Despite its odd number, Oregon Route 293 is an east–west highway. It was not signed as a state highway until at least the 1990s. It is believed that Oregon Route 293 signs were posted in error, as OR 293 has always been the internal ODOT highway number. In 2002, ODOT changed its policy to allow signing of otherwise unnumbered state highways, so Oregon Route 293 officially came into existence.[original research?] Its main purpose is to connect rural Wheeler and Gilliam counties to the Bend metropolitan area. Most of Oregon Route 293 is located in Wasco County, although about a mile is in Jefferson County.