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Author Topic: I-26 History Question  (Read 2140 times)


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  • David Carson

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Re: I-26 History Question
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2018, 08:01:47 PM »

There were probably a few reasons as to why I-26 has its number:

As someone else said, Interstate 26's original, initial routing was much more east-west than the modern, extended I-26 that now goes through the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee past Asheville. This section of it (much of which used to be I-181, a two-sided spur that connected I-81 with Kingsport and Johnson City) is no doubt the part of I-26 that has the most north-south traits. Before the extension, yes, I-26 was still a very diagonal (northwest to southeast in this case) interstate, but at that time, it was more ambiguous, in that it could have easily been a north-to-south or an east-to-west interstate.

When looking at the available numbers that were left in the grid, it was obvious that making this diagonal interstate an even-numbered (east-west treated) one was the way to go. This is because there was truly no odd numbers left (exactly zero) for north-south interstates east of I-75. It seems like there was not much of a choice with that to make I-26 an east-west, even-numbered interstate. As for the specific number 26, it is just one of many even numbers that could have correctly been chosen for this decidedly east-west interstate, because it crosses several interstates (including I-20 and I-40).

Also, Eth brought up another good point to think about here, that could have been yet another factor in the decision-making of I-26's number:

Interstate numbers in and near the Carolinas make much more sense if you just reinterpret "north-south" to mean "parallel to the coast", and "east-west" as "perpendicular to the coast". That, I think, adequately explains the numbers 24, 26, 74, 81 (south of 64), 85, and the southern 87.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 08:31:33 PM by adventurernumber1 »
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Re: I-26 History Question
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2018, 01:16:20 PM »

I should also point out that I-26 and I-74 should never be so close to each other.


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Re: I-26 History Question
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2018, 09:28:20 PM »

And, the pre-Interstate route from Hendersonville, NC to Charleston via Spartanburg and Columbia was US 176, which is signed east-west. I suspect that the shortage of north-south Interstate numbers was the real deciding factor, but the US 176 thing could only have made it easier to swallow.

Now, what about I-385? Bear left toward Greenville off of westbound I-26 and you're going north? Along the route of US 276, which is signed east-west? Wassup with that?  :pan:


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