". . . everything looks worse in black and white." - Paul Simon, Kodachrome
Click any of Florida's colored US shields below.
Alternate, Business, Bypass, Old and Truck Routes are listed with their parent road
Click here to see a map showing all the current federally-numbered highways in Florida, in color
Florida in Kodachrome follows this format:
|US Route Number||Length of the route in Florida|
|Termini, both in Florida and US||Commissioning / Decommissioning years in Florida|
|Routing: Longer roads are identified by the major cities and towns is passes or passed though (10,000+ pop). Major junctions or bends in the route are noted. Shorter routes are identified by city or cities located in, or smaller communities passed through with the shortest routes identified by street names. Exact termini are listed. Also listed are the routes that replaced the decommissioned routes.|
|Counties the route passes or passed through in Florida. Florida's county structure has remained stable since the beginning of the 20th century.|
|"Hidden" State Route Numbers. Every state highway in Florida has a distinct state road number, different from its federal number. Florida's Highway grid is similar to the US system, with low numbered two or one digit odd roads on the east coast. High numbered two or one digit odd routes are on the Alabama border. Even numbers are similar, with FL 2 along the Georgia border becoming GA 94 in the Peach State. Three digit route numbers are more complex. In general, odd numbers run north and south, even, east and west. The lowest three digit numbers (101, 102) should be found northwest of Pensacola, the lowest numbers (998, 999) should be in the southeast, around Miami.|
|Other federal and major state numbered roads the route is and / or was multiplexed with.|
|The Drive: Reported field conditions of the US highway with a date. If someone else drove the route, his or her name and E-mail will be posted with the report, I try to give credit where it is due.|
|History: How the road came to be.|
|Auto Trails: Pre-US highway numbering names|
Florida started using colored US highways signs in 1956, and the language of the MUTCD of that time allowed it. By the 1980's, the verbage in the MUTCD had changed, prohibiting the use of colors other than black and white on the standard US highway shield. Florida's colored US highway signs were now considered non-standard, after three decades in use. FHWA refused to allow Federal gas tax funds to be spent on replacement and new colored US shields. The colored US shields were no more expensive than a standard US marker. Yellow (like US 17) and Orange (US 41) markers did require more frequent replacement. FDOT maintenance forces placed colored shields up at state expense. Florida officially ceased producing colored US route markers on August 27, 1993. No new colored US shields were made after that time. Old stocks were used until they were exhausted. The last of the old colored shields were posted in 1996. Each day that passes, there are fewer of the old colored signs left. They are being replaced with standard MUTCD black and white signs. Occasionally a county or private entity will post a sign in the old color scheme, but that is a rare event. This web site is meant to be a photographic record of this unique experiment as well as informative about the US highway system in Florida. Most of the existing signs were recycled for the scrap aluminum content when they reached the end of their service life. The contracts for sign replacements were given to private companies, so don't bother the local maintenance yard if you want one.
"Momma don't take my Kodachrome away" - P. Simon
Apocryphal Florida-style color US routes - There were other US highways in Florida not long before the conversion to using color on the US shields, US 94 and US 541. If they had survived, I'm guessing they would have been colored, too. . This is my guess about the formula for deciding the basics of color - US 90 and US 92 are east-west mainline US routes that do not intersect, blue is a good color. US 94 fits that template. Putting a color on US 541 is a little harder. Yellow would be out, US 301 would have nearly connected to US 541. Red seems to be for mainline north-south routes. Orange US 41 intersects the route. Black was used on east-west route US 98, so let's save black for later. That leaves brown and green. Of the two, US 27 is closer to Tampa than US 441, so brown wins. Green, hmm, I have a problem with green. The only error in the system is where US 27 and US 192 intersect. US 192 is an east-west route, all the other green routes are north-south. If the routes were still colored today, they could change the color of US 192 to black. This change works unless US 192 somehow is extended west to US 98 near Dade City... which is highly unlikely. That leaves one last former US highway to consider, US 331. If it had somehow survived, they would have left it green, asssuming a co-signage with US 29, like US 1 and US 23. Any route assigned to that corridor, say, a hypothetcial US 531, would have likely gone brown, considering two other close yellow routes, US 319 and US 231.
Other Websites relating to Florida Highways
Florida Interstate History: The growth and history of Florida's Interstates.
Northwest Florida Highways - In-depth look at Florida's Panhandle by Bryan Bethea.
AboutVia has Florida signage and road related links.maintained by James Lin
DMOZ Open Directory Project - Florida Road Links - some dead links
Florida's Great Renumbering - by Bryan Bethea - Florida's newly renumbered highways as posted in 1946.
I-275 Florida - Edward Ringwald's site about Tampa - St. Petersburg's Main Line Interstate
Southeast Roads @ AARoads.com - Florida Gateway - the best of Florida roadscholar websites long gone (Cozart's and Learned's) and some of the most recent coverage of Florida, too
Destination Florida @ GribbleNation.com - some great old photos of Florida's colored shields and pictures of many of Florida's scenic sites today, along with the prerequisite road photography
US Highways Ends by Dale Sanderson - Florida has quite a few US highway ends - every US highway it has has at least one terminus in state. Here's a look at those place
Last update to this page on Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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