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Paper Highways: US Route 64 to Morro Bay, California


During June 1933 the California Division of Highways proposed an extension of US Route 64 from Raton, New Mexico west to Morro Bay, California.  The proposed routing of US Route 64 required a lengthy multiplex of US Route 66 and generally was not met favorably with the American Association of State Highway Officials.  A compromise was eventually reached during October 1933 which led to the creation of US Route 466.  This blog will examine the brief history of the proposed extension of US Route 64 to Morro Bay, California and how it evolved to become US Route 466.  

The history of the application to extend US Route 64 to Morro Bay, California

During June 1933 the California Division of Highways petitioned the American Association of State Highway Officials (then AASHO, now AASHTO) for an extension of US Route 64 west of Raton, New Mexico to Morro Bay, California.  The extension of US Route 64 was not considered ideal by AASHO due to proposed routing including a lengthy multiplex of US Route 66 from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Barstow, California.  

Within California, US Route 64 as proposed would have split from US Route 66 in Bartow and followed Legislative Route Number 58 west over Tehachapi Pass to Bakersfield.  From Bakersfield, proposed US Route 64 would follow US Route 99 north along Legislative Route Number 4 to Famoso.  From Famoso, proposed US Route 64 would follow Legislative Route Number 33 west over the Polino Pass to Cholame.  From Cholame, proposed US Route 64 was to follow Legislative Route Number 125 to Morro Bay by way of Shandon, Creston, Rocky Canyon and Atascadero. 

An alternate proposed routing of US Route 64 in New Mexico did little to mitigate the lengthy multiplex of US Route 66 in Arizona and California.  The alternate proposed routing for US Route 64 diverged from US Route 66 in Albuquerque southward multiplexed along US Route 85 to San Antonio.  From San Antonio the proposed alternate corridor of US Route 64 multiplexed US Route 60 to Springerville, Arizona and would replace US Route 260 west to Holbrook.  The alternate routing of US Route 64 did not resolve the multiplex along US Route 66 from Holbrook west to Barstow, California.  Ultimately, the proposal to extended US Route 64 was to be reviewed by the AASHO Executive Committee during their October 1933 meeting.  

During their August 1933 meeting AASHO suggested US Route 466 to the California Division of Highways as an alternative to the lengthy extension of US Route 64.  US Route 466 was initially proposed as originating in Barstow, California and terminating at Morro Bay.  The Division of Highways via telegram to AASHO dated August 10, 1933, expressed that such a short US Route located entirely in-state would not provide the same utility as their US Route 64 extension proposal.  

During the October 1933 AASHO meeting a compromise was reached which brought US Route 466 into existence.  US Route 466 would begin at US Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona and travel northwest to the site of Boulder Dam at the Nevada state line.  Within in California, US Route 466 would retain the same Barstow-Morro Bay alignment desired by the California Division of Highways for their US Route 64 extension proposal.  

The first description of US Route 466 in Nevada is a letter dated November 14, 1933.  In said letter the Nevada State Highway Engineer describes the routing of US Route 466 to the AASHO Executive Secretary.  The origin point of US Route 466 is stated to be from the site of Boulder Dam westerly via Nevada State Route 26 and Nevada State Route 5 to Las Vegas.  From Las Vegas, US Route 466 multiplexed US Route 91 along Nevada State Route 8 to the California state line at Primm.  US Route 466 would continue to multiplex US Route 91 along Legislative Route Number 31 in California to Barstow where it would branch off towards Morro Bay.  


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