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U.S. Route 101

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U.S. Route 101 marker

U.S. Route 101

Route information
Length1,540 mi[1] (2,480 km)
ExistedNovember 11, 1926 (1926-11-11)[2]–present
Major junctions
South end I-5 / I-10 / SR 60 in Los Angeles, CA
Major intersections
North end I-5 in Tumwater, WA
CountryUnited States
StatesCalifornia, Oregon, Washington
Highway system

U.S. Route 101, or U.S. Highway 101, (US 101) is a north–south United States Numbered Highway that goes along the West Coast of the United States. It goes through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. It goes alongside, and often joins onto, California State Route 1 when going through California. Unlike most other 3 digit routes in the system which are treated as spurs of their two digit parent routes, US 101 is treated as a two digit Route with a first digit of "10". The reason for this was that if the west coast highway was numbered US 91, there would be no room to establish US 93, US 95, US 97, and US 99, all of which must be west of US 91. So, they decided to call the west coast highway US 101 instead. The '10' could have been underlined so that people think that this route is a two digit route rather than a spur route of US 1, the US Highway on the east coast.

The route starts in Los Angeles at the junction of the Interstate 5, Interstate 10, and California State Route 60. It goes west past the north side of Downtown Los Angeles towards the coast. It meets the coast near Oxnard and goes north along the coast from here. The main cities it passes through in California is Santa Maria, San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Eureka, California. In San Francisco, the route goes over the Golden Gate Bridge. The main cities the route passes in Oregon is North Bend, Florence, Newport, and Astoria. These cities are small, as no large cities are on Oregon's coast. It runs near to the Interstate 5, which goes through larger cities like Salem and Portland. In Washington, the main cities it passes through is Aberdeen, Forks and Port Angeles. It ends at the Interstate 5 in Olympia. The route is about 1,540 miles (2,480 km) in total.[1]

The route used to be the main highway along the West Coast, but now most people use the Interstate 5 to go along the coast. The US 101 used to go south to San Diego, but the part of the US 101 between here and Los Angeles was totally replaced by the I-5 in the 1960s. When it first opened, the US 101 used small roads that had already been built. In 1933, a new highway with bridges and ramps was built so it was faster for people to use.[3]

Important intersections[change | change source]

I-5 in Los Angeles
I-10 in Los Angeles
I-110 in Los Angeles
I-405 in Los Angeles
I-280 / I-680 in San Jose
I-880 in San Jose
I-380 on the San BrunoSouth San Francisco city line
I-280 in San Francisco
I-80 in San Francisco
I-580 in San Rafael
US 199 northeast of Crescent City
US 20 in Newport
US 26 northeast of Cannon Beach
US 30 in Astoria
US 12 in Aberdeen
I-5 in Tumwater

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "End of US Highway 101". USEnds.com. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  2. Bureau of Public Roads & American Association of State Highway Officials (November 11, 1926). United States System of Highways Adopted for Uniform Marking by the American Association of State Highway Officials (Map). 1:7,000,000. Washington, DC: United States Geological Survey. OCLC 32889555. Retrieved November 7, 2013 – via University of North Texas Libraries.
  3. Garrick, David (20 August 2017). "Original Highway 101, precursor to I-5, was first official north-south San Diego route". San Diego Tribune. Retrieved 14 July 2020.