U.S. Highway 187 (Decommissioned)


History

U.S. 187 is one of several U.S. routes that have been decertified in Wyoming. Unlike U.S. 116, 216, 185, 285, and 420, which were decommissioned in 1936, U.S. 187 was decommissioned years later, in 1982. However, according to Robert V. Droz, U.S. 187 has never been "officially" decommissioned by AASHTO, and as such, U.S. 187 is still listed in the official U.S. Route Log.

Prior to the signing of the U.S. highway system, U.S. 187 was at one time planned along the path of U.S. 87E between Muddy Gap Junction and Billings, Montana. This signing was probably never used, but it has appeared on the 1926 Rand McNally Map.

The real U.S. 187 lasted for 56 years -- between 1926 and 1982. U.S. 187 was the main route from Rock Springs to Moran Junction via Pinedale and Jackson. U.S. 187 was one of the original U.S. routes in Wyoming.

According to a 1938 Texaco map of Utah, U.S. 187 was at one time planned to continue beyond its Rock Springs to Moran Junction routing. Plans called for "NEW" U.S. 187 to continue "southward" along U.S. 30 East, then turn south on Baggs Road at Creston Junction (modern Wyoming 789). The map showed "NEW" U.S. 187 heading south into Colorado, where it would have likely connected with modern Colorado 13. This southern extension of U.S. 187 was never adopted nor signed, but I suspect that Rand McNally may have known of a possible extension that was ultimately rejected by AASHTO, the Wyoming or Colorado Highway Departments, or other local entities. Aside from this map, there has not been many changes with the routing of U.S. 187 until the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Based on an AASHTO recommendation, U.S. 187 was fully decommissioned in favor of the redefined U.S. 191 by 1982. The 1982 U.S. 191 route was longer, running from Chambers, Arizona, north to Malta, Montana. This routing also eliminated the single-state route of U.S. 187. (AASHTO rules favor eliminating all U.S. routes shorter than 300 miles or entirely within one state).

A guide for the old U.S. 187 corridor appears on the U.S. 191 page. There is additional information on the history of U.S. 191 available on that page.

For more on the role of U.S. 187 in the recommissioning of U.S. 87 and the removal of the U.S. 87 E/W split, see the U.S. 87 page.

Although U.S. 187 has been replaced by U.S. 191, there are many sections of the old road that are still visible today. In some areas, such as the section of U.S. 191 between Rock Springs and north of Reliant, as many as three old alignments roughly parallel the current route of U.S. 191. Mike Ballard, an old roads enthusiast, located several tracks of abandoned sections of U.S. 187 parallel to modern U.S. 191 between Rock Springs and Farson.

Page Updated September 22, 2005.

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