Sunday, May 4, 2008

Washington State Route 7

On Sunday, May 4, 2008, we drove the length of Washington State Highway 7, from Morton to Tacoma.

RCW 47.17.030
State route No. 7
A state highway to be known as state route number 7 is established as follows:

Beginning at a junction with state route number 12 in the vicinity of Morton, thence northerly to a junction with state route number 706 at Elbe; also

From that junction with state route number 706 at Elbe, thence northerly to a junction with state route number 5 at Tacoma.

SR 7 @ US 12
A beautiful sunny day in Morton, it was. Here we are, parked barely off US 12 at the southern end of SR 7. The first gas station on the left sells chicken gizzards, but they were out today. Hopefully they'll have some in August when we drive 12. . . . Chunlin likes them, you see.

SR 7 @ SR 508
At the north end of Morton's downtown, we come across the east end of SR 508. We'll maintain our Tacoma-bound heading, however, and skip Onalaska for this trip.

SR 7 @ SR 706
North through Lewis County, the highway leads us to the bridge over the Nisqually River, which disgorges one in Pierce County at the junction with SR 706. We had a stop sign. Drivers coming down 706 from Mt. Rainier (and those heading south on 7 and continuing up 706) do not have to stop or swerve.

SR 7 @ SR 161
After a very curvy nine miles, we arrive at the junction with SR 161. It's the only state highway to Eatonville, but it's not the only road to Eatonville. I must remember that if there is ever again (like last year) an automobile collision on this windy road that blocks traffic in both directions for miles.

SR 7 @ SR 702
The road straightens out. Near Tanwax, SR 702.

SR 7 @ SR 507
After a bend or two, the junction with SR 507 just south of Spanaway. Highway 7 through Spanaway is a lot like 99 in North Seattle, except much cleaner and without the overhead powerlines.

SR 7 @ SR 512
Due north five miles is the junction with SR 512. Welcome to Tacoma.

SR 7 @ I-5
Four more miles due north, Highway 7 takes a right and then has a junction with the freeway yet to be built for Highway 7. Less than a mile down the hill, 7 has a junction with I-5. This is the end of the line.

SR 7 @ I-705
Well, not quite. This is the end of the line. In the middle of the I-5 interchange, SR 7 turns into I-705 (the shortest interstate in the state).

And now Highway 7 is complete. Ah. . . Tacoma.


Pedicularis said...

The fine print on the sign in the last photo appears to say, "End 7 800 feet". What was in 800 feet? The end of the on-ramp onto 705?

Pedicularis said...

I almost always take the Alder Cutoff Road from Elbe to Eatonville, because traffic is so slow through those turns by La Grande.

Sotosoroto said...

Good eye, Ped. I didn't notice the fine print.

800' after the sign would be where the road crosses directly underneath I-5, which would be the natural place to change from 7 to 705. It seemed odd to me that it changed south of that.

Pedicularis said...

If you carry out your plan, have you considered which state highway will result in the most miles driven to follow the highway? Hwy. 5 is a bit over 277 miles (Yahoo maps for Vancouver to Blaine). I think the answer depends on how you want to count ferry rides and how you want to count driving on other highways to connect missing segments. From Yahoo maps, I get 432 miles for Hwy. 12 from Aberdeen to Clarkston, and 437 miles for Hwy. 20 from Fairmont to Newport (which includes a 5.6-mile ferry ride. Can you think of a longer one?