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Interstate 82 in Washington and Oregon

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Amaury:
I've always wondered why Interstate 82 is designated as west-east, as is evident by its even number, yet runs more south-north. Besides the numbering, my understanding of routes is that however more miles one direction has than the other is the determining factor. So, if a highway runs west-east for 10 miles and south-north for 3 miles, it is a west-east route, since there are more west-east miles than south-north miles. Like I-90 has sections that run south-north, but it mostly runs west-east. There are even sections of Washington State Route 20 East where you're heading west for a bit and vice-versa! This seems to mostly be in Pend Oreille County. (There are some highways that don't make sense at all, like Montana Highway 206, which clearly runs south-north and is designated as such, yet has an even number, but that's for another discussion.) Anyway, from reading both Wikipedia and a response from WSDOT to a post asking a long time ago, I learned that Interstate 82 used to only be in the Tri-Cities area, where it is west-east. It was gradually extended to the junction with Interstate 90 here in Ellensburg and to the junction with Interstate 84 in Oregon. They just never changed the numbering to something like Interstate 83 to reflect that it ended up becoming more of a south-north route, though from what WSDOT told me, they have done things like that in the past, and it is pretty expensive to replace or put up new signs.

One of the ways, and maybe the cheapest, that I could see this being "fixed" would be to re-shorten I-82 to just be between Exit 37, where US 97 currently separates from the concurrency with it and US 12, and Exit 113, where US 395 currently joins I-82. So from the junction with I-90 until Exit 37, it would just be US 97 by itself and between Exit 113 and the junction with I-84, it would just be US 395 by itself. But the more logical fix would be to just renumber it to an odd number and replace signs.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Bruce:

--- Quote from: Amaury on September 22, 2022, 05:05:13 AM ---I learned that Interstate 82 used to only be in the Tri-Cities area, where it is west-east. It was gradually extended to the junction with Interstate 90 here in Ellensburg and to the junction with Interstate 84 in Oregon.

--- End quote ---

I-82 was always planned as a connector between I-90 in Ellensburg and I-80N (now I-84) somewhere near Pendleton. This held true through the routing debate that took it closer to the Tri-Cities and resulted in the creation of I-182 as well.

As I-82 fits into the network as part of a longer connection between Seattle and Boise/SLC, an even number is entirely appropriate. Truncating it would not make much sense, especially if it is isolated from the rest of the Interstate network on paper.

Quillz:
The numbering made more sense when I-84 was originally numbered as I-80N. I do think it fits somewhat better as a south-north route, but if anything, it's really more diagonal in nature given its southern terminus compared to western terminus. Always been a bit of an odd interstate in that way. I've seen some threads in the past here saying it should be renumbered to I-7 or I-9. I suppose these have some merit but I think I-82 works fine as it is.


--- Quote ---They just never changed the numbering to something like Interstate 83 to reflect that it ended up becoming more of a south-north route
--- End quote ---
It would never be renumbered to I-83. I-83 is already in use and even if it wasn't, it would be near the East Coast. The only realistic numbers that would work at this point are 7 or 9. 11 is now taken and it has some future extension plans, but those would almost certainly stay within Nevada.

Keep in mind even from the very start, there were exceptions. There are just some routes, especially US highways, that run more diagonal and are hard to really assign a number, because it could be either even or odd.

Amaury:

--- Quote from: Bruce on September 22, 2022, 06:22:22 AM ---As I-82 fits into the network as part of a longer connection between Seattle and Boise/SLC, an even number is entirely appropriate. Truncating it would not make much sense, especially if it is isolated from the rest of the Interstate network on paper.
--- End quote ---

I mean, the road itself wouldn't be truncated, just the I-82 designation between Ellensburg and Exit 37 and between Exit 113 and the Interstate 84 junction. But that is also why I mentioned that the more logical "fix," if one were to occur, would be to change it to an odd number.

Although I did pick some random points on Google Maps that I thought made sense, and I get 69.8 point miles of south-north and 73.3 miles of west-east, which means it would be a west-east route, but I don't know what the official points are. But these aren't official points, and there doesn't seem to be a website that says how many miles a highway travels in a certain direction. For example, there's no official website that says out of the 143.58 miles—which my numbers above don't equal to due to the differing points—that Interstate 82 runs, according to Wikipedia, X miles are south-north and Y miles are west-east.







The bigger issue with me comes from the fact that Ellensburg is north of Yakima, or vice-versa, Yakima is south of Ellensburg. And we do drive in those directions, yet you're driving on a west-east freeway. Similarly, two of the elevations between Ellensburg and Yakima are called North Umtanum Ridge and South Umtanum Ridge.

Another way to "fix" this could be renaming Interstate 82 to Interstate 190, an auxiliary route of Interstate 90—like what Interstate 182 is right now to Interstate 82—and renaming Interstate 182 to Interstate 82, but that would most definitely not work, as I think, similar to spur routes, auxiliary routes must be short. If they're long, they're not auxiliary (or spur) routes.

splashflash:
The Pasco to Ritzville US 395 freeway could be made part of the interstate system.  Then I-82 could terminate south of I-182, just west of Kennewick and where US 395 cuts to the Tri-Cities; that new interstate could continue to I-84 and I-82 terminate there. Or maybe you want I-84N and S, with I-82 becoming I-84N, following Texas that is determined to reintroduce E, W and now C.

I think changng with the US 395 or US 12 routings or/and numbering in the area has more potential for modification.  The US 12 expressway to Walla Walla could be argued to get a I-182 concurrency once phase 8 work is done (10 years?). 

 

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