US 33 was introduced to Virginia in September 1937, replacing VA 4 from the West Virginia border west of Rawley Springs and running to Richmond. For reasons that I do not know, the state elected to have VA 33 continue from Richmond east to end at Deltaville on the Chesapeake Bay. Given that US 360 commissioned just 4 years earlier ran to east of US 17, it is odd that US 33 was not assigned to at least US 17.
For a number of years, questions have arisen concerning where exactly US 33 turns into VA 33. And since "route 33" has been moved around some in Richmond, where did this transition used to exist at varying points in the past. The point of this page is to present all the evidence I have found to date - official documentation, mapscans, and photographic evidence - which I believe will show that the defined location of this transition has apparently rarely matched where it was signed in the field.
When did US 33/VA 33 first appear at all?
The last CTB reference to VA 4 is Sept 1937 and the first US 33 reference is Jan 1938. Additionally, VA 312, which replaced what had been VA 33 since the July 1933 renumbering, fits in a pattern where it should have received this designation in late 1937, as VA 314 is specifically mentioned in Sept 1937 CTB and VA 309 was placed into the state highway system in Sept 1937 (CTB). The June 1938 monthly issued official map has a July 1937 legend, but has red ink annotation that US 33, VA 33, and VA 312 have been assigned in their respective places. I do not have any other monthly issues after July 1937.
The AASHO historic documents database released in 2020 contains an important document - an internal Virginia Department of Highways memo dated Oct 18, 1937 referencing the recent approval of US 33. It also says signage was to be up by January 1, 1938.
My assessment is that US 33/VA 33 came to being in Sept 1937.
Where are/were the original US 33-VA 33 transition points?
VA 4 is replaced by US 33 and VA 33, and the trouble begins...
June 1938 Official