Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Unusual Memorial Highways

MO-Steve+McQueen+Memorial+Highway
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

26 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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
    http://www.fullercenter.org/sites/default/files/image/Millard%20Fuller%20Memorial%20Highway%20group%20photo.jpg
    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 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.)

    1. 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.

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

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

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

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