Jefferson Davis Highway lives on with postal service
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 10/6/2022, 6 p.m.
Jefferson Davis Highway no longer exists in Virginia, but the name of the president of the slavery-defending Confederacy lives on in the database of the U.S. Postal Service.
USPS continues to require that name to be used to mail letters and packages to homes and businesses.
The self-service machines in lobbies require customers to input the Jefferson Davis Highway name to mail letters or packages to businesses and homes along the street. Mail using Richmond Highway, the new name for the stretch of U.S. 1 in South Side, can be returned to sender.
“Since many customers still address mail with the previous road name, the road name still exists in our system,” USPS spokesman Philip Bogenberger explained in an email. He provided no indication as to when USPS would update its address database to reflect the change.
The new Richmond Highway name went into effect in the city in December 2020. Chesterfield County’s stretch of U.S. 1 was officially changed from Jefferson Davis Highway to Route 1 in September 2021.
In January of this year, the remaining portions of Jefferson Davis Highway that were not renamed by localities became Emancipation Highway under legislation approved by the General Assembly and signed into law in 2021 by then Gov. Ralph S. Northam.