Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Unusual Memorial Highways

Today’s Encyclopedia Hoonatica topic rests not with cars, but the surfaces on which they drive. The practice of naming stretches of road for significant individuals is a growing practice. In fact, in my home state of Missouri, it’s becoming an almost common occurrence, with multiple programs warranting their own Dept. of Transportation Web Page.
Most commonly, these designations seem to fall into two groups: local politicians and those who have fallen in the line of duty—combat veterans, law enforcement officers, and firemen. But there are also wild cards for every type of notoriety, from  film stars (see photo) to astronauts. These less typical “memorial highway” recipients are what I want you to name today.
Difficulty: 2.8–3.1A @ 6.4Vdc
How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates. Bonus points for adding photos. Remember, you can simply paste in the raw image URL now, thanks to the magic of Disqus.
Image Source: lewisandclark2010.blogspot.com

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26 responses to “Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Unusual Memorial Highways”

  1. dukeisduke Avatar

    Dude, it’s the hat.
    This is Interstate 30 between Dallas and Fort Worth, formerly (from 1957-1978) the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, which was a toll road (30 cent toll one way).

    1. hwyengr Avatar

      If Tom Landry’s hat won’t motivate you, then I don’t know what will.

    2. Surfer Sandman Avatar
      Surfer Sandman

      Hank Hill approves.

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    For two years I’ve been working with naming streets and the work that comes with it. Naming streets for people has become out of fashion in Norway, with localities and local history being the main themes.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Lutefisk Highway?
      /what’s that smell?

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        I think the government advisory offices would consider that one a slippery slope…

      2. Jofes2 Avatar

        /where all the silver cars turn black.

  3. Kiefmo Avatar

    I don’t live near this one anymore, but I grew up near it, and it’s near and dear in other ways.
    Millard Fuller Memorial Highway
    Mr. Fuller was the founder of Habitat for Humanity, an organization I’ve volunteered with many times over the years. As with any organization, it’s not without its issues, but Mr. Fuller’s heart was huge, and the organization he founded and presided over for decades helped so many.
    Additionally, I got to sample a piece of that big heart often during college, as his son, Chris Fuller, was (and is) one of the campus ministers at Mercer, my alma mater. One of the most giving and welcoming people I’ve ever met. In the image above, that’s him in the white shirt, down in front.

  4. engineerd Avatar

    Just in Wayne County, Michigan we have the Clara Barton Memorial Highway (she started the American Red Cross but has no real connection to Michigan or this area in particular), Rosa Parks Memorial Highway, and the Walter P. Chrysler Freeway. My favorite, though, is the Pulaski Memorial Highway which is the name given to US-12 from basically the Indiana state line all the way to Detroit. So named for General Pulaski who was a Polish nobleman who is called the “father of the American cavalry” for his work in the Revolutionary War. Other than a large Polish population, there is no real connection of Pulaski to Michigan that would warrant such a long stretch of highway named for him.

  5. hwyengr Avatar

    The Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) has to be the most memorialized highway in the US. Right at the terminus it’s marked the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway, then a Santa Monica Police Officer Memorial Highway, then the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway, then the Rosa Parks Memorial Highway… (too many for pictures)

    1. ptschett Avatar

      I’ve traveled the South Dakota designated part of that road many times. (Grew up north of Huron, went to college in Brookings; De Smet is just about the midpoint between those towns.)

  6. 0A5599 Avatar

    Baseball non-fans might not be aware that his fastball was nicknamed the Nolan Ryan Express.
    Ryan is still alive, though, so neither of his expressways is a memorial.

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Neither is George Brett’s. Note that he gets a SUPER highway.

    2. JayP Avatar

      It’s off Tom Landry…

    3. marmer Avatar

      Yes, the Ryan Expressway goes south from Houston, too. Interestingly enough, they make a big deal in the area about Nolan Ryan being from Alvin, Texas, but the Nolan Ryan Expressway misses Alvin by about 20 miles.

    4. Sjalabais Avatar

      Wow, how common is it to name roads after living people? The two names above are…eh…in the same ballpark thematically!?

      1. 0A5599 Avatar

        When residential streets are built, the developer names the new streets, then turns the streets over to the government with the names already attached. In my parents’ neighborhood, one of the streets had the developer’s last name. He lived in the neighborhood, but on a different street. I went to visit someone whose grandfather built a phenomenal house on a whole bunch of farm acreage, but as the area grew, he kept the original house and sold off the land arounf him. His house became located at the intersection of his first name @ his last name.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          This is just fantastic! The jungle of rules that exist here seem even more ridiculous contrasted with that kind of private enterprise swag.

  7. 0A5599 Avatar

    Sonny Bono was a politician after he was already famous, not the other way around. I think he should count. He got the freeway signage for being Cher’s ex, not for being a congressman.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      I’d watch out for trees in the middle of that road.
      Too soon?

  8. njhoon Avatar

    We have the Pulaski Skyway (thanks engineerd for prompting my memory)

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      I see how you avoided saying “I rode QE2 tonight”.

  9. AlexG55 Avatar

    The Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Memorial Highway in Springfield, Mo.
    It got the name after it was adopted by a neo-Nazi group.

  10. Vann Himoura Avatar
    Vann Himoura

    When I lived near Hampton Virginia, I read where they had named six small bridges in the city and renamed “Military Highway” to “Mercury Boulevard” to commemorate the Mercury astronauts. http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/Project_Mercury

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