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ORoads: US Route 20

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US Route 20
Oregon Route 34Oregon Route 99WOregon Route 99EOregon Route 126US Route 97 BusinessUS Route 395US Route 26Oregon Route 201
US-20 Navigation:
Info/Map | Definition | History | Rediscovering US-20 Zoom-In: Bend | Route Log | ODOT Traffic Cameras | Pictures (coming soon)
US Route 20 Info and Map
US-20's Routing from Newport to the Idaho Border at Nyssa
Length: 451.25 miles
Type: Undivided Highway
Lifespan: 1940-present
Western Terminus: US-101 at Newport
Eastern Terminus: the Idaho Border at Nyssa
Cities Served: Newport, Toledo, Philomath, Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon, Sweet Home, Sisters, Bend, Burns, Vale, Nyssa
Intersects: US-20 Business (Toledo & Bend), OR-229, OR-223, I-5, OR-226, OR-34, OR-228, OR-22, OR-242, US-97, OR-27, OR-78
Multiplexes:

OR-34

(Flynn to Corvallis; Hwy #33 MP 49.76-55.94, 6.18 miles)

OR-99W

(within Corvallis; Hwy #1W MP 83.35-84.10, 0.75 miles)

OR-99E

(within Albany; Hwy #58 MP 2.42-1.42, 1.00 miles)

OR-126

(Clear Lake Jct. to Sisters; Hwy #16 MP 71.52-Hwy #15 MP 93.07, 29.61 miles)

US-97 Business (Bend)

(within Bend; Hwy #17 MP 18.51-20.99, 2.48 miles)

US-395

(Riley to near Burns; Hwy #7 MP 104.62-134.29, 29.67 miles)

US-26

(Vale to Idaho Border; Hwy #7 MP 246.41-266.82, 20.41 miles)

OR-201

(Cairo Jct. to Nyssa; Hwy #7 MP 258.20-265.97, 7.77 miles)

Oregon Highway Name/Numbers: Corvallis-Newport Highway #33
Pacific Highway West #1W
Corvallis-Lebanon Highway #210
Albany-Junction City Highway #58
Santiam Highway #16
McKenzie Highway #15
McKenzie-Bend Highway #17
The Dalles-California Highway #4
(The Dalles-California Highway #4 Bend Business Loop)
Central Oregon Highway #7
John Day Highway #5
Old Oregon Trail #6
US Route 20 Route Definition

"Over the Corvallis-Newport Highway from its junction with the Oregon Coast Highway, US101, in Newport easterly via Eddyville, Blodgett, and Philomath to its junction with the Pacific Highway West, OR99W, in Corvallis (common with OR34 from the junction with the Alsea Highway to the Pacific Highway West); thence northerly to its junction with the Corvallis-Lebanon Highway, OR34, in Corvallis; thence easterly over the Corvallis-Lebanon Highway (common with OR34) to its junction with the Albany-Corvallis Highway;

"Thence northeasterly over the Albany-Corvallis Highway to its junction with the Albany-Junction City Highway, OR99E, in Albany; thence easterly over the Albany-Junction City Highway (common with OR99E) to its Junction with the Santiam Highway; thence easterly over the Santiam Highway via Lebanon, Sweet Home, and Foster to its junction with the McKenzie Highway at the west edge of Sisters (common with OR126 from the junction with the Clear Lake-Belknap Springs Highway to the McKenzie Highway);

"Thence easterly over the McKenzie Highway (common with OR126) to its junction with the McKenzie-Bend Highway approximately one-half mile east of Sisters; thence southeasterly over the McKenzie-Bend Highway via Tumalo to its junction with The Dalles-California Highway, US97, approximately two miles north of Bend;

"Thence southerly over The Dalles-California Highway (common with US97) to its junction with the Central Oregon Highway in Bend; thence easterly over the Central Oregon Highway via Brothers, Riley, Hines, Burns (common with US395 from Riley to two miles northeast of Burns), Juntura, Vale, Cairo, and Nyssa to the Idaho State Line (common with US26 from Vale to the Idaho State Line, and with OR201 from Cairo to Nyssa)."

~ ODOT, Descriptions of US and Oregon Routes, March 2007

US Route 20 History

US-20 was created at the inception of the original United States Interstate Highway System (now just the US Route System) in 1926, but it only ran as far west as Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. When it was extended into Oregon in 1940, it replaced all of OR-54 between Albany and Vale along almost all of US-20's current route. In 1945, US-20 was once again extended, this time all the way to Newport. Since then, only minor changes have been made to US-20. In 1962, a bypass was built to the south of Corvallis, rerouting US-20 away from town; that same year, OR-34 was added to US-20 between Philomath and Corvallis. US-126 (renumbered OR-126 when it was decommissioned in 1972) was added to a portion of US-20 between Clear Lake Jct. and Sisters in 1964. In 1971, a new bypass of US-20 was built north of Toledo.

Also, US-97 duplexed with US-20 through Bend along the Dalles-California Highway #4 until 2001, when US-97 was officially moved off of 3rd Ave. and onto the brand-spankin' new Bend Parkway slightly to the west. The old US-97 became US-97 Business, and the highway shortly became the Dalles-California Highway #4 Bend Business Loop before being decommissioned around 2002, when the McKenzie-Bend Highway #17 was slightly extended to meet with the Central Oregon Highway #7 in Bend. It is unclear if the rest of US-97 Business through Bend is still a state-maintained highway, but most likely it is not.

Rediscovering US Route 20

This map shows US-20's previous alignment from Newport to ToledoThere are many old alignments of US-20 that have survived through time, the first instance of this is a group of disjointed sections between Newport and the near-coastal city of Toledo. This section of US-20 (shown in red) was in use from 1917 (at the inception of the Oregon State Highway System) until sometime after 1945, when US-20 was moved to its current route. It is mostly intact with a few sections that have been closed or taken out, most likely for safety concerns. To follow the old route, take US-20 east from US-101 in Newport and turn left onto NE Eads St., then go three blocks north and turn right onto NE 3rd St. This road will turn into NE Yaquina Heights Dr. and then the Old Corvallis-Newport Highway. Continue to its end at Steenson Rd., veering right until you reach US-20; turn east (left). Then, take a left on another road, View Ridge Ln., which will soon connect to another disjointed section of the Old Corvallis-Newport Highway. After this point, the exact point of the route gets a little fuzzy; I believe that parts of old US-20 survive as Fruitvale Ln., Tom Jack Rd., and McNary Ln., and I am unsure of the routings between each section. I will post new maps and information as soon as possible.


This map shows US-20's previous alignment through ToledoThis section of US-20 through Toledo (shown in green) was in use from 1917 until 1971, when it was bypassed by US-20's current route. After the route was transferred, this section originally didn't have a route number attached to it and was thus supposedly dropped from the state highway system. However, sometime between 2001 and 2003, this section was resurrected as US-20 Business and was technically re-added to the state highway system as the Corvallis-Newport Highway #33AA Toledo Frontage Road. This 3.48-mile portion of state maintained highway should really just be called the Corvallis-Newport Highway #33 Toledo Business Loop according to ODOT protocol. However, it does have its own mileage attached to it, but none are marked by mileposts.


This map shows US-20's previous alignment between Toledo and ChitwoodThese sections of US-20 through Toledo (shown in blue) were in use from 1917 until sometime after 1945, when they were bypassed by US-20's current route. The first section, called the Neal Loop, may or may not have been a section of the old highway, but the second section, the Pioneer Mountain Loop, was; I confirmed it in an old US Geological Survey map of the area (they can be useful tools if you have the means to compare 3 or 4 different mappings over 40 to 80 years). I just need to look at the map again and make some better comparisons, but I'm fairly confident both existed as part of an early US-20/OR-26.


This map shows US-20's previous alignment through CorvallisAnother portion of former highway that still is entirely intact is US-20's previous alignment through Corvallis. This route, shown in gold, was a part of the Corvallis-Newport Highway from 1917 to 1962, when the bypass to the south of Corvallis was completed. Through then, US-20 was routed through Corvallis on Western Blvd. until SW 3rd St. (then US-99W), followed US-99W for a block, turned east onto SW Washington St. for another block, and then followed SW/NW 2nd St. out of town on the Albany-Corvallis Highway #31. It is important to note that although OR-34 is currently cosigned with US-20 along this bypass, it was never aligned with US-20 along the old highway; OR-34's designation was extended along the Corvallis-Newport and the Corvallis-Lebanon Highways (#33 and #210 respectively) the same year. OR-34 was taken off of a small section of the Corvallis-Lebanon Highway east of OR-99W and was routed along an eastern extension of the southern Corvallis bypass in 1989.


This map shows US-20's previous alignment around LebanonStill another former alignment of US-20 that is intact is this section between Lebanon and Narrows. This section, shown in purple, survives as Cascade Dr., the Old Santiam Highway, and Fairview Rd. I don't have a date on when this section was bisected by current US-20. I am also not sure if all of this section was even a part of US-20; it may have been a part of OR-54 before it was realigned between 1932 and 1940. So if you have any information on this, please e-mail me with the info.


This map shows US-20's previous alignment from Tumalo to Bend

Between the cities of Tumalo and Bend, there are actually two separate realignments of US-20 that still are for the most part intact. One of them is the OB Reily Road (shown in turquoise) that runs from its junction with current US-20 and the old Cline Falls Highway #374 (Cook Ave.) to US-20/US-97 Business near the Bend River Mall. Before 1940, this road used to be OR-54, and US-97 used to be routed along what's now the old Bend-Redmond Highway #375 (a new alignment of the Dalles-California Highway was built between Bend and Redmond in 1938). I am unsure when the new alignment of the McKenzie-Bend Highway was built, but I believe it was between 1955 and 1965. As always, if you have any information as to when the new alignment was built, you can let me know.

The second alignment of US-20 is in Bend, which is focused by the zoom-in area on the graphic to the right. Click there or here to get a zoomed-in map of the area and the explanation that normally would've been here.


This map shows US-20's previous alignment east of BendThe final section of US-20 former alignments that is intact is east of Bend. This section, shown in green, still survives as a part of the state highway system as Central Oregon Highway #7AA Horse Ridge Frontage Rd., which doesn't have mileposts but its own mileage that starts in sync with US-20's. My evidence of its former US-20/OR-54 status is that its length is 0.41 miles longer than US-20's new alignment, exactly the same as a milepost resynchronization that happens right after the Horse Ridge Frontage Rd. rejoins US-20. The only possible reason for keeping this section within the state highway system is to provide access to the Arnold Ice Caves.

US Route 20 Zoom-In: Bend This map shows US-20's previous alignment through Bend

To the left is the supposed former alignment of US-20 through Bend. The reason this explanation is set apart from the other "Rediscovering US-20" sections is because of the size of the graphic; I used this size so that I could show all the detail that I could in determining past and present highway routings in Bend. That being said, this routing, shown in red, is most likely the previous routing of US-20, US-97, and OR-54 within Bend. It survives along Division St., NW Hill St., NW Wall St., and NW Greenwood Ave. currently; it also ran down Revere Ave., but I do not know if this small section was realigned to accomodate the Bend Parkway (current US-97). After US-97 and US-20 were realigned to their current routing NE 3rd St., the route was turned into US-20 Business. It was cosigned with the original US-97 Business, which ran with US-20 Business until the corner of NW Wall St. and NW Greenwood Ave., where US-20 Business broke off to rejoin US-20. US-97 Business would stay on the Wall-Bond Sts. couplet three more blocks until NW Franklin Ave., where the route turned east to rejoin US-97.

When US-97 was rerouted onto the Bend Parkway in 2001, the NE 3rd St. alignment of US-97 became the current US-97 Business (it was still cosigned with US-20). I assumed that when this happened, US-20 Business' routing went away as well. Apparently, ODOT still says that US-20 Business follows, for the most part, the route shown in red on the map. This is according to their map of Bend. My theory is, if ODOT says that it's true, then it is. For more information on this little section of state highway, click here.

Interestingly enough, the ODOT Bend map still lists the old alignment of US-97 Business on it. I imagine this is a leftover from older version of the map; I doubt there are now two US-97 Business routes in Bend now. However, if anyone can prove that there are, contact me and I'll put up the info.