Portal:U.S. Roads

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The U.S. Roads Portal


The highway system of the United States is a network of interconnected state, U.S., and Interstate highways. Each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands own and maintain a part of this vast system, including U.S. and Interstate highways, which are not owned or maintained at the federal level.

Interstate Highways have the highest speed limits and the highest traffic. Interstates are numbered in a grid: even-numbered routes for east–west routes (with the lowest numbers along Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico), and odd-numbered routes are north–south routes (with the lowest numbers along the Pacific Ocean). Three-digit Interstates are, generally, either beltways or spurs of their parent Interstates (for example, Interstate 510 is a spur into the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and is connected to Interstate 10).

U.S. Numbered Highways are the original interstate highways, dating back to 1926. U.S. Highways are also numbered in a grid: even numbered for east–west routes (with the lowest numbers along Canada) and odd numbered for north–south routes (with the lowest numbers along the Atlantic Ocean). Three-digit highways, also known as "child routes," are branches off their main one- or two-digit "parents" (for example, U.S. Route 202 is a branch of U.S. Route 2). However, US 101, rather than a "child" of US 1, is considered a "mainline" U.S. Route.

State highways are the next level in the hierarchy. Each state and territory has its own system for numbering highways, some more systematic than others. Each state also has its own design for its highway markers; the number in a circle is the default sign, but many choose a different design connected to the state, such as an outline of the state with the number inside. Many states also operate a system of county highways.

National Forest Scenic Byway marker

Scenic byways can be designated over any classification of road in the United States. There are the National Scenic Byways, National Forest Scenic Byways and Bureau of Land Management Back Country Byways at the national level. Most states have their own system for designating byways, some more systematic than others. Indian tribes may designate byways as well.

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Interstate 8 in San Diego, from the San Diego Trolley

Interstate 8 (I-8) is an Interstate Highway in the southwestern United States. It runs from the southern edge of Mission Bay at Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, in San Diego, California, almost at the Pacific Ocean, to the junction with I-10, just southeast of Casa Grande, Arizona. In California, the freeway travels through the San Diego metropolitan area as the Ocean Beach Freeway and the Mission Valley Freeway before traversing the Cuyamaca Mountains and providing access through the Imperial Valley, including the city of El Centro. Crossing the Colorado River into Arizona, I-8 continues through the city of Yuma across the Sonoran Desert to Casa Grande, in between the cities of Phoenix and Tucson.

The first route over the Cuyamaca Mountains was dedicated in 1912, and a plank road served as the first road across the Imperial Valley to Yuma; east of there, the Gila Trail continued east to Gila Bend. These were later replaced by U.S. Route 80 (US 80) across California and part of Arizona, and Arizona State Route 84 (SR 84) between Gila Bend and Casa Grande. The US 80 freeway through San Diego was largely complete by the time it was renumbered as I-8 in 1964; east of San Diego, the US 80 roadway was slowly replaced by I-8 as construction progressed in the Imperial Valley. The Arizona portion of the road was built starting in the 1960s. Several controversies erupted during the construction process. The route was completed in 1975 through California, and by 1977 through Arizona, though the bridge over the Colorado River was not completed until 1978. Since then, the freeway through San Diego has been widened due to increasing congestion, and another portion in Imperial County had to be rebuilt following Tropical Storm Kathleen.

Recently selected: Minnesota State Highway 7 • Oregon Route 120 • Interstate 895 (Maryland)

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A switchback along Utah State Route 143.

Recently selected: Maryland Route 197 • New Jersey Turnpike • U.S. Route 101

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The Schuylkill Parkway freeway stub in Bridgeport


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Nominations and votes for selected articles and selected pictures are always needed. Anyone can nominate an article, and anyone can vote for an article. You can also recommend items for Did you know?.  

See also Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. Roads/to do, Category:U.S. road articles needing attention and individual state highway project to-do lists.

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Numbered highways in the United States

References and notes

  1. ^ Montgomery, Jeff (February 25, 2015). "Coming to Delaware's I-95: 65 mph speed limit". The News Journal (Wilmington, DE). Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ Wurfel, Sara & Murray, Dave (December 31, 2014). "Gov. Rick Snyder Signs Bills Focused on Creating Good Government Practices: Also Signs Memorial Highway, 'Pure Michigan Byways' Bills" (Press release). Office of the Governor. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ "I-164 Renamed to I-69 by End of Year". Indiana Department of Transportation. November 18, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Final section of ICC to Laurel, new I-95 interchange to open this weekend". The Baltimore Sun. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ Higgs, Larry (November 3, 2014). "New southbound Turnpike lanes open". The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ). Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ Schaefer, Mari A. (October 27, 2014). "Expanded lanes open on New Jersey Turnpike". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ Forgey, Pat (September 18, 2014). "Parnell hails DOT's new Juneau road plan; Walker calls for fiscal caution". Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, AK). Retrieved September 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Speed limit now 80 mph on some Idaho interstates". Boise, ID: KTVB-TV. July 24, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ Smith, Katelyn (July 22, 2014). "Speed limit raised to 70 mph on Pa. Turnpike". Lancaster, PA: WGAL-TV. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
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