US Route Profiles

The United States Numbered Highways (U.S. Routes) system was formed in 1926. Previously, major highways were maintained by auto associations, who began naming highways, starting with the Lincoln Highway, from New York to San Francisco. By 1925, there were over 250 named highways. However, many problem arose, due to confusing signage, lack of organization, and auto associations acting in their own self interest. By 1924, plans for a national organized numbered highway system were underway. The system was positively received, and for the time, its good paved roads were highly advanced. However, the creation of the Interstate Highway System in 1956 made these U.S. Routes practically useless. U.S. Routes were rerouted, with many demolished, including the famed Route 66, whose 1985 removal marking the end of the era of US Highways. 

In the US Route System, odd-numbered routes generally run north to south and even-numbered ones run east to west. In general, routes ending with 0, 1, and 5 are considered main routes. 

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