1926 Iowa highway renumbering

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This article is part of the
highway renumbering series.
Alabama 1957
Arkansas 1926
California 1964
Colorado 1968
Connecticut 1932, 1963
Florida 1945
Indiana 1926
Iowa 1926, 1969
Louisiana 1955
Maine 1933
Massachusetts 1933
Minnesota 1934
Missouri 1926
Montana 1932
Nebraska 1926
Nevada 1976
New Jersey 1927, 1953
New Mexico 1988
New York 1927, 1930
North Carolina 1934, 1937, 1940, 1961
Ohio 1923, 1927, 1962
South Carolina 1928, 1937
Texas 1939
Utah 1962, 1977
Virginia 1923, 1928, 1933, 1940, 1958
Washington 1964
Wisconsin 1926
Wyoming 1927

In late 1925, the Iowa State Highway Commission, now known as the Iowa Department of Transportation, announced plans to renumber several state highways, the changes to the highway system were a result of the creation of the United States Numbered Highway System. The new U.S. Highways replaced several of the state's primary roads and other routes were renumbered in order to eliminate driver confusion between the two systems, as the new highways were being signed, Iowa's state highways were given a new circular route marker. Previously, the primary road number was stenciled in black onto a telegraph pole over a band of yellow paint.

Background[edit]

Jefferson Highway marker
Jefferson Highway
Primary Road No. 1 route marker
Primary Road No. 1
US 65 route marker
U.S. Highway 65

In the early days of the automobile, when people still traveled cross-country predominantly by train, auto clubs were created to promote traveling by automobile, these auto clubs would collect dues from cities and in return, they would create an auto trail, such as the Lincoln Highway and Jefferson Highway, and route traffic through those cities. The clubs would then mark the route by painting telegraph poles with the colors and logos of their association. Often, the trails were not the most direct ways to travel between places and as a result, competing auto clubs would spring up to divert traffic from other routes. More often than not, the auto clubs were more interested in collecting dues than improving the roads upon which their trails lay.[1]

Starting in 1920, the Iowa State Highway Commission began marking these auto trails with primary road numbers in order to facilitate wayfinding, this was brought on by the success of a 1917 state law passed in neighboring Wisconsin that created a 5,000-mile (8,000 km) numbered state highway system complete with route markers to replace the informal trail system.[1] In Iowa, however, the route numbers did not replace the trail system; they were applied in addition to the trail names; e.g. the Primary Road No. 6 number was applied to the Lincoln Highway. Route numbers were selected in such a way that they corresponded to route numbers that were used in neighboring states. All towns with populations over 1000 residents were connected to the primary road system.[2] Routes were signified on telegraph poles by a painted yellow stripe upon which the outline of Iowa with "Primary Road" and the route number were stenciled in black.[3]

By 1924, the state highway commissioned had registered 64 named auto trails, each of these auto trails were sponsored by dues-collecting associations that produced maps and other promotional materials for their routes. Confusion for the traveler reigned supreme. Nationally, the Bureau of Public Road Engineers, with approval from the American Association of State Highway Officials, began to create a national system of interstate highways. Their original plan was for a system covering 75,884 miles (122,123 km), 3,000 miles (4,800 km) of which were to be in Iowa.[4] Several routes in the state would be renumbered to comply with the new interstate system; No. 6 along the Lincoln Highway would change to U.S. Highway 30. Route renumbering had a cascading effect as the state highway commission had a policy of reducing confusion by not duplicating route numbers,[3] since No. 30 was in use in northwest Iowa, that road was renumbered Iowa Highway 140.[5]

The highway commission had planned for route markers to be changed over to the new route numbers by July 1, 1926, however, this was not the case; in Davenport, for instance, signs for the new U.S. Highways were installed in October 1926. Property owners thought the new signs were gaudy and did a disservice to the beauty of their streetscapes. Complains were lodged to local auto clubs, but since this was a state project, the auto clubs deflected any responsibility.[6]

While the efficiency of wayfinding was greatly improved by the addition of route numbers, motor club officials wished for the names of their highways to not be forgotten. Charles M. Hayes of the Chicago Motor Club urged people to use a hybrid system of route numbers and names in order to preserve the historical significance and sentimental value of the routes. Hayes liked the removal of trail names to railroad engineers numbering train routes while the public calls the routes by their names.[7] Hayes got his wish as the automobile associations disbanded, motorists continued to refer to the routes with their trail names.[4]

New routes[edit]

Number Length (mi)[b] Length (km) Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Formed Removed Notes[c]
Iowa 1 98 158 Iowa 3 near Keosauqua US 161 in Iowa City 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 11
Iowa 6 104 167 Route 5 near Cincinnati US 32 in Des Moines 01926-01-011926 01931-01-011931 Formerly No. 17 and No. 59
Iowa 8 14 23 Iowa 59 in Traer US 218 near Garrison 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 58
Iowa 16 238 383 Route 29 near Redding TH 5 near Ledyard 01926-01-011926 01930-01-011930 Formerly No. 15, No. 25, No. 17, No. 90, and No. 16
US 18 287[11] 462 US 75 near Hull US 18 at McGregor 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 19
US 20 331[11] 533 US 20 at Sioux City US 20 at Dubuque 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 5 and No. 23
Iowa 22 24 39 Iowa 38 near Muscatine US 61 in Davenport 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 2
Iowa 23 5 8 Route 15 south of Milton Iowa 3 at Milton 01926-01-011926 01968-12-311968 Formerly No. 11
Iowa 25 68 109 US 34 at Creston US 30 near Scranton 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 16
Iowa 28 19 31 Iowa 24 at Martensdale US 32 / Iowa 7 in Des Moines 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 15
US 30 369[11] 594 US 30 / US 75 at Council Bluffs US 30 at Clinton 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 6
US 32 322[11] 518 US 30 / US 75 at Council Bluffs US 32 at Davenport 01926-01-011926 01931-01-011931 Formerly No. 7 and No. 2; now US 6
US 34 283[11] 455 US 30 / US 75 at Council Bluffs US 34 at Burlington 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 8
Iowa 40 4 6 Allerton Iowa 3 north of Allerton 01926-01-011926 02003-01-012003 Formerly No. 14
US 53 123[11] 198 US 20 / US 61 at Dubuque US 53 near Burr Oak 01926-01-011926 01926-01-011926 Formerly No. 20; became US 55 before highway was signed
Iowa 53 3 5 Iowa 10 near Clarksville Clarksville 01926-01-011926 01949-01-011949 Formerly No. 55
US 55 123[11] 198 US 20 / US 61 at Dubuque US 55 near Burr Oak 01926-01-011926 01934-01-011934 Formerly US 53; now US 52
US 61 201[11] 323 US 61 at Keokuk US 61 near Dubuque 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 20
US 63 129[11] 208 US 63 south of Bloomfield US 32 in Des Moines 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 2, No. 24, and No. 13
US 65 242[11] 389 US 65 south of Leon US 65 north of Northwood 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 1 and No. 3
US 69 20[11] 32 US 69 south of Leon US 65 at Leon 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 1
US 71 250[11] 402 US 71 at Braddyville US 71 north of Spirit Lake 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 4, No. 23, and No. 18
US 75 111[11] 179 US 30 / US 75 at Council Bluffs US 75 north of Rock Rapids 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 22 and No. 12
Iowa 90 16 26 Iowa 14 at Grundy Center Iowa 59 near Voorhies 01926-01-011926 01932-01-011932 Formerly No. 58
Iowa 136 33 53 US 61 near Delmar US 30 in Lyons 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 61
Iowa 137 21 34 US 34 at Lucas US 65 near Indianola 01926-01-011926 01934-01-011934 Formerly No. 65
Iowa 138 3 5 Iowa 3 near Mystic Mystic 01926-01-011926 01973-01-011973 Formerly No. 69
Iowa 139 21 34 US 161 in Iowa City Iowa 38 near Rochester 01926-01-011926 01929-01-011929 Formerly No. 74
Iowa 140 25 40 US 20 at Moville Iowa 5 at Remsen 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 30
Iowa 141 68 109 South Dakota state line at Sioux City Iowa 4 at Denison 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 34
Iowa 142 3 5 Moulton Iowa 3 near Moulton 01926-01-011926 01968-01-011968 Formerly No. 71
Iowa 143 2 3 Iowa 5 near Marcus Marcus 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 75
Iowa 144 18 29 US 30 at Grand Junction Iowa 47 near Gowrie 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 16
Iowa 145 5 8 Iowa 5 near Cleghorn Cleghorn 01926-01-011926 01931-01-011931 Formerly No. 32
Iowa 146 24 39 Iowa 59 in New Sharon US 32 in Grinnell 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 63
Iowa 147 13 21 Iowa 14 near Rockford US 18 near Nora Springs 01926-01-011926 02003-01-012003 Formerly No. 53
Iowa 148 32 51 Missouri state line south of Bedford US 34 at Corning 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 16
Iowa 149 61 98 US 63 near Hedrick US 32 at South Amana 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 13
Iowa 150 19 31 US 32 at Homestead US 30 near Cedar Rapids 01926-01-011926 01930-01-011930 Formerly No. 13
Iowa 151 13 21 US 71 at Auburn Iowa 17 near Lake City 01926-01-011926 01938-01-011938 Formerly No. 35
Iowa 152 2 3 US 34 near Murray Murray 01926-01-011926 01980-01-011980 Formerly No. 8
US 161 195[11] 314 US 61 at Keokuk US 61 at Key West 01926-01-011926 01938-01-011938 Formerly No. 28 and No. 40; now US 218 and US 151
US 218 139[11] 224 US 30 south of Vinton US 218 near Mona 01926-01-011926 current Formerly No. 40
  •       Former

Former primary roads[edit]

Number Length (mi)[b] Length (km) Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Route name[12] Formed Removed Notes[c]
No. 1 236 380 Missouri state line near Lamoni Minnesota state line near Northwood Jefferson Highway 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 65
No. 6 369[11] 594 Nebraska state line at Council Bluffs Illinois state line at Clinton Lincoln Highway 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 30
No. 8 283[11] 455 No. 6 in Council Bluffs Illinois state line at Burlington Blue Grass Route 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 34
No. 16 255 410 Missouri state line south of Bedford Minnesota state line near Ledyard   01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 148, US 34, Iowa 25, US 30, Iowa 47, Iowa 144, and Iowa 16
No. 18 148 238 Missouri state line at Braddyville No. 23 at Sac City M.C. Trail 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 71
No. 20 324[11] 521 Illinois state line at Keokuk Minnesota state line near Burr Oak Mississippi Valley Highway 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 61 and US 55
No. 22 34[11] 55 No. 5 at Le Mars Minnesota state line north of Rock Rapids King of Trails 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 75
No. 23 130[11] 209 South Dakota state line at Sioux City No. 16 at Fort Dodge Hawkeye Cut-Off 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 20
No. 25 20 32 No. 15 / No. 24 at Winterset No. 2 / No. 17 at Adel 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 16
No. 28 72[11] 116 No. 6 / No. 11 in Cedar Rapids No. 5 / No. 20 in Dubuque Red X Route 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 161
No. 30 25 40 No. 23 at Moville No. 5 at Remsen 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 140
No. 32 5 8 No. 5 near Cleghorn Cleghorn 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 145
No. 34 68 109 No. 4 at Denison No. 12 at Sioux City Dension–Sioux City Cut-Off 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 141
No. 40 262[11] 422 No. 20 in Keokuk Minnesota state line near Mona Red Ball Route 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became US 161, US 30, and US 218
No. 53 13 21 No. 14 near Rockford No. 19 near Nora Springs 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 147
No. 55 3 5 No. 10 near Clarksville Clarksville 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 53
No. 61 73 117 No. 28 at Anamosa No. 6 in Lyons Lincoln Hawkeye Pike 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 117 and Iowa 136
No. 63 24 39 No. 59 in New Sharon No. 7 in Grinnell 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 146
No. 65 21 34 No. 8 at Lucas No. 1 south of Indianola 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 137
No. 69 3 5 No. 3 near Mystic Mystic 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 138
No. 71 3 5 Moulton No. 3 near Moulton 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 142
No. 75 2 3 No. 5 near Marcus Marcus 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 143
No. 90 40 64 No. 17 near Bouton No. 16 at Harcourt 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Became Iowa 16

Route changes[edit]

This table represents sections of routes that were eliminated or reassigned to or from another route in the primary highway system.[13]

Number Change in length Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Formed Removed Notes[c]
mi[11] km
Iowa 2 −202 −325 US 32 in Council Bluffs US 63 in Oskaloosa 01920-01-011920 01939-02-011939 Became US 32 and US 63
Iowa 4 −91 −146 US 20 near Schaller US 71 north of Spirit Lake 01920-01-011920 01968-12-311968 Became US 71
Iowa 5 −201 −323 Iowa 16 at Fort Dodge US 55 / US 61 in Dubuque 01920-01-011920 01968-01-011968 Became US 20
Iowa 7 −181 −291 US 32 / US 65 in Des Moines US 32 at Davenport 01920-01-011920 01939-01-011939 Became US 32
Iowa 10 −35[d] −56 Iowa 13 in Strawberry Point US 18 / Iowa 13 in McGregor 01920-01-011920 current Duplication with Iowa 13 removed between Strawberry Point and McGregor
Iowa 11 −141[d] −227 Route 15 south of Milton US 161 in Cedar Rapids 01920-01-011920 01941-01-011941 Duplication with US 161 removed; rest became Iowa 1 and Iowa 23
Iowa 12 −77 −124 US 30 / US 75 at Missouri Valley US 75 in Sioux City 01920-01-011920 current Became US 75
Iowa 13 −148 −238 Route 63 south of Bloomfield US 161 in Marion 01920-01-011920 current Became Iowa 150, Iowa 149, and US 63
Iowa 14 −22 −35 Route 65 at Lineville Iowa 3 in Corydon 01920-01-011920 current Replaced by US 65 and Iowa 40
Iowa 15 −131[d] −211 Route 29 near Redding US 30 / US 65 in Ames 01920-01-011920 01935-01-011935 Became Iowa 16 and Iowa 28
Iowa 17 −82 −132 Iowa 59 in Albia
Iowa 9 in Estherville
US 32 / Iowa 16 in Adel
US 71 / Iowa 9 in Spirit Lake
01920-01-011920 01968-01-011968 Became Iowa 6 and US 32; duplication with Iowa 9 removed
Iowa 19 −287 −462 US 75 near Doon US 18 at McGregor 01920-01-011920 01926-01-011926 Rest of Iowa 19 became US 18 later in 1926
Iowa 24 −32 −51 US 63 in Oskaloosa US 63 in Ottumwa 01920-01-011920 01927-01-011927 Duplication with US 63 removed
Iowa 35 −37 −60 US 71 near Lake View Iowa 17 near Lake City 01920-01-011920 01948-01-011948 Duplication with US 71 removed; rest became Iowa 151
Iowa 47 3 5 Iowa 144 near Gowrie Iowa 16 at Harcourt 01920-01-011920 01940-01-011940 Extended along No. 16
Iowa 58 −23 −37 Iowa 14 near Grundy Center US 218 near Garrison 01920-01-011920 current Duplication with Iowa 14 and Iowa 59 removed; became Iowa 90 and Iowa 8
Iowa 74 −28 −45 US 161 in Iowa City Iowa 38 in Tipton 01920-01-011920 01941-01-011941 Duplication with Iowa 38 removed; rest became Iowa 139
Iowa 117 35 56 US 161 at Anamosa US 61 at Maquoketa 01920-01-011920 01936-01-011936 Extended along No. 61
  •       Former

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b 1932 was the first year that Iowa state highway maps showed route mileage.
  2. ^ a b Route mileage is determined by comparing the 1927 and 1932 state highway maps.[a][8][9]
  3. ^ a b c The 1926 Iowa state highway map was published before route changes took place. Route changes are shown by comparing the 1926 and 1927 Iowa state highway maps.[8][10]
  4. ^ a b c Route mileage is determined by comparing the 1926 and 1932 state highway maps.[a][9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Weingroff, Richard F. "From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  2. ^ Thompson, William H. (1989). Transportation in Iowa: A Historical Summary. Ames, Iowa: Iowa Department of Transportation. p. 145. ISBN 0-9623167-0-9. 
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Road Markers Soon to Replace Familiar Primary Road Signs on U.S. System in Iowa". Service Bulletin Oct–Nov–Dec 1925. Iowa State Highway Commission. XIII (10–11–12): 3,5. 1925. 
  4. ^ a b Thompson (1989), p. 146.
  5. ^ ISHC Bulletin (1925), p. 9.
  6. ^ "Great Flocks of Road Signs Swoop Down Upon City and Glare Ugly". Davenport Democrat and Leader. October 31, 1926. p. 3. Retrieved January 12, 2018 – via Newspaperarchive.com.  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "Names of Noted Roads Changed". Blockton News. Blockton, Iowa. August 19, 1926. p. 2. Retrieved January 12, 2018 – via Newspaperarchive.com.  open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ a b Iowa State Highway Commission (1927). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved January 10, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b Iowa State Highway Commission (June 1932). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  10. ^ a b Iowa State Highway Commission (1926). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved January 10, 2018. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w ISHC Bulletin (1925), p. 3.
  12. ^ Iowa Registered Highway Routes 1914–1925 (PDF) (Map). Iowa Department of Transportation. 1986. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  13. ^ ISHC Bulletin (1925), pp. 7–9