Are There Really “Secret Highways” in the US?
If you’ve ever enjoyed a Snapple beverage, you’re probably aware of the fun trivia printed on the underside of the metal lids. The company calls them “Real Facts” (quotations and all), but in this office we tend to question the validity of the statements. When the facts wander into automotive territory, we feel especially qualified to take on the drink giant. For instance, today I purchased a Diet Snapple Trop-A-Rocka tea*, and when I opened it I was greeted with “Real Fact” 960, which states that “There are 21 ‘secret’ highways that are part of the Interstate Highway System. They are not identified as such by road signs.” Could that possibly be true?
The short answer is no.
According to Interstate-Guide.com, there are highways not identified by road signs, but they are by no means secret. In fact, when I looked up the fun fact, the first thing I discovered is that these are not “secret” highways, but rather unsigned interstates. The name comes from the fact that the roads are unsigned but officially part of the Eisenhower Interstate System. Let’s be honest, Snapple probably called them secret to be a bit sensationalist.
The sources I found about the unsigned interstates never seemed to agree on how many unsigned interstates there are, but there are reportedly at least 19. The unsigned interstates are anonymous simply because to sign them would confuse drivers. For instance, Interstate 296 in Grand Rapids was first built in the 1950s, but has since had its signs removed and been taken off of the road maps of Michigan because it’s mostly encapsulated in the larger US 131. The same thing is true of Interstate 595 in Maryland because it’s also part of U.S. 50.
I’m certainly not the first person to contest Snapple’s “Real Facts” (The Atlantic dedicated a whole story to the bottle caps in 2012), and I won’t be the last. I do know for sure, though, that there no secret highways without signs lurking in the wilds of America waiting to snap up you and your car.
*Yes, it’s the Bret Michaels flavor, and no I don’t really support him. However, his mango, pear, papaya, and cinnamon tea is excellent.
Highway Source: Interstate-Guide.com
Read More On Snapple “Real Facts”: The Atlantic
A Dayton native, Rebecca got her start blogging at the curiously named Harlac’s Tongue while studying abroad in the UK. She loves tooling around town with her Ford Focus named Jerome to the song they’re playing on the radio. On any given weekend, you can find her with her camera at area festivals, concerts, and car shows, shopping at flea markets, or taking an adventure on the open road. See more articles by Rebecca.