U.S. Route 91

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U.S. Route 91 marker

U.S. Route 91
US 91 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by UDOT and ITD
Length172.663 mi[a] (277.874 km)
Existed1926[1]–present
Major junctions
South end I-15 / I-84 in Brigham City, UT
 
North end I-15 Business Loop / US-26 in Idaho Falls, ID
Location
StatesUtah, Idaho
CountiesUT: Box Elder, Cache
ID: Franklin, Bannock, Bingham, Bonneville
Highway system

U.S. Route 91 or U.S. Highway 91 (US 91) is a 172.663-mile-long (277.874 km) north–south United States highway running from Brigham City, Utah to Idaho Falls, Idaho in the U.S. states of Idaho and Utah. Despite the "1" as the last digit in the number, US 91 is no longer a cross country artery. The highway currently serves to connect the communities of the Cache Valley to Interstate 15 and beyond. Prior to the mid-1970s, US 91 was an international commerce route from Long Beach, California to the Canada–US border north of Sweetgrass, Montana. US 91 was routed on the main streets of most of the communities it served, including Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas and State Street in Salt Lake City. From Los Angeles to Salt Lake, the route was built along the corridor of the Arrowhead Trail. US 91 has been largely replaced by Interstate 15.[2] A portion of the highway's former route in California is currently State Route 91.

Route description[edit]

US-91 in the Cache Valley

Utah[edit]

U.S. 91 begins at Brigham City. The highway was originally routed through Brigham City, but today runs on a southern bypass. The original routing is now State Route 90. In Brigham City, U.S. 89 becomes concurrent with U.S. 91. After leaving Brigham City, the routes wind their way through the Wellsville Mountains, climbing through Box Elder Canyon and passing Mantua and Mantua Reservoir before reaching Sardine Summit. The highway descends through Wellsville Canyon and reaches the Cache Valley, where it serves as the major thoroughfare. Logan is the largest city in the valley. At Logan, U.S. 89 splits off to the east towards Bear Lake, while U.S. 91 continues north through the valley to the Idaho state line. Both the Utah and Idaho portions of Cache Valley are part of the Logan metropolitan area.

The Utah section of U.S. 91 is defined at Utah Code Annotated § 72-4-115(1).[3] In addition, the segment south of the SR-142 intersection in Richmond is included in the National Highway System.[4]

Idaho[edit]

U.S. 91 continues serving the Idaho portion of the Cache Valley with Preston as the largest city. The highway passes by the Bear River Massacre Site, a National Historic Landmark, near Preston, and over the geologically significant Red Rock Pass, near Downey.

After leaving Cache Valley, the highway then crosses back to rejoin Interstate 15. At Pocatello, U.S. 91, U.S. 30, and I-15 Business Loop separate from Interstate 15 and run concurrently, passing through a small portion of the Idaho State University campus. U.S. 30 separates from U.S. 91 near Pocatello's city hall at what was once the starting point of one of Idaho's first designated highways, the Yellowstone Park Highway. From this point the highway generally follows the original route of the Yellowstone Park Highway northeastward, until it reaches its terminus at its intersection with U.S. 26, south of Idaho Falls.

History[edit]

At its peak, from 1947 to 1965, U.S. 91 extended from the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach, California to Coutts, Alberta. Though a good portion of the highway fit the US highway numbering grid, overall, US 91 northern terminus was east of US 89, while its southern terminus was west of US 101. North of Riverside, California, U.S. 91 followed a route that would be largely paralleled by modern I-15 and I-215 where these routes did not completely supplant it. There are some parts where U.S. 91/I-15 had divergent paths. The more southerly is from Littlefield, Arizona to St. George, Utah where the two routes took different paths through the Arizona Strip. The more northerly and longer is the surviving portion of U.S. 91 from Brigham City to Downey, where Interstate 15 follows an old route of U.S. Route 191.[5]

Utah first submitted a petition to AASHTO to have the U.S. 91 designation truncated in 1971. This petition was approved on June 21, 1971. However, the state did not take action until 1974. Utah officials co-ordinated a second petition with the transportation departments of California, Nevada and Arizona. In this unified petition officials in Utah proposed the number changeover take place in 1974. Nevada requested postponing the deletion of U.S. 91 as Nevada expected to complete the last piece of I-15 in 1975. Nevada officials suggested U.S. Route 40 be similarly truncated, as this highway largely duplicated Interstate 80 in the same states. Despite Nevada's request, the petition was submitted and approved in 1974.[2]

Retracing the path of historic U.S. Route 91 is possible but difficult. In most cities the route of U.S. 91 is still in use as a local street or highway. In many rural areas, I-15 was built on top of the former U.S. 91.

The highway passed through the following states:

California[edit]

US 91's original southern terminus was at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue (historically SR 15) and East Pacific Coast Highway (SR 1) in Long Beach. This intersection also marked the historic western terminus of US 6, which proceeded west from that intersection. East of the intersection, US 91 proceeded east along East Pacific Coast Highway to Los Alamitos Circle.

US 91 shield used in California

The portions in California were replaced with:

  • SR 1 (Pacific Coast Highway from Atlantic Avenue to Los Alamitos Circle)
  • SR 19 (Lakewood Boulevard from Los Alamitos Circle to Lincoln Avenue)
  • SR 214 (route no longer a state highway – Carson Street and Lincoln Avenue)
  • SR 91
  • I-215
  • I-15

Nevada[edit]

The route of U.S. 91 in Nevada was replaced with I-15 in 1974.

In Las Vegas, U.S. 91 was better known as Las Vegas Boulevard (State Route 604 after the 1976 renumbering of most Nevada state highways). The intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street is the historic intersection with U.S. 93 and U.S. 95. Here, U.S. 466 parted ways with U.S. 91 and headed southeast on Fremont Street with southbound U.S. 93 and 95. At this intersection, U.S. 93 and 95 departed Fremont Street and turned northeast onto Las Vegas Boulevard, heading northbound with U.S. 91. A few blocks further up, at Bonanza Road, U.S. 95 turned west until it hit Rancho Drive, then continued north. U.S. 91/93 stayed aligned with Las Vegas Boulevard, which turned into Salt Lake Highway after departing the city of North Las Vegas.

Until its decertification in 1974, U.S. 91 followed I-15 to exit 112, where it took present-day NV 170 through Riverside to Mesquite, turned right onto NV 144 (Mesquite Boulevard and Sandhill Boulevard), and then followed Hillside Drive into Arizona (where the road became Fairview Avenue).

Arizona[edit]

US 91 Arizona 1956 North.svgUS 91 Arizona 1956 South.svg
Directional colored shields found on US 91 in Arizona during the 1950s.

US 91 entered Arizona from Nevada on Fairview Avenue and followed it northeast to Littlefield. Once Fairview Avenue crosses I-15, it became Cane Beds Road through downtown Beaver Dam and into Utah, where the road continued as Old Highway 91. Today, this section of US 91 is known as Mohave County Road 91.

Utah[edit]

From the State Line to Saint George US-91 followed a semi-circular route that is now simply called Old Highway 91. Old Highway 91 continues to Santa Clara and followed what is now SR-8 and SR-18 to St. George. Where SR-18 intersects St. George Blvd, U.S. 91 then continued east on St. George Blvd. (SR-34) until it intersected Red Cliffs Rd. From there, U.S. 91 went in a north-east direction, with Red Cliffs becoming Telegraph St. in Washington. U.S. 91 followed on Telegraph until becoming Main St. in Leeds. After leaving Leeds, Old 91 is still intact until about a half mile north of the junction with SR-228 where its routing runs right into I-15.[6]

From Anderson Junction to Springville, U.S. 91 is in the shadows of I-15. At places the old pavement is visible off to the side of the freeway; at others I-15 was paved over the old U.S. 91.

U.S. 91 picks up again in Black Rock in northern Washington County at exit 36 on I-15. It continues parallel to I-15 until just past exit 40, then picks up again on the other side of the freeway. This section of the road is not maintained and some of the original paving is still visible between the end of the road at Lower Taylor Creek Trailhead and when normal paving resumes near the road to New Harmony (old SR-144), at I-15 exit 42. The road, marked as Old US-91, then runs north through Kanarraville and into Cedar City near exit 57, merging into Main St (SR-130) until near the city border with Enoch just past exit 62. Old U.S. 91 continues to parallel I-15 to Summit. The road crosses I-15 again at exit 71 and continues its original route though Parowan, merging with SR-274 after briefly running along modern SR-143. There is no additional signage in Parowan to indicate the original route, though historical maps show that it follows SR-271 through Paragonah.[7] There are some frontage roads along I-15 through Beaver that may be sections of the original highway in Iron County.

In Beaver County, sections of SR-160 through Beaver and the road running north through Manderfield use original sections of U.S. 91. There are also sections of roadway that used to be U.S. 91 from before exit 129 through Cove Fort, Utah in Millard County, intersecting both I-70 and later I-15 north of the I-70/I-15 interchange, including what is now SR-161. Some frontage roads along I-15 may be parts of U.S. 91. The route picks up again at exit 146 on SR-133 through Kanosh and Meadow before being supplanted by frontage roads and I-15. SR-64 through Holden is also a piece of U.S. 91 before running concurrently with U.S. 50 until it merges again with I-15.

The original alignment of U.S. 91 also diverges from I-15 through most of Juab County. At Chicken Creek Reservoir, the historic route of U.S. 91 leaves I-15 and follows SR-78 northeast to Levan where it turns north along modern SR-28 and continues through Nephi along that city's Main Street. North of Nephi, it follows what is now Mona Road, passing through Mona, before rejoining the modern I-15 alignment near Rocky Ridge. In Utah County, the old U.S. 91 leaves I-15 again at Santaquin, following SR-198 northeast through Payson and Salem before reaching Spanish Fork. In Spanish Fork, it ran north on Main Street (now SR-156, east on 800 North, and northeast on what is now SR-51 to Springville.

In Springville U.S. 91 first joined U.S. 89 at one of the oldest grade-separated interchanges in Utah (this portion is now SR-51).[6] From this junction to Logan the two highways ran mostly concurrent. This portion is mostly intact as U.S. 89.

However, U.S. 91 diverged from U.S. 89 between Farmington and Ogden. U.S. 91 split away on what is now State Route 126 and State Route 26. These highways form the Main Street through Kaysville and Layton; State Street from the Layton-Clearfield border to Main Street in Clearfield though the city of Sunset turning into 1900 West at the Sunset-Roy border, then following 1900 West to a junction with Riverdale Road in Roy, then following Riverdale Road through Riverdale, and then meeting back up with U.S. 89 at Washington Blvd in Ogden.

Idaho[edit]

U.S. 91 formerly entered Idaho Falls along Yellowstone Highway, and returned to the course of modern I-15 north of town. The highway then proceeded north toward Monida Pass where the highway entered Montana. In some small towns streets used by the route are called "Old Highway 91".[8]

Montana[edit]

In Montana, the highway's alignment slightly changed with the construction of the Clark Canyon Dam.

Starting just south of Dillon, I-15 was built on a new alignment that mostly parallels US 91 and crosses over it several times. In Dillon, the former route of the highway is now known as Atlantic Street and Montana Street.[9] The highway formerly joined with U.S. Route 10 between Rocker and downtown Butte and took a northeasterly path to Elk Park Pass before it was rerouted to its current alignment east of Butte in 1980 (today's southbound lanes of I-15). It formed the main street of Boulder before I-15 was completed, and was routed through Helena along what is now Montana Secondary Highway 518 and Montana Secondary Highway 229.

Because of the new alignment of I-15 in Montana, many segments of the former US 91 are still in use today as frontage roads or sportsmen access points along the Missouri River, especially from Helena north to Great Falls and Sweetgrass, and from Butte south to Divide and Dillon.

In popular culture[edit]

The US 91 corridor in Idaho's Cache Valley was the primary filming location for the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite. The US 91 corridor was also the birthplace of both McDonald's, with the first location opening on E Street in San Bernadino (E street was the routing of US 91 before the construction of freeways in the area), as well as the first KFC, with the first location in Salt Lake City.

Major intersections[edit]

StateCountyLocationmi
[10][11][12]
kmDestinationsNotes
UtahBox ElderBrigham City0.0000.000 I-15 / I-84 – Ogden, Pocatello, Twin Falls
1.9653.162 US-89 south / SR-13 north – Brigham City, WillardSouth end of US 89 overlap
3.9206.309 SR-90 west – Brigham CityGrade separated interchange; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
Mantua5.6019.014Mantua RoadGrade separated interchange; eastbound exit and westbound entrance
6.63810.683500 North
CacheWellsville16.93927.261 SR-23 north – Mendon
19.17730.862 SR-101 – Hyrum
Logan23.76938.252 SR-252 north (1000 West)
26.65142.891 SR-165 south – Hyrum, Nibley
26.88643.269 SR-30 west – Tremonton
27.14843.690 US-89 north – Garden City, Utah State University, Bear LakeNorth end of US 89 overlap
North Logan29.81947.989 SR-252 south (2500 North)
Smithfield34.02154.751 SR-218 west – Newton
Richmond40.00464.380 SR-142 west – Trenton
Lewiston43.69470.319 SR-61 west – Lewiston
 45.271
0.000
72.857
0.000
Utah/Idaho state line
IdahoFranklinPreston8.38913.501 SH-36 west – WestonSouth end of SH-36 overlap
9.26514.911 SH-34 north / SH-36 east – Montpelier, Soda SpringsNorth end of SH-36 overlap
BannockDowney37.07059.658 SH-40
42.462
35.900
68.336
57.775
I-15 – Pocatello, MaladSouth end of I-15 overlap (mileposts begin reflecting distance along I-15), exit 36.
US 91 overlaps with I-15 (exits 36–67)
Pocatello66.806
0.000
107.514
0.000
I-15 / I-15 Business Loop / US-30North end of I-15 overlap (mileposts end reflecting distance along I-15), exit 67;
South end of I-15 Bus. overlap (mileposts begin reflecting distance along I-15 Bus.)
3.4425.539 US-30 westNorth end of US 30 overlap
4.459
77.890
7.176
125.352
I-15 Business LoopNorth end of I-15 Bus. overlap (mileposts end reflecting distance along I-15 Bus.)
Chubbuck80.020128.780 I-86 – Twin Falls, BoiseI-86 exit 61.
Bingham97.024
0.000
156.145
0.000
I-15 – Pocatello, Idaho FallsI-15 exit 89; south end of I-15 Bus. overlap (mileposts begin reflecting distance along I-15 Bus.)
Blackfoot3.659
100.700
5.889
162.061
I-15 Business Loop – Pocatello, Idaho FallsNorth end of I-15 Bus. overlap (mileposts end reflecting distance along I-15 Bus.)
Bonneville122.866
2.323
197.734
3.739
York Road/Old I-15 Bus.Mileposts begin reflecting distance along old I-15 Bus. alignment
Idaho Falls4.5267.284 I-15 Business Loop / US-26 – Idaho FallsMileposts end reflecting distance along old I-15 Bus. alignment
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sum of Utah and Idaho mileage logs in the Major intersections section of this article

References[edit]

  1. ^ United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Cartography by U.S. Geological Survey. Bureau of Public Roads. November 11, 1926. OCLC 32889555. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Highway Resolution route 91". Utah Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
  3. ^ "Utah Code". State of Utah. Archived from the original on 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  4. ^ "Utah National Highway System". UDOT Data Portal. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  5. ^ Road Atlas (hosted by Broer Map Library) (Map). H.M. Gousha Company. 1967. p. 42. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  6. ^ a b Utah Road and Recreation Atlas (Map) (2002 ed.). 1:250000. Benchmark Maps. 2002. p. 80. § G3. ISBN 0-929591-74-7.
  7. ^ http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/UHM/id/39
  8. ^ "Google Maps, northern Idaho". Google Maps. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  9. ^ "Google Maps, Dillon Montana". Google Maps. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  10. ^ "Highway Reference Information". Utah Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
  11. ^ "Idaho Transportation Department Milepost Log State Highway System: US 91 Main Route" (PDF). Idaho Transportation Department. 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2012-06-10.
  12. ^ "Idaho Transportation Department Milepost Log State Highway System: Interstate 15 Main Route" (PDF). Idaho Transportation Department. 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2012-06-10.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
Browse numbered routes
SR 90AZSR 92
SR-90UTSR-92
US-89IDUS-93
I-90MTUS 93