Skip to main content

The southern terminus of US Route 611 at Philadelphia City Hall


US Route 611 was one of the original US Routes in Pennsylvania which were defined when the US Route System was created on November 11, 1926.  The southern terminus of US Route 611 was always located in the city of Philadelphia.  US Route 611 likely from the time it was signed probably always had a southern terminus at Philadelphia City Hall via northern Broad Street.  US Route 611 was deleted by the American Association of State Highway Officials during 1972 and was replaced with Pennsylvania Route 611.  Pictured below as the blog cover is a view southward on Broad Street to what was the southern terminus of US Route 611 at Philadelphia City Hall.  Below US Route 611 can be seen terminating at Philadelphia City Hall via north Broad Street on the 1949 United States Geological Survey map of Philadelphia. 




Part 1; the history of the southern terminus of US Route 611

The US Route System was created by the America Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) on November 11, 1926.  US Route 611 appears as an intra-state US Route ending in Philadelphia and Scranton.






The initial route description of US Route 611 did not describe where the highway ended in Philadelphia.  According to usends.com the signage US Routes in Pennsylvania probably did not begin until 1928 and not within Philadelphia until 1931.  Indeed, even commercial maps such as the 1927 Rand McNally Map of Philadelphia omit exact alignments of the US Routes within the city.  The 1927 Rand McNally Map of Philadelphia shows US Route 611 concurrent with Pennsylvania Route 2 on the Lackawanna Trail to the northern city limits.  Pennsylvania Route 2 would be decommissioned during 1928.  


Ultimately Philadelphia City Hall and Penn Square were located as the southern terminus of US Route 611.  The terminus of US Route 611 being located at Philadelphia City Hall was logical due to Penn Square acting as a rotary where it intersected Pennsylvania Route 3.  US Route 611 can be seen terminating at Philadelphia City Hall and Penn Square on the 1949 United States Geological Survey Map of Philadelphia. 


By 1950 Pennsylvania Route 291 was extended to Philadelphia City Hall via south Broad Street to a new terminus at US Route 611.  US Route 611 and Pennsylvania Route 291 can be seen terminating at each other via both ends of Broad Street at Philadelphia City Hall on the 1956 Gousha Highway Map of Philadelphia.  


US Route 611 may have been for an unknown amount of time been co-signed with a mutual southern terminus with US Route 309 at Philadelphia City Hall.  US Route 309 can be seen terminating at Philadelphia City Hall via north Broad Street along US Route 611 on a 1967 request by the State Highway of Pennsylvania to eliminate the former.  US Route 309 was approved to be deleted by the AASHO on October 14, 1967.  





The 1967 United States Geological Survey Map of Philadelphia depicts only US Route 611 ending at Philadelphia City Hall via north Broad Street.


US Route 611 was deleted during the December 1971 AASHO Meetings.  The justification for the elimination of US Route 611 was that it was entirely contained to Pennsylvania.  US Route 611 by the time it was decommissioned may have been truncated to a realigned US Route 30 at Vine Street five blocks north of Philadelphia City Hall. 


Following US Route 611 being decommissioned it was replaced by Pennsylvania Route 611.  Pennsylvania Route 611 initially retained a southern terminus at Philadelphia City Hall suggesting US Route 611 was never truncated to Vine Street.  During 1989 Pennsylvania Route 611 was extended via south Broad Street to Interstate 95 and the entrance to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. 



Part 2; exploring the southern terminus of US Route 611 at Philadelphia City Hall

The below photo depicts a westward view on John F. Kennedy Boulevard at Penn Square facing where US Route 611 once began at north Broad Street.  


Below is a view south on Broad Street towards Philadelphia City Hall and what was the terminus of US Route 611.  


Philadelphia City Hall itself is a notable structure and would make for something of a grand terminus for any highway.  Philadelphia City Hall was under construction from 1871 through 1901.  The tower atop Philadelphia City Hall was completed during 1894 which brough the structure to a height of 548 feet.  Philadelphia City Hall would be the tallest inhabitable building in the world until 1908.  Philadelphia City Hall features a Second Empire architectural design and can be found at the address 1 Penn Square.  



Part 3; the current terminus of Pennsylvania Route 611 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard

Below the current northbound beginning of Pennsylvania Route 611 can be seen immediately beyond the gate to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on Broad Street approaching Interstate 95.  The below photos were taken during Day 1 of the 2022 Philadelphia, PA National Road Meet.  The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard was in use as an active military base from 1801-1995.  The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard is largely used today as an industrial port where over 15,000 workers are employed.  




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Dummy Lights of New York

  A relic of the early days of motoring, dummy lights were traffic lights  that  were  placed  in the middle of a street intersection. In those early days, traffic shuffled through busy intersections with the help of a police officer who stood on top of a pedestal. As technology improved and electric traffic signals became commonplace, they were also  originally  positioned on a platform at the center of the intersection. Those traffic signals became known as  " dummy lights "  and were common until  traffic lights were moved  onto wires and poles that crossed above the intersection.  In New York State, only a handful of these dummy lights exist. The dummy lights  are found  in the Hudson Valley towns of Beacon and Croton-on-Hudson, plus there is an ongoing tug of war in Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley, where their dummy light has been knocked down and replaced a few times. The dummy light in Canajoharie is currently out of commission, but popular demand has caused the dummy

Colorado Road (Fresno County)

Colorado Road is a rural highway located in San Joaquin Valley of western Fresno County.  Colorado Road services the city of San Joaquin in addition the unincorporated communities of Helm and Tranquility.  Colorado Road was constructed between 1910 and 1912 as a frontage road of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The roadway begins at California State Route 145 near Helm and terminates to the west at James Road in Tranquility.   Part 1; the history of Colorado Road Colorado Road was constructed as frontage road connecting the sidings of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway spanned from South Pacific Railroad West Side Line at Ingle junction southeast to the Coalinga Branch at Armona.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway broke ground during August 1910 and was complete by April 1912. The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway established numerous new sidings.  From Ingle the sidings of the line were Tranquility, Graham, San Joaquin, Caldwell, H

Madera County Road 400 and the 1882-1886 Yosemite Stage Road

Madera County Road 400 is an approximately twenty-four-mile roadway following the course of the Fresno River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Road 400 begins at California State Route 145 near Madera and terminates to the north at Road 415 near Coarsegold.  Traditionally Road 400 was known as "River Road" prior to Madera County dropping naming conventions on county highways.  Road 400 was part of the original Yosemite Stage Route by the Washburn Brothers which began in 1882.  The Yosemite Stage Route would be realigned to the west in 1886 along what is now Road 600 to a rail terminus in Raymond.  Parts of Road 400 were realigned in 1974 to make way for the Hensley Lake Reservoir.  Part 1; the history of Madera County Road 400 Road 400 is historically tied to the Wawona Road and Hotel.  The Wawona Hotel is located near the Mariposa Grove in the modern southern extent of Yosemite National Park.   The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel but it does predate th