"Over the Oregon Coast Highway from the Washington State Line at the Astoria Bridge, westerly and southerly via Warrenton, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Wheeler, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Newport, Florence, Reedsport, North Bend, Coos Bay, Bandon, Port Orford, Gold Beach, and Brookings to the California State Line."
~ ODOT, Descriptions of US and Oregon Routes, March 2007
US-101 was created at the inception of the original United States Interstate Highway System in 1926 along the Roosevelt Coast Highway #9, formerly the Roosevelt Military Highway #9. Because the Oregon coast is not the easist place to build a road, with its many bays, rivers, cliffs, and mountains, many segments still needed to be built before US-101 was a complete highway from border to border. However, it was finished in 1936 thanks to New Deal federal funding for public works projects.
Once again, due to improvements in construction techniques, Oregon's highway division saw that it could make the road get closer to the coast in many areas, so road realignments were planned. Here are a list of major realignments:
There have been other minor realignments along US-101 but were not important enough to merit mention on this page. However, I will document all them on my MSN Live page and provide a link in the near future.
One last bridge still needed to be built along US-101 to make the route complete: the bridge connecting Washington and Oregon at Astoria. US-101 originally crossed the mouth of the Columbia on a ferry at 14th Street in Astoria (1 mile east of the current bridge), but closures due to storms and 30-minute crossing times in ideal conditions made the service less than desirable. In 1962, construction of the Astoria-Megler bridge finally began amidst criticism over it being a "bridge to nowhere." The bridge was opened in 1966 to much fanfare, and the critics were soon proven wrong, as 1.3 million people now cross this bridge every year. It is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America, it can withstand 150 MPH winds and 9 MPH river speeds, and it was tolled from its dedication until Christmas Eve, 1993. The final link was now complete.
US-26 was originally duplexed with US-101 between Cannon Beach Jct. and Astoria between 1952 and 2003. ODOT eventually wised up, realizing that US-26's existence between those two cities was superfluous, and dropped the designation. US-101 is now multiplex-free. OR-255 could have been duplexed along the highway (the Carpenterville Highway runs in common with US-101 between Pistol River State Park and Pistol River), but it was defined only along portions of the Carpenterville Highway not duplexed with US-101.