U.S. Route 191 in Utah

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 191 in Utah. For the entire length of the highway, see U.S. Route 191.

U.S. Route 191 marker

U.S. Route 191
Route information
Defined by Utah Code §72-4-125
Maintained by UDOT
Length: 404.168 mi[1] (650.445 km)
Existed: 1981 – present
Major junctions
South end: US 191 towards Ganado, AZ
  US‑163 near Bluff
US‑491 in Monticello
I‑70 / US‑50 near Green River
US‑6 near Price
US‑40 in Vernal
North end: US 191 towards Rock Springs, WY
Highway system
SR‑190 SR‑193

U.S. Route 191 (US-191) is a major north–south state highway through the eastern part of the U.S. state of Utah. The present alignment of US-191, which stretches from Mexico to Canada, was created in 1981 through Utah. Previously the route had entered northern Utah, ending at US-91 in Brigham City, but with the completion of I-15 it was truncated to Yellowstone National Park and re-extended on a completely different alignment. In addition to a large portion of US-163, this extension absorbed several state routes: SR-33, most of SR-44, and SR-260.

Route description[edit]

Wilson Arch alongside US-191 near La Sal Junction
US 191 & Utah Route 211 Markers

US-191 enters Utah on Navajo Nation land and crosses mostly desolate parts of the state. The largest cities served by US-191 are Moab, Price and Vernal. The highway nears the 10,000-foot (3,000 m) level in 2 places in Utah, over Indian Summit near Price and again while crossing the Uintah Mountains near Vernal. It leaves Utah at Flaming Gorge Reservoir. US-191 directly or indirectly serves a number of parks in eastern Utah: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Hovenweep National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Dinosaur National Monument, and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.

Church Rock, a landmark at the junction of US-191 with SR-211

Three portions of US-191 in Utah have been designated National Scenic Byways. Between U.S. Route 163 and State Route 95, US-191 forms part of the Trail of the Ancients. From Moab to Vernal, US-191 is a portion of the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway. The Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway begins at Vernal and follows US-191 to Flaming Gorge. The state has designated the portion from Helper to Duchesne as the Indian Canyon Scenic Byway, a Utah Scenic Byway.

US-191 crossing the Flaming Gorge Dam

Three portions of US-191 in Utah have restrictions on trucks and other large vehicles. Between the junctions with State Routes 46 and 279, vehicles wider than 15 feet (4.57 m) are required to have two police escorts. Between Vernal and the Wyoming State line, vehicles longer than 95 feet (29 m) are required to have two certified pilot escorts. Vehicles heavier than 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg) per axle are prohibited on Flaming Gorge Dam.[2]

History[edit]

When US-191 was created in 1926, it did not enter Utah, only running from Idaho Falls northeast to Yellowstone National Park.[3] An extension in the late 1930s brought US-191 south to Brigham City, Utah, following what was then SR-41 and is now mostly SR-13.[4][citation needed] With the construction of I-15 parallel to US-191, the latter route was removed from Utah in the early 1970s,[citation needed] and by 1980 it only existed north of Yellowstone.[5]

In cooperation with Montana, Wyoming, and Arizona, the Utah Department of Transportation submitted an application to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for an extension of US-191. In Wyoming, it would replace US 187 - a single-state route, which was against current AASHTO policy — and then follow Wyoming Highway 373 to the state line. The portion in Utah replaced several state routes — State Route 260 from Wyoming to Greendale Junction, the majority of SR-44 to US-40 in Vernal, and SR-33 from US-40 in Duchesne to US-6 near Price. After overlapping US-6 past Green River, the routing followed and replaced a large portion of US-163 to a junction southwest of Bluff. Between Bluff and Mexican Water, Arizona, US-191 followed a newly constructed road across the Navajo Indian Reservation, and then replaced State Route 63, still mostly inside the reservation, to I-40 at Chambers.[5] (It has since been continued along former US 666 to Douglas on the Mexican border.)

Arizona to US-6[edit]

US-191 replaced part of US-163, formerly SR-9 and SR-47.

The road from Bluff north via Monticello, Moab, and Valley City to Thompson (a station on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad) became a state highway in 1910.[6] To connect this road with the rest of the state highway system, a road from Valley City northwest via Floy to Green River was added in 1912, as was a connection from Thompson to via Cisco to Colorado.[7] An extension from Monticello southeast to Colorado was added in 1913,[6] and in the 1920s most of these roadways were assigned numbers: State Route 8 went from Green River via Floy, Valley City, Thompson, and Cisco to Colorado, and State Route 9 began at Valley City and extended south via Moab to Monticello and east to Colorado.[8]

US 191 north of Blanding
US-191 north of Moab

With the creation of the U.S. Highway system in 1926, SR-8 and SR-9 each received a second designation, US-50 and U.S. Route 450 respectively.[3][9] The state legislature redefined all the state routes in 1927, and moved SR-8 to a direct Floy-Thompson cutoff,[10] with both roads from Valley City to Floy and Thompson becoming SR-9.[11] The Monticello-Bluff road was assigned State Route 47 and extended to Mexican Hat at that time[12] and to the Arizona state line in 1931.[13] The State Road Commission designated a new alignment of SR-9 to Crescent Junction on SR-8 in 1934, replacing both branches to Floy and Thompsons,[6] and the legislature updated the description in 1935;[14] at that time, US-450 was extended from Valley City to Crescent Junction on the new SR-8 (US-50) cutoff.[15]

Although no significant changes were made to SR-9 or SR-47 after 1935, the signed U.S. Highway numbers changed several times. First, in the late 1930s, U.S. Route 160 replaced US-450, continuing to enter the state east of Monticello and end at Crescent Junction. Then in about 1970, US-163 was designated along the entire length of SR-47 from Arizona to Monticello, and replaced US-160 north to Crescent Junction; at the same time, US-666 was extended from Cortez, Colorado over US-160 to a new terminus at US-163 in Monticello.[citation needed] The 1977 renumbering saw the elimination of SR-9 and SR-47, by then no longer signed due to the concurrent U.S. Highway designations. The final change (except for the 2003 renumbering of US-666 to US-491) came in 1981, when US-191 replaced US-163 north of a junction near Bluff. South of this intersection, US-191 followed a route that not formerly existed as a state highway. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) completed this road across the Navajo Indian Reservation, and San Juan County built the short piece north of the San Juan River, in time for the extension of US-191. After the BIA granted an easement to Utah for the road, formerly BIA Route N12 (23) 2&3[citation needed], in 1988, it was added to the state highway system the next year.[5]

US-6 to US-40[edit]

US-191 replaced SR-33.

The road connecting Colton on SR-8 (US-50, now US-6) with SR-6 (US-40) in Duchesne became a state highway in 1910. The southwest end was moved from Colton to Castle Gate in 1912,[16] and in 1927 it was numbered State Route 33.[17] Few changes were made to the roadway, and in 1981 it became part of US-191.[16]

US-40 to Wyoming[edit]

US-191 replaced part of SR-44 and all of SR-260.

The road from SR-6 (US-40) in Vernal north to SR-43 in Manila, where one could continue to Wyoming, was added to the state highway system in about 1918 as a forest highway project,[18] completed in 1926,[19] and numbered SR-44 in 1927.[20] It was the only state road connecting Daggett County's seat, Manila, with the rest of the state, yet parts remained in an unimproved condition through the 1950s.[21]

Several routes have been designated over the years to connect SR-44 to Flaming Gorge, a canyon on the Green River that lends its name to the Flaming Gorge Dam that US-191 now crosses the river on. The first was State Route 165, which would have begun at SR-44 south of Manila and headed east to the gorge. The state legislature added the proposed road to the state highway system in 1933,[22] but in 1935 it was deleted, and the number was reused to the west on a portion of Birch Creek Road.[23] Later, in 1941, the planned connection was redesignated as a state highway, this time State Route 220,[24] but in 1945 it was moved north, closer to the state line.[25]

It was this alignment that was actually built, beginning at Linwood on SR-43 and proceeding east-southeasterly through a valley that is now flooded by the Flaming Gorge Reservoir's Linwood Bay.[26] SR-220 was deleted in 1957, but in its place was a new State Route 260 that began at Greendale Junction on SR-44 and headed northeast over the dam (then under construction) and to the state line. The legislature did not specify where it would intersect the border,[27] and the State Road Commission initially routed it along former SR-220 to Linwood.[28] However, the law was amended in 1963 to define the north end to be east of the reservoir,[29] and soon the lake began to fill, cutting off the road to Linwood (and inundating that settlement).[30] By 1981 the new road was completed, and most of SR-44 and all of SR-260 were absorbed by US-191.[5]

US 191 from the access road at Arches National Park.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
San Juan   0.00 0.00 Arizona state line
  21.229 34.165 US‑163 south – Mexican Hat, Monument Valley
Bluff 25.996 41.837 SR‑162 east
  36.438 58.641 SR‑262
  47.255 76.050 SR‑95 – Blanding, Bluff
Monticello 71.857 115.643 US‑491
  86.136 138.622 SR‑211
La Sal Junction 103.446 166.480 SR‑46
Grand   128.180 206.286 SR‑128
  129.798 208.890 SR‑279
  136.733 220.050 SR‑313
Crescent Junction 157.193 252.978 I‑70 east (US‑6 / US‑50) – Grand Junction Interchange; south end of I-70/US-6/US-50 overlap
  175 Ranch Exit Interchange
  164 I‑70 Bus. west / SR‑19 – Green River Interchange
Emery   160 I‑70 Bus. east / SR‑19 – Green River Interchange
  I‑70 west / US‑50 west – Salina, Hanksville Interchange; north end of I-70/US-50 overlap
Carbon Sunnyside Junction SR‑123
Wellington Nine Mile Canyon Road Former SR-53
Price 243
US‑6 Bus. west (SR-55) – Price
Interchange
241 SR‑10 south – Castle Dale Interchange
240
US‑6 Bus. east (SR-55) – Price
Interchange
  SR‑139
Helper SR‑244 north
SR‑244 south
  251.434 404.644 US‑6 west – Salt Lake North end of US-6 overlap
Duchesne Duchesne 294.847 474.510 US‑40 west South end of US-40 overlap
SR‑87
Myton Nine Mile Canyon Road Former SR-53
  SR‑87
Roosevelt SR‑121
Uintah   SR‑88
Vernal SR‑121
352.611 567.472 US‑40 east North end of US-40 overlap
  358.169 576.417 SR‑301
Daggett Greendale Junction 387.306 623.309 SR‑44 – Manila
  404.168 650.445 Wyoming state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Utah Department of Transportation, Highway Reference Information: US-191 PDF (61.6 KB), updated May 2008, accessed June 2008
  2. ^ "State of Utah, Secondary Highways with Additional Restrictions" (PDF). Utah Motor Carrier Division / Utah Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2007-11-17. 
  3. ^ a b Bureau of Public Roads, United States System of Highways, November 11, 1926
  4. ^ Rand McNally & Company, Texaco Road Map: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, 1937
  5. ^ a b c d Utah Department of Transportation, Highway Resolutions: Route 191 PDF (5.94 MB), updated November 2007, accessed May 2008
  6. ^ a b c Utah Department of Transportation, Highway Resolutions: Route 9 PDF (3.66 MB), updated September 2007, accessed May 2008
  7. ^ Utah Department of Transportation, Highway Resolutions: Route 8 PDF (16.8 MB), updated September 2007, accessed May 2008
  8. ^ Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas, 1926
  9. ^ American Association of State Highway Officials, United States Numbered Highways, American Highways, April 1927
  10. ^ Utah State Legislature (1927). "Chapter 21: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. "8. From Springville southeasterly and from Spanish Fork easterly to mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon, thence southeasterly via Thistle, Soldier Summit, Castle Gate, Price, Soldier Creek Junction, Green River, Floy, Thompson and Cisco to the Utah-Colorado State line near Utaline, Colorado; also from Soldier Creek Junction, Carbon County to Myton, Duchesne county." 
  11. ^ Utah State Legislature (1927). "Chapter 21: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. "9. From Floy southeasterly to Valley City and from Thompson southerly via Valley City, Moab and LaSal Junction to Monticello, thence easterly to the Utah-Colorado State line near Lockerby, Utah." 
  12. ^ Utah State Legislature (1927). "Chapter 21: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. "47. From Monticello southerly via Blanding and Bluff, to south side of Mexican Hat bridge." 
  13. ^ Utah State Legislature (1931). "Chapter 55: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. "(47) From Monticello southerly via Blanding, Bluff and Mexican Hat to the Arizona State line." 
  14. ^ Utah State Legislature (1935). "Chapter 37: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. "Route 9. From Crescent Junction southeasterly via Valley City, Moab and LaSal Junction to Monticello, thence southeasterly to the Utah-Colorado state line." 
  15. ^ H.M. Gousha Company, Utah, c. 1934
  16. ^ a b Utah Department of Transportation, Highway Resolutions: Route 33 PDF (3.71 MB), updated October 2007, accessed May 2008
  17. ^ Utah State Legislature (1927). "Chapter 21: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. "33. From Castle Gate northeasterly to Duchesne." 
  18. ^ Fifth Biennial Report, State Road Commission, 1917-1918, pp. 24-25
  19. ^ Utah Department of Transportation, Highway Resolutions: Route 44 PDF (8.92 MB), updated October 2007, accessed May 2008
  20. ^ Utah State Legislature (1927). "Chapter 21: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. "44. From Vernal northerly to Manila." 
  21. ^ Utah State Road Commission (Rand McNally), Utah Official Highway Map, 1956
  22. ^ Utah State Legislature (1933). "Chapter 30". Session Laws of Utah. "(165) From junction with route 44 south of Manila easterly to Flaming Gorge." 
  23. ^ Utah State Legislature (1935). "Chapter 37: Designation of State Roads". Session Laws of Utah. "Route 165. From a point on the Utah-Wyoming state line, Daggett County, southerly 5 miles." 
  24. ^ Utah State Legislature (1941). "Chapter 34". Session Laws of Utah. "Route 220. From route 44 south of Manila easterly to and across Green River at a point near Flaming Gorge — approximately eight miles." 
  25. ^ Utah State Legislature (1945). "Chapter 61: State Roads and Routes". Session Laws of Utah. "Route 220. From Linwood on route 43 easterly and parallel to the Utah-Wyoming state line approximately five miles to and across Green River." 
  26. ^ Utah Department of Transportation, Highway Resolutions: Route 43 PDF (2.91 MB), updated October 2007, accessed May 2008, p. 5
  27. ^ Utah State Legislature (1957). "Chapter 54: State Roads — Designation". Session Laws of Utah. "Route 260. From route 44 near Greendale northerly via Flaming Gorge dam to the Utah-Wyoming state line at a point either east or west of the Green River." 
  28. ^ Utah Department of Transportation, Highway Resolutions: Route 3 PDF (10.5 MB), updated September 2007, accessed May 2008, p. 31
  29. ^ Utah State Legislature (1963). "Chapter 39: Highway Code". Session Laws of Utah. "Route 260. From route 44 near Greendale northerly via Flaming Gorge Dam to the Utah-Wyoming state line near Spring Creek Gap." 
  30. ^ Jack Goodman, New York Times, Canyon-Country Waterway; Flaming Gorge Dam Is Forming 90-Mile Lake In Utah, Wyoming, June 27, 1965, p. XX1


U.S. Route 191
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