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ORoads: Oregon Route 569

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Oregon Route 569
OR-569 Navigation:
Info/Map | Definition | History | Route Log | Pictures (coming soon)
Oregon Route 569 Info and Map
OR-569's Routing from Eugene to Springfield
Length: 9.90 miles (2007 current alignment)
Type: Mostly Freeway, <1 Mile Undivided Expressway
Lifespan: 2007-present
Western Terminus: OR-126 in Eugene
Eastern Terminus: Gateway St. in Springfield
Cities Served: Eugene, Santa Clara, Springfield
Intersects: OR-99, Delta Highway (Lane County), I-5
Multiplexes: none
Oregon Highway Name/Numbers: Belt Line Highway #69
Oregon Route 569 Route Definition

"Over the Belt Line Highway from the intersection of Beltline Road and 11th Avenue in Eugene, OR126, thence northerly and easterly via Beltline Road to the end of the Belt Line Highway at Gateway Road in Springfield. (Rev. 1/25/2007) (Signs will not be posted until summer 2007.)"

~ ODOT, Descriptions of US and Oregon Routes, March 2007

Oregon Route 569 History

OR-569 is Oregon's highest numbered state highway ever (the previous recordholder belonging to OR-551 in Wilsonville), created in January 2007. The freeway itself has existed since the 1970's, part of a larger beltway built by Lane County that would've encircled the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. However, the 1970's freeway revolts killed the other sections of the Belt Line, leaving a 9.9 mile section of expressway/freeway built in the Northwest quadrant of the area. In 1978, due to Lane County's impatience at ODOT stalling improvements on the Junction City-Eugene Highway #223, ODOT turned it over to county jurisdiction in exchange for gaining control of the Belt Line Highway, creating Belt Line Highway #69 with no route association.

No on 14! No on 69!

It would remain sans route designation until 2002, when ODOT decided to give routes to unmarked Oregon highways. In September of that year, the Oregon Transportation Commission gave the highway the designation of Oregon Route 69, but declined to post shields along the route. The routing destination was left in limbo until January 2007, when someone at the Oregon Transporation Commission floated a proposal to renumber the highway, probably due to its risqué numerical nature. According to the OTC January 2007 meeting agenda, the number initially proposed for this renumbering was Oregon Route 14. For whatever reason, this proposal was rejected; I'm guessing that the highway number did not fit into either the classic Oregon Route numbering scheme (OR-14 would've been south of OR-36 and north of OR-38) or the new numbering scheme, and that it was a primary highway number that was given to what should be a secondary designation for local access. Therefore, during the meeting, it became a proposal to change the route number to Oregon Route 569, both tying back to the underlying highway number and its status as a local highway. The motion passed, and OR-569 was created, according to the meeting minutes.

According to Descriptions of US and OR Routes, signs will not be posted along the highway until summer 2007, so expect to see some changes soon. I'd love some pictures of the new highway signs.