Pennsylvania State Route System

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Pennsylvania State Route System
System information
Length41,643 mi[1] (67,018 km)
NotesNumbers are assigned through Location Referencing System; all routes are assigned quadrant numbers, State Route X (SR X), which usually corresponded to the signed numbers of traffic routes (PA X). Traffic Routes are generally state-maintained.
Highway names
InterstatesInterstate X (I-X)
US HighwaysU.S. Route X (US X)
StatePennsylvania Route X (PA X)
Quadrant Routes:State Route X (SR X)
System links

In the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, state highways are generally maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Each is assigned a four-digit State Route (SR) number in the present Location Referencing System. Traffic Routes are signed as Interstate Highways, U.S. Routes and Pennsylvania Routes (PA Routes), and are prefixed with one to three zeroes to give a four-digit number. PA Routes are also called Pennsylvania Traffic Routes, and formerly State Highway Routes.[2]

There are 41,643 mi (67,018 km) of roadway maintained by state agencies, with 39,737 mi (63,951 km) maintained by PennDOT, 554 mi (892 km) maintained by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and 1,352 mi (2,176 km) maintained by other state agencies.[1]


The Pennsylvania State Route System was established by the Sproul Road Bill passed in 1911. The system took control of over 4,000 miles of road. The system of roads continued to grow over the next few decades until continual addition of roads faced greater opposition. On October 1, 1940, the Pennsylvania Turnpike's first section of highway was opened to motorized traffic; the Turnpike operated under the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and was independent of the then-known Department of Highways.

In 1970, the Department of Highways and several other offices and departments were reorganized into the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In 1987, the Sproul system of Legislative Routes was reorganized into the current Pennsylvania State Route System under the Location Referencing System.

In 2013, PennDOT posted weight restrictions on several bridges along the state route system.[3] As a result, several truck routes were signed for U.S. and state routes, bypassing these weight restricted bridges. Signage practices for these truck routes vary by district, with some districts such as District 5 signing them as standard truck routes and others such as District 6 signing them as double-bannered "alternate truck" routes.[3][4][5]

Location Referencing System

LRS number assignments[6]
Route number Name Description
0001-0999 Traffic Routes leading zeroes are often omitted on the markers
1001-4999 Quadrant Routes assigned by rough quadrant in the county, going clockwise from northeast (1) to northwest (4)
6001-6999 Relocated Traffic Routes (Including alternate lanes such as local lanes or HOV lanes), assigned a number equal to the old number plus 6000
7001-7999 Turned back, abandoned, or null routes 7076, 7276, 7376, 7576, 7476, 7043, and 7066 are used for sections of the Pennsylvania Turnpike[7]
8001-8999 Interchanges With one number per interchange
9101-9199 Wye connections
9201-9299 Rest areas
9301-9399 Truck escape ramps
9401-9499 Other roadways Includes jughandles and truck inspection stations
9501-9599 Park and ride


The symbol used for the signage of state routes is an outline of the keystone after Pennsylvania's nickname. Four-digit State Routes are unsigned, except on small white reference markers at intersections, and are only unique within each county. Underneath, there is a larger typeface number identifying the segment of highway being entered. Segments are typically one half mile long and are usually numbered in multiples of 10 on non-Interstate highways. Segment numbers increase in the north or east direction, and are even-numbered on undivided highways and on the northbound or eastbound direction of divided highways.[8]

Circumstances with some routes

Special routes are not assigned State Route numbers corresponding to their signed numbers, but are instead marked along other routes, mostly Quadrant Routes.

Concurrencies are assigned a number equal to the smaller number of the concurrent routes, or the highest type (Quadrant Route → PA Route → U.S. Route → Interstate).[6]

Occasionally, a signed Traffic Route number does not match the State Route, usually in the case of an extension or relocation. (One example is Pennsylvania Route 3, which uses a one-way pair of Quadrant Routes in Center City Philadelphia.) A different number can also be used to avoid conflicts between different types — for instance, signed Pennsylvania Route 380 is actually State Route 400, renumbered ca. 1973 when Interstate 81E was renumbered Interstate 380. The majority of, but not all, signed Traffic Routes are state-maintained.[9]

Lists of routes

I-blank.svg Interstate Highways: A list of interstate highways.
US blank.svg U.S. Routes: A list of U.S. highways.
PA-blank2di.svg State Routes: A list of state routes.

See also


  1. ^ a b "PennDOT Fact Book" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Historic Transportation Maps
  3. ^ a b "Risk-Based Bridge Postings - State and Local Bridges" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. October 8, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Google (July 26, 2014). "overview of Pennsylvania Route 940 Truck" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  5. ^ Google (November 30, 2014). "overview of U.S. Route 13 Alternate Truck" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Pennsylvania Department of Transportation - "Location Referencing System" (PDF). (2.05 MiB)
  7. ^ "Penndot - Pennsylvania Stateroads 200901". Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, SR Segment Signing Guide (PUB 664)
  9. ^ For instance, the Lawrence County map Archived 2011-08-05 at Wikiwix indicates that Pennsylvania Route 551 north of Pulaski, near the north edge of the county is — except for the bridge over Buchanan Creek — locally maintained as Township Route 649. This is confirmed by the VideoLog. A 1990 county map shows that it was once state-maintained all the way as Legislative Route 649.

External links