Strangely, no one interviewed for the newspaper article mentioned that for decades, that 4.4 mile stretch of road was Route 254, before its terminus was later pushed east to Route 57. I’m sure many readers were scratching their head over that.
When did the state highway officials move the terminus to Route 57? I’m guessing that the change occurred in the 1990s, although I don’t have the maps to prove it. I can’t remember the reasoning either; I think the state was trying to save money and pass along the road’s maintenance to the county. Either that, or resistance to widening the road (it’s pretty narrow west of South Broadway) made it rather deficient as a major state highway.
Here’s an early 1960s Arrow City Map (dating from before Route 2 was built) clearly showing Route 254 extending to Leavitt Road (Route 58).
And here's a wider view of the map. These vintage maps are always fun to look at!here.
One of the possible designations for the highway mentioned in the article – in addition to the rather cool-sounding "Northwest Freeway” – was none other than Route 254.
It probably would have been better if it had been designated Route 254. Calling it Route 2 destroyed the old, comfortable “6 & 2” name for the local lakefront road.