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The Pennsylvania State Route Numbering System
Spur Routes of the 1928 Family System


The minor spur highways were commissioned to connect the parent and child routes with small towns that those routes missed. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, these spurs routes typically connected to another numbered route only at one end and a town or village at the other end. Later on, these routes were extended to connect at both ends to numbered routes or else decommissioned. In a few cases, spur routes were numbered using the pre-1928 parent route numbers (e.g., 1, 19, 22, 41), often in cases where the old number duplicated a US highway number.

Spur routes 832-999 were numbered according to a clear numbering rule:

Spur Routes
  • Spur routes were ordered by the parent routes to which they connected. If the spur route connected to a child route, the spur route was ordered by the related parent route. If the parent route was a three-digit number, only the last two digits are counted. Each spur route was thus associated with a parent route.
  • Spur routes were assigned by decreasing number (999-832) along parent routes of increasing number (1-99).
  • Spur routes along a single parent route were assigned in decreasing number from south to north along north-south parent routes and from east to west along east-west parent routes.
  • Spur routes were signed as north-south or east-west routes without any correlation between the direction and the route number.

The spur routes were numbered as follows. 999-989 connected to 1, which followed US 30 west of Philadelphia to 65 and 68 west of Pittsburgh. The highest spur route 999 was assigned along 1 in its eastern part, in Lancaster. 998 met 1 near Abbottstown, west of 999. 997 met 1 near Fayetteville, west of 998, etc. 989 is the westernmost spur route that connected to 1 (now 65). 987 is the only spur route that connects to 2, near Portland. 988 should have then connected to either 1 west of 989, or to 2 south of 987. Spur routes 986-978 connected to 3 from west to east, 977-973 to 4 from south to north, 972-984 to 5, none connected to 6 because 6 became 10 and 60, 963-957 connected to 7, ..., 834 connected to 92, none connected to 93, 94, nor 95, 833 connected to 96, none connected to 97 nor 98, and finally, 832 connected to 99.

The spur routes that connected to the x26 and x64 families illustrate how spurs were numbered when they connected to child routes. 918-913 connected to members of the x26 family. 918 and 917 connected to 326, with 918 south of 917, in accordance to the above numbering rule. 916-913 were assigned from south to north along 26. Similarly, 864-869 connected to the x64 family. 869 connected to 64 south of 164 and south of the other spur routes 864-868. 868, 867, and 866 connected to 164 from south to north. To the north, 865 and 864 connected to 64.

The initial batch of spur routes used only numbers 832-999. More spur routes were assigned later.

Spur Routes
  • Later additions to the spur route system could be assigned as needed as routes 800-831 and without regard to the rules established for 832-999

For example, 831 was a spur off 64 or 264 in Altoona. 830 intersected 60 (now US 219), 28, and 5 (now US 322). 829 intersected 35 and 75. 828 intersected 4 (now US 15) and 64 (now US 220). And so forth. No clear pattern emerges for the routes 800-831. Moreover, 813 was a child route of the x13 family, and 819 seemed to be associated with US 119.


Parent-Spur Route Associations

In the reference section of this look at the state numbering system, all the current and old state routes 800-999 have been arranged in sequential order. Each route is shown as fitting or not fitting into the original spur numbering system, and a brief amount of information is given to show where the route exists or once existed.

Use this section to look up any state route 800-999 and see if it was one of the routes of the original numbering system.

Spur Routes:800–849850–899900–949950–999


Missing State Routes

All routes 832-999 were assigned when the spur route system began alongside the parent-child system in 1928. The author has not found evidence of a small handful of these routes, yet they probably existed.

On the other hand, not all of the numbers 800-831 had to be used. The author has located only a few routes with these numbers, mainly from 819-831.

These missing state routes are listed on the Missing Routes page.


Spur Route Peculiarities

988 probably existed, connecting to a member of the x01 or x02 families.

The current 985 is not the original one, yet it fits the numbering rule by intersecting 403.

983 existed when the spur routes came to be, yet was in the wrong place. 983 was a spur off 53 (now US 322) at Reedsville, but should have been located between 982 near Blairsville and 984 (now 866) along 3 east of Altoona.

978 and 980 once were located in the correct order, but appear to have partially swapped places.

There have been two 965s, but the earlier one may have evolved into the current one.

956 is a spur off US 19, but should be a spur off 8. When US 19 north of Pittsburgh was moved from 8 to the former 88 (now US 19), perhaps 8 and 88 briefly swapped places, too.

947 probably existed, connecting to a member of the x10, x11, or x12 families.

939 probably existed, connecting to a member of the x15 family.

937 is the only spur off an x16 route (216). No spurs were assigned off 16, which possibly was supposed to be 20.

929-928 are spurs off US 522. 929 was clearly a spur off 19. 928 had to be a spur off 19 west of 929 (which could occur only if 19 extended further west along US 522 to near the Maryland border), but no such evidence has been found.

926-924 are spurs off 29, but fit into the numbering system if the former, pre-1928 number, 22, is used as the parent route number.

912 probably existed, connecting to a member of the x26, x27, or x28 families.

907 replaced 900 very early on. There should have been an earlier 907 that connected to a member of the x28 or x31 families (but probably not of the x29 or x30 families; x29 took the place of x22 and x30 did not exist).

898-897 are spurs off the pre-1928 route 41 (now US 222) between Lancaster and Reading.

887 probably existed, connecting to a member of the x45, x46, x47, or x48 families.

885 needed to connect to a member of the x48 family, but there is no evidence that such a connection existed.

878 probably existed, connecting to a member of the x53 family.

874 probably existed, connecting to a member of the x54 or x55 families.

870 probably existed, connecting to a member of the x56, x57, x58, x59, x60, x61, x62, x63, or x64 families.

822, 818-814, 812-809, 807-806, 804-803, and 801-800 may have existed.



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