End of US highway 425

View a map showing this route.

Photo credits: David Backlin; Steven Nelson

Approx. time period North terminus South terminus
1989-2003 Pine Bluff, AR (US 65) Bastrop, LA
2003-2005 Pine Bluff, AR (I-530) Bastrop, LA
2005-present Pine Bluff, AR (I-530) Natchez, MS

The first thing I need to do is rant about this highway. 425 is one of three newer US highways which commit serious breaches in an otherwise fairly logical numbering system. Based on this system, US 425 should connect with US 25. But it doesn't. Not even close. The nearest US 25 ever gets to 425 is probably Augusta GA - hundreds of miles away. (The other recent offenders, by the way, are US 400 and US 412 - what is it with these 4xx numbers?) When it was first commissioned, US 425 connected with US 65 on the north, and US 165 on the south... so why wasn't it numbered US x65? Then in 2005, AASHTO approved an extension of US 425 which went down to US 65 at Clayton LA. It was irksome enough that an illegitimate number got extended, but that wasn't the worst of it: the US 65 designation got truncated at Clayton, and US 425 replaced it from there to Natchez MS. So now we have a nearly-1000-mile route (US 65) that's been around since the beginning (1926), terminating at a 200-mile branch route (US 425) that's been around only since 1989. Sadly, it would seem that most state DoT's have no knowledge of the design behind (or respect for the integrity of) the US route system. And even worse, the supposed guardian of this system (AASHTO's Special Committee on Route Numbering) doesn't either - instead, they seem to simply rubber-stamp any proposal the states put before them.

There is a fix, although I'm not holding my breath: if you click on the map linked above, you can see that US 425 is the shortest route between Natchez and Pine Bluff, and therefore the Arkansas and Louisiana DoTs consider it the primary route between their capital cities (Little Rock and Baton Rouge). So what they ought to do is reroute US 65 traffic southward out of Pine Bluff, such that it runs along current US 425 all the way to Natchez. The existing US 65 between Pine Bluff and Clayton could be renumbered US 265. That way, the primary highway would be signed with a "main" number (US 65); a "branch" number (265) would be used on a secondary route; and we'd be rid of the nonsensical number "425"...


...ah, one can always dream. Anyway, as it stands, the north end of US 425 is at Pine Bluff AR. Heading north, there is no "End" sign, but there are no more US 425 signs once you reach the junction with US 65. This first photo is looking north on 425 at that intersection:

Backlin, Oct. 2007

The crossing highway is US 65; Pine Bluff is to the left (west). This was the original north end of US 425. At some point (perhaps 2003, when the I-530 bypass was completed), the US 425 designation was extended west with northbound US 65, such that it now ends at its junction with I-530. However, travelers at this point can only assume that US 425 still ends here, because there are no more 425 signs. When you make that turn to the west, only US 65 is marked:

Backlin, Oct. 2007

...but technically that's also northbound US 425. That designation ends where the I-530 designation begins:

Backlin, Oct. 2007

Incidentally, US 65 traffic is supposed to follow I-530, but Arkansas is one of the growing number of states that don't co-sign US routes with interstates. Heading the opposite direction (southbound on I-530), US 425 is well-signed:

Backlin, Oct. 2007

Up ahead, after I-530 has ended, the first confirming assembly looks like this:

Backlin, Oct. 2007

The photo below shows signage at the junction where US 65 and US 425 split:

Backlin, Oct. 2007

But heading the opposite direction (west on northbound US 65), US 425 is shown running only to the south...

Backlin, Oct. 2007

...and it's the same way at the south end of AR 81:

Backlin, Oct. 2007

So, with regard to actual signage, it could be said that US 425 ends at one junction, but begins at another.


Originally the south end of US 425 was at US 165 in Bastrop LA. Both routes are split into one-way pairs through the central part of town. The photo below is looking east on Jefferson Avenue, which carries northbound US 165:

Nelson, Jan. 2006

The south beginning of US 425 was to the left on Franklin Street. If you turn that direction, you'd soon see the first northbound confirming assembly:

Nelson, Jan. 2006

Southbound US 165 runs westward through town on Madison Avenue (one block to the north of Jefferson). The beginning of US 425 as seen from that direction was posted thus:

Nelson, Jan. 2006

The next block ahead is Washington Street, which carries southbound US 425.


In 2005 the route was officially extended to Natchez; you can view photos from there on this page.