PRE 1926 Of the original signed state routes, the one that served Meadville was #5, The Lakes-To-Sea Highway. The map above right was published by Goodrich in 1919. Although the map does not show any of the original state routes, PA 5 is highlighted in red. From the corner of Park & Chestnut north to Erie would become US 19. PA 5 south and east from the intersection would become US 322.
1926 - 1937 In 1926, US highways were created. Over the next few years the new routes were co-signed with the original state routes. The map above (once again published by Goodrich in 1919) shows the routing of the first two US routes in Meadville. US 19 is green and US 322 is blue. Pennsylvania began to add many more state routes, the first of which was PA 27, shown in yellow.
1938 - 1953 When US 6 was first laid out, it ended in Erie. By 1938 it was extended to California, going through Meadville along the way, taking over the PA 77 alignment from Meadville to the Ohio state line. Prior to this, PA 77 and PA 86 were introduced, both serving the same alignment in Meadville as they do today. PA 98 was also introduced on Cussewago Road (today's PA 102). US 322 still entered Meadville from the east on Liberty St extension, but now turned to meet US 6 & 19 on Poplar instead of Chestnut. All three US routes ran together on Poplar and Water to cross French Creek on the Mercer St bridge.
1954 - 1955 Meadville had a new four lane highway to carry traffic west and south of the city. The new highway was also the new alignment for US 6, 19 and 322 carrying traffic over French Creek on Smock Bridge instead of Mercer St bridge. Instead of continuing on Poplar St, the three US routes continued straight on Park Avenue. PA 98 took over their old alignment of Mercer, Water and Poplar to its new southern end. Elsewhere in Meadville, PA 77 was now multiplexed with PA 27 to their common end at US 6 & 19 on Park Ave.
1956 - 1959 PA 98's run into Meadville was short lived. PA 98 was rerouted almost four miles to the west, ending at the US 19 split with US 6 & 322 in Vernon Township. PA 102 was created to cover PA 98's old aligment on Cussewago Road to Kerrtown and then south on Pennsylvania Avenue to end at US 6, 19 & 322. Also, PA 27 and PA 77 were still multiplexed.
1960 - 1973 During the early sixties, there were only two major changes.
PA 77's western end returned to the junction with PA 27 at Hickory and Washington. US 322 no longer used Poplar and Liberty, but now split from US 6 & US 19 at Linden and then turned on South Main to head east to Cochranton.
1974 - present The most recent and major change to Meadville highways occurred with the opening of French Creek Parkway in 1974. This four lane bypass of Meadville continued from Smock Bridge to carry traffic to US 6 & 19's old alignment on Baldwin St, amost three miles north of Meadville. PA 27 was extended west to the new arterial highway.
The future? Although the French Creek Parkway is nearly 30 years old, there are still active plans to extend the highway around Meadville to the north and east. The recent opening of Interstate 86 left the future of PA 86 in doubt for a short while, but PennDot seems content with keeping the same number.
For a few brief years in the mid-1920's, Pennsylvania assigned 15 state routes by number and name. Most of these routes would become the well known US routes of today. One exception is PA 8, which runs pretty true to its original course. Meadville was served by The Lakes-To-Sea Highway, numbered route 5. A possible future project of Keystone Highways may be to retrace these routes, at least the ones that served northwestern PA (PA 5, PA 7, PA 8 and PA 9).