Colorado Highways: US 50
Return to Routes
Location: Central Western Slope > Central
Mountains > Southern Front Range > Arkansas Valley
Length*: 441.48mi signed; 467.58mi implied
W End: Utah
border on unmarked overlap with I-70
E End: Kansas
border east of Holly (link to Richie Kennedy's site)
Nationally: W End: Jct I-80 in Sacramento, Califonia;
E End: Ocean City, Maryland (3011mi)
Counties: Mesa, Delta, Montrose, Gunnison,
Saguache, Chaffee, Fremont, Pueblo, Otero, Bent, Prowers
Places: Grand Junction, Delta, Olathe, Montrose,
Gunnison, Monarch Pass, Poncha Springs, Salida, Howard, Caņon City, Penrose, Pueblo West, Pueblo, Fowler,
Manzanola, Rocky Ford, Swink, La Junta, Las Animas, Lamar,
- I-70 northwest of Grand Junction east to I-25 at Pueblo
- SH 47-96 in east Pueblo to Kansas
Freeway: Short concurrent section with I-25
- I-70 southeast into Grand Junction, including
interchanges at Redlands Pkwy. and the BL 70/US 6 split
Grand Junction to entering Delta. Includes interchanges at Riverside
Pkwy and CR B.5. Alternates between 4-lane divided and 5-lane undivided.
- Delta to Montrose, alternating between 4-lane divided and 5-lane undivided
- Poncha Springs to Salida, 5-lane undivided
- Parkdale to west side of Caņon City
- East side of Caņon City to I-25, including an interchange at SH 115
- I-25 to east SH 96 junction,
including interchanges at SH 96-47, Pueblo Airport and Pueblo Chemical Depot
- Manzanola to Rocky Ford, 4-lane undivided
- Rocky Ford to east of La Junta. Includes lower-speed sections through Swink and La Junta
- Las Animas to SH 183 at Fort Lyon, including a partial
interchange with SH 194
- US 287 west of Lamar into Lamar
- Truck US 50, local-maintained route bypassing downtown Lamar
Broken Route: US 50 is nonexistent west of Grand
Junction, disappearing at I-70 Exit 26.
Mountain Passes: West of Poncha Springs, Monarch
Pass (11,312ft; 6.4% grade).
Scenic & Historic Byways:
- Dinosaur Diamond (I-70 Exit 26 to Grand Junction)
- West Elk Loop (SH 92 to SH 135)
- Collegiate Peaks (US 285 to SH 291)
- Gold Belt Tour (SH 9 to Caņon City)
- Santa Fe Trail (US 350 to Kansas)
- Begin US 50 in Mesa County at I-70 Exit 26 northwest of
- 31.76: Westbound BL 70 at Ute Ave. and 5th Ave., Grand Junction
- 31.83: Eastbound BL 70/Pitkin Ave
- 38.50: West jct SH 141
- 41.13: East jct SH 141, Whitewater
- 52.95: Enter Delta County
- 71.00: SH 92, Delta
- 71.42: SH 348/6th St., Delta
- 77.88: Enter Montrose County
- 81.56: North jct BR US 50, Olathe
- 82.61: SH 348, Olathe
- 83.14: South jct BR US 50
- 91.87: US 550 at San Juan Ave/Townsend Ave, Montrose
- 100.54: SH 347 east of Montrose
- 116.68: Enter Gunnison County
- 131.12: SH 92 west of Sapinero
- 148.05: SH 149 west of Gunnison
- 157.39: SH 135/Main St.,
- 165.60: SH 114 west of Parlin
- 181.60: Enter Saguache County
- 190.61: Enter Gunnison County
- 199.28: Enter Chaffee County, Monarch Pass
- 216.77: North jct US 285, Poncha Spgs
- 217.35: South jct US 285
- 222.38: SH 291, Salida
- 225.58: Enter Fremont County
- 252.66: SH 69, Texas Creek
- 269.13: SH 9
- 278.70: SH 115/9th St.,
- 285.63: SH 67 north of Florence
- 289.76: SH 115 interchange,
- 294.33: SH 120
- 296.15: Enter Pueblo County
- 312.08: SH 45, west Pueblo
- 314.60: I-25/SH 47 Exit 101 interchange, Pueblo
- 315.71: I-25 Exit 100A interchange
- 318.70: SH 47-96 interchange
- 322.13: SH 233
- 324.22: SH 231, Divine
- 329.33: SH 96 west of North
- 332.24: BR US 50 east of Avondale
- 335.76: Jct SH 209
- 348.84: Enter Otero County
- 350.90: SH 167/Main St.,
- 359.71: SH 207/Park St.,
- 366.97: West jct SH 71
- 368.10: SH 202, Rocky Ford
- 368.93: East jct SH 71/SH 266
- 378.41: SH 10, west La Junta
- 378.82: US 350/Grant Ave.
- 380.23: Spur SH 109/Bradish Ave.
- 388.75: Enter Bent County
- 398.76: SH 101/Carson Ave., Las
- 400.16: SH 194 interchange north of Las
- 404.62: SH 183
- 420.74: SH 196
- 426.71: Enter Prowers County
- 427.73: US 287 interchange northwest of Lamar
- 435.39: US 287-385/Olive and Main
- 452.76: US 385/Main St.,
- 463.50: SH 89, Holly
- 467.58: Kansas border (end US 50)
Annual Average Daily Traffic (2008):
- 27,900 on BL 70 southeast of I-70
- 37,500 on BL 70 southeast of CR 24.5
- 32,700 on BL 70 southeast of SH 340
- 35,200 south of BL 70
- 14,800 southeast of CR B.5
- 12,000 southeast of SH 141, Whitewater
- 8900 southeast of CR 6.5
- 18,800 south of SH 348, Delta
- 13,500 south of Pioneer Rd.
- 11,000 north of SH 348, Olathe
- 16,000 south of Falcon Rd.
- 17,000 northeast of San Juan Ave.
- 3500 east of SH 347
- 3000 east of CR V81
- 2500 east of SH 92
- 3500 east of SH 149
- 11,500 west of SH 135, Gunnison
- 2600 east of SH 114
- 1800 at Monarch Pass
- 2600 east of CR 240
- 4100 on US 50-285, Poncha Springs
- 11,700 east of 16th St., Salida
- 4300 east of SH 291
- 2900 west of SH 69
- 6300 east of SH 9
- 24,300 east of SH 115, Caņon
- 11,900 east of SH 67, Florence
- 8100 west of SH 120
- 12,600 east of West McCulloch Blvd., Pueblo West
- 39,200 east of Purcell Blvd.
- 45,700 west of I-25/SH 47, Pueblo
- 62,400 on I-25/US 50
- 32,600 east of I-25
- 19,600 east of SH 47-96
- 6800 east of SH 231
- 4800 east of BR 50
- 5600 east of SH 167, Fowler
- 4700 east of CR 5.5
- 5200 east of Catalpa St., Manzanola
- Southeast of Main St., Rocky Ford (2 one-way streets): 5100 eastbound, 7200 westbound
- 10,200 at Swink Dr.
- 16,300 east of SH 10, La Junta
- 3300 east of CR 31
- 5700 east of Ash Ave., Las Animas
- 3600 east of SH 194
- 2500 west of SH 196
- 7800 east of US 287 North
- 16,300 north of US 287-385, Lamar
- 6000 east of US 287 South
- 2400 east of CR 22.5
- 2600 east of US 385, Granada
- 4100 west of SH 89, Holly
- 1800 at Kansas border
The first place US 50 appears is I-70 at Exit 26,
where it heads southeast toward Grand Junction with US 6 and BL 70.
Closer in to downtown, US 6 breaks off at an interchange and heads east
on North Ave., while US 50/BL 70 continue southeast as a suburban
semi-expressway that includes an interchange with Redlands Pkwy. In
downtown, they curve east, and split onto two one-way streets.
Eastbound is on Pitkin Ave., and WB on Ute Ave. At 5th St., US 50 turns
due south and heads over the Colorado River. From there, US 50 is an
almost-freeway through suburbia to SH 141, with a full interchange at
Riverside Pkwy and partial interchange at B.5 Road.
From Grand Junction, US 50 heads southeast through near-desert along the
Gunnison River to Delta. It's 65 mph expressway petty much the whole way. At Delta US 50 turns south
onto Main St. and heads right through downtown. Then, it's expressway southeast
toward Montrose, passing through Olathe, where there is a
bypass to the east of town, with old US 50 marked as
a business route.
In Montrose, US 50 heads southeast into town on Townsend Ave. Northeast
of downtown at San Juan Ave and US 550, US 50 takes a turn east and
uses San Jan Ave to bypass around the northeast side of downtown. East
of downtown US 50 turns northeast on Main St and heads out of town.
US 50 then heads
east from Montrose, a ways south of the Gunnison River, and providing
access to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park via SH 347. East
of SH 347, US 50 climbs up and over Cerro Summit, a high point dividing
the Cedar Creek valley from the Cimmaron River basin to the east. East
of Cerro Summit US 50 spends awhile not following any defined valleys,
instead curving and skipping around until finally dropping down next to
the Gunnison River near Blue Mesa Dam.
Blue Mesa Dam is west of Sapinero, and SH 92 goes across the dam and intersects US 50. US 50 parallels the south shore
of the massive Blue Mesa Reservoir for a while then crosses over the
north side via a long bridge. Curecanti National Recreation Area surrounds Blue Mesa Reservoir and US 50.
East of the end of Blue Mesa Reservoir, US
50 enters Gunnison, heading east through town on Tomichi Ave. US
50 then follows the Tomichi Creek hay-making valley southeast to
Sargents, then goes
northeast via Agate Creek. Climbing Monarch Pass, US 50 has a fairly
straight alignment, with few sharp corners. The east side down the
South Arkansas River features an even straighter alignment than the
west side. The crest of Monarch itself is at 11,312 feet, and features
a large parking area and general store that makes a handy rest stop.
Nearby there's a gondola that can take you the last 500 feet to the top
of Monarch Ridge.
After decending down Monarch Pass, US 50 enters the valley containing
Poncha Springs and Salida. Poncha Springs is the crossroads town where
US 50 intersects US 285. It's then
a short 5 or so miles to Salida, the epicenter of the Arkansas
Headwaters Recreation Area. US 50 then picks up the Arkansas River and
will ultimately follow it east all the way to Kansas, but between
Salida and Parkdale it is in the narrow Arkansas River canyon, aka Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Of the
towns US 50 passes through while in the canyon, Howard is the largest.
Texas Creek is a "town" of a single building. At Parkdale, US 50 breaks
out of the Arkansas River canyon and
goes over the rolling terrain to the north of it. It would be hard for
US 50 to be alongside the Arkansas from Parkdale to Caņon City
because it is in Royal Gorge at that point, making road-building an
impossibility. Don't forget to stop by the Royal Gorge Bridge.
US 50 becomes a divided expressway as it goes over the rolling
terrain north of Royal Gorge, then comes down a hill and warps down to
a city street as it enters the west side of Caņon City. US 50
goes through town on Royal Gorge Blvd. (which is appropriate) passing
one block to the south of the main part of downtown. US 50 then
becomes expressway on the east side of town, all the way to Pueblo.
Much of the stretch is fairly desolate, with Penrose about halfway
along it. Eventually US 50 comes to the expanse of suburbia in Pueblo
West, then meets I-25
Exit 101 on the north side of Pueblo. US 50 goes south on I-25, but, if
you're planning on simply
driving through and are going to La Junta or something, it would be
best to simply head through the interchange, and go onto SH 47, and
take that southeast to US 50 on the east side of Pueblo.
US 50 leaves I-25 at Exit 100A, and heads east through
the northern part of Pueblo as a divided expressway. At the 4th St interchange SH 96 joins US 50 and
head east out onto the heavily irrigated and farmed Arkansas valley plains along SH 96's historic
routing along the north side of the river. Meanwhile, BR US 50
starts at SH 96 at 4th St. and Santa Fe Ave. in downtown Pueblo, and
heads south, and then east. US 50 goes past the Pueblo Airport and
through Baxter and Devine, remaining an expressway. At the entrance to
the Pueblo Chemical Depot there's a trumpet interchange, and
immediately east of that SH 96 breaks off to the northeast and US 50
warps down to a two-lane road. US 50 crosses over the south side of the
Arkansas, and east of Avondale BR 50 meets US 50 and ends.
US 50 and SH 96 are on opposite sides of the Arkansas until US 50
hits Fowler, at which point SH 96 curves northeast. US 50 continues
following the Arkansas Valley across the plains, passing through Fowler
and Manzanola. From Manzanola to Rocky Ford US 50 features a four-lane
section with a narrow painted median, while sandwiched in between the
BNSF railroad on the south and crop fields on the north.
At Rocky Ford US 50 splits onto two one-way streets through town,
with EB on Elm Ave. and WB on Swink Ave. A short section on the west
side of town has the two directions several blocks apart, but just one
block apart in the main part of town. Heading southeast toward Swink,
US 50 becomes a divided expressway and just west of town swoops down
and under the BNSF railroad. On the east side of Swink US 50
continues as a divided expressway southeast to La Junta.
US 50 goes east through La Junta on 1st St, a five-lane street
passing between downtown and northside rail yards. SH 109 in town is
not directly met because a bridge takes SH 109 over US 50, the railroad
and the river, so a jog south and east on city streets is needed to get
to it. East of La Junta US 50 has a somewhat odd section of divided
highway. The eastbound and westbound roads feature different vertical
alignments, with the westbound road continually dipping and climbing
while the eastbound road has a more consistent elevation. The
expressway ends about 4 miles east of town.
US 50 then goes to Las Animas, where it heads east into town on
Thompson Blvd, then turns north at Bent Ave. It follows that north out
of town and across to the north side of the Arkansas, turning east at
the SH 194 interchange. US 50 has a short divided section to the SH 183
intersection at Fort Lyon, and north of John Martin Reservoir finally
settles into an arrow-straight due east alignment. It passes though the
crossroads burg of Hasty then comes to the US 287 interchange south of
Wiley. US 287 joins US 50 at that trumpet interchange and an expressway
takes them east then south and across the Arkansas (again).
US 50-287 enters Lamar, heading south on Main St.
to Olive St., where US 50 turns east and goes concurrent with
US 385. A local-maintained Truck US 50 provides a bypass around the busiest part of downtown. They continue east to Granada, where at Goff Ave.
and Main St. US 385 heads north on Main. That is also the
western end of US 400, and US 50-400 continues east. Halfway
between Granada and Holly, they cross over to the Arkansas'
north side (again), then go through Holly on Colorado St.
From there, it's four short miles east to the Kansas line.
For a story of life along US 50, check out the July 7,
1997 issue of Time Magazine.
- 24.5 Road. Westbound BL 70/US 50 approaching 24.5 Road in west Grand Junction's commerical strip. (September 2011)
- BL 70/US 50 Approaching SH 340.
Blurry picture of overhead signs on westbound BL 70/US 50 in west Grand
Junction as it comes up to the SH 340 intersection. There's a somewhat
awkward curve to the left as you go through the intersection, which
CDOT notes with the sign. (September 2011)
- BL 70/US 50 Intersection.
Overhead signs in downtown Grand Junction where eastbound US 50 turns off BL 70
at 5th St. The intersection features a double right turn. (July 2005)
- US 50/BL 70 East Intersection.
Heading west on US 50 (north on 5th St) as it comes up to eastbound BL
70 on one-way Pitkin. Hmm...I think those are supposed to be business
loop markers, not interstate. (September 2011)
- US 50/BL 70 West Intersection.
Sitting at Pitkin you can see the intersectioin one block ahead where
US 50 turns left with westbound BL 70 on Ute. (September 2011)
- SH 141 Overhead Sign.
Westbound US 50 as it comes up to the SH 141 north intersection,
there's this overhead sign. We're still pretty far from I-70 but
already getting advice on which way to go depending on our destination.
- Southeast of Whitewater. A view of the eastbound US 50 expressway near Lands End Road, Milepost 45. (July 2005)
- Northwest of Delta Expressway. Using a lot of the camera's zoom to look down the westbound US 50 expressway northwest of Delta. (September 2011)
- Downtown Delta. Eastbound US 50 at 3rd Street in downtown Delta. US 50 takes a cozy, tree-lined trip through downtown. (July 2005)
- Downtown Montrose.
A view of eastbound US 50 in downtown Montrose, a couple blocks east of
the US 550/SH 90 intersection, when Main Street was still part of US
50. (July 2005)
- Cerro Summit.
At the summit looking west. The top of Cerro Summit features an
overhead aquaduct which is the outlet from nearby Montrose Reservoir.
- Cerro Summit Eastbound Descent. Eastbound US 50 as it drops down the east side of Cerro Summit along Squaw Creek toward the Cimarron River. (September 2011)
- Blue Mesa Bridge: View West • View North • East Side.
Part way along Blue Mesa Reservoir's length US 50 makes a jump from its
south to north shoreline via a long steel plate girder bridge. (August
- Blue Mesa Reservoir Shoreline.
US 50 spends a good deal of time near the Blue Mesa Reservoir shore.
This is west of SH 149 as US 50 hugs Blue Mesa's north side. (August
- West of SH 149. Shot on westbound US 50 west of SH 149 in an area where it is not adjacent to Blue Mesa Reservoir. (August 2009)
- Old Gunnison Truss Bridge: Eastbound • Old and Newer Bridges • Plaque.
On the west side of Gunnison two old truss bridges that used to take US
50 over the Gunnison River still exist, serving a US 50 northside
frontage road now. The second picture shows the old bridge along with
the newer current US 50 off to its south side. (August 2009)
- West Side of Monarch Pass. Picture looking up US 50 as it climbs the west side of Monarch Pass. (August 2009)
- Monarch Pass Truck Runaway Ramp. Westbound US 50 descending Monarch Pass features one very stout, well constructed truck runaway ramp. (August 2009)
- Monarch Pass Summit View East and Marker. Two shots taken at the top of Monarch Pass, one of the view east and one of the Forest Service marker. (August 2009)
- Monarch Pass East Side 14ers View.
About 2 miles east of the Monarch Pass summit, this view on eastbound
US 50 features Tabeguache Peak and Mount Shavano (right side of photo).
Photo by David Herrera. (May 2013)
- Poncha Springs Overhead Signs.
A shot of overhead signs on EB/SB US 50-285 approaching the southern
intersection in Poncha Springs where US 50 turns left toward Salida.
- East of Salida. Westbound on US 50 about 1 mile east of Salida where it breaks out of the Arkansas River canyon. (September 2004)
- Arkansas River Canyon East of SH 69. The canyon as seen on eastbound US 50 a couple miles east of SH 69. (May 2013)
- Arkansas River Canyon West of Parkdale. Another canyon view on eastbound US 50 about 7 miles west of Parkdale. (May 2013)
- Parkdale Arkansas River Crossing.
As seen on eastbound US 50, this bridge at Parkdale takes US 50 over to
the north side of the Arkansas and allows US 50 to swing up to the
north around the Royal Gorge portion of the river, which start off the
right side of the picture. (May 2013)
- Arkansas River Bridge Demolition Before
According to Michael McMullen this bridge near
Caņon City had the end of its truss hit after a
truck driver fell asleep. It happened in very cold
weather so there were brittle fractures in the truss.
Since it wasn't certain where else there were fractures
the bridge was demolished and replaced in a hurry. Photos
courtesy Michael McMullen.
- SH 67 View. The view, with an oversize reassurance marker, west on US 50 from the SH 67 intersection north of Florence. (September 2012)
- Where the Deer and Pronghorn Play. Westbound US 50 east of Penrose is a fairly desolate stretch, with just grassy rangeland to look at. (May 2009)
- Minimum Speed 55. US 50 has a 65 mph speed limit with a 55 minimum from the outskirts of Pueblo West east into Pueblo. (May 2009)
- SH 45 Junction.
Here as westbound US 50 leaves Pueblo its two directions split for the
SH 45 intersection, a layout for a potential future interchange. (May
50 Eastbound at I-25. A shot of a sign on
eastbound US 50 approaching the SPUI at I-25 in Pueblo.
Traffic is advised to use SH 47 as a Pueblo bypass. Photo
courtesy Steve Riner.
- US 50 Westbound at I-25.
A picture of the huge overhead signs on westbound US 50 approaching
I-25 in Pueblo. Note the overlap of US 50 going onto NB I-25 is well
marked. (May 2004)
- Destroyed Pedestrian Overpass.
This picture shows a pedestrian overpass east of Troy Ave. in east
Pueblo that was partially destroyed in fall 2003. A truck driver
dropped his lunch pail on the lever raising the bed of the truck, and
the bed hit the bridge as the truck passed underneath. (May 2004)
- Westbound at SH 47-96. Overhead signage on westbound US 50 approaching the SH 47-96 interchange on the east side of Pueblo. (May 2004)
- Westbound Business Junction. Here on westbound US 50 a sign announces the upcoming split for the Pueblo-Avondale business route. (May 2009)
- Fowler and SH 167 Intersection. Westbound US 50 through Fowler at SH 167. (May 2011)
- US 50 Manzanola. The view of Manzanola on westbound US 50 at SH 207. (May 2011)
- US 50 Four-Lane Undivided.
US 50 between Rocky Ford and Manzanola features a four-lane undivided
section sandwiched in between the BNSF line and farm fields. (May 2011)
- Rocky Ford One-Way Westbound. US 50 westbound through Rocky Ford on the westbound-only Swink Ave near SH 202. (May 2011)
- Rocky Ford One-Way Eastbound. US 50 eastbound on the eastbound-only Elm Ave near 9th St downtown. (May 2013)
- SH 71-266 Intersection.
Westbound in Rocky Ford has this marker assembly for the intersection
at SH 71-266. The 266 markers features an extra-wide sign panel. (May
- West La Junta Railroad Underpass. On the west end of La Junta US 50 dives down and under the BNSF La Junta-Trinidad rail line. (May 2011)
- SH 109 Spur Intersection.
Westbound in La Junta this sign points left on Spur 109 for traffic to
get to SH 109, which crosses US 50 on a bridge. (May 2011)
- Split Alignment East of La Junta.
This view on westbound US 50 east of La Junta shows a segment of
divided highway where the two directions follow different vertical
alignments, with the eastbound side much smoother than the roller
coaster westbound side. (May 2011)
- Old US 50 Near Las Animas Picture
1 & Picture
2. Two photos of an old concrete section
of US 50 west of Las Animas by Marty Blaise.
- Las Animas, Thompson Boulevard. Westbound US 50 heading west along a tree-lined Thompson Blvd in Las Animas. (May 2011)
- Las Animas, Bent Avenue. Westbound US 50 heading south on Bent Avenue through central Las Animas. (May 2011)
- US 50-287, Lamar Intersection Southbound.
Southbound on Main Street in Lamar showing the overhead signs at the
Olive Street intersection. For some reason the US 385 marker includes a
black border around it. (May 2011)
- US 50-385, Lamar Intersection Eastbound. Eastbound Olive Street in Lamar at Main, with the nice, shiny overhead sign approaching the intersection. (May 2011)
- US 50-385-400, Granada.
A marker assembly on eastbound US 50-385 in Granada. Here US 385 turns
north, while US 400 starts and heads east with US 50. Not sure why they
chose to include SH 196. Photo by Steve Riner. (July 2005)
US 50 is an original 1920s US highway. It has remained
pretty much on the same alignment in the rural areas of
Colorado. However, it, along with US 6, originally went into
Utah west of Mack via current CR M.8, rather than along the
alignment of I-70. By 1938 all of US 50 was paved except for
Monarch Pass, which was paved by 1946.
In Pueblo and Pueblo County US 50 has undergone a lot of changes over the years. Originally US 50 came from its current
alignment at the Fremont/Pueblo County line and drifted southeast into
what is now Pueblo West, crossing the Turkey Creek arroyo near
present-day Corrizo Springs Ave. US 50 then shot straight east through
present-day Pueblo West on a section line that lines up with the
westbound road of US 50 at the SH 45 intersection (some maps show a
phantom line along this alignment, even though development in Pueblo
West has obliterated any road that was along this alignment at one
time). From the current US 50/SH 45 intersection US 50 originally went
southeast on Wild Horse Rd (a.k.a. Baker Steamer Rd) into Pueblo, then
using 29th St (and maybe 24th St at one time) east to Elizabeth St.
From Elizabeth St US 50 went south and east through Pueblo using 25th
St, Court St, 15th St, Main St, 4th St and Santa Fe Ave. From Santa Fe
Ave US 50 went east out of town on the current business route. [Some
info from Dale Sanderson and Steve Riner]
The first major change for US 50 in Pueblo County came about 1934.
The routing was changed so it no longer went through present-day Pueblo
West, instead from the Pueblo/Fremont line US 50 was moved to its
current alignment all the way to the north side of Pueblo, intersecting
US 85-87 at Elizabeth St and then heading south as before. In Pueblo
itself the route US 50 used through town was changed by 1947 using
Elizabeth St heading south, then east on 9th St and south on Santa Fe
Ave and out east as before.
By 1951 the routing of Us 85-87 on the north side of Pueblo had been
moved to an expressway alignment along current I-25, and US 50 used
that heading south into town. That road fed onto 13th/14th Streets
(which appear to be two one-way streets) that took US 50-85-87 west to
Grand Ave., US 50 then went south to 9th St, east to Santa Fe Ave.,
south and then east out of town. By 1954 things had been switched
around again, now US 50-85-87 came south into town to 13th St then
continued south on Santa Fe Ave, with US 50 continuing south on Santa
Fe Ave then east out of town. The current route of US 50 north of
Pueblo east of I-25 was built about 1957, with the former route along
Santa Fe Ave and east of town becoming the business route.
East of Caņon City, US 50 and SH 120 were originally reversed
from what they are now, with US 50 going through Florence and Portland.
They were bypassed with US 50 being moved to the north by 1950. By 1958
the expressway east of La Junta was in place. By 1960 it was expressway
from Rocky Ford to La Junta. Expressway from Delta half way to Olathe
opened by 1974, and from Olathe to Montrose opened by 1975. By 1977 the
Olathe expressway bypass opened, as well as the sections from
Caņon City to east of SH 120 and from west of SH 45 to I-25. The
expressway from US 287 southeast into Lamar opened by 1988, with the
interchange at US 287 being built the same time. The gap in the
expressway northwest of Olathe was closed by 1994. Expressway segements
between Grand Junction and Delta were done in multiple phases in the
early 2000s with completion in 2004.
In Montrose, US 50 originally came south on Townsend Ave and turned
east on Main St. That meant that intersection was turn in US 50 as well
as the ends of US 550 and SH 90. In May 2010 CDOT rerouted US 50 around
the northeast side of downtown on San Juan Ave. Main St from Townsend
to San Juan was turned back to the city while US 550 was extended north
to San Juan to still meet US 50. The San Juan Ave bypass was built by
the city in the 1990s was was signed as a local-maintained US 50 truck bypass until the transfer happened.
Alvin Edlund, Jr. of Salida has written an extensive
article on the
history of US 50 in Colorado. It is available on
Route50.com, Wulf Berg's site.
Related Site: Route50.com,
from Wulf Berg of Virginia.
Page created 30 May 2005
Last updated 9 March 2014