U.S. Highway 312 (Decommissioned)
U.S. 312 was commissioned in 1960 to run from the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone National Park to Cooke City, Laurel, Billings, and Miles City in a general northeast direction. At Miles City, U.S. 312 turned southeast to end at U.S. 212 in Broadus.
In 1960, U.S. 312 followed the modern day U.S. 212 from Yellowstone to Billings (including a brief overlay with U.S. 310 and U.S. 10), U.S. 10 (Interstate 94) from Billings to Miles City, and Montana 59 from Miles City to Broadus. This strange "arc" look to the route was eliminated in 1962, when U.S. 212 was extended over the western portion of U.S. 312.
Between 1960 and 1974, U.S. 312 ran from Billings to Miles City along Interstate 94 (U.S. 10) and along Montana 59 from Miles City to Broadus. The highway was then decommissioned along I-94 to eliminate route duplication, and the remaining segment was within one state and less than 300 miles long. U.S. 312 was redesignated Montana 59, providing a continuous State Route 59 Corridor from Douglas, Wyoming, to Jordan, Montana.
If you look closely at any of the recent AAA road maps of Montana (mid to late 1990s), you'll notice they have forgotten to take off their U.S. 312 shield along the original U.S. 10, which has long since been decommissioned. I wonder if they leave that U.S. 312 marker there to identify when someone is copying their map? Or are they being nostalgic for that short-lived route? It's hard to say.
For more, go to the U.S. 212 page.
Page Updated September 22, 2005.