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End of US highway 331

View a map showing this route.

Additional research and/or photo credits: Adam Froehlig; Brent Ivy; Jake; Karin and Martin Karner; John Lucas; Larry McDonald; Steven Nelson; Alex Nitzman; Michael Summa

Approx. time period North terminus South terminus
1953-present Montgomery, AL (near Santa Rosa Beach, FL)

Today's US 331 wasn't commissioned until 1953. You can read about the endpoints of the original US 331 on this page.

The north end of US 331 is in Montgomery AL. It comes in from the south on Court Street, and ends at the intersection with South Boulevard. The photo below shows a sign assembly posted on the approach to that intersection:

Nitzman, 2000 (unchanged as of 2014)

Too many routes to mention on the assembly erected at South Blvd itself... which, at that point, serves as US 80/US 82:

Karners, Apr. 2014

That shot is looking north on Court, at the South Blvd junction. Note the slot for an arrow below the US 331 sign: that's because from 1979 until 1990 - instead of "End 331" - it used to read, "North 331 (right arrow)." US 331 continued to the right here for about a half-mile, and then north again on Norman Bridge Road. More on that below, but first let's see the signage for the current north beginning of US 331 from the perspective of eastbound traffic...

Nitzman, Dec. 2009

...and from westbound:

Google Maps Street View, 2009

There, South Blvd. continues into the right background, while US 331 begins to the left on Court. If you make that turn, you immediately see the first southbound marker:

Karners, Apr. 2014

When US 331 was commissioned in 1953, it came into Montgomery via Norman Bridge, not Court. At Fairview Avenue (which carried US 82/US 231 at the time), US 331 went west for a few blocks, and then continued north on Perry Street (where it also picked up US 31/80). The US 331 designation ended at Madison (which is where US 31/82 split from US 80/231):

Karners, Apr. 2014

That's looking north on Perry at Madison - US 331 ended there for about 30 years. It wasn't long before all of these US routes except US 331 had been moved off Perry and onto bypass routes in order to avoid downtown. In about 1960, Hull Street became the southbound counterpart to Perry, so US 331 kept the same endpoint, but its north beginning was three blocks east of Perry. It was 1979 when US 331 was rerouted onto Court, but US 331 did not end at South Blvd (as it does today). Rather, the designation continued east on South Blvd and then north via its old route along Norman Bridge. The 1983 map still shows US 331 using Fairview to connect between Norman Bridge and Perry/Hull, but the 1985 map shows northbound traffic following Union Street into downtown. John recalls that during this timeframe there was an "End US 331" sign posted at Madison... and in fact, until early 2010 there was still a remnant US 331 sign on Union, just north of Washington Avenue:

Nelson, Sep. 2006

Decatur Street (two blocks west of Union) carried southbound US 331 traffic. US 331 was truncated to its current endpoint in 1990, and accordingly the 1991 DoT map was the first issue to clearly indicate that.

To illustrate all these intersections, we'll take a virtual trip westward down Madison. This first photo is approaching Union:

Google Maps Street View, 2009

The minivan at far left is on old US 331, where it ended from 1984-1990. But Union is one-way northbound, so the north beginning of US 331 was a couple blocks ahead, at Decatur:

Google Maps Street View, 2009

To the left on Decatur was the beginning of US 331 from 1984-1990. But the north beginning from 1960-1984 was one block ahead, at Hull:

Google Maps Street View, 2009

US 331 began to the left for over 20 years (after Perry was converted to one-way northbound). Perry itself is another three blocks ahead:

Google Maps Street View, 2009

The next block ahead was the north terminus of US 331 for about 30 years (you can see the same church steeple from another photo above).

Incidentally, as of 2009, most of Norman Bridge Road between Court and Seibles Road is closed to traffic (apparently because its eponymous bridge over Catoma Creek got washed out).  It's unclear whether this former alignment of US 331 is expected to reopen. If repairing the bridge is deemed unnecessary, then it's likely that this segment of Norman Bridge will eventually be vacated.

From Montgomery, US 331 heads pretty much due south to the Gulf, through only small towns and rural areas. The south end of US 331 is at its junction with US 98, outside Santa Rosa Beach FL. Here's an interesting historical shot, showing one of Florida's colored shields:

Summa, 1978

That was heading west on US 98 (gotta love the old Datsun). The intersection and the signage has changed since then; as of 2004 that approach looked like this:

McDonald, Oct. 2004

Below we're looking the opposite direction (east on US 98):

McDonald, Oct. 2004

US 331 begins to the left; if you take that turn, you'll soon see the first northbound reassurance marker:

Nitzman, July 2006

If you turned around there, you'd be at the south end of US 331; here's what it looks like:

McDonald, Oct. 2004

As you can see, we're not exactly on a "beach".  Nor are we in a "town".  This area has a "Santa Rosa Beach" postal address, but the center of that unincorporated community is a couple miles west (right) from this junction.  It's not actually on a beach, either.  The Gulf of Mexico is about two miles straight ahead (as the crow flies).  As the car drives, the closest beach access would be to go right, and then south to Blue Gulf Beach (about 3 miles), or left and then south to Grayton Beach (about 4 miles).