U.S. Route 20U.S. Route 20
Length: 3365 mi(5415 km) Formed: 1926West end: US 101in Newport, ORMajor
junctions: I-5at Albany, OR
I-15at Idaho Falls, ID
I-25at Casper, WY
I-29at Sioux City, IA
I-35near Williams, IA
I-55near Chicago, IL
I-75near Toledo, OH
I-79in Erie, PA
I-81near Syracuse, NY
I-91in Springfield, MAEast end: Route 2in Boston, MAUnited States Numbered HighwaysList- Bannered- Divided- Replaced
U.S. Route 20 is an east-west United States highway. As the "0" in its route number implies, U.S. 20 is a coast-to-coast route. However, because national park roads do not have signage for U.S. numbered highways, a gap exists through Yellowstone National Park and splits the route into two sections. Spanning 3,365 miles (5,415 km), it is the longest road in the United States .
It and U.S. Route 30 break the general U.S. route numbering rules in Oregon, since U.S. 30 actually starts to the north of U.S. Route 20 and remains further north throughout the state. (Normally, a route numbered 30 should be south of a route numbered 20.) The two overlap and continue in the "correct" positioning near Caldwell, Idaho.
As of 2007, the highway's eastern terminus is in Boston, Massachusetts, at Kenmore Square, where it meets Route 2. Its western terminus is in Newport, Oregon, at an intersection with U.S. Route 101, within a mile of the Pacific Ocean.
- 1 Route description
- 2 History
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Route descriptionMajor cities
- Corvallis, Oregon
- Bend, Oregon
- Boise, Idaho
- Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Casper, Wyoming
- Sioux City, Iowa
- Fort Dodge, Iowa
- Waterloo, Iowa
- Dubuque, Iowa
- Rockford, Illinois
- Elgin, Illinois
- Chicago, Illinois
- Gary, Indiana
- South Bend, Indiana
- Toledo, Ohio
- Clyde, Ohio
- Bellevue, Ohio
- Cleveland, Ohio (as Euclid Avenue)
- Erie, Pennsylvania
- Buffalo, New York (outer suburbs)
- Syracuse, New York (southern suburbs)
- Albany, New York
- Pittsfield, Massachusetts
- Springfield, Massachusetts
- Worcester, Massachusetts
- Boston, Massachusetts
The highway passes through the following states:
OregonUS 20 viewpoint of 3 Sisters mountains just east of the town of Sisters
U.S. 20 ends at an intersection with U.S. Route 101 in Newport, and runs eastward over the Central Oregon Coast Range to Corvallis. In Corvallis, it intersects Oregon Route 99W and briefly overlaps Oregon Route 34 before proceeding northeast to Albany. From Albany, U.S. 20 briefly overlaps Oregon Route 99E before turning east through Lebanon and Sweet Home and entering the Cascade Mountains. It intersects Oregon Route 126 west of Santiam Pass and the two routes overlap through Sisters. U.S. 20 then continues eastward and southward to Bend, where it overlaps U.S. Route 97 for about five miles before turning east through Brothers and Riley. At Riley, U.S. 20 overlaps U.S. Route 395 through Hines and Burns to about two miles northeast of Burns. From Burns, U.S. 20 continues east through Juntura and Vale. In Vale, U.S. 20 overlaps U.S. Route 26, and the two highways continue east through Ontario to Cairo. At Cairo, U.S. 20 and U.S. Route 26 concurrency with Oregon Route 201 to Nyssa. Eastward from Nyssa, U.S. 20 and U.S. Route 26 continue concurrent east to the Idaho state line.
Oregon highway designations
The Oregon section of U.S. 20 consists of the following highways (see Oregon highways and routes), from west to east:
- The Corvallis-Newport Highway No. 33;
- Part of the Corvallis-Lebanon Highway No. 210;
- The Albany-Corvallis Highway No. 31;
- The Santiam Highway No. 16;
- Part of the McKenzie Highway No. 15;
- The McKenzie-Bend Highway No. 17;
- Part of The Dalles-California Highway No. 4; and
- The Central Oregon Highway No. 7.
Oregon Business Routes
U.S. 20 has two business routes in Oregon:
In Toledo, from an intersection with the main highway west of Toledo on the Toledo Frontage Road and 5th Street through Toledo and again on the Toledo Frontage Road to an intersection with the main highway east of Toledo.
In Bend, from an intersection with the main highway north of Bend, south on on East 1st Street, Deschutes Place, and Wall Street to Newport Avenue, concurrent with U.S. 97 Business, and then east on Newport Avenue and Greenwood Avenue to the main highway concurrent with East 3rd Avenue in Bend.
- Main article: U.S. Route 20 in Idaho
In the state of Idaho, U.S. 20 crosses into Idaho from Oregon northwest of Parma. It begins concurrent with U.S. Route 26 and joins U.S. Route 95 through Parma. U.S. 20/26 leave U.S. 95 southeast of Parma and run to Caldwell where U.S. 20/26 joins with Interstate 84 and U.S. Highway 30 for a short time. These four highways parallel each other (on two roadways) to Boise where U.S. 20/26 runs through downtown before joining with Interstate 84 and U.S. 30 again to Mountain Home. U.S. 20 continues east, occasionally joined with U.S. 26, to Idaho Falls where it turns north-northeast to Targhee Pass.
In the state of Montana, U.S. 20 runs for less than 10 miles (16 km). It runs from the Idaho state line to West Yellowstone, Montana, the western entrance to Yellowstone National Park. U.S. 20 is known as the Targhee Pass Highway in Montana.
- Main article: U.S. Route 20 in Wyoming
In the state of Wyoming, the eastern segment of U.S. 20 starts at the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park along with the western termini of U.S. Route 14 and U.S. Route 16. These three routes run east to Greybull, where U.S. 14 continues east and U.S. 16/20 turns south; at Worland, U.S. 16 turns east while U.S. 20 continues south. U.S. 20 joins U.S. 26 in Shoshoni, where it turns east. In Casper it joins Interstate 25 and U.S. Route 87. These four routes stay combined to Orin, where U.S. 20 turns east. At its intersection with I-25, U.S. Route 18 begins. U.S. 18 and U.S. 20 are concurrent from Orin to Lusk. U.S. 18 separates there and U.S. 20 runs east into Nebraska.US 20 enters Nebraska
- Main article: U.S. Route 20 in Nebraska
In the state of Nebraska, U.S. 20 runs from west of Harrison to South Sioux City on the Missouri River. Portions overlap U.S. Route 385, U.S. Route 83, U.S. Route 183, Interstate 129, and U.S. Route 75.
- See also: Interstate 129 for exit list of US 20 on section concurrent with Interstate 129.
- Main article: U.S. Route 20 in Iowa
As of 2007, the segments from Moorland to Dubuque and from Sioux City to Moville are either expressway or freeway segments. The Department of Transportation's long-term plans are to make U.S. 20 a four-lane highway across the entire state, serving as an alternative to I-80.
U.S. 20 enters Iowa at Sioux City via a Missouri River crossing concurrently with Interstate 129 and U.S. Route 75. After skirting the southeast side of Sioux City as a freeway, U.S. 20 continues to Moville as an expressway. From Moville through Sac City to a point just east of Moorland U.S. 20 is a rural two-lane highway. At Moorland, U.S. 20 again becomes a four-lane highway, passing just to the south of Fort Dodge and Webster City. It junctions Interstate 35 near Williams.US 20 at the Mississippi River
A small segment of U.S. 20 in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area is designated as part of the Avenue of the Saints. U.S. 20 passes Independence, Manchester, and Dyersville before reaching Dubuque. At Dubuque, U.S. 20 crosses into Illinois over the Julien Dubuque Bridge.
- Main article: U.S. Route 20 in Illinois
In the state of Illinois, U.S. 20 runs from the Mississippi River across from Dubuque east along the Mississippi and then continues into the Driftless Area of Illinois and the very hilly northwestern portion of Illinois through Galena. The highway then abruptly descends out of the Driftless Area into the flatness of Stockton, Illinois. The road then runs as a bypass north around Freeport, then runs along the southern fringe of Rockford. Between Rockford and Chicago, U.S. 20 is a mixture of four-lane expressway, four-lane limited access freeway, and winding two-lane surface road. It is signed as General U.S. Grant Highway after Ulysses S. Grant. U.S. 20 then leaves Illinois south of the Chicago Skyway with U.S. 12 and U.S. 41.U.S. Route 20 meets State Road 127 in a traffic circle in Angola, Indiana. This panoramic view was shot from the west-bound U.S. 20 leaving the circle.
- Main article: U.S. Route 20 in Indiana
In the state of Indiana, U.S. 20 enters from the west beneath the Chicago Skyway with U.S. 12 and U.S. 41. U.S. 20 passes through heavily industrialized northwestern Indiana and is the main east-west artery through Gary. It then parallels U.S. 12 to just west of Michigan City before running due east to South Bend. U.S. 20 travels around South Bend and Elkhart on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway, a four-lane limited access freeway, then returns to surface road east of Elkhart. U.S. 20 then passes through LaGrange and Angola, intersecting with Interstate 69 before leaving Indiana just north of the eastern terminus of the Indiana Toll Road.
From Gary to South Bend, U.S. 20 was built as the Dunes Relief Road. During the 1930s and 1940s the Dunes Highway, U.S. Route 12, was becoming more crowded as housing lots and communities developed in the Indiana Dunes. Today, there are numerous communities along U.S. 20 and the lakefront, including Gary, Portage, Burns Harbor, Porter, Chesterton, Beverly Shores, Pines, and Michigan City.
Most notably, the route is one of the main access roads to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
- Main article: U.S. Route 20 in Ohio
US 20 enters Ohio from Indiana just west of Columbia and traverses east through Pioneer and Alvordton to Fayette. It continues east through Oakshade, Assumption and Sylvania to Toledo, and then into the Toledo suburb of Maumee. After Maumee, US 20 continues east through Perrysburg to Woodville, where it becomes a 4 lane non-limited access highway. It bypasses Fremont while concurrent with U.S. 6, State Route 53, and State Route 19, goes through the downtown areas of Clyde and Bellevue, and then bypasses Norwalk, where it becomes a 2 lane highway again. Continuing east, US 20 traverses through Elyria, Westlake, Rocky River, Lakewood and Cleveland, where it goes right through Public Square. East of Cleveland US 20 follows the southern coast of Lake Erie, following Euclid Avenue from Public Square, and traverses Euclid, Wickliffe, where it intersects with I-90, Mentor, Ashtabula and crosses into Pennsylvania just east of Conneaut.
U.S. 20 runs for nearly 50 miles across Erie County, Pennsylvania, most of that time just south of the CSX Amtrak railroad tracks. U.S. 20 appears as West Ridge Road eastward from the Ohio border through Springfield Township, Girard Township, Fairview Township and Millcreek Township. At the intersection with Pennsylvania Route 832, just outside of the Erie city limits, it becomes West 26th Street. After it reaches city center at the intersection with State Street, it becomes East 26th Street. It turns sharply northward as Broad Street at the Bayfront Connector, then turns east again as Buffalo Road through Wesleyville and Harborcreek. Buffalo Road turns sharply northward at the town of Harborcreek. U.S. 20 intersects with Pennsylvania Route 955 and resumes its eastward journey. At North East Township, U.S. 20 becomes West Main Road. Within the town limits, it becomes West Main Street until it reaches the town center at its intersection with Pennsylvania Route 89, where it becomes East Main Street. Outside the town limits it becomes East Main Road until it reaches Pennsylvania's border with New York.
- Main article: U.S. Route 20 in New York
In New York, US 20 runs roughly parallel to the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) throughout the state. The route runs concurrent to New York State Route 5 twice, with the second overlap extending 68 miles across Western and Central New York from Avon to Auburn. US 20 runs across the rural Cherry Valley Turnpike between Skaneateles and Albany.
In parts of eastern Massachusetts, Route 20 follows the route of the old Boston Post Road and passes by Longfellow's Wayside Inn, in Sudbury, the oldest continually operated Inn in America. When Henry Ford purchased the Wayside Inn, he re-routed Route 20 to the south so that major traffic would bypass the inn. The original route of Route 20 is now called Wayside Inn Road. From the middle 1960's to the early 1980s the home and horse farm of Naomi McGovern was located at 925 Boston Post Road, on the south side of the new Route 20, just west of the eastern diversion point. This area was subsequently developed residentially and Ms. McGovern retired to Florida.
Prior to the U.S. Highway system, the route in New England and New York was designated as New England Interstate Route 5 (NE-5), part of the New England Interstate Route system that existed between 1922 and 1927. Around 1923, from Springfield to Pittsfield, NE-5 was known as "Jacob's Ladder", and from Boston to Albany, the "Hubway". When US 20 was first commissioned, it took over the entirety of NE-5.
Between Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Dubuque, Iowa, the route has been upgraded to four lanes, the last link of this completed in 2003. Much of the old route is a few miles north of the present route except between Interstate 35 and Waterloo. There, the old route is farther north, going through Iowa Falls, Aplington, and the north side of Cedar Falls along what is now Iowa Highway 57.
From just west of South Bend, Indiana, to the Saint Joseph/Elkhart County line, the old route of US 20 through Saint Joseph County is now Business 20. In Elkhart County, its old route is now classified as a county road and is simply called Old US 20. The St. Joseph Valley Parkway is the present route of US 20 in the South Bend/Elkhart Area.
The 1953 Massachusetts Department of Public Works Master Plan would have relocated U.S. 20 between Palmer, Massachusetts and either West Springfield, Massachusetts or Westfield, Massachusetts along the right-of-way now used by the Massachusetts Turnpike, but this was never implemented.
Until 1970-72,  Route 20 followed an old route through downtown Springfield - Boston Road and State Street - crossing the Connecticut River via the older Memorial Bridge (now Massachusetts Route 147). The construction of Interstate 291 prompted a change. Route 20 now crosses from West Springfield at the North End Bridge, and is co-signed with I-291 until Page Boulevard, where it heads back to Boston Road via the former route of 20A.
- In Massachusetts, US 20 is referred to as the Old Mass Pike and also as Boston Post Road.
- In the state of New York, part of US 20 follows the old Cherry Valley Turnpike and is still referred to by that name in some places.
- In the Buffalo area, US 20 follows three busy roads: Broadway (east of Depew), Transit Road, and Southwestern Boulevard.
- In Erie, PA, it is known as 26th Street.
- On the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, and through the eastern suburbs. it is known as Euclid Avenue or Mentor Avenue, depending upon the locality. On the west side of Cleveland and its western suburbs, it is known as Clifton Boulevard and Center Ridge Road.
- Through western Indiana, US 20 was built as the Dunes Relief Road, as it bypassed the heavily-traveled Dunes Highway.
- On the south side of Chicago it is 95th Street, through the west suburbs it is LaGrange Road and Mannheim Road (along with U.S. Route 12 and U.S. Route 45) and through the northwest suburbs of Chicago it is called Lake Street.
- Between Fremont, Ohio and Perrysburg, Ohio, the road dates back to the late 1830s. It was known then as the Maumee and Western Reserve Road. Nicknamed "Mud Pike" and earned a reputation as "The worst road on the continent" for the mudholes that would trap wagon wheels and slow draft animals. Travelers sometimes would take 3 days to travel 1 mile.
Bannered and suffixed routes
- U.S. Route 20A in New York
- U.S. Route 20A in Ohio
- U.S. Route 20 Business - Sioux City, Iowa; also passes through South Sioux City, Nebraska
- U.S. Route 20 Business - Fort Dodge, Iowa
- ^ a b US Highways from US 1 to US 830 Robert V. Droz
- ^ Endpoints of US highways
- ^ US-5: A Highway To History
- ^ a b : US 20
- ^ US-5: A Highway To History
- U.S. Route 20
- Galena Bypass project homepage
- Illinois Highway Ends: US 20
- Indiana Highway Ends: US 20
- US 20 Travelogue in New York @ Empire State Roads
- Cleveland: Euclid Corridor Transportation Project
- Cleveland: Euclid Avenue Memories (Plain Dealer special section, June 19, 2006)
- On Route 20, Where the Past Is Present: August 11, 2006, article in New York Times Escapes section.
- Flickr Group for Photos Taken Along Route 20
- US-20 endpoint photos
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