State Route 92 in Utah
State Route 92 is a state route in the U.S. state of Utah. The road forms an east-west route south of Salt Lake City, from Lehi to Provo Canyon and is 44 kilometers long.
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SR-92 begins at a junction with Interstate 15 in Lehi and ends at US 189 in Provo Canyon. The western portion of the route passes through urban areas of Lehi and Highland. Between I-15 and Highland, the road is also known as the Timpanogos Highway and is a split road, with a regular 5-lane road with traffic lights and separate commuter lanes with 2×1 lanes and emergency lanes avoiding the intersections. The eastern part of the route leads through very mountainous areas and rises from 1,500 meters in Highland to 2,457 meters in the Rocky Mountains, before descending to 1,600 meters in the Provo Canyon.
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State Route 92 has not historically been a major through route, and the mountain portion is closed during the winter. It is, however, a tourist route. The flat western part has been urbanized as an overflow area for Salt Lake City since the 1990s. On August 11, 2012, the “commuter lanes” between I-15 and Highland opened, a grade-separated 2×1 road that avoids a number of intersections. Also then opened the diverging diamond interchange with I-15. In 2019, however, the DDI was converted back to a regular connection.
In 2010, 23,000 vehicles drove east of I-15 daily, dropping to 16,000 vehicles in Highland and 2,800 vehicles east of Highland in the mountains.
US 163 in Utah
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US 163 is a US Highway in the US state of Utah. The road forms an east-west route that runs northeast in the extreme southeast of the state, from the Arizona border to the intersection with US 191 at Bluff. The road is 60 kilometers long.
US 163 at Monument Valley.
In the desolate Monument Valley, US 163 in Arizona enters Utah from Kayenta. This area features the well-known western image of the United States; the flat rocks that tower high above the landscape. The road runs northeast through the desert and passes through only one town: Mexican Hat. Mexican Hat consists of no more than a few houses, motels and roadside restaurants. The road then runs through spectacular rocky outcrops and ends on US 191, the road from Douglas in southern Arizona to Moab in the north.
The area that US 163 runs through was one of the most unexplored areas of Utah. In the east of the state was a north-south route through Moab and Monticello that gradually took on an increasingly improvised character southwards and had not yet been paved. The road originally ended on the San Juan River at Bluff, from where there were no further roads. In the 1920s, a dirt road was built between Bluff and Mexican Hat, and later on into Arizona. This was also State Highway 47. This area was not a priority before World War II, there were no paved roads in southeastern Utah until after the war.
Maps from the 1940s indicated that travelers should take water with them on the route through Monument Valley. This was an arid region with no amenities and the route was an unpaved dirt road that was often impassable. In the mid 1950s the road was paved between Bluff and Mexican Hat, in the late 1950s also through Monument Valley between Mexican Hat and the border with Arizona.
In 1970, the numbering of the US Highways in the border regions of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado was adjusted, with the introduction of US 163. US 163 at that time continued much further north, as far as I-70 (US 6/50) at Crescent Junction, a route more than 300 kilometers long. The number US 163 is an anomaly, as it is not a branch of US 63, which is much further east in the United States.
US 163 has not been signposted north of Bluff since 1983, given that this entire stretch would then be double-numbered with US 191, introduced on this route in 1981.
Every day, 2,000 vehicles cross the Arizona border, but this drops to just 600 vehicles onto US 191, as the bulk of tourist traffic is what remains in Monument Valley.
US 491 in Utah
US 491 is a US Highway in the US state of Utah. The road generally forms a north-south connection, but in Utah it runs mainly east-west, from the border with Colorado to Monticello in the southeastern part of the state. The route is 29 kilometers long.
In an uninhabited area at 2000 meters above sea level, US 491 in Colorado crosses the border into the state of Utah from Cortez. The road heads west through flat highlands, a barren and dry area with limited cultivation. US 491 does not pass through any place to its terminus at Monticello, where US 491 terminates at US 191.
The road originated on State Highway 9, which ran from Valley City through Moab and Monticello to the Colorado border. When the US Highways were introduced in 1926, the road was numbered US 450, which was a branch of US 50 from Valley Junction (later Crescent Junction) through Moab and Monticello to Cortez in Colorado.
In the early 1930s, the road was improved to a gravel road and was paved around 1946-1947.
The route has been renumbered several times. Before the introduction of the US Highways, the road was numbered as State Highway 9. This became US 450 in 1926, US 160 in 1939 and US 666 in 1970. The road was known for the longest time as US 666, an auxiliary route of US 66, which in itself was scrapped soon after.. US 666 survived until 2003, when the entire route was renumbered US 491, officially because of its connotation with the devil number 666, but also because the signs were often stolen. The number US 491 is the highest road number in Utah.
In 1985, the Utah Department of Transportation wanted to extend the road west to Richfield, through an area where there are virtually no roads to this day. This was about 270 kilometers as the crow flies, but the proposal was rejected.
In Monticello, 4,500 vehicles a day and 2,300 vehicles drive outside the built-up area.