Thursday, May 21, 2020

Tremonton and Garland

For this post, we'll move into the far northern part of Utah and discuss the state routes that have served the cities of Tremonton and Garland through the years. Tremonton is well-known as the location of the northern I-15/I-84 split, and it is used as a control city at most of the smaller nearby interchanges on those interstates. Although the seat of Box Elder County is in Brigham City, Tremonton is more centrally located and serves as a regional hub for the farming communities of eastern Box Elder County. The city is located in a region of extensive farming, which is sort of unusual for Utah - this is partly because this area gets slightly more rain than most western Utah valleys, but mostly due to the abundance of irrigation water from the Malad and Bear Rivers.


Route History


Early Routes


The area got its first state highway in 1910, when the state legislature added the highway running north from Brigham City to the Idaho state line. It was designated in section I of Utah's 1919 state highway law, and would be numbered SR 17 in the early 1920s. This route entered the Tremonton area from the south along 5200 West (now SR 13) and turned west on 11200 North. After entering Tremonton limits, the name changed to Main Street. It turned north along Tremont Street, jogged east on 600 North, and exited Tremonton on 300 East. The route then entered Garland on Main Street and turned east on Factory Street, becoming 12800 North after leaving Garland. It then most likely turned north on 5400 West and proceeded on towards Idaho.

In 1912, a route northwest from Tremonton on Main Street, Rocky Point Road, and onward to Snowville was added to the state system, and it was defined as section J of the 1919 law. The US Highway System was approved in 1926, and it included a route through Tremonton in the form of US 30S, which came in from the west and turned south towards Ogden. Signs for that route were likely posted soon thereafter.

When a complete numbering system was assigned in 1927, SR 17 was renumbered to SR 41, while the route heading west to Snowville became SR 42. However, the state routes south and west from Tremonton were probably unsigned legislative designations, as they would have been redundant with US 30S.

Another local terminology note: the intersection of 5200 West and 11200 North (where US 30S/SR 41 turned) is usually referred to in UDOT documents and resolutions as Haws Corner, but it often appears on maps as Crossroads. I've included that in this map below, which shows the Tremonton routes as they probably looked in 1927:

The numbered routes in the Tremonton/Garland area as they would have looked in 1927.

New US and State Highways


The state legislature added another route in the area in 1931, running east from US 30S (SR 41) at Haws Corner to SR 69 at Deweyville. It was numbered SR 102:
(102) From Deweyville westerly to Tremonton.
That corridor is still SR 102 today. However, back then it had a slightly different crossing of the Bear River, which we'll see in the 1940 map below. 

Not long after that, in 1935, an eastern bypass of Tremonton and Garland was added to the state system as SR 82. I have seen online sources claim that this bypass was immediately designated as a reroute of SR 41, with 82 taking over the old route, but the 1935 law pretty clearly puts 82 on the bypass: 
Route 82. From a point on route 41 two miles east of Tremonton thence north to Garland Sugar Factory on route 41.
That eastern bypass may have been legislatively designated before it was actually constructed, because it did not appear on this 1937 Rand McNally map:

Rand McNally (Idaho-Montana-Wyoming), 1937.

In 1937, US 191 was extended south from its previous terminus in Idaho Falls, ID to a new southern terminus at US 30S at Tremonton. But the exact location of the terminus seems to have shifted around a bit in the early years. The US designation first appeared on Rand McNally's 1939 Nevada-Utah map. Again, no Tremonton bypass is visible here, so US 191 may have briefly ended in the center of Tremonton for the first couple years of its existence in Utah:

Rand McNally (Nevada-Utah), 1939.

By 1940, the Tremonton bypass was complete, but not quite in its present form - the main north-south highway used 12800 North to shift from 5400 West to 5200 West (a more direct bypass exists today). At that point, if US 191 had ever ended in Tremonton itself, it no longer did - it now bypassed Tremonton to the east and terminated at Haws Corner. Here's a 1940 Census Enumeration District map showing the routes in the area:

U.S. Census, 1940.

In 1946, US 191 was extended south to US 91 in Brigham City. That entire extension was concurrent with the already-existing US 30S, but it was probably done as a way to emphasize that US 191 via Tremonton and Malad was now a decent alternative route to US 91 through the Cache Valley. Presumably this was also when the routes of SR 41 and 82 were switched: SR 41 became the legislative designation for the through route of US 191, while 82 was moved to the old alignment. Shell's 1950 Utah map showed both the extended US 191 and the new alignment of SR 82:

Shell (Utah), 1950.


The 1950s


The section of US 191 on 12800 North east of Garland may have been eliminated by the time of that map above, but the scale of that map makes it hard to tell. The modern bypass was certainly in place by 1954, when this USGS map was made.

USGS (Brigham City), 1954.

Note that at its north end, SR 82 did not reach US 191 by turning north on 5400 West as it does today - rather, it continued east on 12800 North. Also notice that SR 102 had been moved off its original crossing of the Bear River by then, and onto a new, more direct routing that much more closely resembles its modern alignment.

In 1955, a slightly smaller-scale bypass of central Tremonton was created, running along 300 East in Tremonton from 600 North (SR 82) south to Main Street (US 30S). This new route was numbered SR 82A. Although the number itself was not shown, the route of SR 82A can be seen on the 1961 USGS map:

USGS (Tremonton), 1961.

SR 82A would be deleted as a route designation in 1964, but SR 82 was moved to what had been 82A at that time. Tremont Street and 600 North were removed from the state highway system as a result.

The Coming of the Interstates


In 1962, due to the impending construction of the Interstate system, several legislative designations were adjusted. US 191 would soon be replaced by I-15, while US 30S would be replaced by I-80N. Since I-80N would not be built for some time, the legislative designation of US 30S west of Haws Corner switched from SR 42 to SR 3, the number that would ultimately be used for the interstate. However, since I-15 was complete up to Elwood (just south of Tremonton) by then, the SR-41 designation did not become SR 1. Instead, it was changed to SR 84, which was extended north from its pre-existing route in Weber County. However, as SR 3 and 84 were only legislative designations for US routes and future interstates in this area, those changes would not have been signed.

The only 1962 change that would have been noticeable on the ground was the truncation of US 191 back to Haws Corner - the Brigham City-Haws Corner road reverted to just US 30S. This was probably done because at that point, the vast majority of 191 south of Haws Corner had been effectively replaced by I-15.

In 1966, at the request of Box Elder, Cache, and Rich Counties, the State Road Commission created a new SR 30 to run across the full width of northern Utah. However, it functioned somewhat like a US route in that none of the legislative descriptions were changed - so just like a US route, there was a signed route number (30) with various unsigned legislative designations along the length of the route. SR 30 came into the Tremonton area from the northwest, concurrent with US 30S. But instead of turning south at Haws Corner, it continued east to Deweyville along SR 102 and continued northeast to Logan. SR 102 became a mostly-unsigned route with that change, relegated to small metal plates beneath SR 30 shields.

The next change to the area's routes came in 1969, when the SR 3 legislative designation was moved to the now-under-construction I-84. The east-west highway through Tremonton, still signed as US 30S, took on the SR 102 legislative designation. 102 was also extended further west that year through the farming communities of Thatcher and Penrose, now ending at a junction with SR 83 near the Golden Spike.

Those changes can be seen on this 1971 map:


General Drafting, 1971.

In 1972, both US 30S and US 191 were completely eliminated in Utah. The east-west road through Tremonton would have then been signed as only SR 30, while the north-south road through Haws Corner became signed as SR 84 (the legislative designation back when 30S and 191 existed). I-80N was complete from Elwood up to Bothwell by 1974, removing long distance east-west traffic from downtown Tremonton.

The 1977 Renumberings


Utah finally did away with the concept of different underlying legislative designations in 1977. This greatly simplified the state route system, but it also meant some routes needed to be renumbered if they happened to share a number with an Interstate or US Route elsewhere in Utah. SR 82 was renumbered to SR 126, as 82 was the number that was to be used for I-80N. Meanwhile, SR 102 was officially cut back to its signed portion west of I-80N, and the road from the I-80N west Tremonton interchange east to Deweyville became legally SR 30.

That renumbering happened in May 1977. But just a few months later, I-80N was renumbered to I-84, which required yet another state route renumbering. Since 82 was no longer required for the interstate, that number was returned to the Garland state route. But now, SR 84 had to be renumbered. SR 126 was used for the portion of SR 84 that had existed in Weber County, but north of Brigham City, ex-SR 84 became SR 13.

The other change at that time was to the north end of SR 82, which until then had been at the grade-separated junction with SR 13 directly east of Garland at the Malad River. But after 1977, SR 82 turned north on 5400 West (the original SR 41/US 191) and ended at SR 13 northeast of Garland. This change does not appear on many modern maps, most notably Google Maps, which still has 82 heading from Garland straight east to 13.

Nothing else changed in the Tremonton-Garland area between then and 1989, when this USGS topo map was made. I-15 still hadn't been built north of I-84 by then.

USGS (Tremonton), 1989.

However, as is typical of many newer USGS maps, this one has some issues that need to be pointed out. For one, "504" is a federal-aid secondary designation, not a state highway - the number in that circle should be "82". The other issues deal with the routing of SR 82 - neither the 1964 reroute in Tremonton or the 1977 reroute east of Garland are shown.

The Completion of I-15


In 1990, I-15 was finally completed from Tremonton to the Idaho line. SR 30 was then adjusted to cross the Malad Valley much further north (at Riverside), getting there via a new concurrency with I-15. As a result, SR 30 was removed from the Tremonton-Deweyville-Collinston surface road, and SR 102 was restored to its original route through Tremonton and east to Deweyville.   

Interstate Business Routes


Both I-15 and I-84 have signed business routes running through downtown Tremonton. Unfortunately, UDOT does not officially define business routes (and to my knowledge, never has), so the only source for them and their history is the signs on the ground...and that isn't always 100% consistent. Almost all business routes in Utah are also state routes. This means signage for most business routes is relatively spotty (the designated SR number generally takes priority), and sometimes there can be questions as to whether they really exist. That said, enough BL signage exists on the Tremonton loops that most people would agree they exist.  

Business I-84 is pretty simple - it just runs on the old US 30S through town. It begins at the I-84 west Tremonton exit, heads east on Main Street/11200 North to Haws Corner, then turns south on 5200 West and returns to I-84 (which by now is also I-15) at the Elwood exit. Business I-15 follows most of the same route as BL-84 through Tremonton, but there is no I-15 exit at Main Street. So in order to return to I-15, BL-15 turns north off Main Street at 1000 West (Iowa String Rd), then returns west to the I-15 interchange at 1000 North.

The portion of BL-15 along 1000 North and 1000 West is noteworthy as the only interstate business loop in Utah that is not also a state highway. Only one other business route has a locally maintained segment, and that is Business US 6 in Helper.

BL-15 is shown here in red, BL-84 in blue.



The Routes Today


All photos in this section were taken in May 2019.

SR 82


Heading north from SR 102 in Tremonton, SR 82 will begin. Strangely, the physical zero milepost is several hundred feet from the actual start point of the route. 

I'd like to see this crossing light in front of Bear River High School in action at some point. I imagine the black box lights up with "school crossing" or something of that sort.

Now on Main Street in Garland, SR 82 will turn right on Factory Street ahead.

Garland makes extensive use of this older street blade design.

After exiting Garland, the road name changes to 12800 North, and SR 82 will turn left onto 5400 West.

If you make that turn, a short while thereafter, SR 82 will end at SR 13.


SR 102


For this route, photos will start at the junction with Business 15 and work outwards in either direction. We'll start out heading east.

No reassurance shield as we head east on Main Street, carrying SR 102, BL-15, and BL-84.

After passing through the core of Tremonton, the routes will junction SR 82.

No signage for how to get on SR 82 (it begins to the left). Continue straight for SR 102, BL-84, and unsigned BL 15.

Reassurance shield for just 102 this time on the way out of Tremonton.

Coming up on Haws Corner, with the Wellsville Mountains prominent in the background. Stay straight for SR 102 to Deweyville, turn left for SR 13 to Plymouth, or turn right for SR 13 and BL-15/84 to Elwood.

No signage for BL-15 or BL-84 at this junction, both of which turn right here on their way back to the interstate.

SR 102 reassurance heading out of Haws Corner.

Deweyville is 3 miles ahead, Logan 23. Logan is somewhat of an odd choice for a mileage sign here, but it makes sense when you consider that all this used to be SR 30.

In Deweyville, we can turn left on SR 38 for Logan, or right to Brigham City and Honeyville. 

SR 102 ends here.

Now heading west from BL-15:

SR 102 crosses under I-15 without an interchange.

Not long after that, this strange blue-background one-piecer will tell us we're approaching I-84. BL-84 will end there.

Stay straight for Brigham City, turn right for Boise. What an ugly sign, is all I can say.

Use I-84 east to get to I-15.

Several of the freeway bridges around here have "limited sight distance" or "hill blocks view" signs.

Turn left for Brigham City.

Again, use eastbound I-84 to get to either direction of I-15. 

27 miles ahead is the Golden Spike National Historic Park.

SR 102 reassurance heading out of Tremonton.

The highway crosses Salt Creek, which begins at a spring just north of here and flows south to the Bear River Bay of the Great Salt Lake.

SR 102 makes a left in the small town of Bothwell,

Turn left here to follow SR 102 to the Golden Spike.

SR 102 reassurance (sort of) leaving Bothwell. The highway will now begin a series of zigzags along the section line roads in this area.

Continue 23 miles to the Golden Spike. All this Golden Spike signage was put up in advance of the 150-year anniversary celebration in 2019.

After curving back to the west, we'll turn south again, this time in Thatcher. The Blue Spring Hills are in the background.

As the highway heads south, Little Mountain appears on the left. It reaches 5607 feet high, and if the Great Salt Lake ever rose above 4263 feet, it would become an island.

In Penrose, SR 102 will turn west again.

And a mile later, we'll turn back to the south.

At this point we leave the farmlands of Box Elder County and transition into the wetlands surrounding the Great Salt Lake. This sign tells us to watch for frequent cattle on the road. 

Same sign, but now with a cow symbol.

Soon afterwards, SR 102 will reach a junction with SR 83.

Turn right here for SR 83 to the Golden Spike.

SR 102 will end here. Turn left for SR 83 back to Brigham City.

Business 84


We've already covered the portion of BL-84 on SR 102, so this section will feature just the part heading south from Haws Corner.

Heading south from Haws Corner, we'll get a SR 13 reassurance marker...but nothing for BL-15 or BL-84.

This mileage sign is probably a replace-in-kind from the days when this was US 30S and the main road south from here to Salt Lake, before the interstate was built. It's also interesting that "City" was left off the Brigham entry - this tends to be more common in neighboring Idaho.

Not long after that, we'll come to a junction with the interstates.

Turn right for I-15 to...Snowville? When the control cities for this segment were first chosen, I-15 did not exist north of Tremonton, but I-84 did, so Snowville would have been an appropriate choice. Now that 15 is complete I would support adding Pocatello to the northbound signage here. 

I would complain about these two signs not being the same height...but a look at the back reveals that the I-15 shields are newer than the 84 ones, which suggests that this assembly may predate the completion of I-15 north of Tremonton. Which is cool. 

Turn left for I-15 south/I-84 east to Ogden and Salt Lake City.

The business loops will come to an end here.

Business 15


The only segment of BL-15 we haven't covered yet is the non-state-maintained portion, from the I-15 north Tremonton interchange south to SR 102/BL-84. There is very little signage on this section, and the right turn from 1000 North to 1000 West is completely unsigned. However, as we get closer to Main Street, we start to get a couple signs.

This is probably a Tremonton city install, and while it looks ugly, it gets the job done. 

There is at least one signed reference to BL-15 on the non-state maintained portion, and it's at Main Street where BL-15 turns left. The cross street is also SR 102/BL-84, but there's no mention of that.

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