Skip to main content

Paper Highways; US Route 280 and US Route 380 in Arizona

In this edition of Paper Highways we examine US Route 280 and US Route 380 within Arizona.  Both US 280 and US 380 were planned highways in Arizona that were ultimately consolidated into what became the southern leg of US Route 89.



The History of US Route 280 and US Route 380 in Arizona

In the early drafts of the US Route System in Arizona US Route 89 didn't extend south of Flagstaff.  US 280 was planned to be aligned from US 60 (which became US 66) from Ashfork south to US 80 in Phoenix.  US 380 was planned be aligned from US 80 in Tucson south to the Mexican Border in Nogales.  US 280 and US 380 both appear on the 1925 Bureau of Public Roads draft of the US Route System along with US 89 terminating at US 60 in Flagstaff.  A copy of the 1925 Bureau of Public Roads plan of the US Route System can be found here:

Report of Joint Board of Interstate Highways; October 30th 1925

US 280 and US 380 appear to have survived to the final stages of the stages of what became the US Route System or may have even been part of it.  To that end there is no known copy of the final US Routes which were approved in November 1926.  US 280 and US 380 make an appearance on the 1927 Rand McNally Highway Map of Arizona.



Interestingly the Arizona State Route System was initially based off giving sequential numbers to the State Highways that matched the original US Route System.  In the first draft of the Arizona State Highway System the Apache Trail was planned as AZ 66 but was changed to AZ 88 when US 60 became US 66.  Curiously though one of the original planned State Highways was AZ 89 which originated in Prescott and tracked northeast to Jerome.  AZ 89 terminated in Jerome but was planned to reach Flagstaff.  At the time the route from Prescott to Jerome was a well established highway which was well traveled due to the massive mining interests in Jerome.  It would seem that Arizona had it's eyes set on extending US 89 to Prescott whenever a quality road from Jerome to Flagstaff could be built.  AZ 89 can be also be seen on the 1927 Rand McNally Highway Map of Arizona/New Mexico.   


It appears that the State of Arizona was able to convince the AASHO early in the early days of the US Route System that US 89 was a far more important route designation than US 280 and US 380.  US 89 appears aligned all the way south to the Mexican Border in Nogales on the 1927 National Map Company Regional Highway Map.



It appears that US 280 and US 380 were never field signed in Arizona.  AZ 89 was quickly re-designated as AZ 79 and was built to State Highway standards all the way to Flagstaff by 1938.  AZ 79 eventually would become US 89A in 1941 which fulfilled the push to get a US Route to Prescott by way of the mines of Jerome.  US 280 was ultimately recycled in 1931 into a new highway between Savannah, GA and Columbus, GA.  US 380 was recycled in 1932 as a new highway San Antonio, NM and Albany, TX.

Comments

James Cowlin said…
Thank you for the information about the history of US Route 89 in Arizona. I am aware of some of the history but not in the detail you provided. I have been working on a project to promote travel on US 89 for about 15 years. I wrote an article on what I learned about the history of 89 between Canada and Mexico for my website. Have you researched any of the other sections of the highway? The website is usroute89.com

Jim Cowlin
Challenger Tom said…
We do have quite a bit on US 89 in Arizona. Off the top of my head some of the articles on US 89 that we have feature; the Navajo Bridge/US 89A, the 1911 Cameron Suspension Bridge, former US 66/89 in Williams, former US 89 on AZ 89, and former US 89A on AZ 89A.

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

Former US Route 50 and the South Lincoln Highway from Folsom east to Placerville

The corridor of Folsom of Sacramento County east to Placerville of El Dorado County has been a long established corridor of overland travel dating back to the California Gold Rush.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor was once part of the path of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road which became the first California State Highway and later the South Lincoln Highway.  In time the South Lincoln Highway's surface alignment was inherited by US Route 50.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor also includes the communities of; Clarksville, Shingle Springs and El Dorado. Part 1; the history of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road, South Lincoln Highway and US Route 50 through Folsom-Placerville Folsom is located on the American River/Lake Natoma of eastern Sacramento County.  That lands now occupied by the City of Folsom were part of Rancho Rio de los Americanos prior to the finding of gold at Sutter's Mill during 1848.  During the California Gold Rush the lands of Rancho Rio de los Americanos were purchased by Jose

US Route 101 through Gaviota Pass

US Route 101 in the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbra County, California passes through Gaviota Pass.  Gaviota Pass is most well known for being part of El Camino Real and the namesake Gaviota Tunnel which opened during 1953.  Since 1964 Gaviota Pass and US Route 101 have also carried a multiplex of California State Route 1.   Part 1; the history of the Gaviota Pass corridor Gaviota Pass is historic path of travel through the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbra County.  Gavoita Pass was a known route through the Santa Ynez Mountains which was utilized by the Chumash tribes before the arrival of Europeans.  Gaviota Pass was first explored by Spanish during the 1769 Portola Expedition of Las Californias.  The Portola Expedition opted to follow the coastline northward fearing that the established Chumash path through Gaviota Pass was too narrow to traverse.  In time Gaviota Pass became a favored established path of Spanish travel which bypassed the hazardous coastline as part of El C