U.S. Route 48
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Length:||148 mi (238 km)|
|Existed:||2002 – present|
|West end:||WV 93 near Scherr, WV|
|US 220 / WV 28 at Moorefield, WV|
|East end:||I-81 / SR 55 at Strasburg, VA|
U.S. Route 48 (US 48) is an east–west United States highway that will run 148 miles (238 km) from northern Virginia to central West Virginia. It is being constructed as Corridor H of the Appalachian Development Highway System. While most of the highway has been constructed, only the portion east of Scherr, West Virginia is signed as US 48.
Two previous highways were designated as US 48. The first, in California, was incorporated into the route of US 50; the second, in western Maryland and West Virginia, was redesignated Interstate 68 (I-68).
US 48 will intersect the following highways:
The Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 was passed as part of an effort to stimulate economic growth in Appalachian rural areas. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was created by the act, which also authorized the ARC to create the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS). The Appalachian region, as defined by the act, stretches from Mississippi to New York. Congress defined it to "provide a highway system which, in conjunction with the Interstate System and other Federal-aid highways in the Appalachian region, will open up an area or areas where commerce and communication have been inhibited by lack of adequate access". Some 23 transportation corridors were to be developed as part of the ADHS, and Corridor H was designated in 1965.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2011)|
Corridor H has had a particularly controversial history as conservationists and environmentalists vied with federal agents, developers and the business community over the issue of what constituted the most environmentally sensitive route among several alternatives.
This current designation for Corridor H is inconsistent with the AASHTO numbering scheme, which places east–west U.S. Routes in ascending numerical order southward across the continental U.S. The current route is located south of US 50 and north of US 60 and therefore should have a route number in the 50s.
Previous uses of the designation
US 48 is one of the newest additions to the United States Numbered Highway system, having been commissioned in 2002. Before this designation, sections east of Moorefield, West Virginia to I-81 were known as West Virginia SR 55 and SR 55, and sections north of Elkins, West Virginia were known as US 219. West Virginia has US 48 signed sparsely within its borders.
US 48 is one of the few U.S. Route numbers to be used three times for three separate roadways. The first use of US 48 was in the 1920s, in Northern California, before being absorbed by US 50. The original "US 48" was one of the original routes in the United States Numbered Highways system. Assigned in 1926, it ran between US 99 at French Camp, California, outside Stockton, and US 101 at San Jose, California. By 1931, however, the route had been deleted. Most of the route later became part of US 50. US 48 was the first US highway to be deleted in California.
Then, US 48 was designated for what is now I-68 before it entered the Interstate Highway System. Constructed as Corridor E of the ADHS as a replacement for a particularly primitive section of US 40, it was initially numbered US 48 when construction began in 1965; in 1991, however, it was redesignated as an interstate route.