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Washington's Historic
Pacific Highway

Exploring the original route of the Pacific Highway and the history of the towns along the way. I have tried to make the site as accurate as possible though it is always a work in progress. If a mistake is found I will promptly amend it.

The abandoned section of the 1915 Pacific Highway at Whipple Creek is being reconnected with a new bridge.

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About the Highway

The individual counties were responsible for constructing the highways and while the State helped with surveying and gave some engineering advice they gave very little money. The counties did their best in trying to incorporate the existing roads that were in place at that time.

In 1909 a survey of a north–south highway from Blaine to Vancouver was approved.

In 1913, the Washington State Legislature designated what was then a patchwork of many different trails and roads. From Vancouver to Toledo the highway followed the Old Military Road that ran between Ft Vancouver and Seattle back in the 1860's.. From Toledo to Olympia it was on the Cowlitz Trail. This trail was an extension of the Oregon Trail in the 1860's.

From Olympia to Puyallup, the highway reconnected with the Old Military Road. From Puyallup to Blaine the highway was connected by the many local roads that the communities along the way built in the late 1800's.

In 1916 over three miles of the highway was paved with concrete as part of the first project under the new Federal Aid Program. A year later, the highway was paved from Olympia to Tacoma. Brick paving was used from Auburn to Everett.

In 1926 The Pacific Highway became US 99 and State Road No. 1.

In 1968, US 99 was completely decommissioned with the completion of I-5, but the highway's phasing out actually began July 1, 1964

Good roads advocate and road-building pioneer Sam Hill was perhaps the main motivating force behind building the original Pacific Highway as a "National auto trail" from Blaine where he would build the Peace Arch, all the way to San Diego. 

The road when completed and after it was completely paved in the mid 20s, made the 1,687 mile long Highway the longest continuous stretch of paved road in the world at the time.

This site was created to record the route of the Pacific Highway through Washington as it was in 1913 and the changes that took place up to 1956 when President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act and the freeway was born. 

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