Highway 97 is the major north-south route through North Central Washington. It’s also one of the major highways in the entire state too. It drives through and past a lot of important features in the region. We use it all the time but how much do we know about it?
Here are five fun facts about Highway 97.
How Long Is It?
U.S. Route 97 is 322 miles long from where it enters the State of Washington on the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge across the Columbia River at Maryhill to the Canadian border where it leaves the state near Oroville.
But How Long Is It In Our Region?
Highway 97 enters North Central Washington at a location east of Cle Elum that is known locally as Lauderdale. It then travels nearly 187 miles and leaves the region at the Canadian border.
From 4 Comes 1
Four early highways made up the route through Washington that is now known as U.S. 97: State Road 2, State Road 3, State Road 8, and State Road 10. Each of those were so designated in 1923.
Highway 97 and the Columbia River
U.S. 97 crosses the Columbia River three times during its travels through the State of Washington. First at the Oregon border, then on the north end of Wenatchee on the Odabashian Bridge where it runs concurrently with U.S. 2, and finally on the Beebe Bridge just east of Chelan.
Move That Highway!
U.S. 97 once ran between Wenatchee and Chelan on the Chelan County side of the river. In 1987, the route number was moved to the highway on the Douglas County side of the river and the Chelan County section was renamed U.S. 97 A. The “A” stands for Alternate.