End of US highway 82
|Approx. time period||East terminus||West terminus|
|1932-1934||Columbus, MS||Texarkana, AR|
|1934-1949||Tuscaloosa, AL||Lubbock, TX|
|1949-1956||Waycross, GA||Lubbock, TX|
|1956-1961||Midway, GA||Lubbock, TX|
|1961-1989||(near Midway, GA)||Las Cruces, NM|
|1989-1990||(near Brunswick, GA)||Las Cruces, NM|
|1990-present||(near Brunswick, GA)||(near Alamogordo, NM)|
US 82 was commissioned in 1932 to begin in Texarkana AR - my best guess is that it would've come in on 9th Street, ending at Hickory Street, where it junctioned with US 67 and US 71:
Google Maps Street View, 2008
My theory is that US 82 would've come to this point and ended. From Texarkana, US 82 ran east to Columbus MS:
Nelson, July 2006
That's looking east on Main Street, or what is now MS hwy. 182. US 45 came in from the left, so US 82 ended here.
In 1934 the east end of US 82 was extended either to US 43 at Northport AL (where it would've ended at the 5th Street/Rice Mine Road/Bridge Avenue intersection, just east of today's 5th St interchange on US 43/AL 69), or else more likely it was co-signed with US 43 to end at US 11 in Tuscaloosa. The photo below was taken at that intersection:
Field/Nitzman, Aug. 2002
That's looking east on University Boulevard. Originally US 11 followed the route of what is now AL hwy. 215: ahead was northbound, and southbound was to the right on Greensboro Avenue. To the left on Greensboro was probably the east beginning of US 82 (Greensboro aligns with a now-dismantled bridge that once connected with Bridge Av in Northport).
The east end of US 82 was further extended to Waycross GA in 1950. The photo below is looking east on Albany Avenue:
Nelson, June 2006
Not sure what's up with the signage - like US 84, US 1 and US 23 also go both directions on Plant Avenue. At any rate, US 82 once came to this point and ended here.
The east end of US 82 was extended again in 1956, this time to Midway GA. I-95 wasn't built through the area until the late 1970s, so for about 20 years US 82 terminated at its junction with US 17. The shot below shows that intersection:
Nasiatka, July 2004
That was once the perspective of a driver at the east end of US 82. Later the route was extended about four miles ahead, to I-95's interchange 76 (still considered Midway - you can view photos from there on this page). Then in 1989, a new bypass around Waycross GA was completed. J.P. explains that - as a result of the new road alignments there - it made sense to switch the US 82 and US 84 designations east of Waycross. As far as I can tell, prior to the re-designation, US 82 and US 84 didn't actually intersect in Waycross. But now the "ways" actually do "cross" - and the east end of US 82 is now near Brunswick (you can view photos from there on this page).
In 1961 the west end of US 82 was extended to Las Cruces NM. It was co-signed with US 70 all the way west from Alamogordo - a distance of about 70 miles. The two routes came into Las Cruces via Main Street. The signage below used to be posted at the junction with I-25...
...but Patrick Valdez wrote in 2004 to say, after this interchange was redesigned, the new signs no longer mention US 82. The USGS quad (dated 1976) appears to show the junction where US 82 ended:
That indicates US 82 ended at Picacho Avenue, where it met US 80/180:
Karners, Dec. 2011
That's looking south on Main. US 82 was co-signed with US 70 to this point, but only US 70 continued beyond this intersection (by turning right onto Picacho). US 82 ended here at its junction with US 80 and US 180 (eastbound was straight ahead; westbound was to the right with US 70). The photo below is looking east on Picacho:
Nelson, Nov. 2005
Here eastbound US 70 traffic is directed left on Main, and until 1990 that would've been the west beginning of US 82 (eastbound US 80 and US 180 both turned to the right ahead).
In 1990 the US 82 designation was truncated back to its junction with US 54/US 70, just north of Alamogordo. However - as you'll see from the signs in some of the photos below, taken twenty years later - one could easily get the mistaken impression that US 82 still continues through Alamogordo itself. In about 2001, the routing of US 54/70 through Alamogordo changed a bit with the construction of a "relief route" (New Mexico's term for a bypass) along the west side of the city. Although this didn't change the endpoint of US 82, the bypass connects to that intersection, so all the signs at that junction were replaced. Below I have a series of photos taken both before and after this bypass was operational. We'll start with an unusual sign heading north on the Charlie T. Lee Memorial Relief Route:
me, Mar. 2010
The intention is to let drivers know about the steep grades ahead on the westernmost segment of US 82, which begins by immediately climbing over the Sacramento Mountains (which are prominent in the background of many of the photos below). I observed a similar sign in Artesia, which is about 100 miles east, on the far side of those mountains. I post that photo to illustrate: when you consider that US 82 begins on the Atlantic Coast and takes a path across the country that has very little in the way of topographic relief - the final miles of this highway are really quite climactic.
Anyway, that was taken from northbound US 54/eastbound US 70. Just ahead, the road curves to the east and has a junction with US 82:
me, Mar. 2010
The west beginning of US 82 is straight ahead. Northbound US 54/eastbound US 70 continues to the left. To the right is White Sands Boulevard, which used to carry US 54/70 through town, before the bypass existed. Next we'll approach this intersection from the north, heading into Alamogordo:
me, Mar. 2010
That assembly is in the median, and it's a little strange: it indicates US 70 traffic continues straight ahead (when the route actually turns right, onto the bypass), and it's ambiguous as to which way US 54 traffic should go (it should turn right, along with with US 70). At least it's clear that US 82 begins to the left, and another sign assembly just ahead, on the right side of the road, does a better job:
me, Mar. 2010
Here, US 54/70 traffic is directed to the right (as it should be)... but if you go straight ahead, you'll still see old signage dating back to when White Sands was mainline US 54/70. According to Steve Riner, AASHTO approved a "Business 54/70" along White Sands at the same time they approved the rerouting of mainline 54/70 onto the bypass. But I get the impression that NMDOT may have actually relinquished control of White Sands to the city. At any rate, the old signs along White Sands have never been corrected, and there is no "Business" signage anywhere in the city... except on the green street signs at this particular intersection: here, the road straight ahead is not referred to as "White Sands Blvd", but rather as "Business Route", while the bypass is referred to as "Relief Route". Before the bypass, there used to be a simple sign marking the beginning of US 82:
It indicated that US 82 was only to the left - not straight ahead. However, just beyond that intersection, the sign below was posted on southbound White Sands:
That was gone by 2005, and there are no longer any US 82 signs heading southbound... although the road is still signed as if it's mainline US 54/70 (not "Business 54/70"). However, if we turn around and head north on White Sands, as of 2010 there were still three references to US 82... I photographed two of them:
me, Mar. 2010 (both)
The one on the left is just past the intersection with 1st Street, while the next one is just after 10th Street (and there's yet one more after the Indian Wells Road intersection). This is part of the reason I suspect White Sands might have been turned back to the city: none of the obsolete signs have been fixed. But on the other hand, that point could be irrelevant, because NMDOT doesn't seem to be conscientous about signage anywhere in the state.
Regardless, US 82 doesn't actually begin until you make a right turn at the junction near La Luz, a couple miles ahead:
me, Mar. 2010
If you turn that way, you're immediately greeted by the first eastbound confirming marker:
me, Mar. 2010
The green sign in the background gives mileage to Cloudcroft (16) and Artesia (108). Now let's turn around and have a look at the signage heading west at the end of US 82:
me, Mar. 2010
A little underwhelming: there's no acknowledgement that US 82 ends, nor any mention of the fact that east US 70 and north US 54 are to the right. Before the bypass (straight ahead), west 70 and south 54 turned to the left on White Sands; that was the case when the photo below was taken...
...although signage back then left a little to be desired as well. In 2009 someone reported that there were still references to US 82 in White Sands National Monument (that's between Alamogordo and Las Cruces). I didn't observe that myself in 2010, but I did notice that US 82 was mentioned on a sign at the entrance to Holloman AFB (which is between Alamogordo and White Sands).