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Author Topic: Will there ever be new US highways?  (Read 3604 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2019, 09:51:35 PM »

My family went on a vacation to Washington DC in 1982, using that route to travel there. I do not remember how far east the US 48 designation was signed into Maryland, or if it was co-signed with US 40 anywhere along the route. In December 1990, my dad, brother and I went to a few places along the east coast and we came home via that route. They were finishing up the freeway construction between Cumberland and Hancock at the time, but again, I don't remember how much of the route was signed as US 48.

I drove U.S. 48 (end-to-end) from Hancock, Maryland to Morgantown, West Virginia  in 1983.  The freeway was complete then from the Cumberland Thruway (I think it was present-day Exit 46) section west all the way to I-79.  IIRC, it was signed as U.S. 40/U.S. 48 from Hancock to  Keyser's Ridge (present-day Exit 14), where U.S. 40 left the freeway headed west and north toward Uniontown, Pennsylvania (as it does today) and U.S. 48 continued on a relatively straight westbound path toward Morgantown and I-79. 

East of Cumberland, there were two freeway segments of U.S. 40/U.S. 48 that were completed long before the entire freeway between Cumberland and Hancock was open to traffic.

The first freeway segment (headed eastbound) was in eastern Allegany County and included the interchange at Little Orleans Road (the structure that carries Little Orleans Road [Exit 68] over I-68 is distinctly older looking than most of the other bridges along this part of I-68).

The second freeway segment was in western Washington County, between the MD-144 interchange (Exit 77) at the eastern foot of Sideling Hill and the east end at I-70 (I-68 Exit 82).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 09:59:40 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2019, 03:18:59 AM »

Aren't we due for a US 437?
The old 12.5 conspiracy.
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2019, 10:41:23 PM »

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2019, 10:45:09 PM »

Aren't we due for a US 437?
The old 12.5 conspiracy.

What?

400, 412 (412.5 rounded down), 425, next is supposedly 437.
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2019, 01:17:10 AM »

Aren't we due for a US 437?
The old 12.5 conspiracy.

What?

400, 412 (412.5 rounded down), 425, next is supposedly 437.

I suppose that to some observers patterns=conspiracy.  Wake me when it gets to 500! :sombrero:
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2019, 04:28:56 AM »

Why isn't 412 related to 12? Couldn't they have named it some other number? Same with 425.
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FightingIrish

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2019, 08:59:03 AM »

Why isn't 412 related to 12? Couldn't they have named it some other number? Same with 425.
I'm guessing at the time, AASHTO was more preoccupied with the Interstate system, and when states requested new US routes, they just started issuing 4xx ones, due to indifference. Nobody aside from road geeks really care, so long as it gets them from point A to point B. I think AASHTO has finally snapped out of that, though.
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2019, 11:55:09 AM »

I'm guessing at the time, AASHTO was more preoccupied with the Interstate system, and when states requested new US routes, they just started issuing 4xx ones, due to indifference. Nobody aside from road geeks really care, so long as it gets them from point A to point B. I think AASHTO has finally snapped out of that, though.
I agree with AASHO/AASHTO being preoccupied and indifferent with regard to the US route system.  However, I think they started getting out of the business of assigning designations in the '70s, before the infamous 4xx routes were created.

Starting in about 1960, as more and more Interstates were opening to traffic, many state highway departments started truncating and/or decommissioning their parallel US routes.  Obviously the Interstates had become the exciting new development, whereas the original "interstate highways" (the US routes) were considered outdated and obsolete.  As an association consisting of state highway officials, it's not surprising that this mindset soon manifested itself within AASHO (which became AASHTO in 1973).  It was during this general timeframe when AASHO/AASHTO became more apathetic as far as assigning new US route designations, instead shifting towards letting the states come up with their own designations.

*1963: US 259 was one of the last new designations free of controversy.
*1966: US 164[ii] did not connect with US 64.  I suspect (but have no proof) that AZDoT wanted it to be US 64 (since it had been AZ 64).  AASHO wouldn't allow that, since (at that time) it did not connect with the existing US 64, so 164 was a tolerable alternative.
*1970: US 163[ii] is nowhere near US 63.  My understanding is that AZ and UT originally wanted 164[iii], probably since 164[ii] was going to be decommissioned that same year, but since it was a north-south route, AASHO told them it needed to be an odd number.  However, instead of assigning a more logical number, AASHO allowed AZ/UT to simply subtract one integer to come up with "163".
*1970: US 57 is a single-state US route, running east-west but with a north-south number.  This route had been TX 57, and it connects with Mexico 57.  It seems Texas felt it should be a US route, and AASHO allowed them to keep using the same number 57.
*1973: US 48[ii] was an acceptable designation.
*1982: US 412 is nowhere near US 12.  I assume AR and TN came up with the number, but I've never heard an explanation for their rationale.
*1989: US 425 is nowhere near US 25.  I assume AR and LA came up with the number, but I've never heard an explanation for their rationale.
*1994: US 400 is nowhere near US... zero?  Apparently AASHTO let KDoT choose from a list of available numbers.
*1994: US 371[ii] is an acceptable number, although it is questionable why this corridor was worthy of a US route designation, since US 71 is a much more direct route between US 371's endpoints.
*2002: US 48[iii] is an acceptable designation.
*2003: US 491 replaced the US 666 designation, and it was the state DOTs who proposed the number.  491 was a reasonable choice in light of the fact that the states involved did not want to duplicate their existing state highway numbers 291 and/or 391.
*2005: US 121[ii] will not connect with US 21; I do not know the story about where this number came from.  But I view this as another "proof" that AASHTO is not methodically assigning 4xx numbers to new routes.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 05:15:20 PM by usends »
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hbelkins

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2019, 04:52:21 PM »

*2006: US 121[ii] will not connect with US 21; I do not know the story about where this number came from.  But I view this as another "proof" that AASHTO is not methodically assigning 4xx numbers to new routes.

That number was assigned long before 2006. I drove by the Coalfield Expressway Authority office in Pineville, WV, in 2002 and it was adorned with a huge US 121 sign then.

This route really should have been an x19 or an x23. Or even an x52.
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2019, 05:22:10 PM »

That number was assigned long before 2006. I drove by the Coalfield Expressway Authority office in Pineville, WV, in 2002 and it was adorned with a huge US 121 sign then.
I meant to say 2005, that's the year AASHTO approved US 121.  So if you saw signs prior to that, then that suggests VDOT and WVDOT came up with that number themselves.
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2019, 05:53:53 PM »

I feel like 121 should have gone to FL/GA/SC 121.
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hbelkins

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2019, 11:37:36 AM »

That number was assigned long before 2006. I drove by the Coalfield Expressway Authority office in Pineville, WV, in 2002 and it was adorned with a huge US 121 sign then.
I meant to say 2005, that's the year AASHTO approved US 121.  So if you saw signs prior to that, then that suggests VDOT and WVDOT came up with that number themselves.

Yeah, it was proposed earlier. I don't have any sources to cite, but I suspect it was first proposed around 2000 or 2001.
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kphoger

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #37 on: February 25, 2019, 02:58:20 PM »

Why isn't 412 related to 12? Couldn't they have named it some other number? Same with 425.

The oddball US-4xx highways were intended to eventually become Interstate corridors.  As such, perhaps their numbers were never intended to be permanent.

↓  See below.  ↓

US 412 is a NHS/ISTEA High Priority Corridor, and was designated in 1982 (see http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/corr08.html ). It might become a future Interstate.

US 425 was added to the US route system in 1989; this is the preferred corridor for any future extension of I-530 to I-69. Part of US 425 is included in the I-69 corridor (see 6.4 ).

US 400 is also a NHS/ISTEA High Priority Corridor, added to the US system in 1996, the newest US route (see http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/corr03.html ). The number was picked by Kansas DOT out of a list of available numbers, and agreed to by Missouri and Colorado. US 400 is also planned as a future extension of I-66.
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CNGL-Leudimin

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #38 on: February 25, 2019, 03:30:12 PM »

As I've said before, if both AASHTO meetings this year don't approve any new US routes then this decade will be the first one since the US routes were created not to see any new numbers added to the system. Perhaps we should campaign to get the system as proposed by froggie approved, that would see the addition of US 86 and 88 as well as the return of US 28, 32, 38, 66, 94 and 99 (and the relocation of US 96) :sombrero:.
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FightingIrish

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2019, 04:27:38 PM »

That number was assigned long before 2006. I drove by the Coalfield Expressway Authority office in Pineville, WV, in 2002 and it was adorned with a huge US 121 sign then.
I meant to say 2005, that's the year AASHTO approved US 121.  So if you saw signs prior to that, then that suggests VDOT and WVDOT came up with that number themselves.

Yeah, it was proposed earlier. I don't have any sources to cite, but I suspect it was first proposed around 2000 or 2001.
US 121 ends at I-77, which was the original US 21. The number works for me.
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usends

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2019, 07:18:54 PM »

The oddball US-4xx highways were intended to eventually become Interstate corridors.  As such, perhaps their numbers were never intended to be permanent.
This explanation is often given, but some of it just doesn't quite add up.  For example...

US 425 was added to the US route system in 1989; this is the preferred corridor for any future extension of I-530 to I-69. Part of US 425 is included in the I-69 corridor (see 6.4 ).
I'm not sure either I-530 or I-69 were on the radar back in 1989.

US 400 is also a NHS/ISTEA High Priority Corridor, added to the US system in 1996, the newest US route (see http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/corr03.html ). The number was picked by Kansas DOT out of a list of available numbers, and agreed to by Missouri and Colorado. US 400 is also planned as a future extension of I-66.
I think it would be more accurate to say: US 400 was the bone thrown to Kansas as a consolation after the western I-66 proposal got killed. 
Also, did the list of available numbers (that AASHTO gave to KDoT) include only 4xx numbers?
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Rover_0

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2019, 01:56:50 PM »

The oddball US-4xx highways were intended to eventually become Interstate corridors.  As such, perhaps their numbers were never intended to be permanent.
This explanation is often given, but some of it just doesn't quite add up.  For example...

US 425 was added to the US route system in 1989; this is the preferred corridor for any future extension of I-530 to I-69. Part of US 425 is included in the I-69 corridor (see 6.4 ).
I'm not sure either I-530 or I-69 were on the radar back in 1989.

US 400 is also a NHS/ISTEA High Priority Corridor, added to the US system in 1996, the newest US route (see http://www.aaroads.com/high-priority/corr03.html ). The number was picked by Kansas DOT out of a list of available numbers, and agreed to by Missouri and Colorado. US 400 is also planned as a future extension of I-66.
I think it would be more accurate to say: US 400 was the bone thrown to Kansas as a consolation after the western I-66 proposal got killed. 
Also, did the list of available numbers (that AASHTO gave to KDoT) include only 4xx numbers?

That’s a good question. I believe Kansas’ rationale was that there was no other Route in the state with the number 400. If that’s the case, then why wasn’t US-400 numbered US-450, which is much more fitting—and available? For that matter, why wasn’t US-350 extended east (even with MO-350 up in Kansas City, US-350 would’ve been concurrent with US-166 and only for a mile, if that).
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2019, 02:46:57 PM »

How about a few public records requests to the parent agencies that submitted the requests for the rogue numbers.
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RoadMaster09

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2019, 10:03:13 PM »

Bringing back an old thread...

I'm not sure about any new US routes, as I see them as a "historic" part of America's highway system, although I do think there could be room for a few to replace bannered or split routes. That said, there may be NHS corridors that could use them (which run into multiple states, connect decent-size cities or run for an extended length, while at the same time have no potential of becoming Interstates).

However, what I WOULD do is resurrect all the former 2-digit US routes that have been downgraded to state or county routes (to the most reasonable extent possible). Routes that were completely supplanted by Interstates (i.e. a 2 lane corridor directly converted to a 4 lane Interstate) would be the exception, but the US route should be posted on all business loops. Routes that were paralleled by Interstates should always be posted. Yes, welcome back, Route 66, with US shields! 3-digit US routes don't have the history and I wouldn't bring any of them back, but I would replace as many bannered routes as possible with them.

That would not change any maintenance, as they could be under county or municipal jurisdiction.

That also would NOT change routes that were replaced by extensions of other US routes, although the numbers might be feasible to use on either replacing a 3di with a 2di US route, or a series of state-numbered NHS routes. Of 2di numbers no longer used:

US 28 - not sure where to place it? It's now mostly US 26.

US 32 and US 38 - both replaced by US 6. Not sure where to create those routes.

US 39, US 47, US 86 and US 88 - never used. There are probably good places for them.

US 37 - get rid of US 31W and place it there (gets it in the grid better than 31E), just like it used to be but in reverse.

US 55 - not sure? It was a rather pointless route in 1926; we'd be looking in the Midwest or Mid-South for a suitable corridor.

US 66 - Welcome Back!!!!  :sombrero: :popcorn:

US 94 - pointless in 1926, now better signed as US 41. Where in the Deep South could suit that?

US 96 - very pointless in 1926, now better signed as US 59. Same as US 94 - where could it go?

US 99 - Again, Welcome Back! Although it would likely be better to wait until CA 99 is up to Interstate status, then place US 99 shields on the old alignments.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 10:05:45 PM by RoadMaster09 »
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sparker

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2019, 05:10:48 AM »

US 99 - Again, Welcome Back! Although it would likely be better to wait until CA 99 is up to Interstate status, then place US 99 shields on the old alignments.

 I had much the same idea expressed in various threads dealing with US/CA 99 -- if and when it is decided to post Interstate shields on US 99 -- whether I-7 or I-9 -- it might be worthwhile from both a historic and practical standpoint to post concurrent "Historic US 99" signage on both the old "business" alignments through towns as well as on the reassurance shield assemblies on the interim segments of freeway.  The historic route could function as virtual/effective "business loops" through those larger towns along the route that still have much of those alignments intact -- and for those that have multiple interruptions due to city-initiated changes or ensuing construction (such as Fresno) could be aligned effectively after consultation with the affected local jurisdictions.  For instance, all of the "M" towns north of Fresno -- plus Turlock -- would be signed as "Historic US 99" on the original highway.   The beige/brown rectangular historic signs found sporadically statewide along their respective appropriate routes would suffice (particularly if the shields featured button-copy numbers like the later versions of the state-name historic shields).  This would save having to erect series of green I-shields -- and the whole corridor could be marketed as a destination for those tourists fancying themselves amateur historians!  Get a little tourist money thrown at Delano and Tulare -- they could certainly use it, as could Madera, Merced, and Manteca to the north.
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2019, 04:22:58 AM »

I keep seeing new interstates being built and US routes being decommissioned in favor of interstate highways, but have there ever been any new US routes being built recently, or will there be new ones in the future? Ever since the interstate highway system has been implemented, US routes have mostly been placed on the sidelines in favor of these interstates, so I'm wondering if US routes will ever earn a better place in our highway system in the future.

Basically upgrade extremely long State Highways and redesignate them with U.S. Highways. They can also completely replace S.H. 99 with U.S. 377.
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2019, 06:31:51 PM »

Bringing back an old thread...

I'm not sure about any new US routes, as I see them as a "historic" part of America's highway system, although I do think there could be room for a few to replace bannered or split routes. That said, there may be NHS corridors that could use them (which run into multiple states, connect decent-size cities or run for an extended length, while at the same time have no potential of becoming Interstates).

However, what I WOULD do is resurrect all the former 2-digit US routes that have been downgraded to state or county routes (to the most reasonable extent possible). Routes that were completely supplanted by Interstates (i.e. a 2 lane corridor directly converted to a 4 lane Interstate) would be the exception, but the US route should be posted on all business loops. Routes that were paralleled by Interstates should always be posted. Yes, welcome back, Route 66, with US shields! 3-digit US routes don't have the history and I wouldn't bring any of them back, but I would replace as many bannered routes as possible with them.

That would not change any maintenance, as they could be under county or municipal jurisdiction.

That also would NOT change routes that were replaced by extensions of other US routes, although the numbers might be feasible to use on either replacing a 3di with a 2di US route, or a series of state-numbered NHS routes. Of 2di numbers no longer used:

US 28 - not sure where to place it? It's now mostly US 26.

US 32 and US 38 - both replaced by US 6. Not sure where to create those routes.

US 39, US 47, US 86 and US 88 - never used. There are probably good places for them.

US 37 - get rid of US 31W and place it there (gets it in the grid better than 31E), just like it used to be but in reverse.

US 55 - not sure? It was a rather pointless route in 1926; we'd be looking in the Midwest or Mid-South for a suitable corridor.

US 66 - Welcome Back!!!!  :sombrero: :popcorn:

US 94 - pointless in 1926, now better signed as US 41. Where in the Deep South could suit that?

US 96 - very pointless in 1926, now better signed as US 59. Same as US 94 - where could it go?

US 99 - Again, Welcome Back! Although it would likely be better to wait until CA 99 is up to Interstate status, then place US 99 shields on the old alignments.
Not a bad idea, although a US 96 exists today (which shouldn't exist though IMO)
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RoadMaster09

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #47 on: July 15, 2019, 12:44:29 AM »

You're right about US 96 (and US 57, which both are ridiculously out of place, although US 57 does have merit in connecting to MX 57).

In general, what I would do:

* Eliminate as many bannered or suffixed routes as possible. Alternate and divided routes should be entirely eliminated - the less important route should be either a 3-digit or a state highway. Other banners would only apply to routes that do not parallel or run with an Interstate.

* Where independent from an Interstate, US routes should always be NHS. Realignments or reclassification to NHS should be looked into. 2-digit routes should be realigned if necessary; 3-digit routes should be changed to state highways if not reclassified.

* Where parallel to an Interstate, US routes do not need to be NHS, and in fact likely would not be. As the "historic" route, there is no benefit to realigning onto the NHS Interstate in these cases.

* 2-digit US routes bypassed by Interstates that remain under state, county or city maintenance are not to be truncated or removed unless they were 100% covered by the Interstate (i.e. a 2-lane upgrade to a 4-lane freeway). In practice, that rarely occurs. Concurrent sections would be used to connect discontinuous sections (although they can be "hidden"). If the old US highway is not reasonably drivable (i.e. bridges removed, poor condition) the highway can be relocated to the Interstate.

* Single-state routes that are not NHS should be decommissioned and become state highways.

* Single-state NHS routes should ideally be extended into other states to become a more regional purpose (if possible). US 92 might be an exception.

* Multi-state 3-digit routes less than 200 miles should be extended if possible if they have national value, although the length rule is bendable if geography precludes such.

* Previously decommissioned 2-digit routes should be brought back if possible, using any combination of Interstates (can be hidden), state highways, realigned 3-digit US highways and county roads, as long as they meet at least collector highway standards. Urban business routes should be signed with the old US highway designation, even if the Interstate concurrent designation is hidden. That would be the US 66 rule.
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3467

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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #48 on: July 15, 2019, 03:05:23 PM »

👍 Roadmaster
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Re: Will there ever be new US highways?
« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2019, 01:44:41 PM »

👍 Roadmaster

I agree.  You laid out well-thought out principles that clearly delineate that a US highway, while not always a freeway or expressway, is at least an important corridor that should have precedence over state routes.  I also agree that the system needs to be cleaned up a bit, add some highways and remove others largely on the grounds that you have suggested.

In short, if there are two parallel non-Interstate corridors, the US route should be the primary route and the other route should be a state highway.
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