If you ever wondered how New Jersey highways got their numbers, you’re not alone. It’s a very complex and sometimes confusing explanation.

Interstate highways have a different set of rules from U.S. highways, which have a different set of guidelines from state, highways and county highways.

County highways in New Jersey are generally numbered 500 to 599 but counties like Bergen and Monmouth sometimes have single digits for their county roads.

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State highways generally have two numbers and in some cases, shorter state highways may have three like Route 154 in Cherry Hill. One of the shortest highways is Route 90 connecting Route 73 with the Betsy Ross Bridge in Pennsauken. It’s only 3.2 miles long.

The parkway was once Route 4 and the New Jersey Turnpike was once numbered 100. They were later given names instead of numbers. In 1953 after a tremendous post-World War II building boom, the state decided to rename and renumber highways. One of those highway numbers only lasted 14 years.

Why? Well because people kept stealing the sign. They kept stealing the sign because it was Highway 69. Due to its sexual connotation, the highway department could not keep replacing the signs fast enough. So, in 1967 they renamed the highway Route 31.

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It was originally Route 30 but that conflicted with Route 30, the White Horse Pike in South Jersey so they renamed it 69 until the trouble started.

It’s 48 miles long and runs from Mercer and Hunterdon Counties and ends in Buttzville, Warren County. Therefore, back in the 60s mischievous folks, probably male teens, kept stealing the Route 69 signs.

That would mean that if you were between the ages of 17 and 23 in the 1960s you were probably born in the late 1940s. So, plenty of those signs would be in the possession of people, probably men in their middle to late 70s.

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You have to wonder if those mischievous teens, now dirty old men, still have those signs.

And that’s the story of New Jersey’s naughty highway that lasted 14 years and it's nowhere to be found today.

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Stacker compiled a list of the longest interstates in the United States using 2021 data from the Federal Highway Administration. Read on to find out which ones are the lengthiest.

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

POP QUIZ: Can you name all 10 interstate highways in New Jersey?

Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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