The Interstate route marker is a red, white, and blue shield, carrying the word “Interstate”, the State name, and the route number. Officials of AASHTO developed the procedure for numbering the routes. Major Interstate routes are designated by one- or two-digit numbers. Routes with odd numbers run north and south, while even numbered run east and west. For north-south routes, the lowest numbers begin in the west, while the lowest numbered east-west routes are in the south. By this method, Interstate Route 5 (I-5) runs north-south along the west coast, while I-10 lies east-west along the southern border.In two cases, a major route has two parallel or diverging branches. In those cases, each branch is given the designation of the main route, followed by a letter indicating a cardinal direction of travel (east, west, etc). In Texas, for example, I-35 splits at Hillsboro, with I-35E going through Dallas, while I-35W goes through Fort Worth. The two branches merge at Denton to reform I-35. A similar situation exists along I-35 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota.The major route numbers generally traverse urban areas on the path of the major traffic stream. Generally, this major traffic stream will be the shortest and most direct line of travel. Connecting Interstate routes and full or partial circumferential beltways around or within urban areas carry a three-digit number. These routes are designated with the number of the main route and an even-numbered prefix. Supplemental radial and spur routes, connecting with the main route at one end, also carry a three-digit number, using the number of the main route with an odd-number prefix.To prevent duplication within a State, a progression of prefixes is used for the three-digit numbers. For example, if I-80 runs through three cities in a State, circumferential routes around these cities would be numbered as I-280, I-480, and I-680. The same system would be used for spur routes into the three cities, with routes being numbered I-180, I-380, and I-580, respectively. This system is not carried across State lines. As a result, several cities in different States along I-80 may each have circumferential beltways numbered as I-280 or spur routes numbered as I-180.