U.S. Route 50 Alternate (Nevada)

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Alt
U.S. Route 50 marker

U.S. Route 50 Alternate
Route information
Maintained by Nevada DOT
Length: 32.6 mi[1] (52.4 km)
Major junctions
West end:
US 50 / US 95 Alt. in Silver Springs
 
US 95 Alt. in Fernley
East end: US 50 near Fallon
Highway system
Nevada State Routes

In the U.S. state of Nevada, U.S. Route 50 Alternate (US 50 Alt., sometimes referred to as US 50A) is an east–west alternate route of U.S. Route 50. The highway splits from US 50 in Silver Springs, heading north to Fernley and then southeast to rejoin US 50 west of Fallon. Over the years, the route has held several numerical highway designations.

Route description[edit]

Alternate US 50 begins in Silver Springs, at the junction of U.S. Route 50 and U.S. Route 95 Alternate. From there, the highway overlaps with US 95 Alt. for about 14 miles (23 km) as it heads north through Lyon County. Crossing over the Truckee Canal, US 50A/US 95A enter the city of Fernley on Commerce Way. Shortly afterwards, the two routes intersect State Route 427. As SR 427 heads west towards Interstate 80 and Wadsworth, US 50A/US 95A turn east to follow Main Street (old US 40) through downtown Fernley. After approximately 1 mile (1.6 km), the two routes intersect Farm District Road (State Route 828) at a roundabout on the east end of town. The junction is the site of the former split of the Victory and Lincoln Highways; US 95A turns northeast to join Interstate 80 (old US 40) along the old Victory Highway while US 50A heads southeast following the north branch of the Lincoln Highway.[2][3]

Outside of Fernley, Alternate US 50 travels about 10 miles (16 km) east to pass through the small community of Hazen. After that, the highway turns southeast and runs about 7 miles (11 km) more to its terminus with US 50 at the Leeteville Junction about 9 miles (14 km) west of downtown Fallon.[2]

History[edit]

US 50 Alt/US 95 Alt southbound, overlooking Silver Springs and the junction of U.S. Route 50
For history of US 50A between Silver Springs and Fernley, see U.S. Route 95 Alternate.

The routing of US 50 Alternate between Fernley and Fallon dates back to the establishment of the Nevada's highway system. The road first became a numbered highway with the designation of State Route 2 in 1917, comprising the western end of the route.[4] This highway had been paved by 1933.[5]

In 1940, the route received a second numerical designation when U.S. Route 95 was extended into Nevada. US 95 followed US 40 (State Route 1) southwest from Winnemucca to Fernley, then backtracked to Fallon along State Route 2 before heading south.[6] The alignment of US 95 was changed to overlap State Route 1A north of Fallon in 1959, rendering the circuitous route through Fernley obsolete. The highway that had been US 95 between Fernley and Fallon was rechristened as U.S. Route 95 Alternate.[7] This action resulted in two separate highways simultaneously carrying the US 95 Alternate designation, as present-day US 95A south of Fernley had been created years earlier.

The dual instances of US 95A remained in place for several years. With Utah having discontinued its portions of Alternate US 50 in the early 1970s, Nevada officials were able to reassign the US 50A designation. Current Alternate US 50 came into existence around the time of Nevada's state highway renumbering in 1976. While the new number was posted along the road circa 1977 and first seen on Nevada's state highway map in the 1978 edition,[8] the designation had yet to be formally approved. Interestingly, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO, which governs the assignment of U.S. Highway numbers) finally approved the routing at a highway numbering committee meeting held on April 25, 1997, nearly 20 years after US 50A was first signed.[9]

Other former routes of US 50 Alternate[edit]

The current route of US 50 Alternate in Nevada is not the first alignment to bear the designation. The previous alignments are as follows:

Major intersections[edit]

Note: Mileposts in Nevada reset at county lines. The start and end mileposts for each county are given in the county column.
County Location Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
Lyon
0.00–23.27
Silver Springs 0.00 0.00
US 50 / US 95 Alt. south – Carson City, Fallon, Yerington
West end of US 95 Alt. overlap
Fernley SR 427 – Wadsworth, Reno

US 95 Alt. north / SR 828 east (Farm District Road) – Winnemucca, Elko
East end of US 95 Alt. overlap
  SR 828 west (Farm District Road)
Churchill
0.00–9.29
  9.29 14.95 US 50 – Fallon, Carson City
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ a b "State Maintained Highways of Nevada: Descriptions and Maps". Nevada Department of Transportation. January 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b Nevada Department of Transportation (2007). Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map) (2007-08 ed.). Section C1,C2.
  3. ^ Google Inc. Main St & Commerce Way, Fernley, Lyon, Nevada 89408 "overview: Fernley, NV". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://E Main St & Commerce Way, Fernley, Lyon, Nevada 89408. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  4. ^ Nevada State Highway Department(?) (1917). State Highway System of Nevada (Map). http://contentdm.library.unr.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/hmaps&CISOPTR=2163. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  5. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1933). Official Road Map of Nevada (Map). http://contentdm.library.unr.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/hmaps&CISOPTR=570&CISOSHOW=461. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  6. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1940). Official Road Map of the State of Nevada (Map). http://contentdm.library.unr.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/hmaps&CISOPTR=576&CISOSHOW=473. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
  7. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1960). Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map). Section D2. http://contentdm.library.unr.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/hmaps&CISOPTR=594&CISOSHOW=509. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  8. ^ Nevada State Highway Department (1978). Official Highway Map of Nevada (Map). Section C1. http://contentdm.library.unr.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/hmaps&CISOPTR=607&CISOSHOW=535. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  9. ^ "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering to the Standing Committee on Highways" (PDF). American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. 1997-04-25. Retrieved 2009-02-16. [dead link]