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Author Topic: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?  (Read 1628 times)

OCGuy81

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Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« on: February 05, 2021, 11:52:08 PM »

Having lived here for a few years now, I'm aware Oregon has some oddities with state highways, specifically with mile posts belonging to the highway (for example, the Santiam Highway being a designation for US 20) vs the route itself.

That said, was Oregon's plan to have a grid for state highways like neighboring Washington?

I ask because it seems most of the highways in the Willamette Valley/Portland Metro are in the 200s.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2021, 11:54:24 PM »

Weren’t most of the 200 range numbers assigned fairly recently to State Highways that didn’t have numbers?
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OCGuy81

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2021, 11:56:07 PM »

Weren’t most of the 200 range numbers assigned fairly recently to State Highways that didn’t have numbers?

I thought those were in the 500s, such as 569 in Eugene and 551 near Aurora
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Bickendan

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2021, 03:42:51 AM »

The sub-100 routes were laid out with some logic in mind: Evens starting in the northwest with 2 and going down the coast (OR 2 is now US 26, not to be confused with ORH 2, which still fits the scheme, which is I-84, and former ORH 2W-now 92, which is US 30 west of Portland).
By route numbers:
2 Sunset Hwy [ORH 47] (US 26)
6 Wilson River Hwy [ORH 37]
8 Gales Creek Rd/TV Hwy [ORH 29]/Canyon Rd  [ORH 29]
10 Farmington Rd [ORH 142]/Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy [ORH 40]/Capitol Hwy [ORH 40]
12? Powell {Valley} Rd [ORH 26]/Mt Hood Hwy [ORH 26] (US 26) (Powell Blvd would likely have been Powell Valley Rd back then)
14 Three Rivers Hwy [ORH 32] (OR 22)
16 Willamina-Sheridan Hwy [ORH 157] (OR 18B)
18 Salmon River Hwy [ORH 39]
22 Willamina-Salem Hwy [ORH 30]/North Santiam Hwy [ORH 162]
?? Corvallis-Newport Hwy [ORH 33]/Corvallis-Albany Hwy [ORH 31]/Santiam Hwy [ORH 16] (US 20)
34 Alsea Hwy [ORH 27]/(Corvallis-Newport Hwy [ORH 33])/Corvallis-Lebanon Hwy [ORH 210]
36 Mapleton-Junction City Hwy [ORH 229]
?? Florence-Eugene Hwy/MacKenzie Hwy (US 28, now OR 126)
38 Umpqua Hwy [ORH 45]
42 Coos Bay-Roseburg Hwy [ORH 35]
62 Crater Lake Hwy [ORH 22]
66 Green Springs Hwy [ORH 21]

For the odds, they start in the northeastern corner and work their way west:
3 Enterprise-Lewiston Hwy [ORH 11]
7 Whitney Hwy [ORH 71]
11 Oregon-Washington Hwy [ORH 8]
19 John Day Hwy [ORH 5]
27 Crooked River Hwy [ORH 14]
39 Klamath Falls-Lakeview Hwy [ORH 20]/Klamath Falls-Malin Hwy [ORH 50]/Hatfield Hwy [ORH 426]
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NE2

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2021, 09:51:55 AM »

The Oregon State Highway Commission officially adopted a system of 36 named and numbered highways on November 27, 1917. The main routes were numbered 1-7, with 8-35 clustered across the state, and 36 probably added late in planning. Signs with numbers (later also including names) were installed beginning in early 1920. There were few changes to the system until 1931-32 (at which time the number had reached 47), when a fair number of county roads were taken over as secondary highways. These secondary highways received three-digit numbers, with the first two digits representing the county in a geographic clustering pattern, from 102 in Clatsop County to 458 in Malheur County (I don't know why 100 was skipped, though 101 was presumably not used due to US 101).

A separate system of signed routes was adopted in 1932, making the highway numbers for internal use only. Every primary highway received a one- or two-digit route number, assigned in a grid. (I haven't found the original number for Highway 6 from Cairo to Nyssa, later US 30S.) Only numbers equal to 2 or 3 mod 4 were used to leave room for expansion. 3-51 were given to north-south routes from east to west, while east-west routes were split into four bands, in which they were numbered from north to south: 2-46 west of Highway 1 (30 was skipped because of US 30), 50-70, 74-78, and 82-90. (Note that 8 (0 mod 4) appears on the 1935 map; it was probably originally part of 47 before that route was sent north from Forest Grove on secondary Highway 102.)

A few years later, selected secondary highways (and perhaps certain connecting county roads) received route numbers greater than 200; unlike the primary routes, no numbers were skipped, so later numbers violated the grid. Odd numbers from 201 to 229 were assigned to north-south routes from east to west, and even numbers from 202 to 238 went east-west from north to south.

Maps and logs:
1917 http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/GEOMETRONICS/ROW_Eng/HistoryHighwaysOregon/statehwypropsed1917_0001.tif
1935 http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~24578~900063:1935-road-map-Western-United-States
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
http://www.oregonhighways.us/
http://www.angelfire.com/or3/oroads/roads/

JasonOfORoads

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2021, 02:00:27 AM »

The primary routes were assigned and approved by the Oregon State Highway Commission at their meeting on June 22, 1932. They were the first of the three Pacific states to implement a signed state route system -- California would follow in 1934, and Washington in 1937.

I haven't yet been able to hammer down a date for when the secondary (201+) numbers, but a list of 200-level assignments existed back in 1934. They first appeared on the official state highway map in 1936.

Based on the list from the meeting minutes, I've made any additions, subtractions and corrections below:

The sub-100 routes were laid out with some logic in mind: Evens starting in the northwest with 2 and going down the coast (OR 2 is now US 26, not to be confused with ORH 2, which still fits the scheme, which is I-84, and former ORH 2W-now 92, which is US 30 west of Portland).

By route numbers:
2 Sunset Hwy [ORH 47] (assigned prior to construction, US 26 after October 1951)
6 Wilson River Hwy [ORH 37] (assigned prior to construction)
10 Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy [ORH 40]
14 Three Rivers Hwy [ORH 32] (OR 22)
18 Salmon River Hwy [ORH 39]
22 Willamina-Salem Hwy [ORH 30]
26 Corvallis-Newport Hwy [ORH 33]/Corvallis-Albany Hwy [ORH 31] (US 20 after April 1943)
34 Alsea Hwy [ORH 27]
38 Umpqua Hwy [ORH 45]
42 Coos Bay-Roseburg Hwy [ORH 35]
46 Oregon Caves Highway [ORH 38]
50 Mt. Hood Highway [ORH 26] (US-26 after October 1951)/Wapinitia Highway [ORH 44] (OR 52 after 1948, then OR 216 after about 1957)/The Dalles-California Highway [ORH 4] (briefly OR 23, then US-197 after October 1951)
54 Santiam Highway [ORH 16]/McKenzie-Bend Highway [ORH 17]/The Dalles-California Highway [ORH 4]/Central Oregon Highway [ORH 7] (all US-20 starting January 1941)
58 Willamette Highway [ORH 18]

62 Crater Lake Hwy [ORH 22]
66 Green Springs Hwy [ORH 21]/The Dalles-California Highway [ORH 4]/Klamath Falls-Lakeview Highway [ORH 20] (OR-140 after December 1965)
70 Dairy-Bonanza Highway [ORH 23]
74 Oregon-Washington Highway [ORH 8]
78 Burns-Crane Highway [ORH 24]
82 Wallowa Lake Highway [ORH 10]
86 Baker-Cornucopia Highway [ORH 12]
90 Old Oregon Trail Payette Spur [ORH 6 Spur] (OR 52 after about 1957)


OR-8 (Tualatin Valley Highway ORH 29) and OR-36 (Siuslaw Highway ORH 34, previously US-28) were assigned later in the 1930s. The Florence-Eugene Highway from Mapleton to Eugene wasn't opened until 1966.

For the odds, they start in the northeastern corner and work their way west:
3 Enterprise-Lewiston Hwy [ORH 11]
7 Baker-Unity Hwy [ORH 13]
11 Oregon-Washington Hwy [ORH 8]/Pendleton-John Day Highway [ORH 28]/Beech Creek Highway [ORH 400, now parr of ORH 28]/John Day Hwy [ORH 5]/John Day-Burns Hwy [ORH 48]/Central Oregon Hwy [ORH 7]/Lakeview-Burns Hwy [ORH 49]/Fremont Hwy [ORH 19] (all but ORH 8 became US-395 after August 1934)
15 Pendleton-Cold Springs Hwy [ORH 36] (US-395 after August 1934)

19 John Day Hwy [ORH 5]
23 The-Dalles California Hwy [ORH 4] (US-197 after October 1951)
27 Warm Springa Hwy [ORH 360] (US-26 after October 1951)/Crooked River Hwy [ORH 14]
31 Fremont Hwy [ORH 19]
35 Mt. Hood Hwy [ORH 26]

39 The Dalles-California Hwy [ORH 4, now part of ORH 50]
43 Oswego Hwy [ORH 3] (wasn't signed until around 1939)
47 Tualatin Valley Hwy [ORH 29]
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Tarkus

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2021, 07:14:39 AM »

Also, on the north-south end, there's OR-51 Monmouth-Independence Highway (formerly just the Independence Highway), and OR-53 Necanicum Highway (which is the highest-numbered "primary" state route number for a north-south route, and was once a former route of US-101, which probably explains why it's not following the pattern of 4s). 

There's also the weirdness of OR-37 in Eastern Oregon, which is also part of the Pendleton-Cold Springs Highway that isn't encompassed by present-day US-395.  It violates the grid pretty badly--I don't understand why they didn't just leave it as OR-15.

-Tarkus

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JasonOfORoads

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2021, 02:23:29 AM »

Also, on the north-south end, there's OR-51 Monmouth-Independence Highway (formerly just the Independence Highway), and OR-53 Necanicum Highway (which is the highest-numbered "primary" state route number for a north-south route, and was once a former route of US-101, which probably explains why it's not following the pattern of 4s). 

There's also the weirdness of OR-37 in Eastern Oregon, which is also part of the Pendleton-Cold Springs Highway that isn't encompassed by present-day US-395.  It violates the grid pretty badly--I don't understand why they didn't just leave it as OR-15.

I omitted these ones because they weren't assigned on June 22, 1932. OR-51 appears to have been designated sometime between then and 1934, and OR-53 was assigned in 1941, when the Neahkahnie segment of US-101 was opened. OR-37 was assigned in 1972, when US-395 was moved onto what was OR-32; OR-32 appears to have been assigned around 1943, when the Boardman-Stanfield section of US-30 was opened.

IMO OR-51 and OR-53 are close enough to the grid that they make sense. However, if I was the state highway engineer when assigning those numbers, I'd have given OR-51 a secondary number and given OR-51 to what is now OR-53. There's no excuse for OR-32 and OR-37 though. I agree that OR-37 should've been OR-15, and OR-32 should've been OR-17 since it mostly ran N-S.
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Tarkus

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2021, 05:49:19 AM »

I omitted these ones because they weren't assigned on June 22, 1932. OR-51 appears to have been designated sometime between then and 1934, and OR-53 was assigned in 1941, when the Neahkahnie segment of US-101 was opened. OR-37 was assigned in 1972, when US-395 was moved onto what was OR-32; OR-32 appears to have been assigned around 1943, when the Boardman-Stanfield section of US-30 was opened.

IMO OR-51 and OR-53 are close enough to the grid that they make sense. However, if I was the state highway engineer when assigning those numbers, I'd have given OR-51 a secondary number and given OR-51 to what is now OR-53. There's no excuse for OR-32 and OR-37 though. I agree that OR-37 should've been OR-15, and OR-32 should've been OR-17 since it mostly ran N-S.

Wikipedia actually lists OR-51 as being 1932 to present, so that's why I threw it in there.  I knew OR-53 was newer, and I agree that both make sense on the grid.  The OR-51 number made more sense on that route's original alignment, when instead of heading west toward Monmouth, it instead continued south from downtown Independence along present-day Corvallis Road (in Polk County) and Independence Highway (in Benton County), meeting US-20 (then OR-26?).  That routing, based on my quickie Google Maps "Measure Distance" calculation, was almost exactly 22 miles, which exceeds OR-53's 18.91 miles, and OR-43's 11.6 miles. 

Present-day OR-51 is almost as much of a mess as the south end of OR-219, and a similar story--straightforward north-south routing that was forced to take an east-west jog by a later rerouting, where it runs into another east-west route.  In OR-51's case, that's OR-194 (which, IIRC, on some old maps from the 90s, was shown as more OR-51, albeit which maps I can't remember--Thomas Guide, perhaps?), and with OR-219, the infamous OR-214/OR-211 mess in Woodburn. 

I can understand wanting to have the main road between Monmouth and Independence signed, and the Corvallis Road bit is rather curvy (the Independence Highway section, however, is my favorite shortcut to bypass the nasty Lewisburg signal on OR-99W) . . . but it's still a little bit of a strange routing.  I'll note, as a WOU alum/former adjunct prof, anyone trying to get from Monmouth (or even parts of Independence) to OR-22 is going to take Hoffman Road and Stryker Road to the northern part of OR-51, rather than following OR-51 the whole way.

I'd love to know what the heck they were thinking with OR-37 and OR-32, though.  I can't even really pin it on someone at ODOT having a random thing for numbers in the 30s, since there's a 29-year gap between when those two were assigned.

-Tarkus
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OCGuy81

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2021, 08:38:48 AM »

Quote
Present-day OR-51 is almost as much of a mess as the south end of OR-219, and a similar story--straightforward north-south routing that was forced to take an east-west jog by a later rerouting, where it runs into another east-west route.  In OR-51's case, that's OR-194 (which, IIRC, on some old maps from the 90s, was shown as more OR-51, albeit which maps I can't remember--Thomas Guide, perhaps?), and with OR-219, the infamous OR-214/OR-211 mess in Woodburn.

Probably asked here before but the south end of 219 was in Salem originally, correct? I’ve seen mention of 219 in Keizer, and in downtown Salem I recall a sign with a “ghost” 219 shield downtown.
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xonhulu

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2021, 03:00:29 PM »

Quote
Present-day OR-51 is almost as much of a mess as the south end of OR-219, and a similar story--straightforward north-south routing that was forced to take an east-west jog by a later rerouting, where it runs into another east-west route.  In OR-51's case, that's OR-194 (which, IIRC, on some old maps from the 90s, was shown as more OR-51, albeit which maps I can't remember--Thomas Guide, perhaps?), and with OR-219, the infamous OR-214/OR-211 mess in Woodburn.

ODOT's own bridge inventory signs on 194 give its route designation as 51, and even more absurdly, as US 51!

Quote
I'd love to know what the heck they were thinking with OR-37 and OR-32, though.  I can't even really pin it on someone at ODOT having a random thing for numbers in the 30s, since there's a 29-year gap between when those two were assigned.

The only guess I could make is that, in both cases, they picked a state route number that was close to the US Route # it was replacing:  OR 32 for US 30, OR 37 for US 395 (since OR 39 was already in use).

Probably asked here before but the south end of 219 was in Salem originally, correct? I’ve seen mention of 219 in Keizer, and in downtown Salem I recall a sign with a “ghost” 219 shield downtown.

You're right on OR 219 originally ending on Salem.  I'm not sure about "ghost" 219 in downtown Salem, but there is still one on River Rd. in north Keizer.
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KEK Inc.

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2021, 03:06:59 AM »

Curious why the grid ascends in units of 4.
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Rothman

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2021, 07:25:58 AM »

Curious why the grid ascends in units of 4.
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NE2

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2021, 11:57:23 PM »

Curious why the grid ascends in units of 4.
Room for expansion.

sparker

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Re: Was there an attempt at a state highway grid in Oregon?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2021, 08:23:36 PM »

Curious why the grid ascends in units of 4.
Room for expansion.

The E-W signed basic state route system seems to work like this:  starting with 2 (unsigned), there's 6, then 10 farther south, unassigned 14, 18, 22, 26 & 30 held back because of US highways (although original OR 26 was US 20 from the coast to the Willamette Valley), 34, 38, 42, 46, former 50 and 54, 58, 62, 66, 70, 74, 78, 82, 86 (a later addition).  All even, and not divisible by 4.  The ones that are divisible by 4: 8, former 32, 36, 52 are all former US routes (in order 26, 30, and 28 for the last two).  N-S state routes advance by increments of 4 starting with 3 (and, correctly deduced, 37 should be 15 according to the grid) with 7, 11, 19, unassigned 23, 27, 31, 35, 39, 43, 47, and 51.  And again, interim odd numbers are former US highway alignments:  37 (see above) and 53.  One could see this as a sort of fractured grid pattern starting in the northeast corner of the state.  Curiously, OR could be said to have taken a cue from the original CA grid pattern, which laid out even-numbered highways divisible by 4 from about Stockton and basically progressing northward to the original CA 44 (with the original 28 being an outlier), while even numbers not divisible by 4 started in the northern part of the L.A. basin and originally progressed south and southeast into Orange County, ending in 26, with the extended range in the 30's located in the east and west exurbs.  Because of topology, the N-S odd-numbered routes were never able to extend a workable grid pattern, so "clusters" became the stock in trade:  1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29 in or extending out from the Bay Area, with 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, unassigned 31, 35, 39 scattered around greater L.A.  IMO, it's a shame the Division of Highways didn't "double-down" on the original grid pattern in the '64 renumbering! 

But of the two states, OR's system has maintained more of the original attempted grid pattern, even with US 20 and 26 subsuming much of the original long-distance state routes east of the Willamette Valley (54 & 50 respectively). 
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