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Author Topic: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation  (Read 3770 times)

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In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« on: February 06, 2021, 07:32:15 PM »

Many of us were already familiar with that proposal, but on this blog post I've compiled some of the historic documentation along with a couple maps.  Interesting thing is, AASHO never formally rescinded their conditional approval.  So on the off-chance that Yukon ever relents, the door is still open for US 97 in Alaska.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 03:58:57 PM »

I found the 1964 US 97 in Alaska very interesting. The route did make sense to me. According to the US 97 page on Wikipedia, in the late 1950's the Alaska International Rail and Highway Commission lobbied to designate a US 97 from Fairbanks, AK to Mexico City, MX. I'm not sure how that would have been implemented if that proposal had been approved.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2021, 08:36:29 PM »

I found the 1964 US 97 in Alaska very interesting. The route did make sense to me. According to the US 97 page on Wikipedia, in the late 1950's the Alaska International Rail and Highway Commission lobbied to designate a US 97 from Fairbanks, AK to Mexico City, MX. I'm not sure how that would have been implemented if that proposal had been approved.
I'm interested on how US 97 can go further south than Weed, CA. Unless they move the entire route east to take over US 395, US 99 pretty much occupies the route southward. And Mexico City? There's a better chance that US 81 could make it to Mexico City in a more direct path first, not that it's saying much.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2021, 08:40:07 PM »

And Mexico City? There's a better chance that US 81 could make it to Mexico City in a more direct path first, not that it's saying much.

57 already goes to Mexico City.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2021, 09:05:27 PM »

I found the 1964 US 97 in Alaska very interesting. The route did make sense to me. According to the US 97 page on Wikipedia, in the late 1950's the Alaska International Rail and Highway Commission lobbied to designate a US 97 from Fairbanks, AK to Mexico City, MX. I'm not sure how that would have been implemented if that proposal had been approved.

AASHTO's Alaska file (small paper file, which I reviewed at its office) suggested the main push for US 97 was business interests in northern California, and central Oregon and Washington. Their idea was to establish a route including existing US 97 as the preferred way of going to Alaska. But that ship has sailed, with the Milepost guide to Alaska travel (a popular reference for people planning Alaska trips) logging a west access route starting around the north end of I-5, and an eastern route starting from the north end of I-15.

Not that I paid much attention to the Milepost recommendations, when I planned my first trip to Alaska in 1994. My starting point was the north end of US 52 in North Dakota. I returned to the U.S. near the north end of I-5, but via the Washington state ferry from Canada's Vancouver island through Washington's San Juan Islands, rather than the land border north of Bellingham WA.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2021, 09:39:47 AM »


And Mexico City? There's a better chance that US 81 could make it to Mexico City in a more direct path first, not that it's saying much.

57 already goes to Mexico City.

Mexico already has its own numbering scheme, and an extended US-97 to Mexico City wouldn't "fit the grid":  current Carr. Fed. 97 is something like 20-30 miles from the Gulf coast.  In Mexico, the low odd numbers are in the west, and the high odd numbers are in the east.

An extended US-57 to Mexico City, however—current Carr. Fed. 57—does "fit the grid", so it works.  That's a benefit of its being approximately halfway between 1 and 100, and also halfway between east and west.

I don't know when Mexico's numbering scheme was developed, though.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 10:55:22 AM »

While I find the idea of a US highway existing outside the Lower 48 quite intriguing, I would've wanted US 99 to be designated instead, although I could see the logic AK used in suggesting US 97, seeing that BC 97 and YT 97 already exist.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2021, 11:37:52 AM »

While I find the idea of a US highway existing outside the Lower 48 quite intriguing, I would've wanted US 99 to be designated instead, although I could see the logic AK used in suggesting US 97, seeing that BC 97 and YT 97 already exist.

YT 97 does not exist. That's why the extension never happened.

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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2021, 01:14:09 PM »

If US 97 had been designated, and the proposed AK 2 extension to Nome was completed at some point, I wonder if the 97 designation would have been assigned to that route west of Livengood? This question is, of course, hypothetical, since US 97 does not exist in Alaska, and AK 2 may never be extended all the way to Nome.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2021, 02:06:31 PM »

Why did AASHTO have the Yukon stipulation anyway? Yukon barely has 10 numbered routes and some of them are just disconnected portions of B.C. routes. I think it's sad B.C. designated their longest highway 97 and Alaska asked to be included in the route system and it got turned down because of this.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2021, 02:24:01 PM »

Why did AASHTO have the Yukon stipulation anyway? Yukon barely has 10 numbered routes and some of them are just disconnected portions of B.C. routes. I think it's sad B.C. designated their longest highway 97 and Alaska asked to be included in the route system and it got turned down because of this.

BC numbered many of their routes to mirror those coming from WA, ID, and MT. Unfortunately for them, WA changed the numbering system not too long after, so BC is left with the old WA numbers at the border.

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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2021, 02:59:15 AM »

Many of us were already familiar with that proposal, but on this blog post I've compiled some of the historic documentation along with a couple maps.

Does anybody know about these 3-digit Alaska routes (207, 209 and 509) shown in the map?
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2021, 07:51:34 PM »

BC numbered many of their routes to mirror those coming from WA, ID, and MT. Unfortunately for them, WA changed the numbering system not too long after, so BC is left with the old WA numbers at the border.

The same thing happened when OK numbered its one state highway that meets one of NM's. Thus OK 325 no longer meets NM 325, but NM 456 instead.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2021, 12:00:44 AM »

Many of us were already familiar with that proposal, but on this blog post I've compiled some of the historic documentation along with a couple maps.

Does anybody know about these 3-digit Alaska routes (207, 209 and 509) shown in the map?
EDIT: 207 is Chena Hot Springs Rd. I've gotta think 209 (connects to local airport) is state maintained, and certainly 509. This may have been an internal set of state numbering that... well, now I wonder if all of their state maintained unnumbered roads in fact have internal 3 digit numbers.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 12:03:35 AM by Alps »
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2021, 12:28:20 AM »

I wonder if they were related to FA designations.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2021, 07:32:22 AM »

I wonder if they were related to FA designations.
http://www.dot.state.ak.us/stwddes/dcsprecon/assets/pdf/preconhwy/fhwa_maps.pdf
They're on there, all FAS. S-207 was the Hooper Bay Airport Road, not a match. Chena was S-650. Circle was S-670 Spur. Chicken was S-785.

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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2021, 08:10:28 AM »

Many of us were already familiar with that proposal, but on this blog post I've compiled some of the historic documentation along with a couple maps.

Does anybody know about these 3-digit Alaska routes (207, 209 and 509) shown in the map?
EDIT: 207 is Chena Hot Springs Rd. I've gotta think 209 (connects to local airport) is state maintained, and certainly 509. This may have been an internal set of state numbering that... well, now I wonder if all of their state maintained unnumbered roads in fact have internal 3 digit numbers.

The state's internal numbering system now uses 6-digit inventory numbers.
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Alps

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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2021, 12:48:39 AM »

Many of us were already familiar with that proposal, but on this blog post I've compiled some of the historic documentation along with a couple maps.

Does anybody know about these 3-digit Alaska routes (207, 209 and 509) shown in the map?
EDIT: 207 is Chena Hot Springs Rd. I've gotta think 209 (connects to local airport) is state maintained, and certainly 509. This may have been an internal set of state numbering that... well, now I wonder if all of their state maintained unnumbered roads in fact have internal 3 digit numbers.

The state's internal numbering system now uses 6-digit inventory numbers.
I noticed that this applies to all highways including the 12 posted routes. I'm wondering if you know anything about these former numbers. There's precious little to go on.

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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2021, 03:32:43 PM »

This is another example of "what could have been" in the US Highway System; like the US 37 proposal between Chattanooga, TN and Sellersburg, IN. Or the US 59 proposal between the Minnesota/Iowa state line south of Ostrander, MN (or possibly from Oskaloosa, IA) to Lake City, MN (this US 59 would have aligned with the grid perfectly, unlike existing US 59). Or US 143 from Jackson, TN to Glasgow, KY. Or any of the other US Highways that had extensions proposed and rejected. Oh what a world this would be.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2021, 03:54:12 PM »

This is another example of "what could have been" in the US Highway System; like the US 37 proposal between Chattanooga, TN and Sellersburg, IN. Or the US 59 proposal between the Minnesota/Iowa state line south of Ostrander, MN (or possibly from Oskaloosa, IA) to Lake City, MN (this US 59 would have aligned with the grid perfectly, unlike existing US 59). Or US 143 from Jackson, TN to Glasgow, KY. Or any of the other US Highways that had extensions proposed and rejected. Oh what a world this would be.
I'm still looking at US 231, and how it could've been US 37 or US 39, as it is fairly long, in the right grid spot and there are numbers available. Same with US 421, longer than parallel US 33 and US 35 (both also NW-SE routes) and ended up with a 3 digit number.
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2021, 12:02:05 AM »

A little more info from Alaska:
Quote
I got a little more information on the three-number highways from one of my coworkers. We don't have much to go on, but here's what we do know.

The highway numbering system in the image you sent was likely created during the Alaska Road Commission (ARC) days (before statehood and before DOT&PF's existence). It's likely this numbering system started in the 1950s. The ARC published annual reports and highway numbers are most likely listed in those reports. The system may have been carried over into the Bureau of Public Roads, which took over from the ARC in the mid-fifties. This numbering system does not appear to have been adopted by DOT&PF, which was established in the 1970s, as it's not in any of our records that we know of and isn't in place currently.

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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2021, 02:20:51 AM »

The old ARC numbers appear to be unrelated to the current numbers and are only two-digit with letter suffixes. Here are some old ARC numbers:

Route 8: https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/9799 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/9840

Route 48: https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/23598 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/23605

Route 51: https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8854 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8855 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8856 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8860 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8861 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8862 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8863 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8864 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8865

Route 65: https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/10019 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/10027 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/10028

Route 75: https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8858 https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/8859

Route 89: https://vilda.alaska.edu/digital/collection/cdmg21/id/23565

And more in an annual report: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Report/TDRJAQAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=willow%20fishhook%20121&pg=PA18&printsec=frontcover&bsq=fishhook


A later annual report with a different numbering that goes into three digits, yet doesn't match the map: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Report/eqjVAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=willow+fishhook+121&dq=willow+fishhook+121&printsec=frontcover



All the three-digit numbers shown on the map on pages 7-8:
*105 East End Road (Homer)
*109 Kenai Spur Highway
*112 Hope Highway
*121 West Willow-Fishhook Road
*124 Knik-Goose Bay Road
*207 Chena Hot Springs Road
*209 Circle Hot Springs Road
*503 Lake Louise Road
*505 Nabesna Road
*509 Top of the World Highway
« Last Edit: February 18, 2021, 02:33:58 AM by NE2 »
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2021, 03:39:07 AM »

Was 509 numbered as such because it connected AK 5 with YT 9?
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2021, 06:52:14 AM »

The route numbers in the photo links above go back to the early 1920s at least.  They seem to use project number and route number interchangeably.  Route 100 was "offices" and route 101 was "salaries".  Route 90 was shelter cabins.

Here are the annual reports 1923-27 in full view.  I was able to verify route 8 in the pictures is indeed route 8 in the Nome area in these reports.  There are double letter routes and there are also routes like 4H1.  At a glance I can't tell if any route numbers repeat in different districts beyond 90-100-101.  It seems like not.  Pretty decent maps in here but they have no numbers on them.

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015021028603&view=1up&seq=7
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Re: In 1964 Alaska asked AASHO for the US 97 designation
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2021, 10:30:09 AM »

BTW, the numbering system above goes back to at least 1906...

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015021028629&view=1up&seq=11
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