See also, Crescent Junction Rest Area.
Crescent Junction (or Brendel) is a small unincorporated community within Grand County. Most highway maps use the name Crescent Junction, as the name given to the junction of Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 191. Most railroad maps use the name Brendel, the name of the rail siding and junction at the same location.
The origin of the town is the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad which constructed its main line through Eastern Utah in 1883. However the only thing that existed at this location was the rail siding, called Crescent for the crescent-shaped formation of the Book Cliffs in the area. A town formed approximately 5 miles east at the next rail siding, Thompson Springs. Thompson became a transfer point to unload goods from the train for shipment to other cities in the region without rail access.
U.S. Route 50 was commissioned in Eastern Utah in 1926, loosely following the route of the railroad. However, the junction point for the highway south to Moab was moved from Thompson Springs southwest to what was called Valley City. This arrangement existed until approximately 1930, when US-50 was straightened. At that time the junction was moved again to the present site and named Crescent Junction, next to the rail siding, now called Brendel. The junction has not moved since. Over time two buildings were constructed, a gas station and restaurant.(*)