Highway Page Updates
This is a list of updates to all of my highway pages so everyone can see what is new or what has changed since they last visited. The most recent updates are listed first.
- More research findings from Jeff Morrison:
- A very short IA 903 in Mahaska County appears on some Iowa DOT maps but not on others. Jeff confirmed with the Iowa DOT that this former IA 163 segment has been on the books since December 31, 2011, and is a likely candidate for a future transfer of jurisdiction.
- The US highways designated in December 1934 were not signed right away — except for US 52, signing of which was completed January 31, 1935, per the Postville Herald, signing of US 59 (Cherokee Chief), US 63 (New Hampton Tribune), US 67 (Davenport Daily Times - a finding of mine), US 69 south of Des Moines, and US 163 were completed on February 15, 1935. The changeover of IA 67 to IA 55 was done that same day per the Seymour Herald.
- Signing of IA 73 (II) was completed on June 25, 1934, per the Cherokee Daily Times.
- IA 110 (I) in Larrabee was decommissioned on October 31, 1934, after the realigned IA 73 (I), later US 59, opened, per the Cherokee Chief.
- IA 150 (II) from 1930 was a paper highway after all that was never signed, per articles in the Denison Bulletin and Schleswig Leader.
- IA 161 (II) in Keokuk was designated in 1944 after all, per the Highway Commission's 1944 map of Lee County.
- The extension of IA 13 in Cedar Rapids was built as a two-lane road with aspirations for becoming a four-lane highway (which didn't become reality until the 1990s), and the interchange with US 30 was there from day one. (Neither of us were able to find an opening date for the IA 13 segment between US 151 and Mount Vernon Road.)
- And some research findings of my own:
- Lots of changes were made to the Highways of Iowa City page based on research I did recently. The original routings of US 32, US 161, IA 1, and IA 139 were documented in the Iowa City Press-Citizen of September 4, 1926.
- In Cedar Rapids, it turns out that the routing of IA 149 found in a 1934 Gousha map (Wilson Avenue and Rockford Road leaving town) may not have been signed after all. Based on construction plans in the Iowa DOT's document library and articles in the Cedar Rapids Newspaper Archives, the route built followed Williams Boulevard and 1st Avenue. Also, the relocated IA 13 opened November 13, 1930, and US 30 was rerouted onto the A Avenue viaduct on July 6, 1931.
- I have also added legal description links, where available, to the Highways of Des Moines and Highways of Davenport and Bettendorf pages.
- IA 98 is no more as of December 28, per this story in the Marshalltown Times-Republican that quoted the Van Buren County Register.
- Jeff Morrison provided me with a few research findings:
- It turns out US 18 was not signed west of US 75 when signage of the US highway system was completed. As late as October 4, 1926, the Highway Commission declined to join South Dakota in requesting that it be extended westward, and it wasn't until the AASHO meeting on November 11 — the official birthdate of the US highway system — that US 18 was extended westward (confirmed in the Sioux County Index of Hull, November 26); I have recognized November 11 as the date of its westward extension and decommissioning of IA 19 (I) even though signing may not have been completed until later.
- As for IA 19 (II) to Backbone State Park, it was not added to the state highway system until May 3, 1927.
- The original paving of IA 2 (I) between Columbus Junction and Fredonia dated back to 1914 and ran closer to the railroad tracks; it was superseded by a new paved segment along IA 92's present route in 1937 (per the Iowa DOT's document library). This is mentioned in the paving history, as the realignment itself wasn't very long.
- IA 3 was extended across the Big Sioux River on July 5, 1949, per the legal description and confirmed via an article in the Akron Register-Tribune on July 28.
- IA 101 was paved in Vinton in 1912 — the Vinton Eagle on August 20 heralded it as "The First Concrete Roadway in the State of Iowa" — and moved to the alignment IA 150 follows today on April 2, 1941, per the legal description.
- IA 136 was extended into Illinois based on the 1967 Illinois map dated January 1 of that year. Coupled with the Iowa DOT's legal description, I will recognize December 7, 1966, as the decommissioning date of the eastern US 30A despite its presence on the back of the 1967 Iowa map.
- IA 146 was straightened north of Grinnell on January 10, 1951, per the legal description in Tama County.
- IA 149 was diagonalized and paved southwest of Cedar Rapids in 1934. The Des Moines Register on October 7 pointed out that the road opened the day before.
- A research finding of my own: IA 188 was turned over to Butler County in October 1964, creating IA 122 (II) as a stub to Clarksville, after an agreement was reached between the state and Butler County in June 1963 (sources: Waterloo Daily Courier, June 28, 1963, and the Des Moines Register, November 1, 1964); the timing of the agreement may explain the changes being made on the 1964 state map. But traffic counts turned out to be higher than expected, thus voiding the agreement between the state and county (source: Waterloo Daily Courier, November 16, 1965); the date of recommissioning is from the IA 188 legal description.
- It was 20 years ago on January 8 when I, a student of the University of Iowa at the time, launched the Iowa Highways Page. A lot has changed since then:
While a lot has changed in the last 20 years, this site will continue to chronicle the evolution of Iowa's highway system. Thank you to everyone who has contributed material to this site.
- This site itself has changed web servers multiple times, adopting the iowahighways.org domain as a redirect in 2004 and as a permanent URL in 2014, while my original photos are now on Flickr.
- Online mapping was relatively new in 1998 while online aerial photos were hard to find until the Iowa Geographical Map Server came along.
- Newsgroups like misc.transport.road have given way to message boards like the AARoads Forum and social media like Facebook (the Mid-America Roads group includes Iowa highway discussion).
- Iowa's highway system has changed a lot in the last 20 years as well — four-lane corridors like the Avenue of the Saints (signed as IA 27 since 2001) and the Des Moines-Burlington Expressway (signed as IA 163 since 2009) were under construction 20 years ago, and a four-lane US 20 from Sioux City to Dubuque, which was unfunded west of Fort Dodge in 1998, will finally be reality by the end of this year.
- When I started this site, research on historic highway alignments was limited to looking at the map collection at the UI Main Library and looking at old newspapers on microfilm. Now, thanks to the efforts of contributors like Jeff Morrison, who's contributed more material to this site than anyone by far, and the increased availability of newspaper archives online (many of which require subscriptions) and historical material from the Iowa DOT's website (including every highway map ever published, going back nearly 100 years), research has become a lot easier.
- Speaking of US 20, Jeff Morrison confirmed from the Iowa DOT that a 3½-mile expressway segment between County Road L25 and the five-lane segment in Correctionville opened last November 22.
- According to the Iowa Transportation Commission meeting notes from December 12, the remainder of IA 192 will be turned over to the city of Council Bluffs in the near future. The listing will be updated once I receive confirmation that signs have been taken down, but I did remove IA 192 from the I-80 west exit list.
- Other exit list updates:
- I-35 south: I added the new interchange with NW 100th Street in Urbandale that is currently under construction.
- I-80 central: Marshalltown has replaced Altoona as a destination at Exit 142, per this story in the Marshalltown Times-Republican.
- I-80 east: Minor signing update at Exit 295A in Davenport.
- IA 141 is now six lanes through Grimes.
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