U.S. Route 36 in Colorado

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U.S. Route 36 marker

U.S. Route 36
Denver-Boulder Turnpike
Route information
Maintained by Colorado Department of Transportation
Length:213.685 mi[1] (343.89 km)
Existed:1926 – present
Major junctions
West end: US 34 near Estes Park
  E-470 in Broomfield
US 287 in Broomfield
US 287 in Westminster
I-25 / US 87 / I-270 in Welby
I-76 in Welby
US 6 / US 85 in Commerce City
I-70 / I-270 in Denver
I-225 in Denver
Peña Boulevard/To Denver International Airport in Aurora
US 40 / I-70 Bus. / US 287 in Aurora
E-470 in Aurora
US 40 / I-70 / US 287 near Byers
US 385 near Idalia
East end: US-36 at Kansas state line
Highway system

Colorado State Highways

SH 35SH 39
 
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U.S. Route 36 marker

U.S. Route 36
Denver-Boulder Turnpike
Route information
Maintained by Colorado Department of Transportation
Length:213.685 mi[1] (343.89 km)
Existed:1926 – present
Major junctions
West end: US 34 near Estes Park
  E-470 in Broomfield
US 287 in Broomfield
US 287 in Westminster
I-25 / US 87 / I-270 in Welby
I-76 in Welby
US 6 / US 85 in Commerce City
I-70 / I-270 in Denver
I-225 in Denver
Peña Boulevard/To Denver International Airport in Aurora
US 40 / I-70 Bus. / US 287 in Aurora
E-470 in Aurora
US 40 / I-70 / US 287 near Byers
US 385 near Idalia
East end: US-36 at Kansas state line
Highway system

Colorado State Highways

SH 35SH 39

U.S. Route 36 is a major east–west route in the U.S. state of Colorado, extending from Rocky Mountain National Park to the Kansas state line.

Contents

Route description

Rocky Mountain National Park to Boulder

Sign on US 34 approaching the western endpoint of US 36 at Deer Ridge Junction in Rocky Mountain National Park.

US Route 36 begins at Deer Ridge Junction in Rocky Mountain National Park, where it intersects US Route 34 (Trail Ridge Road) on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. It exits the park at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and enters the town of Estes Park, where it is briefly overlapped with Business US 34 until it meets (but does not cross) the main US 34 again at an intersection shaped like the letter K. On its way out of Estes Park it intersects SH 7 at South St. Vrain Avenue, for the first of three times.

It then descends southeast through North St. Vrain Canyon to the town of Lyons, which it enters on Main Street. At 5th Avenue in Lyons, it intersects SH 7 again, beginning an overlap to Boulder which is signed only as US 36. At 5th Avenue and Main Street in Lyons, it divides into a pair of one way streets with the eastbound direction traveling one block south on 5th Avenue and turning east onto Broadway Street, and the westbound direction using Main Street. The two directions reunite in two blocks and leave Lyons southeastward as four-lane Ute Highway. Just outside of Lyons, US 36 turns south at a signalized intersection onto two-lane North Foothills Highway, while SH 66 continues east to Longmont. From Lyons to Boulder, US 36 pretty much traces the edge of the foothills.

US 36 enters Boulder on four-lane-wide 28th Street, where it serves the city's main shopping area. On the north side of Boulder, it intersects SH 119 at Diagonal Highway, beginning a 1.4 mile overlap that extends until SH 119 turns west onto Canyon Boulevard towards Nederland. One block farther south, SH 7 diverges from its overlap with US 36 by turning east onto Arapahoe Avenue. Leaving the Boulder shopping district, US 36 crosses Boulder Creek and passes through the University of Colorado campus area as an expressway to the interchange with Baseline Road, where it meets Spur US 36, a two-block long connector along 27th Way to SH 93, signed only as "To SH 93" and "To US 36".

Denver-Boulder Turnpike

Just after the Baseline Road interchange, which was formerly a diamond interchange but has since become a one-quarter cloverleaf, US 36 curves to the southeast. At this point the stretch of US-36 called the Denver-Boulder Turnpike begins, since this portion was a toll road from its opening in 1952 until 1967, when the toll was lifted.

The road intersects SH 157, termed Foothills Parkway in the Boulder street system, on its way out of town. Northwestbound traffic approaching Boulder on the turnpike can stop at a scenic overlook on a high hill, providing a panoramic view of the Front Range mountains, the City of Boulder, and its famous Flatirons rock formation; a monument to the Denver-Boulder Turnpike's original builders is also located here. Continuing southeast, the road enters the fast growing Denver suburbs of Broomfield and Westminster, which have become popular locations for High-Tech businesses, which can be seen lining the turnpike. An interchange at 96th Street provides access to the Northwest Parkway and thereby to the E 470 outer beltway around Denver. At an interchange with SH 121 and SH 128 in Broomfield, it meets (but does not cross) US Route 287. It then has another interchange with US 287 again at Federal Boulevard near 76th Avenue in Westminster. The interchange at 76th and Federal was the terminus of the Denver-Boulder Turnpike when it was still a toll road, but in common parlance the Turnpike now extends all the way east to I-25.

Denver to Byers (Unsigned)

At the very complicated junction of US-36, I-25, I-76, and I-270, US-36 emerges overlapped and unsigned with I-270, and continues overlapped and unsigned with I-70 when I-270 ends near the former Stapleton Airport site. At Colfax Avenue, this I-70/US 36 overlap is also joined by US-287 (again) and US-40. From the interchange with Colfax Avenue, the road continues to Watkins and then to Byers, unsigned in its four-way multiplex with I-70, US-40, and US-287. The former route through Bennett, Strasburg, and Byers is signed separately as Colorado State Highway 36.

Byers to Kansas State Line

At Byers, US 36 heads eastward on its own as a separate rural highway, while the I-70/US-40/US-287 multiplex curves to the southeast. US 36 passes through several very small settlements including Last Chance, Lindon, Anton, and Cope in Washington County and Joes and Idalia in Yuma County. Many of the towns on this desolate 105-mile (169 km) section of highway are so small they do not provide basic traveler services such as gasoline, and winter drivers are cautioned by signs that there is no snowplowing at night. At Cope, it is joined by SH 59 for about 6 miles (9.7 km). In Yuma County, near Idalia, it jogs north, becoming concurrent with US 385 for about 3 miles (4.8 km) before turning east again and continuing about 10 miles (16 km) to the Kansas border.[2]

Toll Road

The portion of US Route 36 within Rocky Mountain National Park is a toll road, requiring a park entrance fee.

Freeway

US Route 36 is a freeway from Boulder to Byers, portions overlapped with I-270 and I-70.

History

US 36 was extended westward in stages into Colorado beginning in 1930. By 1946, it had reached downtown Denver. It was fully paved by 1950.[3]

The Denver-Boulder Turnpike was championed by business and university interests in Boulder due to there being no direct route between Denver and Boulder. It opened in 1952 with the toll being $0.25. Its southeastern end was originally at US 287 Federal Boulevard, but when Denver's new Valley Highway (now I-25) was built, the two roads were connected in 1956 by 2-mile (3.2 km) long SH-382, which has always been commonly regarded as a portion of the Turnpike. When the bonds for the Turnpike were paid off ahead of time in 1967, US 36 was extended from Colfax Avenue in Denver along I-25, SH-382, the newly-free turnpike, SH-7, and SH-66, to end at US 34 in Estes Park.[4] Eventually these portions that overlapped previous state highways became signed only as US 36.

In 1976, US 36 through Denver was straightened to use I-70, I-270, I-76, and I-25. By 1978, US 36 had been further extended west from Estes Park along SH-66 to end inside Rocky Mountain National Park at a second intersection with US 34. In 2003, the overlap with I-76 and I-25 was eliminated when I-270 was extended to I-25 and the Turnpike.[3]

Junction List

CountyLocation#Mile[1]DestinationsNotes
Larimer0.000 US 34 west (Trail Ridge Road) - Rocky Mountain National ParkWestern terminus of US 36
Estes Park7 US 34 east – Loveland, Greeley
7
US 34 Bus. west
7.5 SH 7 south – Allenspark
BoulderLyons28 SH 7West end of SH 7 overlap
29.5 SH 66 east – Longmont
Boulder42 SH 119 east (Diagonal Highway) – LongmontNorth end of SH 119 overlap
43.5 SH 119 west (Canyon Boulevard) – NederlandSouth end of SH 119 overlap
43.5 SH 7 east – LafayetteSouth end of SH 7 overlap
Begin Denver–Boulder Turnpike(Freeway)
44.5 To SH 93 / Baseline Road
46 SH 157 north (Foothills Parkway), Table Mesa Drive, S Boulder Road
Louisville,
Superior
50 To SH 170 / McCaslin Boulevard
52.5West Flatiron Crossing DriveEastbound exit
Broomfield53To Northwest Parkway / StorageTek Drive, Interlocken Loop
54East Flatiron Crossing DriveWestbound exit
55 US 287 / SH 121 – Broomfield, Arvada
Jefferson58104th Avenue, Church Ranch Boulevard
AdamsWestminster59.5 SH 95 (Sheridan Boulevard) / 92nd Avenue
62 US 287 (Federal Boulevard)
63Pecos Street
64 SH 224 (Broadway)Westbound exit
64.5 I-270Western end of I-270 overlap
End Denver–Boulder Turnpike
065 I-25 – Fort Collins, Denver
1A65.5 I-76 – Grand Junction, Fort MorganWestbound exit, access to I-76 west via I-25.
1B66York StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
Commerce City267.5 US 85 / SH 2 (Vasquez Boulevard, US 6)Signed as exits 2A (north) and 2B (south)
Denver470Quebec Street (SH 35)Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
571Central Park Boulevard
71.5 I-70 west – DenverEastern end of I-270 overlap, Western end of I-70 overlap
28072.5Havana Street
28173Peoria Street
28274.5 I-225 south – Aurora, Colorado Springs
AdamsAurora28376Chambers Road
28477Peña Boulevard – Denver International AirportEastbound exit and westbound entrance
28577.5Airport Boulevard
28678.5Tower Road
28881 I-70 Bus. west / US 40 west / US 287 north / Colfax AvenueWest end of US 40/US 287 overlap
28982 E-470 – Fort Collins, Colorado Springs
29285 SH 36 east (Airpark Road)
Watkins29588 I-70 Bus. north – Watkins
29992.5Manila Road
30497 SH 79 north – Bennett
30598KiowaEastbound exit only
Arapahoe30698.5Kiowa, Bennett
310103 I-70 Bus. north – Strasburg
Byers109 I-70 east – LimonEast end of I-70 overlap
WashingtonLast Chance143 SH 71 – Fort Morgan, Limon
Anton163 SH 63 – Akron
Cope181 SH 59 – SeibertWest end of SH 59 overlap
Yuma188 SH 59 – Yuma, Haxtun, SedgwickEast end of SH 59 overlap
Idalia201 US 385 – BurlingtonWest end of US 385 overlap
205 US 385 – WrayEast end of US 385 overlap
214 US-36KansasKansas State Line; Eastern end of US 36 in Colorado
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •      Concurrency terminus
  •      Closed/Former
  •      HOV
  •      Incomplete access
  •      ETC only
  •      Unopened

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Colorado Department of Transportation, Highway Data, accessed July 2007
  2. ^ "Segment Descriptions for Highway 36". Colorado Department of Transportation. http://www.dot.state.co.us/app_DTD_DataAccess/Highways/index.cfm?fuseaction=Description&route=036&begRefPt=0&endRefPt=500&Printable=true. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  3. ^ a b US 36 in Colorado [1]
  4. ^ Colorado Highways: The Denver-Boulder Turnpike [2]


U.S. Route 36
Previous state:
Terminus
ColoradoNext state:
Kansas