Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
U.S. Highway 1
United States Highway 1 is a United States highway which parallels the east coast of the United States. It runs 2,390 miles (3,846 km) from Key West, Florida in the south to Fort Kent, Maine at the Canadian border in the north. It parallels Interstate 95, although for a longer route and usually further to the west. It connects the major cities of the east coast, including: Miami, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Augusta, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; Petersburg, Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Trenton, New Jersey; Newark, New Jersey; New York, New York; Bridgeport, Connecticut; New Haven, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Portland, Maine.
Theoretically, the highway is numbered "US 1" because it is the U.S. Federal Highway furthest east, and north-south highways are numbered east to west; however, several U.S. Highways run east of US 1, such as U.S. Highway 13 and most of U.S. Highway 17. The location of the road may have been influenced by the desires of several large cities to have a "major" road run through them; the location of the fall line at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains may have influenced the highway's location as well.
US 1 largely follows the route of the Atlantic Highway and originally shared the same termini of Fort Kent, Maine and Miami, Florida. A major exception is the route between Augusta, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida, where a more inland route was selected. Early auto trails often overlapped; as a result, in Virginia, it was also known as Jefferson Davis Highway. The section from Miami, Florida to Jacksonville, Florida duplicates the Dixie Highway. The names of the old auto trails are still used locally in many places.
In Florida, where signs for U.S. Highways formerly had different colors for each highway, the "shield" for US 1 was red. Florida began using the colored shields in 1956, but during the 1980's the MUTCD was revised to specify only a black and white color scheme for U.S. Highway shields. As such, Federal funds were no longer available to maintain the colored signs. On August 27, 1993, the decision was made to no longer produce colored signs. Since then, the remaining colored signs have gradually been replaced by black-and-white signs; at present, there are a few rare colored ones still in place.
As of 2004, the highway's northern terminus is in Fort Kent, Maine at the Canadian border, where it crosses the Saint John River and intersects Provincial Highway 205. Its southern terminus was originally Miami, Florida and was later extended to Key West, Florida, the southwesternmost island in the Florida Keys, where it is known as the Overseas Highway.
The highway passes through the following states and jurisdictions:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Related U.S. routes
- U.S. Highway 101 (not a "child" of US 1)
- U.S. Highway 201
- U.S. Highway 301
- U.S. Highway 401
- U.S. Highway 501
- U.S. Highway 601
- U.S. Highway 701
- Endpoints of U.S. highways (used with permission)
- Federal Highway Administration Home Page
- Control Cities of Atlantic Highway
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