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For the U.S. Route 60 in the 1925 plan, see U.S. Route 66.


U.S. Route 60 is an east-west United States highway, running 2,670 miles (4,300 km) from eastern Virginiamarker to western Arizonamarker. Despite the final "0" in its number, indicating a transcontinental designation, the 1926 route formerly ended in Springfield, Missourimarker, at its intersection with the major U.S. Route 66. In fact, Route 66 was almost given the US Route 60 number.

As of 2005, the highway's eastern terminus is in Virginia Beach, Virginiamarker, at Pacific Avenue in the city's oceanfront resort district at the Rudee Inlet Bridge. Its western terminus was in Los Angeles, Californiamarker, from 1932 to 1966, but that was moved to east of Quartzsite, Arizonamarker, to an intersection with Interstate 10 after the highway was abandoned in California in 1964. Some US 60 signs can be seen at this intersection — that is about five miles (eight kilometers) west of Brenda, Arizonamarker. Interstate 10 replaced US 60 from Arizona to Beaumont, Californiamarker, and California State Highway 60 replaced US 60 from there to Los Angeles.

Route description

California

U.S.
Route 60
U.S. Route 60 has been decommissioned in California. In the Los Angelesmarker and Inland Empiremarker, it exists as a branch of Interstate 10, designated as State Route 60. In addition, many parts of it remain as just a two-lane highway in the Mojave Desert areas. One such section of US 60 is located in the Chuckwalla Valley and is referred to as Chuckwalla Valley Road.

Arizona

The westernmost stretch of US-60 to the California border has been replaced by Interstate 10. The western terminus of US-60 is near Brenda, Arizonamarker, where it travels northeast to Wickenburg, Arizonamarker. From there the highway bears southeast to briefly rejoin I-10 in Phoenixmarker - before diverging as the Superstition Freeway. While in Phoenix, Route 60 turns into Grand Avenue, and then becomes the US-60 highway once again. Here, US-60 is a significant part of the local commuter freeway system. East of the Phoenix area, US-60 bears roughly east-northeast through mountainous areas, passing through Globemarker, Show Lowmarker, and Springervillemarker before exiting the state at the border with New Mexicomarker.

New Mexico

please see U.S. Route 60 in New Mexico

Texas

US 60 runs in a northeasterly direction across the Texas Panhandlemarker. It enters the state as a four-lane divided highway at Farwellmarker on the Texas-New Mexico border, and heads northeast, intersecting U.S. Route 385 at Herefordmarker. At Canyonmarker, the route begins a concurrency with both U.S. Route 87 and Interstate 27; the three routes are united to Amarillomarker.

At Amarillo, the road crosses Interstate 40 and has a short concurrency with Historic US 66 on Amarillo Boulevard. The road continues as a divided highway, heading northeast to Pampamarker, where the road goes to two lanes. At Canadianmarker, the route briefly returns to four-lane status and forms a concurrency with U.S. Route 83. US 60 leaves Texas for Oklahoma two miles (three kilometers) east of Higginsmarker.

Oklahoma

Except for three short sections near Enidmarker, Vinitamarker, and Ponca Citymarker, US-60 is a two-lane highway its entire length across Oklahoma. It enters the state fourteen miles (21 kilometers) west of Arnettmarker and travels east to Orientamarker where it begins a concurrency with U.S. Highway 412. At Enid, it leaves the concurrency with US-412 and begins another with U.S. Highway 64 with which it is united for . Near Tonkawamarker, US-60 has an interchange with Interstate 35.

At Ponca Citymarker, US-60 enters Osage County, leaving it at Bartlesvillemarker. From Vinita to Aftonmarker, the highway has a concurrency with Historic U.S. Highway 66 and U.S. Highway 69. The road will cross Interstate 44 at each Vinita and Afton. It passes through Twin Bridges State Park about west of the Missouri state line.

Missouri

please see U.S. Route 60

Illinois

U.S. 60 continues its concurrency with U.S. Highway 62 for its entire length, , in Illinois. The routes enter Illinois at its very southern tip between the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

The concurrent routes pass Fort Defiance marker, which lies at the lowest and southernmost point of Illinoismarker, then intersect with U.S. 51 south of Cairomarker, turning eastward along with southbound U.S. 51 to cross the Ohio River into Kentucky.

Kentucky

Upon entering Kentucky, U.S. 60 is concurrent with U.S. 51 and U.S. 62 from the Ohio River bridge to the town of Wickliffemarker. At Wickliffe, U.S. 60 separates from the other routes and heads generally northeast toward the city of Paducahmarker. Between Wickliffe and Paducah, the towns of Barlowmarker, La Centermarker and Kevilmarker are situated along the route.

Upon reaching Paducah, U.S. 60 intersects with Interstate 24, and I-24's business loop enters the city concurrent with U.S. 60. In the downtown area, the route once again meets U.S. 62, and also meets U.S. 45. Once out of the city of Paducah, U.S. 60 again veers to the northeast, generally following the Ohio River until reaching Smithlandmarker, where the route again turns to the east, passing through the small town of Burna. From Burna, U.S. 60 passes through Salemmarker.

The next city along the route is Marionmarker. At Marion, U.S. 60 turns once more to the north, where it heads toward Sturgismarker. From Sturgis, the route continues generally northward to Morganfield. In recent years, a by-pass of U.S. 60 around the south and east sides of Morganfieldmarker has taken a great deal of traffic congestion out of the city.

U.S. 60 passes through Waverlymarker and Corydonmarker before reaching Hendersonmarker. At Henderson, the route intersects Kentucky Highway 136, Kentucky Highway 425 and U.S. Highway 41 Alternate. U.S. 41-A is concurrent with U.S. 60 along Green Street in the city of Henderson as it intersects with Kentucky Highway 812 and Kentucky Highway 351. At the U.S. Highway 41/Pennyrile Parkway interchange, U.S. 41-A ends and U.S. 60 continues alone, going through Owensboromarker, Hawesvillemarker, and Hardinsburgmarker.

In Fort Knoxmarker, U.S. 60 connects with U.S. 31W, and they remain together until downtown Louisville. Originally built as a "bypass route" around downtown Louisvillemarker, Alt US 60 used several existing roads running through Louisville to get between the east and south sides of town without having to travel through the heavily congested downtown or west ends of town. 'Alt 60' runs northeast to southwest from St. Matthewsmarker to Shivelymarker; including a stretch on one of Frederick Law Olmsted's last remaining parkways, Eastern Parkway.

After passing Shelbyvillemarker, it continues through the state capitol in Frankfortmarker. In Versaillesmarker, its eastbound lanes are the westbound lanes of U.S. 62. After intersecting the Bluegrass Parkway, it is one of the major routes through Lexington. It intersects I-75 and goes to Winchestermarker and the Mountain Parkway. It proceeds to Mount Sterlingmarker, Moreheadmarker, past Carter Caves State Resort Parkmarker, on to Graysonmarker and finally to Ashlandmarker. U.S. 23 South follows U.S. 60 East into Catlettsburgmarker, where they split at 35th St. U.S. 23 South continues straight as a 4-lane highway, while U.S. 60 East turns left on 35th St., passes Oakland Avenue, and enters Kenova, West Virginiamarker via the Billy C. Clark Bridge.

Especially in the eastern and central part of the state, U.S. 60 has been largely replaced by Interstate 64 for long distance travel, since both routes follow each other through much of this area. However, several cites in this area rely on U.S. 60 to connect them to the interstate. By contrast, in the western part of the state, U.S. 60 is not paired with an interstate highway and serves a much more independent purpose, connecting communities located along and near the Ohio River.

West Virginia

In West Virginiamarker, US 60 largely follows the path of the Midland Trail. It enters the state at Kenovamarker by crossing over the Big Sandy River from Kentuckymarker. From there, it heads through Huntingtonmarker east to Charlestonmarker.

From Charlestonmarker, US 60 heads southeast on its own course apart from Interstate 64, its replacement. The road first follows the Kanawha River to its source at Gauley Bridgemarker, where US 60 then climbs out of the river valley and follows a twisting path through Rainellemarker and back to Interstate 64 at Sam Black Churchmarker. This is the last section of US 60 to have been bypassed by the Interstate system in West Virginia, with I-64 between Beckleymarker and Sam Black Church being opened to traffic on July 15, 1988 This is the only section of US 60 in West Virginia that sees a significant amount of traffic as a through route.

From Sam Black Churchmarker east through Lewisburgmarker to White Sulphur Springsmarker, US 60 lives in the shadow of I-64 and carries a very small amount of traffic. Just east of White Sulphur Springs, US 60 joins I-64 for the last in the state before they enter Virginiamarker at Allegheny Mountainmarker.

Virginia

In Virginia, U.S. Route 60 runs west to east through the central part of the state, generally close to and paralleling the Interstate 64 corridor, except for the crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and in the South Hampton Roads area.

Between Lexingtonmarker in the Shenandoah Valleymarker and Richmondmarker, I-64 uses a lower elevation crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains located about further north, where it runs parallel to U.S. Route 250 through Rockfish Gapmarker. In contrast, through this section, the older US 60 is mostly a rural two-lane road. With the crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains at a higher altitude in more rugged terrain, US 60 in this area offers much more challenging and weather-sensitive driving conditions, as well as a history of many crashes in the years before I-64 was completed.

East of north-south U.S. Route 29 (which runs parallel to the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge), the older US 60 and I-64 gradually converge as they pass through the rolling hills of the rocky Piedmont region in an easterly direction to reach the fall line at Richmondmarker, where they again become very close.

From Richmond east to the harbor area near the mouth of Hampton Roadsmarker, US 60 again essentially parallels I-64 through Williamsburgmarker and the Historic Triangle region, extending down the Virginia Peninsulamarker east to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnelmarker which it shares with I-64. A few miles south of the bridge-tunnel, in Norfolkmarker, US 60 diverges to the west to follow the south shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay through Ocean Viewmarker and past the south entrance to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to reach Cape Henry. There it curves south to run along the Atlantic Oceanmarker shoreline to end near the south end of the Virginia Beach resort strip.

History

US 60 had its beginnings in the Midland Trail, an auto trail organized in 1912 by residents of Grand Junction, Coloradomarker. The next year, this route was considered but rejected for the Lincoln Highway, after which the Midland Trail Association laid out and marked its own transcontinental highway, eventually connecting Newport News, Virginiamarker with Los Angeles, Californiamarker. When the Joint Board on Interstate Highways published its preliminary plan for a system of interstate routes in 1925, the Midland Trail was split among many numbers, including 52, 62, 150, 50, and 40. East of Louisvillemarker, where it would become US 60, it was assigned parts of 52 and 62. Route 52 began at Newport News and followed the Midland Trail to Richmondmarker, but took a more southerly route to Lexington, Virginiamarker. The trail was used again through West Virginiamarker to Huntingtonmarker, where Route 52 split to the northwest. Route 62 began at Ashland, Kentuckymarker (near Huntington) and followed the Midland Trail across northeastern Kentuckymarker to Louisville, where the trail crossed the Ohio River and became Route 150. Route 62 continued southwest along the south bank of the Ohio River to Wickliffemarker in western Kentucky, and then crossed the Mississippi River at the Ohio's mouth. The final portion of Route 62 crossed southern Missourimarker to Springfieldmarker on an existing main highway that had been numbered 16 by the state.

Kentucky Governor William J. Fields objected to the Joint Board's plan, which took most major east-west routes (multiples of ten) to the East Coast, but sent Route 60 from Los Angelesmarker northeast to end in Chicagomarker, leaving none to cross Kentucky, the only Mississippi Valley state without such a route. Proposals were considered for splitting US 60 into 60N and 60E at Springfield or using 62 for the Chicago route; Missouri had already prepared maps that showed the original plans for 60 and 62. The final plan, agreed to by the affected states, assigned US 66 to the Los Angeles-Chicago highway and US 60 to the route from Springfield to Virginia Beachmarker (extended from Newport News), absorbing all of 62 and part of 52 from the 1925 plan.

Although US 60 initially stretched less than halfway across the country, due to its late creation, it was soon extended west to Los Angelesmarker. One auto trail — the Atlantic and Pacific Highway - and three other U.S. Highways played a part in this extension. The Atlantic and Pacific Highway had been organized in 1921, and connected New York Citymarker with Los Angeles. The original alignment of U.S. Route 70 entered Clovis, New Mexicomarker from the east, as it does now, but continued west to Holbrook, Arizonamarker. Crossing US 70 at Clovis was the El Pasomarker-Amarillomarker U.S. Route 366. Finally, U.S. Route 164 was created by 1928, stretching northeast and east from Amarillo to U.S. Route 64 and U.S. Route 77 in Enid, Oklahomamarker. The American Association of State Highway Officials approved the first part of the extension in May 1930, following the rest of Missouri's Route 16 to the Oklahoma state line, and several state highways to Enid, before absorbing US 164 to a terminus at Amarillo. The remainder to Los Angeles was approved at AASHO's June 1931 meeting, and involved a number of other changes. US 60 replaced US 366 from Amarillo to Clovis, where it continued west along US 70 to Springerville, Arizonamarker. The remainder of US 70 to Holbrook, Arizonamarker became a new U.S. Route 260, while US 60 followed the Atlantic and Pacific Highway, which it had picked up at Vaughn, New Mexicomarker, southwest and west through Phoenixmarker to Los Angeles. US 70 was not truncated to Clovis, but was instead redirected southwest along US 366 to El Paso, and later reached Los Angeles itself, though most of the route west of Globe, Arizonamarker overlap US 60.

After the Interstate Highway System was signed into law in 1956, the Midland Trail portion of US 60, from Louisvillemarker east to the Hampton Roadsmarker area, was bypassed by Interstate 64. From Phoenixmarker west to Los Angelesmarker, Interstate 10 paralleled and replaced US 60. I-10 and I-64 were mostly completed by the late 1970s, though part of Interstate 64 in West Virginia, built on a new alignment east from Beckleymarker, did not bypass the old winding US 60 until July 15, 1988. California decommissioned its portion of US 60 in 1964; most was replaced by I-10, while the independent piece in the Los Angeles area became State Route 60. In the 1970s, the portion overlap I-10 in western Arizona was removed. US 60 between Phoenix and Louisville remains a major regional corridor in most places, and is not paralleled by an Interstate for any significant length.

See also

Related U.S. Routes



Auxiliary routes



References

  1. Endpoints of US highways
  2. Illinois Technology Transfer Center. T2 GIS Data. Retrieved June 2, 2006. As documented in .
  3. 18
  4. Nevada State Journal, Working for Better Roads, May 3, 1913
  5. Lincoln Highway Resource Guide: Chapter 13: Lincoln Highway in Colorado
  6. Missouri State Highway Commission, Route Map Showing Designated Routes and Numbers, Approved September 19, 1922
  7. Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas, 1926, accessed via the Broer Map Library
  8. Report of Joint Board on Interstate Highways, October 30, 1925, Approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, November 18, 1925
  9. It should be noted that the 1925 plan took US 62 via West Plains to Ozark, but by the time the 1926 Rand McNally was published, the proposed US 62 followed the former Route 16.
  10. Missouri State Highway Commission, Official Road Map of Missouri, 1926
  11. Richard F. Weingroff, From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System
  12. United States System of Highways, November 11, 1926
  13. United States Numbered Highways, American Highways (AASHO), April 1927
  14. Indianapolis Star, August 17, 1921
  15. Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Oklahoma State Highway System 1928, July 1, 1928
  16. Port Arthur News, 25 Highways are Numbered, May 29, 1930
  17. Richard F. Weingroff, U.S. 666: "Beast of a Highway"?, accessed October 2007
  18. Gulf, Tourgide: United States, Canada and Mexico (Rand McNally & Company), 1977
  19. New York Times, Travel Advisory, July 31, 1988
  20. California Highways and Public Works, Route Renumbering, March-April 1964


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