Colorado Highways: Routes 80 to 99

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80

Location: South Western Slope
Alignment: Dove Creek to Naturita via Slick Rock (current SH 141)

History:
SH 80 is an original 1920s state highway. From Dove Creek it was northeast to Naturita along what is now SH 141. By 1939 a spur had been added which went southwest from Dove Creek. By 1958 the whole northern section of the highway was turned back so that it went only both north and south for ~2mi from Dove Creek.

By 1958 SH 80 had been brought back on its historic routing, going from Dove Creek to Naturita. By 1961 the first section was paved around Slick Rock. It was entirely paved by 1965. SH 80 was renumbered as a southward extension of SH 141 in the purge of 1968 to avoid duplication with I-80S. Previously SH 141 had its south end at Naturita.

SH 80 was one of the few highways from the 1920s which violated the even east-west, odd north-south rule.

80S

Location: North Metro Denver > North Eastern Plains
Length: 184mi
SW End: Jct I-25 Exit 216 north of Denver
NE End: Nebraska border northeast of Julesburg (link to Chris Geelhart's site)
Nationally: Continued northeast in Nebraska for two miles to end at I-80 south of Big Springs

Places: Commerce City, Hudson, Keenesburg, Wiggins, Fort Morgan, Brush, Sterling, Julesburg

History:
Original number for I-76. Changed in 1975 to conform to AASHTO's policy against letter suffixes. See I-76 for a complete history. When the changed occurred in 1975, I-80S still was not completed from I-70 to I-25, from Barr Lake to Hudson, or between Wiggins and Fort Morgan.

Trivia: In the 1971 route log, it's referred to as "S.H. 80", with no S.

81

Location: Northeast Metro Denver > North Eastern Plains
Length: 66mi
SW End: Jct US 40 at Colfax Ave. and Colorado Blvd. in Denver
NE End: Jct SH 2 at Wiggins

Places: Denver, Commerce City, Hudson, Keenesburg, Wiggins

History:
Was the original state number for current US 6/I-76 from Denver northeast to Wiggins. Originally, SH 2 went from Denver north to Greeley, then east to Wiggins and Fort Morgan, but about 1939 it was rerouted, taking over all of SH 81's route from Denver to Wiggins. Former SH 2 from Denver to Greeley was renumbered as an extension of SH 3, while the Greeley to Wiggins route became an extension of SH 16.

81

Location: Eastern Plains
Alignment: Link from US 24 at Simla due north to SH 86

82

Location: Central Mountains
Length*: 85.29mi
W End: Jct I-70 Exit 116 in Glenwood Springs
E End: Jct US 24 east of Twin Lakes

Counties: Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Lake
Places: Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt, Snowmass, Aspen, Independence Pass, Twin Lakes

See the separate SH 82 page for the remainder of the information.



83

Location: South Front Range > Southeast Metro
Length*: 56.89mi
S End: Jct SH 21/Powers Blvd in northeast Colorado Springs
N End: Jct SH 2 at Leetsdale Dr. and Colorado Blvd. in Denver

Counties: El Paso, Douglas, Arapahoe, Denver
Places: Colorado Springs, Franktown, Parker, Centennial, Foxfield, Aurora, Denver, Glendale

See the separate SH 83 page for the remainder of the information.

84

Location: North Mountains
Length: 27mi
W End: Jct SH 131 at Toponas
E End: Jct US 40 north of Kremmling

History:
SH 84 is the original 1920s number for current SH 134 from Toponas over Gore Pass to US 40. Entirely paved by 1957. Renumbered to SH 134 in the purge of 1968 in order to avoid duplication with US 84.

US84

Location: Southern Mountains
Length*: 27.92mi
SE End: New Mexico border southeast of Chromo (link to Steve Riner's site)
NW End: Jct US 160 in Pagosa Springs
Nationally: E End: Jct I-95 near Midway, Georgia (1919mi)

Counties: Archuleta
Places: Pagosa Springs, Chromo

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 1300 at New Mexico border
  • 1900 north of CR O
  • 4000 at US 160, Pagosa Springs

Guide:
Not a whole lot to say here. It starts in Pagosa Springs, and heads southeast before entering New Mexico. The only town it passes through is Chromo.

Photo Gallery:

  • New Mexico Border. Looking north on US 84 as it enters Colorado. Photo by David Hererra. (August 2010)

History:
Not an original 1920s US highway in Colorado. Routing was originally SH 17. US 84 was extended into Colorado from Shiprock, New Mexico in 1938, but at first came north into the state concurrent with US 666 (current US 491), ending at Cortez. In 1942, US 84 was routed on on its current route in Colorado. By 1946 all except the middle ~8mi were paved, and was entirely paved by 1950.

Related Site: US 84 Endpoints by Dale Sanderson

85

Location: South Front Range
S End: Colorado Springs
N End: Jct SH 50 north of Black Forest

History:
This SH 85 is a highway from the 1920s or early 1930s that started in Colorado Springs and went northeast via Templeton Gap Road and Black Forest Road to end at SH 50 north of Black Forest. By 1936 it had been renumbered to SH 189.

85

Location: North Western Slope
Alignment: Spur southwest from US 40 at Steamboat Springs

US85

Location: Southern Front Range > Metro Denver > Northern Front Range
Length*: 126.35mi signed; 309mi implied
S End: New Mexico border at Raton Pass on unmarked overlap with I-25 (link to Steve Riner's site)
N End: Wyoming border north of Nunn (link to Andy Field's site)
Nationally: S End: El Paso, Texas; N End: Canadian border near Fontana, North Dakota (1479mi)

Counties: El Paso, Douglas, Arapahoe, Denver, Adams, Weld
Places: Fountain, Security-Widefield, Castle Rock, Sedalia, Littleton, Englewood, Denver, Commerce City, Brighton, Fort Lupton, Platteville, Gilcrest, La Salle, Evans, Garden City, Greeley, Eaton, Ault, Pierce, Nunn

See the separate US 85 page for the remainder of the info.



86

Location: South Metro Denver > Eastern Plains
Length*: 61.78mi
W End: Jct I-25/US 85 Exit 184 in north Castle Rock
E End: Jct I-70 Exit 352 northwest of Limon

Counties: Douglas, Elbert
Places: Castle Rock, Franktown, Elizabeth, Kiowa

Expressway: Four-lane divided around the northeast side of Castle Rock, but with a lower speed limit

Roadway Names: Bypass around the northeast side of Castle Rock is Founders Parkway

Milepost Guide:

  • 100.00: I-25/US 85 interchange at Founders Pkwy/Meadows Pkwy, Castle Rock (begin SH 86 in Douglas County)
  • Milepost equation at Founders Pkwy/Ridge Rd/5th St due to reroute: 104.35 Back = 1.85 Ahead
  • 6.82: SH 83, Franktown
  • 12.26: Enter Elbert County
  • 59.28: I-70 Exit 352 interchange (end SH 86)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 40,400 at I-25/US 85
  • 16,600 southeast of Crowfoot Valley Rd
  • 14,900 east of Founders Pkwy.
  • 10,800 east of SH 83, Franktown
  • 8900 east of CR 65/Flintwood Ave.
  • 13,300 at Elizabeth St., Elizabeth
  • 4900 east of CR 21
  • 2400 at Ute Ave., Kiowa
  • 1300 east of CR 61.69/Commanche Creek Rd
  • 660 east of CR 77/Calhan Rd
  • 480 at I-70

Guide:
SH 86 begins at the busy I-25 Exit 184 interchange on the north side of Castle Rock, Founders Pkwy/Meadows Pkwy. SH 86 heads east on Founders from the interchange while US 85 heads west on Meadows. SH 86 then uses Founders Pkwy, a four-lane divided sorta-expressway to loop around the northeast side of Castle Rock, going east up a hill then south. It meets its historic alignment at Founders Pkwy/Ridge Rd and turns east. It then goes as a two-lane road east through Franktown, out onto the plains and through Elizabeth and Kiowa. East of Kiowa all the way to I-70 there are no towns, SH 86 crosses the rolling prairie with occasional creek crossings and farmsteads.

History:
SH 86 is an original 1920s highway. At first the west end was in downtown Castle Rock at at US 85-87 at 5th and Wilcox Streets, from there SH 86 continued east up a hill and out of town out onto the plains as now. But the east end of SH 86 used to use current Elbert CR 118 east to River Bend at US 40, rather than passing north of River Bend. That was realigned in the 1960s. SH 86 was paved east to Kiowa by 1954, to 10mi before I-70 by 1963, and all the way to I-70 by 1972.

After I-25 was built, Wilcox Street became BL I-25, but that was turned back to Castle Rock sometime in the 1990s, so SH 86 had its western end at no other highway. In 1997, CDOT turned back the 0.57mi of SH 86 between Wilcox Street and Rock Street, so SH 86 had its western end at a somewhat random spot on the hill on the east side of town. SH 86 was then rerouted onto the Founders Pkwy bypass around the northeast side of Castle Rock in early 2006.

87

Location: South Metro Denver
S End: 1920s-1945 & 1954-1968: Jct US 85 at Santa Fe Dr./Bowles Ave.; 1946-1954: Bowles Ave. at Arapahoe/Jefferson line
N End: 1920s-1959: Jct SH 1/US 85 at Iowa Ave./Broadway; 1960-1968: Jct SH 70 at Hampden Ave./Broadway

History:
SH 87 appears to be an original 1920s state highway. It started at Santa Fe Dr., headed east on Littleton Blvd. to Broadway, then north on that to Iowa Ave., ending at SH 1/US 85. By 1946 the southwest end had been extended west along Bowles Ave., ending at the Arapahoe/Jefferson County line. By 1955, that section had been turned back, so it again ended at Santa Fe. The north end was trimmed back to end at SH 70 at Hampden Avenue by 1960. SH 87 was renumbered as an extension of SH 75 in the purge of 1968.

US87

Implied Location: South Front Range > Metro Denver > North Front Range
Implied Length: 300mi
Implied S End: New Mexico border concurrent with I-25 south of Trinidad (link to Steve Riner's site)
Implied N End: Wyoming border concurrent with I-25 south of Cheyenne (link to Andy Field's site)
Nationally: S End: Port Lavaca, Texas; N End: Jct US 2 at Havre, Montana (1998mi)

Guide:
US 87 technically doesn't exist in Colorado except on maps. CDOT sources do not mention any highway 87. According to maps, it is concurrent with I-25 the entire time in Colorado, but a lot of maps show it using the BL I-25 loop in Walsenburg and US 85 through Fountain. In fact, except for a few scattered stretches, US 87 is on either I-25 or I-90 all the way from Raton, NM to Billings, MT. Here, I will discuss only the signing and history.

Photo Gallery:

  • US 87 Sign. Northbound I-25 south of 58th Ave. in north Denver. This was the only US 87 sign anywhere in Colorado from 2001-2012, and disappeared in August 2012. (December 1997)
  • US 85-87/SH 115 Sign, Colorado Springs. BL I-25 in Colorado Springs (Nevada Ave.) southbound where it hits I-25 at Exit 140. Greg Miller of Security first reported this sign to me, and I have since gotten this photo of it. This is indeed a vintage sign. The lettering and US shields are made of button copy, and the pre-1967 Colorado shield is a real treasure. This sign is now gone due to Exit 140 reconstruction in 2001. (February 2001)
    • Closeup. A close-up of the sign. You can even make out where it used to say "TO [122]" on the right. Photo courtesy Russell Kroll. (June 2001)
  • I-25/US 85-87 in Denver. Northbound I-25 in Denver just past the point where US 85 (Santa Fe Dr.) has a left entrance (Exit 207). This sign no longer exists. It was replaced in Spring or Summer 2000 with a new assembly that included only US 85 and I-25, not US 87. Photo courtesy of Mike Ballard.

History:
US 87 is not an original 1920s US highway. Instead, it appeared in 1936, running with US 85 south of Denver, and north of Denver taking over most of what had been US 285 through Broomfield, Longmont and Fort Collins, then along SH 1 through Wellington to Wyoming and Cheyenne. US 87 has always been concurrent with US 85 south of Castle Rock, so for history on that go to the US 85 listing.

Between Denver and Fort Collins, during the time US 87 was on the Broomfield-Longmont-Fort Collins routing, US 287 was extended from Fort Collins southward along it to Denver about 1940. Between Denver and Wellington US 87 was shifted eastward to the current I-25 alignment (then SH 185) about 1954.

Between Castle Rock and Denver, US 87 was rerouted off of US 85 and onto the alignment of SH 185 (current I-25) about 1954.

It was also the early '50s that the Valley Highway started to be built in Denver, marked as SH 185/US 87. In 1954 from Castle Rock US 87 followed the current alignment of I-25 up to Colorado Blvd., north to Colfax Ave., west to 23rd St., northwest to the Valley Highway, north to Broadway, north to 70th Ave., east to Washington St., then north out of the metro. By 1956 more of the Valley Highway was complete from 70th to 120th Ave., so US 87 was moved off of Washington onto that. The expressway between Castle Rock and Lincoln Ave. was complete by 1957. By 1960 US 87 was freeway from north of Castle Rock all the way to 58th Ave., and from SH 52 to SH 66. The freeway was complete from Denver north to US 34 by 1963.

Starting in the early '60s I-25 began being run over the sections of US 87/SH 185 that were freeway. At first US 87 was comarked with I-25, but as the 20th Century wore on, CDH stopped marking US highways that were concurrent with Interstates. By 2000 only three US 87 signs existed in the state (see above) and that last of those disappeared in August 2012.

See the I-25, US 85, SH 185 and US 285 listings for more.

Related Site: The Last US 87 Marker in Colorado, and other US/Interstate marker issues, by Dale Sanderson

88

Location: Metro Denver
Length*: 19.67mi signed; 21.73mi implied
NW End: Jct US 40-287 interchange at Colfax Ave. and Federal Blvd. in Denver
SE End: Jct SH 83 at Arapahoe Rd. and Parker Rd. in Aurora/Foxfield

Counties: Denver, Arapahoe
Places: Denver, Sheridan, Littleton, Englewood, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Centennial, Aurora, Foxfield

NHS:

  • Colfax Ave. south to Hampden Ave. (US 285)
  • Santa Fe Dr. (US 85) east along Belleview to I-25
  • I-25 east along Arapahoe Rd. to Parker Rd. (SH 83)

Expressway:

  • Quasi suburban expressway along Belleview Ave. from east of Broadway to I-25.
  • Six- and eight-lane undivided on Arapahoe Road east of I-25.

Broken Route: Discontinuous due to an unmarked overlap with I-25 from Exits 199 to 197.

Roadway Names:

  • North-south section: Federal Boulevard
  • East-west section west of I-25: Belleview Avenue
  • East-west section east of I-25: Arapahoe Road

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.00: US 40-287 interchange, Denver (begin SH 88 in Denver County)
  • 1.09: US 6/6th Ave. interchange
  • 1.97: SH 26/Alameda Ave.
  • 5.69: Enter Arapahoe County
  • 6.01: US 285/Hampden Ave. interchange, Sheridan
  • 8.71: US 85/Santa Fe Dr., Littleton
  • 11.56: SH 177/University Blvd.
  • 14.13: Begin Denver/Arapahoe County split
  • 14.77: North jct I-25 Exit 199 interchange (end SH 88)
  • 16.83: South jct I-25 Exit 197 interchange, Centennial (begin SH 88 in Arapahoe County)
  • 21.73: SH 83/Parker Rd., Foxfield (end SH 88)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 36,300 at US 40-287, Denver
  • 43,500 north of SH 26/Alameda Ave.
  • 35,200 south of Jewell Ave.
  • 26,700 south of US 285/Hampden Ave., Sheridan
  • 20,800 north of Belleview Ave.
  • 38,000 east of US 85/Santa Fe Dr., Littleton
  • 29,700 east of SH 177/University Blvd.
  • 41,700 east of Monaco St
  • 62,400 east of I-25, Greenwood Village
  • 64,500 east of Havana St., Centennial
  • 52,100 at SH 83, Foxfield

Guide:
SH 88 starts at the partial cloverleaf interchange that is the Federal Blvd./Colfax Ave. intersection in Denver, then heads due south on Federal for 8mi. Along the way, there are interchanges at 6th Ave. (US 6) and Hampden Ave. (US 285), and it passes through Denver, Sheridan and Littleton. At Belleview Ave., SH 88 abruptly turns east, and heads east along that for 6.5mi to I-25 Exit 199. Along the way, it goes through Littleton and Englewood and then forms the border between Cherry Hills Village on the north and Greenwood Village on the south from Washington St. clear to I-25. East of Broadway Belleview can be described as a suburban expressway, four-lane divided, with a 40mph speed limit and lined with sound walls.

SH 88 disappears at Exit 199, then reappears again at Exit 197. It then heads east along a huge, wide expanse of asphalt known as Arapahoe Road through Centennial. Arapahoe Road is six-lane undivided with a 55mph limit most of the way from I-25 east to Parker Road (SH 83). SH 88 ends there at Foxfield, with an interchange that includes an EB to NB loop ramp.

The commercial corridor that Arapahoe Road is turning into was one of the major issues leading to the incorporation of Centennial in 2000. Greenwood Village wanted to annex it, and that sparked the incorporation effort by area residents.

Photo Gallery:

  • I-25/SH 88 Markers. A sign assembly on eastbound Belleview Avenue (SH 88) at the I-25 interchange, which bucks normal CDOT practice and sort of marks a state highway along an Interstate. (February 2003)
  • Arapahoe Road Overhead Sign. An overhead sign on eastbound Arapahoe Road where a C-D road splits off at the I-25 interchange. (February 2003)
  • Triple Left, Double Through, Single Right. Lane assignment sign on eastbound Arapahoe Road (SH 88) on the approach to Parker Road (SH 83). (February 2003)
  • Arapahoe/Parker Intersection. Looking toward the west down on the SH 88-83 (Arapahoe-Parker) intersection. SH 88 as Arapahoe Road heads off to the west toward the top right of the picture. In the intersection you can see the hokey span wire signal setup Arapahoe County has here. You can also sorta-kinda make out the triple left, with the blue and white SUVs in the middle of the picture in the right 2 lanes of it, and the third lane for it on the other side of the white SUV. Also in the middle right edge of the picture you can see another signal, which is where the three-lane ramp from SB 83 feeds onto WB 88. (December 2001)

History:
SH 88 is an original 1920s state highway. At first it went along Belleview Avenue from Boradway east to Parker Rd. By 1939, it was extended east, and went east along Quincy Ave. into the now defunct Lowry Field Bombing Range. By 1956 it had been extended west to Santa Fe Drive. The extension into Lowry Bombing Range was gone by 1954.

Regarding the section of SH 88 west of Parker Road over Cherry Creek, discrepancies exist.

  • According to Jack Unitt the section west of Parker Road was abandoned by the state when Cherry Creek Reservoir was built (dam construction began in 1948). Belleview Avenue had an old wooden bridge over Cherry Creek which was destroyed by a fire about 1950 after the state had abandoned the road.
  • However, state maps on the Denver insert show the Belleview section over Cherry Creek surviving to 1958. Shea Dougherty sent me a Denver Post photograph which shows the wooden bridge in July 1957, with the caption saying it was closed shortly thereafter due to flood damage.

The section along Arapahoe Road from the Valley Highway (SH 185/US 87) to Parker Rd. was added by 1959, and at first was a gravel road. It was paved by 1961. The section along Federal Blvd. was originally SH 75, and was renumbered as an extension of SH 88 in the purge of 1968. The expressway east of I-25 was built east to Peoria St. by 1977, and east to Parker Rd. by 1990.

An interchange at Parker Rd and Arapahoe Rd was completed in 2012. Previous it was an intersection with a triple left from EB to NB and one of the most congested, busiest intersections in the metro area. Backups from the intersection most of the way to I-25 were common.



89

Location: Arkansas Valley
Length*: 34.34mi
S End: Jct SH 116 at Lycan
N End: Jct US 50-400 at Holly

Counties: Baca, Prowers
Places: Lycan, Holly

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.00: SH 116, Lycan (begin SH 89 in Baca County)
  • 5.98: Enter Prowers County
  • 34.34: US 50, Holly (end SH 89)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 150 at SH 116, Lycan
  • 160 north of CR D
  • 270 north of CR S
  • 930 at US 50, Holly

History:
SH 89 is an original 1920s state highway, and at first went from Holly south via Bartlett ending at SH 51 at Stonington. By 1939 it was extended north to SH 96 at Towner, and by 1946 a spur northward from Towner was added. By 1954 SH 89 was significantly scaled back, and was only a spur from Holly south to Cheney Center. By 1970 it went from Lycan to Holly, and the portion north of Cheney Center had been paved. Entirely paved by 1975.

Cheney Center (at the present-day SH 89/CR S intersection) apparently no longer exists except as a historical placename. The USGS doesn't recognize it or have it on topo maps, but some maps still show it. The postal service lists Cheney Center in its ZIP code database, but only to say it's not a valid town name and Holly should be used instead.



90

Location: Western Slope
Length*: 42.20mi

Counties: Montrose
Places: Paradox, Bedrock, Vancorum, Oak Grove, Montrose

Broken Route: Middle section turned back.

  • Western Section
    Length*: 33.87mi
    W End: Utah border, connecting with UT 46
    E End: Jct SH 141 in Vancorum
    Milepost Guide:
    • 0.00: Utah border (begin SH 90 in Montrose County)
    • 33.87: SH 141 (end SH 90)
  • Eastern Section
    Length*: 8.33mi
    SW End: Intersection of CRs 59 & 90 southwest of Montrose
    NE End: Jct US 550 at Main St. and Townsend Ave. in Montrose
    Milepost Guide:
    • 81.53: CRs 59 & 90 (begin SH 90 in Montrose County)
    • 89.86: US 550 (end SH 90)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 200 at Utah border
  • 530 at SH 141, Vancorum
  • 180 at CRs 59 & 90
  • 1300 northeast of CR P, Oak Grove
  • 6200 east of Spring Creek Road
  • 14,700 northeast of Chipeta Dr, Montrose
  • 11,900 at US 550

Guide:
SH 90 starts at the Utah border west of Paradox, and has a connection with UT 46. It follows the La Sal Creek east for only a few miles, then turns north and has a few switchbacks going over some ridge. It then drops down into Paradox Valley, passes south of the town of Paradox, and then follows Paradox Valley east through Bedrock, and finally ending at SH 141 at Vancorum.

As you can see, there is also another section of SH 90. To link to it from Vancorum, one would have to head east on SH 141, then east of Naturita turn northeast on FR 540, and take that a looonnnggg way through Piņon, Ute, over the Uncompahgre Plateau, and to a point southwest of Montrose. SH 90 then starts again, and heads east, north to Oak Grove, east, north, then east into Montrose, coming into town on Main St. It ends at the intersection of Townsend Ave at US 550.

History:
SH 90 is an original 1920s state highway, and went from Utah to Montrose, with no gap. It also originally went through Paradox, rather than passing south of it as now. By 1954 almost all of it had been turned back, and SH 90 went only from Montrose southwest for 8mi (current eastern section). By 1963 the Utah-Vancorum section was brought back, and was paved and bypassed south of Paradox.

In May 2010 US 50 was routed onto the San Juan Bypass around downtown Montrose. Previously it came south on Townsend and east on Main, meaning that intersection was a turn in US 50 as well as the ends of US 550 and SH 90. When the reroute happened, US 550 was extended north along Townsend to San Juan, resulting in SH 90 no longer meeting US 50.

Related Site: US 550 Endpoints by Dale Sanderson. Includes neat pictures of SH 90 signs.



91

Location: Central Mountains
Length*: 22.61mi
S End: Jct US 24 north of Leadville
N End: Jct I-70 Exit 195 at Copper Mountain west of Frisco

Counties: Lake, Summit
Places: Leadville, Climax, Fremont Pass, Copper Mountain

Mountain Passes: Fremont Pass (11,318ft; 5.7% grade).

Memorial Designations: Fallen Heroes Highway

Scenic & Historic Byways: Top of the Rockies America's Byways

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.00: US 24, Leadville (begin SH 91 in Lake County)
  • 12.08: Enter Summit County
  • 22.61: I-70, Copper Mountain (end SH 91)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 4400 at US 24, Leadville
  • 3200 north of Fremont Pass/Climax
  • 6700 at I-70

Guide:
SH 91 starts at US 24 just north of Leadville, then follows the valley of the North Fork of the Arkansas River north to Fremont Pass. It isn't too much of a climb to the top of the pass, and the one switchback is a long, swooping, 40mph curve. At the summit of the pass, SH 91 passes by the imposing industrial complex of the Climax molybdenum* mine, mothballed in the mid-1980s. SH 91 then has a fairly flat alignment for a couple miles, passing some massive tailings ponds from Climax. It then picks up Tenmile Creek, and it's one long continuous downhill grade the 10 or so miles to I-70. At I-70, SH 91 passes by the Copper Mountain ski resort, which causes a lot of congestion at the interchange on winter weekends.

SH 91 and US 24 serve as a detour when I-70 over Vail Pass is closed.

* Pronounced "muh LIB deh num", it's a metal ore used in steel.

Photo Gallery:

  • South End SH 91. Shot south at SH 91's end at US 24, where the through movement is continuous onto eastbound (but oriented southwest) US 24 into Leadville. Photo by Dale Sanderson. (July 2013)
  • Climbing Fremont Pass. Northbound on SH 91 climbing up the south side of Fremont Pass, looking toward Climax, visible in the left middle. (October 2004)
  • Northbound at Clinton Creek. The view after a fall snowstorm looking north on SH 91 at Clinton Creek. This is north of Climax as SH 91 descends Tenmile Creek. (September 2006)
  • Descending Tenmile Creek. Northbound on SH 91 north of Climax as it falls with Tenmile Creek toward I-70. (October 2004)

History:
SH 91 is an original 1920s state highway, and went from Leadville northeast over Fremont Pass to Frisco, over Loveland Pass, then east through Georgetown ending at US 40 in Empire. By 1936 the section from Leadville to Climax had been paved, and by 1939 the eastern end had been moved to US 40 east of Empire, rather than turning north into town. By 1946 it was all paved except for the summits of Fremont and Loveland passes, which were paved by 1954.

SH 91 in its entirety from Leadville to Empire became the routing for US 6 in 1938. US 6/SH 78 over Vail Pass was completed in 1941 and US 6 was removed from SH 91 from Copper Mountain southward. In the late 1960s I-70 started taking over SH 91 route's between Copper Mountain and Empire, and by 1969 SH 91 was marked only from Leadville to Copper Mountain.

Before the development of the Copper Mountain Resort, the junction of SH 91 and US 6 was known as Wheeler Junction.



92

Location: Western Slope
Length*: 73.26mi
NW End: Jct US 50 at Crawford Ave. and Main St. in Delta
SE End: Jct US 50 west of Sapinero

Counties: Delta, Montrose, Gunnison
Places: Delta, Orchard City, Hotchkiss, Crawford, Blue Mesa Dam

Expressway: US 50 at Delta east to the intersection with SH 65.

Scenic & Historic Byways: West Elk Loop (SH 133 to US 50)

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.00: US 50, Delta (begin SH 92 in Delta County)
  • 3.81: SH 65 east of Delta
  • 20.72: SH 133, Hotchkiss
  • 34.33: Enter Montrose County
  • 56.47: Enter Gunnison County
  • 73.26: US 50 west of Sapinero (end SH 92)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 16,100 at US 50, Delta
  • 6300 east of SH 65
  • 5400 east of Redlands Mesa Road
  • 8600 west of SH 133, Hotchkiss
  • 1800 southeast of CR F.5
  • 1300 in Crawford
  • 260 southeast of CR 73/Clear Fork Road, Maher
  • 370 at US 50, Blue Mesa Reservoir

Guide:
SH 92 starts at US 50 in Delta, then heads east on an expressway along the Gunnison River, warping down to two lanes at the SH 65 intersection. At Austin (which is actually within the city limits of Orchard City) SH 92 breaks off the north side of the river and climbs up into more desert-like terrain as it heads east along Rogers Mesa to Hotchkiss. SH 92 passes through Hotchkiss on Bridge Street and at the SH 133 intersection turns southeast, over the rolling terrain to the crossroads town of Crawford. South from Crawford SH 92 passes Crawford and Gould Reservoirs, then comes into the north side of the Gunniso River canyon. The last 25 miles of SH 92 are a curvy, torturous alignment as the highway deals with a canyon similar to what one sees in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and clings to the north canyon slope. SH 92 eventually reaches the dam that holds back Blue Mesa Reservoir, and ends at US 50 on the south side of the reservoir west of Sapinero.

Photo Gallery:

  • Central Hotchkiss. Westbound on Bridge Street as SH 92 goes through Hotchkiss. (August 2009)
  • SH 133 Junction. Signage at the intersection as SH 133 veers left from SH 92 in Hotchkiss. (August 2009)
  • Blue Mesa Dam Crest and Downstream Face. Just before its end at US 50, SH 92 crosses the crest of Blue Mesa Dam, a 390-foot tall earth and rock dam. The outlet features two hydropower turbines that produce 86 MW for the Western Area Power Authority. (August 2009)

History:
SH 92 is an original 1920s state highway. By 1939 it was paved from Delta halfway to Hotchkiss, and was extended west from Delta along CR G paralleling US 50 on US 50's south side, ending at US 50 west of Delta. By 1946 it was paved east to Hotchkiss, the section west of Delta was eliminated by 1954, and was paved southeast to Crawford by 1956. By 1965 it was paved southeast to Maher, and by 1966 the construction of Blue Mesa Reservoir had led to the realignment of SH 92's end at US 50 slightly westward. By 1975 the expressway west of SH 65 was in place, and SH 92 was finally paved entirely southeast to US 50.



93

Location: Northwest Metro Denver
Length*: 18.84mi
S End: Jct US 6/SH 58 in Golden
N End: Jct SH 119 in at Broadway and Canyon Blvd. in Boulder

Counties: Jefferson, Boulder
Places: Golden, Marshall, Boulder

NHS: US 6/SH 58 north to Baseline Rd. (Spur US 36) in Boulder.

Expressway: Five-lane undivided north of SH 170 into Boulder.

Roadway Names:

  • Foothills Road north of Golden
  • Broadway in Boulder

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.00: US 6-SH 58 (begin SH 93 in Jefferson County)
  • 7.57: SH 72
  • 10.71: Enter Boulder County
  • 11.78: SH 128
  • 13.61: SH 170, Marshall
  • 17.42: Spur US 36/Baseline Rd., Boulder
  • 18.84: SH 119, Boulder (end SH 93)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 20,100 at US 6/SH 58, Golden
  • 18,600 north of 68th Ave
  • 16,400 north of SH 72
  • 15,800 north of SH 128
  • 14,400 north of SH 170, Marshall
  • 30,200 north of Table Mesa Dr., Boulder
  • 31,200 north of Spur US 36/Baseline Rd.
  • 24,200 at SH 119

Guide:
This is a major link in the northwest metro, as evidenced by those traffic counts, and for a two-lane road it is straining under the pressure. In Golden, it starts at the US 6/SH 58 intersection on the west side of town, and then heads north, raising and falling over the rolling terrain, with climbing lanes, and then climbs the ridge one last time to the intersection with SH 72. There one can spy one of the relics of the Cold War, the Rocky Flats DOE site. North of there, SH 93 flattens out and goes through Marshall (intersection with SH 170), then starts to warp down to an urban arterial street for the trip through south Boulder. SH 93 picks up Broadway, and follows that northwest. At Baseline Rd., SH 93 skirts the west side of the US 36/Baseline Rd. interchange, and there is a Spur US 36 (unmarked) that goes west from the interchange to Broadway. SH 93 continues northwest on Broadway to downtown, finally ending at the intersection of Broadway and Canyon Blvd. (SH 7-119).

Photo Gallery:

  • Broadway at CU. View north on Broadway (SH 93) in Boulder as it passes CU near 18th Street. (August 2003)

History:
SH 93 is an original 1920s state highway, but at first it went from Morrison north along the hogback road to Golden. It was paved by 1939, and that same year it was extended north to Marshall. By 1954 it went only from Marshall to Boulder, and wasn't paved. By 1955 SH 93 was extended south to SH 72, and was paved. It remained that way until 1984, when it was extended south to Golden, via Washington Street, to SH 58. The west Golden bypass, making SH 93 hook up with the US 6/SH 58 intersection, was opened about 1992.

Suggestions:
Make the entire thing an expressway.



94

Location: South Front Range > Eastern Plains
Length*: 85.62mi
W End: Jct US 24 in east Colorado Springs
E End: Jct US 40-287 at Aroya

Counties: El Paso, Lincoln, Cheyenne
Places: Colorado Springs, Ellicott, Yoder, Punkin Center, Aroya

Memorial Designations: 94th Infantry Division Memorial Highway

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.55: US 24 (begin SH 94 in El Paso County)
  • 35.01: Enter Lincoln County
  • 54.58: SH 71, Punkin Center
  • 83.63: Enter Cheyenne County
  • 86.17: US 40-287 (end SH 94)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 8700 at US 24
  • 10,900 east of Marksheffel Rd
  • 4900 east of Enoch Rd
  • 2400 east of Ellicott
  • 1300 east of Yoder
  • 410 east of CR 11, Hall Station
  • 290 east of SH 71, Punkin Center

Guide:
SH 94 starts off at US 24 just northeast of Peterson Air Force Base. Heading east from Colorado Springs it is an important highway, serving Schriever Air Force Base east of town. However, once you get past Schriever the traffic drops off and SH 94 takes on the form of a rural plains highway. On its way east, Ellicott, Yoder, Rush and Punkin Center are passed through, of which Ellicott is the largest. Some maps show Hall Station, but there's nothing there. Punkin Center is a few buildings scattered around the SH 71 intersection. After heading east for a long ways, SH 94 ends at US 40-287.

Photo Gallery:

  • Pikes Peak Filling Your Windshield. Westbound SH 94 has the fortune of being oriented directly at Pikes Peak. This shot shows the view looking west near Blaney Road as SH 94 drops down into the Jimmy Camp Creek valley. (February 2008)
  • Entering Punkin Center. Eastbound SH 94 as it comes toward the SH 71 intersection. The few buildings in the shot are all of Punkin Center. (February 2008)
  • SH 71 Destinations. Eastbound SH 94 approaching SH 71, with the destination sign. (February 2008)

History:
SH 94 is an original 1920s state highway. At first it went from US 24 east of Colorado Springs east along its current route, but then at a point north of Karval it swerved north then east, ending at Boyero. By 1938 SH 63 had been extended south, and SH 94 ended at it at Boyero. The first section to be paved was east to Yoder, by 1949, and was paved to Rush by 1950. By 1954 the eastern portion of it had been turned back, and it ended at a point directly south of Hugo. By 1965 SH 94 was paved east to SH 71, and to the east end north of Karval by 1967. By 1970 it was extended to US 40-287 at Aroya, and was entirely paved.



95

Location: Metro Denver
Length*: 14.38mi
S End: Jct US 285 at Hampden Ave./Sheridan Blvd. in Denver
N End: Jct US 36 in Westminster

Counties: Denver, Jefferson, Adams
Places: Denver, Lakewood, Edgewater, Mountain View, Lakeside, Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Westminster

Roadway Names: Sheridan Boulevard

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.00: US 285/Hampden Ave. interchange (begin SH 95 in Denver County)
  • 1.00: Begin Jefferson/Denver County split
  • 1.50: Enter Denver County
  • 2.01: Begin Jefferson/Denver County split
  • 3.97: SH 26/Alameda Ave.
  • 5.01: US 6/6th Ave. interchange
  • 6.03: US 40/BL I-70/Colfax Ave.
  • 9.01: I-70 Exit 271A interchange, Lakeside
  • 9.05: Enter Denver County
  • 9.54: Begin Jefferson/Adams County split
  • 9.88: I-76 Exit 1B interchange
  • 13.94: Enter Jefferson County
  • 14.38: US 36 interchange, Westminster (end SH 95)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 31,500 at US 285/Hampden Ave.
  • 28,800 north of Yale Ave.
  • 35,000 north of Mississippi Ave.
  • 46,000 south of US 6/6th Ave.
  • 32,400 north of US 40/Colfax Ave.
  • 30,700 north of 32nd Ave.
  • 31,500 north of I-70
  • 45,300 north of I-76
  • 36,000 north of 64th Ave.
  • 47,600 at US 36

Guide:
SH 95 starts at a folded diamond interchange with US 285 at Hampden Ave., then heads due north on Sheridan Blvd. Sheridan forms the west boundary of Denver City/County all the way up to 52nd Ave., and borders towns to the west such as Lakewood, Edgewater, Mountain View, Lakeside and Wheat Ridge. SH 95 goes through interchanges with 6th Ave. (US 6), I-70 (Exit 277), and I-76 (Exit 2). SH 95 then goes into Arvada and Westminster, finally ending at US 36. The US 36/Sheridan area is one of the commercial hubs of Westminster, always buzzing with traffic.

History:
SH 95 is an original 1920s state highway. The south end has always been at Hampden Ave. which at first was SH 70 before becoming US 285 about 1970. However the north end has fluctuated. At first it was at 44th Ave. (SH 58), but for a time was 46th Ave. (SH 72). It was extended north to 80th Ave., just south of the new Denver-Boulder Turnpike, about 1954. It was extended from 80th to US 36 in 1974.



96

Location: South Front Range > Arkansas Valley
Length*: 207.45mi
W End: Jct SH 69 at Main St./6th St. in Westcliffe
E End: Kansas border east of Towner, connecting with KS 96 (link to Richie Kenndey's site)

Counties: Custer, Pueblo, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa
Places: Westcliffe, Silver Cliff, Wetmore, Pueblo, North Avondale, Boone, Olney Springs, Ordway, Sugar City, Haswell, Eads, Sheridan Lake, Towner

NHS: Where concurrent with US 50 and US 287

Expressway: Where concurrent with US 50

Memorial Designations: In Crowley County, the All Veterans Memorial Highway.

Scenic & Historic Byways: Frontier Pathways (Westcliffe to Pueblo) America's Byways

Milepost Guide:

  • 0.00: SH 69 (begin SH 96 in Custer County)
  • 16.60: SH 165
  • 26.27: SH 67, Wetmore
  • 29.20: Enter Pueblo County
  • 52.78: SH 45, Pueblo
  • 56.09: BR US 50/Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo
  • 56.91: SH 227/Joplin Ave.
  • 58.81: US 50/SH 47 interchange
  • 69.50: US 50 west of North Avondale
  • 75.49: SH 209, Boone
  • 88.05: Enter Crowley County
  • 90.14: SH 167
  • 99.58: SH 207
  • 105.83: South jct SH 71, Ordway
  • 106.04: North jct SH 71
  • 119.45: Enter Otero County
  • 119.72: Enter Crowley County
  • 119.95: Enter Kiowa County
  • 166.11: West jct US 287, Eads
  • 168.99: East jct US 287 east of Eads
  • 193.05: West jct US 385, Sheridan Lake
  • 193.85: East jct US 385
  • 207.45: Kansas border (end SH 96)

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 4600 at SH 69, Westcliffe
  • 1700 east of Butler St., Silver Cliff
  • 1500 east of SH 165
  • 1000 east of SH 67, Wetmore
  • 2700 east of Pueblo Reservoir road
  • 12,700 east of SH 45/Pueblo Blvd.
  • 31,900 east of Abriendo Ave., Pueblo
  • 14,400 east of BR 50/Santa Fe Ave.
  • 13,100 east of SH 227/Joplin Ave.
  • 8100 at US 50/SH 47
  • 19,600 on US 50/SH 96 east of SH 47
  • 6800 on US 50/SH 96 west of SH 96
  • 5600 at US 50, North Avondale
  • 1700 east of SH 209, Boone
  • 1500 east of SH 167
  • 1500 east of SH 207, Crowley
  • 1700 west of SH 71, Ordway
  • 400 east of Sugar City
  • 330 east of CR 19, Haswell
  • 760 west of US 287
  • 6800 on US 287/SH 96, Eads
  • 500 east of US 287
  • 410 east of CR 59
  • 970 on SH 96/US 385
  • 470 east of US 385, Sheridan Lake
  • 490 at Kansas border

Guide:
SH 96 begins at 6th St and Main St at SH 69 in Westcliffe and heads east on Main. Immediately east of Westcliffe is Silver Cliff. Both towns make up the center of the Wet Mountain Valley, which is dominated on the horizon by the Sangre de Christo Mountains to the west. East of Silver Cliff SH 96 passes along high mountain valley parks. East of SH 165/McKenzie Junction SH 96 passes through a section of narrow canyon for North Hardscrabble Creek and the San Isabel National Forest. At Wetmore SH 96 meets the south end of SH 67, then drops suddenly down off a plateau and crosses through west Pueblo County.

West of Pueblo SH 96 features a swing around the south side of Pueblo Reservoir, then comes into the west side of Pueblo. It follows Thatcher Ave. east into town, then heads northeast on Lincoln Ave. It uses a high viaduct over the Arkansas River and some rail lines, then curves east on 4th St. into downtown. SH 96 does not have a direct interchange with I-25, intead you have to use 1st or 6th Streets to the north or south. SH 96 continues east through Pueblo on 4th St., hits the US 50/SH 47 interchange on the east side of town. The interchange is a diamond tilted diagonally along US 50, so if come east on SH 96 through the interchange you end up northbound on SH 47. Continuing on SH 96 requires taking a ramp to go east along US 50.

SH 96 overlaps with US 50 for 11mi eastward, breaking off near North Avondale. SH 96 then heads southeast, paralleling US 50 on the opposite side of the Arkansas River. It goes through Boone, then at Olney Springs it breaks off of the Arkansas and heads northeast. The section from Olney Springs all the way to Kansas follows the historic alignment of a Missouri Pacific Railroad line, now inactive. SH 96 is along the railroad's south side the whole, except for being on the north side from Ordway to Sugar City.

East of Olney Springs SH 96 skirts the south side of Crowley, then passes to the south side of Ordway. SH 96 turns north on SH 71 for a two-block overlap, then it continues northeast through Sugar City, where it features an abrupt S-curve to cross over to the south side of the railroad. East of Sugar City SH 96 passes through one of the more desolate parts of Colorado. Maps show a town of Arlington, but it's just one residence. Further east is Haswell, a small town with only a smattering of occupied buildings. East of Haswell human settlement is sparse until reaching Eads.

At Eads, SH 96 has a 3-mile overlap eastward with US 287, and a town with the most services available since Ordway. After breaking off of US 287 east of town, SH 96 continues east along the historic rail line through Chivington, Brandon, Sheridan Lake and Towner. Of those only Brandon and Sheridan Lake feature a significant number of buildings. Sherdan Lake also includes a 1-mile overlap with US 385. East of Towner SH 96 crosses into Kansas and becomes K-96.

Photo Gallery:

  • SH 69 Junction. Marker assembly seen on SH 96 at the SH 69 junction at 6th Street in Westcliffe. (May 2013)
  • Westcliffe. Westbound on SH 96 on Main Street in Westcliffe. (May 2013)
  • Silver Cliff. Westbound on SH 96 as it passes through Silver Cliff. (May 2013)
  • Wet Mountain Valley. This picture faces west on SH 96 a couple miles east of Silver Cliff, looking out across the Wet Mountain Valley and the towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. At the horizon are the Sangre de Cristo Mountains with Spread Eagle Peak. (May 2013)
  • Silver Park. West of the SH 165 junction SH 96 passes through a high alpine valley named Silver Park, as seen here westbound. (May 2013)
  • North Hardscrabble Creek Canyon. West of Wetmore and inside the San Isabel National Forest SH 96 passes through a narrow canyon for North Hardscrabble Creek. (May 2013)
  • Custer County Line Switchback. On westbound SH 96 just as it crosses from Pueblo County to Custer County, the road features a switchback on high fill as it climbs up to a plateau where Wetmore is. (May 2013)
  • South of Pueblo Reservoir. SH 96 swings out south of Pueblo Reservoir west of Pueblo, crossing through semi-arid plains and canyons. (May 2013)
  • 4th Street Viaduct. The 4th Street Viaduct west of downtown Pueblo takes SH 96 over the Arkansas River and railyards onto Lincoln Ave in southwest Pueblo. It features architectural light poles and painted concrete. Viewed on westbound SH 96. (May 2013)
  • Old-Style SH 96 Marker. A 1960's-style SH 96 marker which is in surprisingly good shape. Southbound Santa Fe Avenue approaching 4th Street in Pueblo. The marker might be left over from when Santa Fe was part of BR US 50 north of 4th, but I don't know for sure whether Santa Fe ever was part of BR 50 north of 4th. Or the marker might have been put in since traffic on SB I-25 wanting to get to SH 96 is told to get off at 6th and then has to head south on Santa Fe two blocks. Photo courtesy Steve Riner.
  • Downtown Pueblo. SH 96 on westbound 4th Street at Santa Fe Ave, unmarked Business 50 in downtown Pueblo. (May 2013)
  • Eastbound at US 50. Marker assembly on eastbound SH 96/4th St. at the interchange with US 50/SH 47. Note the continuation of SH 96 along EB US 50 is marked. (May 2004)
  • Eastbound at SH 209. Marker signs at the SH 209 intersection in Boone. (May 2013)
  • Eastbound at SH 167. This marker sign for SH 167 north of Fowler features a normal-width square, whereas many other 3-digit signs in the Arkansas Valley have extra-wide rectangles. (May 2013)
  • Eastbound at SH 207. Approaching the junction with SH 207, the town of Crowley is just off the left side of the picture. (May 2013)
  • Approaching Sugar City. Eastbound on SH 96 the elevator in Sugar City looms large, and an S-curve in town sneaks up on you. (May 2013)

History:
SH 96 is an original 1920s state highway. The routing in Pueblo has never changed. By 1946 paving of multiple segments was done, from Pueblo to Boone, Olney Springs to Sugar City, and Haswell to Kansas. By 1954 the only section not paved was from Silver Cliff to Wetmore. The US 50 expressway bypass was completed by 1957, using SH 96's alignment from east Pueblo to North Avondale. By 1964 all of SH 96 was paved.

In the early 1970s, planned construction of Pueblo Reservoir forced a reroute of SH 96. Previously SH 96 was along the Arkansas River west of Pueblo, but in 1971 a new alignment was constructed to take SH 96 to the south of the reservoir. Thanks to Ryan Schilling for the info.

In April 2008 a wildfire swept toward Ordway and along the way burned an SH 96 timber bridge west of town. A fire truck with Olney Springs volunteer firefighters was rushing to Ordway and in the smoke couldn’t see the bridge had burned and collapsed. The truck plunged off the road and both firefighters died.



97

Location: Western Slope
Length*: 4.58mi
S End: Jct SH 141 at Naturita
N End: Main St./3rd Ave. in Nucla

Counties: Montrose
Places: Naturita, Nucla

Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):

  • 2000 at SH 141, Naturita
  • 1300 at Nucla

Guide:
SH 97 serves only as a spur from SH 141 into Nucla. Montrose County operates some satellite offices in Nucla, so people in that part of the county don't have to trek all the way to Montrose.

History:
SH 97 is an original 1920s state highway. It was paved by 1954. From 1939 to about 1953 it had its north end at SH 350.

98

Location: Eastern Mountains
Length: ~4mi
E End: Jct SH 74 at Evergreen
W End: Brookvale
Places: Upper Bear Creek, Troutdale, Rosedale

History:
SH 98 appears to be an original 1920s state highway. It went from Evergreen up Bear Creek to Brookvale (called Bendemeer on early '30s maps). By 1954 it was renumbered as part of SH 74.



99

Location: San Luis Valley
Length: 27mi
S End: New Mexico border south of Jaroso
N End: Jct SH 159 at San Luis
Places: Jaroso, Mesita, San Acacio, San Luis

History:
SH 99 appears to be an original 1920s state highway, and started at SH 159 at San Luis, and went west on current SH 142, then south through Mesita and Jaroso, ending at the New Mexico border. In 1953 the north-south portion was turned back, while the east-west section became an eastward extension of SH 142.

Continue:

Sig.