The Proposed Canada to Mexico Highway: US Highway 789
It was rejected by AASHTO, given that much of the route would use already existing US Highways (not that that's ever stopped them since). Nonetheless, each state (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana) was interested in a continuous route, and so each created or proposed a Route 789 in their state highway system during the early 1950's.
|Colorado's 789, sharing pavement with US-160 and the formerly numbered US-666 (now 491). Image: Jim Lindsay|
Over time, given the duplicative nature of the numbering, each state except for Wyoming chose to remove the 789 designation from their systems.
US 310 in Wyoming, along with WY-789, which was once proposed to be its own US Route. Image: Jonathan Winkler via AARoads.com
Based on the route description given from AARoads, I have mapped what the present-day route would look like if it was actually constructed below:
|Front cover of the album in gold; the lines are from my scanner and represent null colors, since the outline of the book is hollow.|
|"Balcony House, cliff dwelling in the Mesa Verde National Park...easily reached from Hyw [sic] 789 from either Durango or Cortez. These ancient ruins are the most popular tourist center in all southwest Colorado." Ektachrome Slide. O. Roach of Lakewood, CO.|
|"Engineer Mountain...most prominent landmark on Hyw [sic] 789 between Durango and Silverton. Durango is the southern terminus of the narrow gauge tourist trip up the Animas Canyon, and is also the eastern gateway to the Mesa Verde."|
|"Silverton, Colorado...famous mining town in early days and far from a ghost town now. This town on Hwy 789 is on the south end of the Million Dollar Highway (part of 789), and on the north terminus of the last of the famous narrow gauge passenger trains still operating."|
|"Red Mountain...most colorful of all the 14,000 "footers" in Colorado, as seen from Hwy 789 (here known as the Million Dollar Highway) just a few miles from the equally colorful mountain town of Ouray, where much of Colorado's early mining history was made." Kodachrome, Edwin R. Brown Studio, Lakewood, CO.|
|"Black Canyon of the Gunnison...a famous yet short side trip off Hwy 789 from either Delta or Montrose, CO. Here is some of the most breath-taking scenery in all the West." Ektachrome, Monk & Parma, Tyson, Hotchikiss, CO.|
|"Rifle Shale Oil Plant just off Hwy 789...nestled among colorful cliffs...a striking scene of giant industry in the heart of an American wilderness." Ektachrome, Robt. Beverly, Grand Junction, CO.|
|"Trappers Lake, second largest natural lake in Colorado, a glorious side trip off Hwy 789 into the heart of the Meeker big game country. Take it traveller [sic], you'll never begrudge the time." Ektachrome, D'Agee, Meeker, CO.|
|"Independence Rock in the Colorado National Monument, just a fifteen minute drive off Hwy 789 from Grand Junction, CO. Open all year. Cool in the summer and mild for winter picnics.|
Thanks as always for reading!