hyper linked to its location on the sequential page. This is the page with both US 20's, Old Route 66 and the "Loneliest Road in America" - US 50.|
|U.S. Highways: Split (Divided) Routes: These suffixed US Highways were supposed to represent equal splits in the highway, equally good alternates. They were invented to get the US highway system approved, and Kansas led the way with splits in US 40 and US 50. Oddly, none of the Kansas divided routes remain. All of them are listed here, past and present, in sequential order. Also listed are the states the roads pass or passed though (with links to other sites), length of the highway (current and/or historic), the roads that replaced it, and other notes, such as years of commissioning and decommissioning and major extensions and truncations. This is the page with the former US 99E's and US 99W's, the splits in US 30, US 40 and US 50, and all three routings of US 6N, including the one connecting US 6 to Kingston, New York.|
|Alternate U.S. Highways: Bannered Routes: The special purpose US Highway loops and spurs, past and present. Included are : ALTERNATE, BUSINESS, BYPASS, CITY, HISTORIC, OPTIONAL, SCENIC, SPUR, TEMPORARY, TOLL, and TRUCK. All are listed in sequential order and from north to south or east to west along the parent road.|
|U.S. Highway Numbering, Links, and Credits: An explanation of the numbering system of US Highways, why there is no US 0, and why I believe the biggest violator of the numbering plan is US 425. The major road related link list pages are listed, each one with more information on highways than you may ever need. This is also where I list the many helpful and knowledgeable people who have assisted with this site.|
|Future U.S. Highways: The US Highway system may have shrunk in places, but it is poised for growth in others. Information on official new routes in the planning stages are here, like the Coalfields Expressway from Beckley, West Virginia to Pound, Virginia which is proposed to be US 121 [II]. There is also the full list of US highway numbers that have yet to be assigned, like US 103. My own ideas on new US highways are there, like US 47. In addition, there are a few that never made it past planning stages, like US 60N from Chicago, IL to Springfield, MO. Finally, there are a few multi-state routes that have the numbers and routings you would expect from a US route.|
|The U.S. Highways Quiz: Do you think you know everything there is to know about the United States Numbered Highway System? Do you feel Lucky? This quiz is one way to test your US Highways IQ in a format made popular by ABC Television's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?". Big thanks go out to Kurumi of Kurumi.com for creating and hosting this fun way to test and increase your knowledge. (Note - this site is not maintained by me)|
|U.S. Highway History|
|Bureau of Public Roads Report in 1925: This table shows the all US highways planned on October 30, 1925. It also shows their termini, the states they passed though, and the routes they became in 1926. Based on Report of Joint Board on Interstate Highways, approved by the Secretary of Agriculture November 18, 1925, the infamous 1926 Rand McNally Road Atlas, and a 1926 AAA USA map. Roads listed in sequential order.|
|U.S. Numbered Highways in 1927: This table shows the all US highways originally adopted November 11, 1926. It also shows termini, length, the states the highways passed though, and split N, S, E, and W routes of the day. Based on the AASHO publication American Highways, April 1927, Vol. VI, No. 2. Roads listed in sequential order.|
|U.S. Numbered Highways in 1956: This table shows the US numbered highway system at its zenith, just before the creation of the Interstate system. This table shows termini, length and the states they passed though. Largely based on a USA map for 1956 by AAA. Roads listed in sequential order.|
|US 66 - In the Beginning: The history of Route 66 in the early 1920's, before much of it was even paved. The original 1925 plan and 1926-1927 routing are listed. Scanned maps from 1928 are there for you to examine the original twists and turns as the road snaked from Chicago to Los Angeles. The 'daughter' branch routes are listed, including the still active US 166 and US 266 and the decommissioned US 366's, US 466, the little known US 566 and the infamous US 666. Also reprinted here (with permission) is an article by Richard F. Weingroff of FHWA on why the number of this road was changed from US 60 in the planning stages to US 66 in the field.|
|Dixie Highway: More of a system then a highway, the Dixie Highway carried early auto tourists from the Midwestern US and Canada to Florida. When the US highway system was established, most of this system was absorbed into the nascent numbering system, some was not. Over time, much of it has been renamed, and the remaining named portions are like an incomplete puzzle. This page is an effort to fill in those missing pieces, connecting what time and progress have severed.|
|U.S. Highway Shield: A look at the Past, Present, & Future of the United States highway sign. The first US highway shield made is featured there, as well as a shield used by Automobile Blue Books, Inca of Chicago. A picture of an Original US 66 shield from Oklahoma is shown there. The famous colored US shields of Florida are there. On Page Two: I take out the "Big Box 'O Crayons" and rework the US highway shield, searching for a more interesting color scheme for the future than the generic white on black.|
|Temporary Interstates: The best kind of Interstate, Temporary. From the 1960's to the 1990's, Temporary Interstates were used to connect the parts of nascent Interstate system. California, Michigan, and North Carolina took the lead with this type of route. Modern practice is to use "Future" signage for the new corridor.|
|The Great International Highway Makeover: Many currently boring and / or drab highway route markers could be livened up without loss of functionality. Why not try colors, new shapes, or even different symbols? This part of the site is growing all the time as people worldwide like you submit their designs and comments.|
|Scenic Overlook - Photos from the Open Road: This site includes an extensive photo essay of the former route of US 25E up Cumberland Gap and other sights and scenes, organized by state, with a focus on the southeastern US, especially Florida. Any future road trip photos will be found here.|
|Maps: A few scanned maps from my collection and map scans that have been sent to me. Now with a 1957 USA map showing the nation before Interstates. If you are looking for a specific alignment my research fee is posted there.|
|The Right To Drive Right: My maternal grandmother lived and drove in Detroit, Michigan in 1937. This is her entire Driver's manual for that year. 84 pages with pictures of classic automobiles, electric streetcars, historic structures, and old signs.|
|Whatever happened to Standard Oil? The company that started with a plan to make money on the home lighting kerosene market ended up hitting it big with another petroleum product - gasoline. Standard Stations used to be a common sight along the nation's highway's - offering fuel, auto supplies, repairs, and trip planning while carrying on a long history of quality and service. Long distance travelers could not help but notice that the Standard Oil Company in one state may not be the same company in the next, or even the next after that. This is a highly abridged history of Standard Oil from the days when Atlantic, Esso, Sohio, Conoco, Stanocola, Stanolind, Socony, Socal, Waters-Pierce and Kyso could all claim to be Standard Oil, to the present when there are three remaining corporate heirs to the John D. Rockefeller's "Standard" brand name - ExxonMobil, bp, and Chevron.|
|Montana Highways: A website about the highways of Big Sky Country - Montana. Interstates, US Highways, State Routes, Trails, and what exactly did 'Reasonable and Prudent' mean, anyway?|
|Idaho Highways: A website about the highways of the Gem State - Idaho. Interstates, US Highways, State Routes, and the Sampson Trails.|
|Florida in Kodachrome: This part of the site is dedicated to detailing Florida's US Highways, and showing them in the traditional (1957-1993) color scheme. There is a small collection of photographs of the colored US signs in the field, taken before their replacement by generic MUTCD-compliant FHWA-approved-and-paid-for black and white shields.|
|Historic Florida Roads and Highways: This page traces the growth of the nationally numbered highway systems in the Sunshine State since 1925. Linked maps show the location of the decommissioned routes US 94 and US 541, which existed only in Florida. The original Florida only routings of US 98, US 319 and US 441 are detailed. There is information on US 21's brief planned routing in the state. Page Two traces the construction of Florida's Interstate Highway System from 1959 to the present, including the proposed I-75E and the full length of I-4 before its truncation.|
|Blue Diamond Roads: Florida used a numbering system far different from today's grid from 1917 to 1945. The road numbers were assigned by the Florida Legislature, and included many suffixed route numbers. The route markers were blue diamonds.|
|Florida Auto Trails: Before the US highway system was adopted in 1926, cross country traffic followed Auto Trails. Each highway had a name and a marker. Florida was a tourist destination in those days, too, and traffic followed these often colorful signs over Florida's early roads to Florida's beaches, springs, and swampland. Includes the south end of the famous Dixie Highway and the eastern end of the transcontinental Old Spanish Trail.|
|1950 Florida Driver's Handbook: More rules and regulations than the 1937 Detroit driver's manual, this slice of Fuller Warren era Florida is just before the big highway boom. You could be driving at 14. Your driver's license cost $1.00. Sixty miles an hour was the speed limit on the highways, daytime only. You only needed a single tail light. The artwork in the scanned manual is typical of the period, humorous and to the point. Also, the end of free range Florida in 1950.|
So, do you want more? Got some burning questions?
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Nomenclature Notes: Decommissioned US highway numbers are shown in parentheses and italics [ e.g. (US 830)]. This format is also used to indicate former maximum termini and other historical data. US states and the District of Columbia are referred to on this site by their two letter postal code . Numbered roads are referred to in the same manner. Thus, numbered roads in Michigan, Kansas, and Utah are shown as: MI-5, KS-66, and UT-257 instead of the locally used M-5, K-66, and U-257. This was done to maintain consistency within this website and is not meant to reflect traditional usage. The designation SR, for a generic state road, was avoided in this site because it is in common usage in many states. The designation CR was used on this site to refer to county roads. It is hoped that the county roads necessary to include will be clear in context. I maintain a glossary of terms used on this site here.
Datum Notes: All lengths on this site are given in miles. Most data available on US highways is in miles, from the earliest maps to the 1989 US Numbered Highways Route log, my primary information source. For those of you outside the United States, 1 mile = 1.609344 kilometers. Distances have been rounded to the nearest mile, with a minimum listed distance of one (1) mile.
Technical Notes: Welcome to the seventh URL of my web page. A tables capable web browser is necessary to fully utilize this site. Odds are heavily in favor of you having one, so don't worry about it. You will need the following fonts to see this site as intended: Arial/Helvetica and Geneva/Verdana. This site is NOT optimized for any browser. If this web site looks excessively strange in your browser of choice, please let me know by E-mail and I'll try to fix it.
Updates: New pages or major changes to existing pages are shown with or next to them. Minor changes are made frequently to all pages as better information becomes available. The date of the last update is usually near the bottom of each web page.
Title Graphic: Animation by Jenn Dolari of www.dolari.org
Site Generation: Pages initially built with Microsoft FrontPage, new pages built and maintained with Seamonkey. Maybe someday I'll get a site with Flash or CSS, but I don't see the point yet. Till then, maybe I'll be cool again when this look is retro.
Web Site History - The first US route long on the net was posted by J.P.G. Sterbenz. It was in table format. By the time I first posted my list in April 25, 1998, he had gone on to other endeavors. U.S. Highways: From US 1 to (US 830) web site created by me, Robert V. Droz. This site has been under revision, expansion, and relocation since then. Site originally hosted by Geocities - which became Yahoo Geocities in 1999. Their ads got intrusive, so I moved most of the site to GTE, which was my ISP at that time as well as my local telco. I had to change ISPs because when I signed up with GTE (now Verizon) it was for unlimited dial-up service. I ended up with 100 unlimited hours a month. Ah, the joys of old-time dial-up access. I switched to Earthlink. I use them for net access. I don't use the 'free' webspace that came with because they changed their hosting policy after I signed up, severely limiting the bandwidth a site could use a month before incurring a penalty. Next I shipped my site to the free site web host Xoom, which ended up being taken over by NBCi. NBCi / Xoom made its money selling advertising in a frame. Some people could not get to my site because of frame issues, so I looked for another home. NBCi web hosting is gone now. My next choice was another host, The Web Union (TWU). TWU temporarily shut down (long story, go to their website to see it) and I was host-less again. Because of favorable reviews from other road enthusiasts, I re-re-created my site on WebSolo. That service changed management and is now A-plus.net. (Now owned by Deluxe, most famous as a maker of bank documents and checks.) Maybe seven is my lucky number. Mention me to them if you like the service you see me getting and want to sign up. You get your own name. I'm paying less than $10 a month for this site, as long as the bandwidth is under a certain amount. They have yet to tell me what that is. I think I'd have to have a lot of hi-resolution photos and get mentioned by the national media. This web site (c) R.V. Droz, including but not limited to: prose, original artwork and research. If you want to use something from here, please contact me. I mostly want to be properly credited, I'm not actively looking for tons of money off this web site. Of course, if you want to donate money, I won't stop you. I'm not too proud, and I'm not rich. In return, I do try to give credit where it is due. If you feel I have not credited you properly, please let me know by E-mail. us-highways.com is not controlled by or affiliated with any government agencies, nor any major corporations. Every effort is made to insure accuracy, but the webmaster does not guarantee 100% accuracy of the data found on this site. Your mileage may vary. Since this website was first posted, Google made searching much easier and reduced the need for links in my pages to other highway fan sites. Wikipedia shows great promise in presenting information about US highways. AASHTO posted its route log online. You may ask why I still do this page? One: Wikipedia links back here, a lot. Two: The route log on AASHTO's site is not what I had hoped would it would be. Three: Nowhere else is the depth of history about the US highway system available. Four: I'm stubborn. So, drop me a line, it makes my day when someone says they found something useful or entertaining here.
Looking for Free Paper Maps? Try Roadmaps.org (Links to official state maps) or AAA (They still have maps for members)
Looking for a good road trip magazine? Try American Road Magazine, Route 66 Magazine or Road and Travel Magazine
Looking to stay informed on the road? Try NPR or Roaddog on Sirius Radio (It survived my guest appearance.)
Looking for a Road Sign of your own? Don't steal! It's dangerous for drivers if the signs are missing. Signs are available at reasonable prices for public, private and personal use! You can buy MUTCD complaiant signs online from USA Traffic Signs , TAPCO and Esco road signs.
Looking for a Great Decoration? I was consulted on a few of the items on sale at Ornaments to Remember. You can put Route 66, US 1, US 101 and US 30 (Lincoln Highway) where ever you like. Check them out!
Looking for Utility Safety Markers and Signs? You see these all along the highways - gas lines, water, sewer, buried communication cables... Try OCSO Utility Markers.
Looking for Online History Resources? Here's a selection of free online history courses... Academic Earth.org/history.
All your highway are belong to US