U.S. Route 70: Wikis


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U.S. Route 70 shield
U.S. Route 70
Length: 2385 mi[1] (3,838 km)
Formed: 1926[1]
West end: US 60 at Globe, Arizona
I-25 at Las Cruces, N.M.

I-27 at Plainview, Texas
I-35 at Ardmore, OK
I-30 at Little Rock, Ark,
I-40 / I-55 at Memphis, Tenn.
I-40 / I-65 at Nashville, Tenn.
I-75 at Lenoir City, Tenn.
I-40 at Knoxville, Tenn.
I-85 at Salisbury, N.C.
I-40 at Greensboro, N.C.
I-85 at Durham, N.C.
I-95 at Selma, N.C.

East end: Seashore Drive in Atlantic, N.C.[2]
United States Numbered Highways

U.S. Route 70 is an east–west United States highway that runs for 2,385 miles (3,838 km) from eastern North Carolina to east-central Arizona. As can be derived from its number, it is a major east–west highway of the Southern and Southwestern United States. It formerly ran from coast to coast, with the current Eastern terminus near the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina, and the former Western terminus near the Pacific Ocean in California. Before the completion of the Interstate system, U.S. Hwy-70 was sometimes referred to as the "Broadway of America", due to its status as one of the main east–west thoroughfares in the nation.


Route description



U.S. 70 begins in Globe at a junction with U.S. Route 60, concurrent with State Route 77. SR 77 splits off east of town. U.S. 70 then enters the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and runs southeast for 17 miles[3] (27 km) to Peridot, where it crosses Indian Route 9. It has no other highway junctions until Safford, where it begins a ten-mile[3] (16 km) overlap with U.S. 191. U.S. 70 then runs an additional 37 mi (60 km).[3] (59 km) before crossing into New Mexico east of Franklin.

New Mexico

After entering the state of New Mexico, U.S. 70 heads southeast. Five miles[4] (8 km) after crossing the state line, it serves as the southern terminus for New Mexico State Road 92. U.S. 70 does not have another highway junction for 21 mi (34 km)[4], where it meets State Roads 464 and 90 three miles[4] (5 km) north of Lordsburg. At Lordsburg, U.S. 70 joins with Interstate 10 eastbound, splitting off in Las Cruces. In Las Cruces, U.S. 70 also meets Interstate 25.

Upon departing Las Cruces, U.S. 70 crosses the White Sands Missile Range. Overhead missile tests can close the highway for a few hours; this generally happens once or twice a week.[5][6] It then runs concurrent with U.S. 54 between Alamogordo and Tularosa. After splitting off to the northeast, U.S. 70 runs across the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation and near the resort town of Ruidoso. In Hondo, it begins another concurrency, this time with U.S. 380. U.S. 70 then bypasses Roswell to the northwest, together with U.S. 285. U.S. 70 then heads off to the northeast, running through Portales and Clovis before entering Texas at Texico.


US 70 enters Texas joined with US 60 and US 84. US 60 splits off to the northeast in Farwell, Texas, just over the state line. US 70/84 then angle southeast to Muleshoe, where the two routes split. US 70 heads due east, meeting US 385 at Springlake, and having an interchange with Interstate 27 in Plainview. US 70 then arcs toward the south to begin a concurrency with US 62 in Floydada. The two routes head east to Paducah, Texas, where US 62 splits off to the north to join with US 83. US 70 then proceeds to Vernon, where it overlaps US 287 and US 183 (and has a junction with US 283). Near Oklaunion, Texas, US 70/183 split off to the north to cross the Red River into Oklahoma.


US-183 splits off US-70 three miles[7] (5 km) north of the state line, in the town of Davidson. It then has an interchange (Exit 5) with Interstate 44, serving as the southern terminus of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. US-70 then heads south of Waurika. US-70 then becomes a four-lane divided highway near Wilson and runs through Lone Grove before entering the city of Ardmore, where it briefly heads south on Interstate 35, bypassing the central business district. US-70 serves as the southern terminus of US-177 in Madill. US-70 then heads to Durant, where it has an interchange with the US-69/75 freeway.

East of Soper, US-70 joins with US-271. The two routes then approach Hugo, where they serve as the southern terminus of the Indian Nation Turnpike. US-271 also splits off at this interchange, continuing the freeway southbound from the turnpike. US-70 then heads through downtown Hugo. It then bypasses Idabel to the north (with Bypass US-70 providing a western and southern bypass). It then meets US-259 and State Highway 3 northeast of town and overlaps them into Broken Bow, forming a wrong-way concurrency with SH-3. US-70 then splits off to the east in Broken Bow before leaving the state.


U.S. 70 enters Arkansas eight miles[8] (13 km) west of DeQueen. U.S. 70 bypasses the town to the north. Northeast of the city, it meets U.S. 71 and overlaps with it for 8 mi (13 km). It then heads northwest for to Dierks, where it begins a concurrency with U.S. 278. U.S. 70 then heads east-northeast to Hot Springs, which it bypasses to the south on a freeway alignment shared with U.S. 270. U.S. 70 then heads east to join with Interstate 30 at Exit 111 south of Benton. The two highways remain joined to the state capital, Little Rock, where U.S. 70B splits off from I-30 and U.S. 70 at Exit 132, and runs through downtown Little Rock, having an interchange with Interstate 630 before crossing the Arkansas River in to North Little Rock. U.S. 70 remains with I-30 through Little Rock, crossing the Arkansas River into North Little Rock. It then splits off from I-30, and is rejoined by U.S. 70B at Exit 141B, and serves as the northern terminus of U.S. Route 165. U.S. 70 then crosses Interstate 440 and leaves the Little Rock area, paralleled by Interstate 40.

U.S. 70 continues its alignment near I-40 throughout eastern Arkansas, generally about two or three miles (5 km) apart. I-40 bypasses Forrest City to the north, while U.S. 70 serves the city center. The two routes remain close through West Memphis, Arkansas, where U.S. 70 runs along Broadway Blvd. Finally, U.S. 70 joins with Interstate 55 to cross the Mississippi River into Tennessee.


US64/US70/US79 overlap on Summer Ave in Memphis, Tennessee. (2008)

US 70 enters Tennessee, as well as the city of Memphis, concurrent with Interstate 55, US 61, US 64, and US 79. At exit 12, the northernmost exit on I-55 in the state, I-55 turns south; however, the four US routes continue east onto the at-grade Crump Boulevard. US 61 splits from the concurrency soon afterward, heading south along 3rd Street to exit the city. US 64, 70 and 79, however, remain overlapped through downtown Memphis, following Danny Thomas Boulevard north to Union Avenue, Union east to East Parkway (briefly overlapping with U.S. Route 51 along the western portion of Union), then East Parkway north to Summer Avenue, where the triple concurrency turns east. Near the city line, US 64/70/79 interchanges with Interstate 40 at exit 12A.

Past the Memphis city limits in the suburb of Bartlett, US 64 separates from US 70/79, taking a more southerly routing through the state. US 70 and US 79, meanwhile, head to the northeast, paralleling I-40 to Brownsville. East of city, US 79 breaks from US 70, following US 70 Alternate out of the city to the northeast. US 70, now concurrent with only its unsigned designation of State Route 1, heads east, interchanging with I-40 at exit 66 before entering Jackson. The route continues northeast from the city, meeting I-40 once more at exit 87 just outside the city limits. At Huntingdon, US 70 Alternate rejoins US 70 as the main route turns to the east toward New Johnsonville, where it crosses the Tennessee River.

From the river, US 70 continues eastward through Waverly and Dickson to the Nashville area. Southwest of the city near Pegram, U.S. Route 70S splits off from US 70; however, US 70 continues to be signed as US 70 instead of US 70N. US 70 follows I-40 into Nashville, meeting the concurrent I-40/I-65 immediately west of the city center. The route turns south, acting as collector/distributor roads for I-40/I-65 for two blocks before joining US 431 and US 70S on a brief overlap. At an intersection with the concurrent US 31/US 41, US 431 and US 70S split from US 70. US 70 progresses eastward, roughly paralleling the Cumberland River to an interchange with State Route 155 east of downtown. US 70, now paired with State Route 24, heads east out of Nashville to Lebanon, where U.S. Route 70N breaks from the main US 70. US 70 heads southeast, passing through Smithville before rejoining US 70S in Sparta and US 70N to the east in Crossville.

From Crossville eastward to the North Carolina state line, US 70 closely parallels I-40, passing through the Roane County cities of Rockwood and Kingston. At Dixie Lee Junction in eastern Loudon County US 70 (also known as the Dixie Highway) intersects US 11 (the Lee Highway) and the two highways are concurrent from the junction intersection eastward through Farragut and into Knoxville. In Farragut and west of downtown Knoxville US 70 carries the name Kingston Pike. On the east side of Knoxville it becomes concurrent with US 25W and US 11E and carries the name Asheville Highway from Knoxville to the community of Trentville in eastern Knox County. At Trentville, US 11E separates from the concurrency. US 25W remains overlapped with US 70 to Newport, where US 70 is joined by US 25E, which becomes US 25. US 25 and US 70 remain concurrent into North Carolina.

North Carolina

U.S. 70 enters North Carolina on a two-lane road, also signed as U.S. Route 25. The duplex is signed along a divided highway from Marshall to U.S. Route 19 north of Asheville where it splits off from U.S. 25. From here, U.S. 70 parallels Interstate 40, passing through the towns of Morganton, Hickory, Statesville and Salisbury, where it changes course and heads northeast.

U.S. 70 parallels Interstate 85 to High Point, sharing a divided highway with U.S. Route 29. The two roads separate in Greensboro, and U.S. Route 70 continues east along the Interstate 40 corridor. Halfway to the Research Triangle, US 70 passes through the major retail district for Burlington. It then becomes a two lane road until it reaches Durham where U.S 70 turns southeast as a divided highway. The road passes straight through downtown Raleigh, before heading back east and away from Interstate 40.

A divided highway from Raleigh to the Atlantic Coastal Plain, U.S. 70 traverses Eastern North Carolina in an east by southeasterly direction. As of 2008, the Clayton Bypass carries US 70 around Clayton, North Carolina. It is signed along as bypass roads around Smithfield (through Selma) and Goldsboro and a freeway around New Bern and is a divided highway again through the Croatan National Forest and Havelock, passing Atlantic Beach in Carteret County, the eastern terminus of NC 24. From here, U.S. 70 maintains a two-lane road with a widened shoulder, to the town of Sealevel and the southern terminus of NC 12. The last few miles of U.S. 70 are signed along a road from Sealevel to its eastern terminus in the town of Atlantic.


Most or all of the present route designated as U.S. Highway 70 was earlier known as Lee Highway. During the earliest days of the automobile, and earlier, American highways were disorganized affairs of widely varying quality. Highways were known by a bewildering variety of names which typically changed at each town. And they were only named, not numbered.

During the 1920s the first national highway was conceived: the Lincoln Highway, named in honor of Abraham Lincoln, stretching across the northern United States from coast to coast. A companion effort was launched to create a transcontinental highway stretching across the southern half of the country, this one named in honor of the greatest general of the Confederate States of America, Robert E. Lee. The two highways were a revolution of sorts, in that a driver could follow a single road from coast to coast bearing the same designation. Much of today's U.S. 70 was earlier the Lee Highway, although that appelation was later dropped.

Originally U.S. Highway 70 reached downtown Los Angeles even though it was concurrent with U.S Route 99 and/or U.S. Highway 60 throughout its course west of Globe, Arizona. Beginning in 1964 it was decommissioned in favor of Interstate 10 or US 60.

Bruce Springsteen's 1975 song, Thunder Road (song) immortalizes the 1958 Robert Mitchum film, Thunder Road about a family of anarchistic moonshiners who engage in run-ins with the police. The Mitchum film is based on a real life incident in which a moonshiner perished on the road whilst on the run from the police.

Bannered routes

Branch routes

US 70 has two additional branches in Tennessee, US 70N and US 70S. This split is unique, in that it is the only existing instance of a N/S split of a U.S. highway. Further, US 70 does not "disappear" at these splits; thus, these two highways serve as additional branches of the main route. US 70N begins in Lebanon, Tennessee, just east of Nashville, and ends in Crossville, TN; US 70S begins in Pegram, TN, just west of Nashville, and ends in Sparta, TN (a few miles west of Crossville). Historically, both split routes began in Pegram and ended in Crossville. The original designation for U.S. 70 between Lebanon and Sparta was state highway 26.

Alternate routes

There is a US 70A in Wilson, Oklahoma. Additionally, there is an Alternate US 70 between Brownsville, TN and Huntingdon, TN. Signage along this route and most maps show it as US 70A. Another US 70A, approximately 9 miles (14 km) long, runs from Selma, North Carolina to near Princeton, North Carolina. Its western terminus in Selma lies on US 70 in between the endpoints of the US 70 Business Route through Smithfield, North Carolina.

Business routes

Bypass routes

See also

Related routes


  1. ^ a b Droz, Robert V. U.S. Highways: From US 1 to (US 830). URL accessed 1 March 2006.
  2. ^ "End of U.S. Highway 70". http://usends.com/70-79/070/070.html. Retrieved 2009-03-27.  
  3. ^ a b c Rand McNally. The Road Atlas `07 [map]. (2007) p. 8–9.
  4. ^ a b c Rand McNally. The Road Atlas `07 [map]. (2007) p. 68.
  5. ^ Crossley, John. "White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo, New Mexico". The American Southwest. http://www.americansouthwest.net/new_mexico/white_sands/national_monument.html. Retrieved 2007-09-29.  
  6. ^ Signage indicating closings
  7. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Official State Map [map], 2005-2006 edition.
  8. ^ Arkansas Highway Transportation Department. Arkansas State Highway Map [map], 2007 edition.

External links

Browse numbered routes
< SR 69 AZ SR 71 >
< SH 69 TX SH 70 >
< NC 69 NC NC 71 >
< US-69 OK SH-71 >
< SR-69 TN SR-70 >
US blank.svg Main U.S. Routes
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Lists  U.S. Routes - Bannered - Divided - Bypassed - Portal


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