1926 Iowa highway renumbering
|This article is part of the|
highway renumbering series.
|New Jersey||1927, 1953|
|New York||1927, 1930|
|North Carolina||1934, 1937, 1940, 1961|
|Ohio||1923, 1927, 1962|
|South Carolina||1928, 1937|
|Virginia||1923, 1928, 1933, 1940, 1958|
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Since No. 30 was in use in northwest Iowa, that road was renumbered Iowa Highway 140.
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.
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. Hayes got his wish as the automobile associations disbanded, motorists continued to refer to the routes with their trail names.
|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||1926||current||Formerly No. 11|
|Iowa 6||104||167||Route 5 near Cincinnati||US 32 in Des Moines||1926||1931||Formerly No. 17 and No. 59|
|Iowa 8||14||23||Iowa 59 in Traer||US 218 near Garrison||1926||current||Formerly No. 58|
|Iowa 16||238||383||Route 29 near Redding||TH 5 near Ledyard||1926||1930||Formerly No. 15, No. 25, No. 17, No. 90, and No. 16|
|US 18||287||462||US 75 near Hull||US 18 at McGregor||1926||current||Formerly No. 19|
|US 20||331||533||US 20 at Sioux City||US 20 at Dubuque||1926||current||Formerly No. 5 and No. 23|
|Iowa 22||24||39||Iowa 38 near Muscatine||US 61 in Davenport||1926||current||Formerly No. 2|
|Iowa 23||5||8||Route 15 south of Milton||Iowa 3 at Milton||1926||1968||Formerly No. 11|
|Iowa 25||68||109||US 34 at Creston||US 30 near Scranton||1926||current||Formerly No. 16|
|Iowa 28||19||31||Iowa 24 at Martensdale||US 32 / Iowa 7 in Des Moines||1926||current||Formerly No. 15|
|US 30||369||594||US 30 / US 75 at Council Bluffs||US 30 at Clinton||1926||current||Formerly No. 6|
|US 32||322||518||US 30 / US 75 at Council Bluffs||US 32 at Davenport||1926||1931||Formerly No. 7 and No. 2; now US 6|
|US 34||283||455||US 30 / US 75 at Council Bluffs||US 34 at Burlington||1926||current||Formerly No. 8|
|Iowa 40||4||6||Allerton||Iowa 3 north of Allerton||1926||2003||Formerly No. 14|
|US 53||123||198||US 20 / US 61 at Dubuque||US 53 near Burr Oak||1926||1926||Formerly No. 20; became US 55 before highway was signed|
|Iowa 53||3||5||Iowa 10 near Clarksville||Clarksville||1926||1949||Formerly No. 55|
|US 55||123||198||US 20 / US 61 at Dubuque||US 55 near Burr Oak||1926||1934||Formerly US 53; now US 52|
|US 61||201||323||US 61 at Keokuk||US 61 near Dubuque||1926||current||Formerly No. 20|
|US 63||129||208||US 63 south of Bloomfield||US 32 in Des Moines||1926||current||Formerly No. 2, No. 24, and No. 13|
|US 65||242||389||US 65 south of Leon||US 65 north of Northwood||1926||current||Formerly No. 1 and No. 3|
|US 69||20||32||US 69 south of Leon||US 65 at Leon||1926||current||Formerly No. 1|
|US 71||250||402||US 71 at Braddyville||US 71 north of Spirit Lake||1926||current||Formerly No. 4, No. 23, and No. 18|
|US 75||111||179||US 30 / US 75 at Council Bluffs||US 75 north of Rock Rapids||1926||current||Formerly No. 22 and No. 12|
|Iowa 90||16||26||Iowa 14 at Grundy Center||Iowa 59 near Voorhies||1926||1932||Formerly No. 58|
|Iowa 136||33||53||US 61 near Delmar||US 30 in Lyons||1926||current||Formerly No. 61|
|Iowa 137||21||34||US 34 at Lucas||US 65 near Indianola||1926||1934||Formerly No. 65|
|Iowa 138||3||5||Iowa 3 near Mystic||Mystic||1926||1973||Formerly No. 69|
|Iowa 139||21||34||US 161 in Iowa City||Iowa 38 near Rochester||1926||1929||Formerly No. 74|
|Iowa 140||25||40||US 20 at Moville||Iowa 5 at Remsen||1926||current||Formerly No. 30|
|Iowa 141||68||109||South Dakota state line at Sioux City||Iowa 4 at Denison||1926||current||Formerly No. 34|
|Iowa 142||3||5||Moulton||Iowa 3 near Moulton||1926||1968||Formerly No. 71|
|Iowa 143||2||3||Iowa 5 near Marcus||Marcus||1926||current||Formerly No. 75|
|Iowa 144||18||29||US 30 at Grand Junction||Iowa 47 near Gowrie||1926||current||Formerly No. 16|
|Iowa 145||5||8||Iowa 5 near Cleghorn||Cleghorn||1926||1931||Formerly No. 32|
|Iowa 146||24||39||Iowa 59 in New Sharon||US 32 in Grinnell||1926||current||Formerly No. 63|
|Iowa 147||13||21||Iowa 14 near Rockford||US 18 near Nora Springs||1926||2003||Formerly No. 53|
|Iowa 148||32||51||Missouri state line south of Bedford||US 34 at Corning||1926||current||Formerly No. 16|
|Iowa 149||61||98||US 63 near Hedrick||US 32 at South Amana||1926||current||Formerly No. 13|
|Iowa 150||19||31||US 32 at Homestead||US 30 near Cedar Rapids||1926||1930||Formerly No. 13|
|Iowa 151||13||21||US 71 at Auburn||Iowa 17 near Lake City||1926||1938||Formerly No. 35|
|Iowa 152||2||3||US 34 near Murray||Murray||1926||1980||Formerly No. 8|
|US 161||195||314||US 61 at Keokuk||US 61 at Key West||1926||1938||Formerly No. 28 and No. 40; now US 218 and US 151|
|US 218||139||224||US 30 south of Vinton||US 218 near Mona||1926||current||Formerly No. 40|
Former primary roads
|Number||Length (mi)[b]||Length (km)||Southern or western terminus||Northern or eastern terminus||Route name||Formed||Removed||Notes[c]|
|No. 1||236||380||Missouri state line near Lamoni||Minnesota state line near Northwood||Jefferson Highway||1920||1926||Became US 65|
|No. 6||369||594||Nebraska state line at Council Bluffs||Illinois state line at Clinton||Lincoln Highway||1920||1926||Became US 30|
|No. 8||283||455||No. 6 in Council Bluffs||Illinois state line at Burlington||Blue Grass Route||1920||1926||Became US 34|
|No. 16||255||410||Missouri state line south of Bedford||Minnesota state line near Ledyard||1920||1926||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||1920||1926||Became US 71|
|No. 20||324||521||Illinois state line at Keokuk||Minnesota state line near Burr Oak||Mississippi Valley Highway||1920||1926||Became US 61 and US 55|
|No. 22||34||55||No. 5 at Le Mars||Minnesota state line north of Rock Rapids||King of Trails||1920||1926||Became US 75|
|No. 23||130||209||South Dakota state line at Sioux City||No. 16 at Fort Dodge||Hawkeye Cut-Off||1920||1926||Became US 20|
|No. 25||20||32||No. 15 / No. 24 at Winterset||No. 2 / No. 17 at Adel||1920||1926||Became Iowa 16|
|No. 28||72||116||No. 6 / No. 11 in Cedar Rapids||No. 5 / No. 20 in Dubuque||Red X Route||1920||1926||Became US 161|
|No. 30||25||40||No. 23 at Moville||No. 5 at Remsen||1920||1926||Became Iowa 140|
|No. 32||5||8||No. 5 near Cleghorn||Cleghorn||1920||1926||Became Iowa 145|
|No. 34||68||109||No. 4 at Denison||No. 12 at Sioux City||Dension–Sioux City Cut-Off||1920||1926||Became Iowa 141|
|No. 40||262||422||No. 20 in Keokuk||Minnesota state line near Mona||Red Ball Route||1920||1926||Became US 161, US 30, and US 218|
|No. 53||13||21||No. 14 near Rockford||No. 19 near Nora Springs||1920||1926||Became Iowa 147|
|No. 55||3||5||No. 10 near Clarksville||Clarksville||1920||1926||Became Iowa 53|
|No. 61||73||117||No. 28 at Anamosa||No. 6 in Lyons||Lincoln Hawkeye Pike||1920||1926||Became Iowa 117 and Iowa 136|
|No. 63||24||39||No. 59 in New Sharon||No. 7 in Grinnell||1920||1926||Became Iowa 146|
|No. 65||21||34||No. 8 at Lucas||No. 1 south of Indianola||1920||1926||Became Iowa 137|
|No. 69||3||5||No. 3 near Mystic||Mystic||1920||1926||Became Iowa 138|
|No. 71||3||5||Moulton||No. 3 near Moulton||1920||1926||Became Iowa 142|
|No. 75||2||3||No. 5 near Marcus||Marcus||1920||1926||Became Iowa 143|
|No. 90||40||64||No. 17 near Bouton||No. 16 at Harcourt||1920||1926||Became Iowa 16|
This table represents sections of routes that were eliminated or reassigned to or from another route in the primary highway system.
|Number||Change in length||Southern or western terminus||Northern or eastern terminus||Formed||Removed||Notes[c]|
|Iowa 2||−202||−325||US 32 in Council Bluffs||US 63 in Oskaloosa||1920||1939||Became US 32 and US 63|
|Iowa 4||−91||−146||US 20 near Schaller||US 71 north of Spirit Lake||1920||1968||Became US 71|
|Iowa 5||−201||−323||Iowa 16 at Fort Dodge||US 55 / US 61 in Dubuque||1920||1968||Became US 20|
|Iowa 7||−181||−291||US 32 / US 65 in Des Moines||US 32 at Davenport||1920||1939||Became US 32|
|Iowa 10||−35[d]||−56||Iowa 13 in Strawberry Point||US 18 / Iowa 13 in McGregor||1920||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||1920||1941||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||1920||current||Became US 75|
|Iowa 13||−148||−238||Route 63 south of Bloomfield||US 161 in Marion||1920||current||Became Iowa 150, Iowa 149, and US 63|
|Iowa 14||−22||−35||Route 65 at Lineville||Iowa 3 in Corydon||1920||current||Replaced by US 65 and Iowa 40|
|Iowa 15||−131[d]||−211||Route 29 near Redding||US 30 / US 65 in Ames||1920||1935||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
|1920||1968||Became Iowa 6 and US 32; duplication with Iowa 9 removed|
|Iowa 19||−287||−462||US 75 near Doon||US 18 at McGregor||1920||1926||Rest of Iowa 19 became US 18 later in 1926|
|Iowa 24||−32||−51||US 63 in Oskaloosa||US 63 in Ottumwa||1920||1927||Duplication with US 63 removed|
|Iowa 35||−37||−60||US 71 near Lake View||Iowa 17 near Lake City||1920||1948||Duplication with US 71 removed; rest became Iowa 151|
|Iowa 47||3||5||Iowa 144 near Gowrie||Iowa 16 at Harcourt||1920||1940||Extended along No. 16|
|Iowa 58||−23||−37||Iowa 14 near Grundy Center||US 218 near Garrison||1920||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||1920||1941||Duplication with Iowa 38 removed; rest became Iowa 139|
|Iowa 117||35||56||US 161 at Anamosa||US 61 at Maquoketa||1920||1936||Extended along No. 61|
- 1932 was the first year that Iowa state highway maps showed route mileage.
- Route mileage is determined by comparing the 1927 and 1932 state highway maps.[a]
- 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.
- Route mileage is determined by comparing the 1926 and 1932 state highway maps.[a]
- Weingroff, Richard F. "From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
- Thompson, William H. (1989). Transportation in Iowa: A Historical Summary. Ames, Iowa: Iowa Department of Transportation. p. 145. ISBN 0-9623167-0-9.
- "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.
- Thompson (1989), p. 146.
- ISHC Bulletin (1925), p. 9.
- "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.
- "Names of Noted Roads Changed". Blockton News. Blockton, Iowa. August 19, 1926. p. 2. Retrieved January 12, 2018 – via Newspaperarchive.com.
- Iowa State Highway Commission (1927). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Iowa State Highway Commission (June 1932). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
- Iowa State Highway Commission (1926). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa State Highway Commission. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- ISHC Bulletin (1925), p. 3.
- Iowa Registered Highway Routes 1914–1925 (PDF) (Map). Iowa Department of Transportation. 1986. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
- ISHC Bulletin (1925), pp. 7–9