U.S. Route 95: Wikis

  
  
  

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U.S. Route 95 shield
U.S. Route 95
Length: 1,574 mi[1] (2,553 km)
Formed: 1926[1]
South end: Mexican Federal Highway 2.png MX 2 at the Mexican Border at San Luis, AZ
Major
junctions:
I-8 at Yuma, AZ

I-10 at Quartzsite, AZ/Blythe, CA
I-40 at Needles, CA
I-15 at Las Vegas, NV
I-80 near Winnemucca, NV
I-84 near Fruitland, ID
I-90 at Coeur d'Alene, ID

North end: BC 95 at Canadian Border near Eastport, ID
United States Numbered Highways
ListBanneredDividedReplaced

U.S. Route 95 is a north–south U.S. highway in the western United States. Unlike many other US highways, it has not seen deletion or replacement on most of its length by an encroaching Interstate highway corridor, due to its mostly rural course. It is the primary north–south highway in both Nevada and Idaho.

As of 2008, the highway's northern terminus is in Boundary County, Idaho, at the Canadian border crossing of Eastport, where it continues north as BC 95. Its southern terminus is in San Luis, Arizona, on the Mexican border, where a short spur leads to Mexican Federal Highway 2 at San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora.[2]

Contents

Route description

Arizona

US 95 begins in the United States at the border with Mexico at Mexico's Federal Route 2. It then follows the Colorado River northward to San Luis and on to Yuma, where it goes through town and crosses I-8. As it leaves Yuma, US 95 is an undivided two-lane highway which passes through the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground.

It then travels northward between the proving ground to the west and the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to the east until Quartzsite. Here it merges with I-10 and runs concurrent, heading westward for 17 miles (27 km) until the Colorado River, where it enters California, just shy of Blythe.

California

US 95 in California is a short segment of poorly maintained two-laned road that connects the southern tip of Nevada with southwestern Arizona. Travel without a high-clearance vehicle during the rainy season, from January to March, can be difficult as there are very few bridges over the arroyos. After a heavy rainstorm, deep water up to a meter (3.3 ft) frequently turns the road into impassable gullies. In the summer, the desert temperatures often reach 45 C (115 F) degrees. South of Interstate 40, it is 90 miles (145 km) from Needles (with no filling stations or towns with services) until I-10 and Blythe.

Nevada

US 95 in Nevada is a divided highway between the Laughlin junction and Boulder City. Upon entering the Las Vegas area, the highway becomes a multi-lane divided freeway and is concurrent with I-515 and US 93 between Henderson and Downtown Las Vegas. After crossing I-15, the highway continues as a freeway for several miles until again becoming a divided highway outside the Las Vegas urban area.

Shortly after entering Nye County, US 95 becomes an undivided two-lane highway, as it meanders northwestward through the state, roughly paralleling the California border. The highway is concurrent with US 6 for several miles north of Tonopah and concurrent with I-80 for 93 miles (150 km), from Exit 83 west of Lovelock to Exit 176 at Winnemucca. It then heads north to the border with Oregon at McDermitt, a distance of 73 miles (117 km).

Oregon

In Oregon, US 95 is an under-maintained, undivided two-lane highway in the sparsely populated southeastern corner of the state, running completely in rural Malheur County. From the Nevada state line at McDermitt, the highway heads north and gradually climbs to its crest at Blue Mountain Pass, an elevation of 5293 feet (1613 m) above sea level. US 95 descends to Basque and Burns Junction at 3960 feet (1207 m), then eastward down to Rome (3400 ft, 1183 m) and up to Jordan Valley (4389', 1338 m). The highway heads north-northeastward to the Idaho state line, entering southwest of Marsing.

US 95 is designated the I.O.N. Highway No. 456 (see Oregon highways and routes), with the I.O.N. for Idaho-Oregon-Nevada. This section of highway is a primary commercial route between Boise and northern California, connecting to Interstate 80 at Winnemucca, Nevada. US 95 crosses into the Mountain Time Zone approximately 35 miles (56 km) north of Nevada.

Idaho

US 95 is an undivided two lane highway during most of its length in Idaho, which is over 538 miles (866 km). The state is widening US 95 to a four lane divided highway from the Oregon state line to the Canadian border at Eastport.

US 95 enters Idaho from Oregon in Owyhee County, about 50 miles southwest of Boise. It passes through Homedale and crosses the Snake River before a junction with concurrent US 20 and US 26, which run together for eight miles. As it proceeds north, US 95 crosses I-84 and US 30 before going through the Payette National Forest. Immediately after Riggins, the highway re-enters the Pacific Time Zone as it crosses the Salmon River. US 95 follows the descending river, then climbs over White Bird Hill to the Camas Prairie, then descends the Lapwai Canyon to the Clearwater River.

US 95 becomes a four lane divided highway after crossing the river east of Lewiston; it runs concurrent with US 12 for several miles. The highways split as US 12 continues west to Lewiston, and US 95 turns northwest and climbs a steep grade up to the rolling Palouse. At a junction with US 195, US 95 proceeds north to Moscow as a recently completed divided highway. It becomes an undivided highway in Moscow and continues north to Coeur d'Alene, crossing I-90. US 95 goes north to Sandpoint, where it joins with US 2, after which the highways run concurrent until after Bonners Ferry, where US 2 heads east to Montana and US 95 continues north to Canada, meeting BC 95 at the border.

Washington (former)

North of Lewiston, Idaho, US 95 entered Washington for 0.54 miles (0.87 km), partially concurrent with U.S. Route 195. The route was moved to a new 4-laned divided road that bypassed Washington in the 1970s.[3][4][5]

The route is now U.S. Route 195 Spur.[6]

History

The modern route of US 95 includes the entire former route of U.S. Route 630, the shortest signed US route ever, in the form of a rare "spur" route.

Future

Between 2009-2010, the Arizona Department Of Transportation has decided to make the beginning stretch of US 95 between Yuma and Parker four lanes instead of the current two-lane configuration to make it safer, quicker, and easier to travel on.

In April 2005, the Idaho legislature approved a bill to widen the entire highway from two lanes to four lanes for the entire route starting at the US-Canada port of entry in Eastport, and ending at the Oregon border in remote Owyhee County. The contract for the project was awarded to Washington Group International and CH2M Hill. The contract is worth more than $1.2 billion, and is slated to last for more than six years, cover 13 major reconstruction projects, affecting over 250 miles (402 km) of the highway's nearly 460 miles (740 km) in the state.

The major factors in the reconstruction are due to the fact that US 95 is the only route that runs from north to south in western Idaho, starting at Eastport in the north and ending in remote Owyhee County; as well as safety concerns because there have been numerous accidents and fatalities on the narrow and very dangerous curves. This change started with the re-construction and improvements made to White Bird Hill. Major projects have been undertaken including on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation:

The first stage was completed in August 2005 from just south of Coeur d'Alene to Fighting Creek Road, and is an upgraded four-lane highway for approximately ten miles (16 km).

The second stage, from Fighting Creek Road to Lake Creek on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation, was completed in late July-early August 2006 and upgraded a seven-mile (11 km) stretch of the highway.

The third stage, from Lake Creek to Worley, is expected to start mid-to-late 2006 and is not expected to be completed until late 2007 or early 2008. This section is significant, as it is on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation. The "new" highway will bypass the Coeur d'Alene Casino, the largest business on the reservation, with the old highway becoming an alternate route that will connect the highway to the casino and the more remote regions of the reservation.

When this 20-mile (32 km) stretch of highway is completed, the length of the highway will have been shortened by about 20 miles (32 km).

Also, a nearly 20-mile (32 km) stretch was completed in 2007 from just north of Lewiston to 6 miles (10 km) south of Moscow.

See also

References

External links

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