About This Site

This site's purpose is to explore the past, present and future the Kansas state highway system. This site started out in rudimentary form in the fall of 1997, and has been constantly evolving since.

Colored Table Format

When browsing the full version of my route listings, you will notice that different routes are in different colors. This is done to quickly convey whether a route is currently active, and if not, when it was removed or redesignated. In addition, the counties are highlighted in the same way to convey when a active route was removed or redesignated in a county, or if a route was removed or redesignated in a county prior to the removal of the entire route.

Light Grey: Currently Active Routes

These are signed routes that currently exist in the Kansas highway system.
I-70 US 40 K-4

Turquoise: Signed City Streets

This color is used for a city street that is not designated as a State Highway or city connecting link, but is signed by the local authority as if it were part of the highway system.

Pink: Proposed, but never designated.

This color is used to indicate highway designations that were proposed but either cancelled or assigned a different designation.

Red: Pre 1950s Decommissioning

US 73W K-24 K-21
This color is used for routes that were removed from the Kansas highway system or given a new designation prior to 1950.

Orange: 1950s Decommissioning

US 50S K-6 K-12
This color is used for routes that were removed from the Kansas highway system or given a new designation in the 1950s

Yellow: 1960-1977 Decommissioning

I-35W K-35
This color is used for routes that were removed from the Kansas highway system or given a new designation between 1960 and 1977.

Green: 1978-1992 Decommissiong

K-12
This color is used for routes that were removed from the Kansas highway system or given a new designation between 1978 and 1992, during which time many roads in the Kansas City area were turned back to the cities.

Blue: 1992-2010 Decommissioning

K-38
This color is used for routes that have been removed from the Kansas highway system or given a new designation between 1992 and 2010.

Grey: Post 2010 Decommissioning

This color is used for routes that were removed from the Kansas highway system or given a new designation since 2010. Recently, KDOT has been been aggressively turning back low-volume spur routes to local authorities in exchange for cash consideration.

Information Given in the Route Tables

This section here explains the info that is given about each route in the route tables. Here is the standard data set:

  • Length: Given in miles. Lengths given down to the 0.001 of a mile are computed from the KDOT Condition Survey Report. Otherwise, lengths are from KDOT county maps and other sources
  • Endpoints: The endpoints of the route in Kansas. The first endpoint is the "beginning" of the route as defined by KDOT. If the road continues into another state, a link to the highway entry at the appropriate site(s) will be provided.
  • Counties: Counties the highway passes through. If a roadway straddles a county line, the Condition Survey Report will indicate whether a highway "enters" a county.
  • Notes: General notes about the highway that do not fit elsewhere

In addition, the following optional information is also aviailable.

  • Annual Average Daily Traffic: Lists traffic counts (from the KDOT Condition Survey report and other sources) at various points along the route. The data is much more exhaustive than I list.
  • Junction Guide: This section lists, to the 0.001 of a mile, where the route in question intersects other highways and county lines.
  • Guide: A complete rundown of the route, from one end to the other. This is the bulk of the information given about most routes.
  • Photo Gallery: Links to photos I or others have taken of the highways, from the route56.com Gallery (currently, this information is incomplete).
  • History: Historical information about the highway, mostly compiled from official KDOT maps, and more recently, KDOT's annual "Highway and Route Changes" reports.

Abbreviations and Terms Used

  • AADT: Annual average daily traffic, a way to express the average daily number of vehicles on a stretch of roadway, determined either through actual measurement or statistical analysis
  • AASHTO: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. They set the rules for US and Interstate route numbering, and set design guidelines for roadways.
  • Condition Survey Report: an annual KDOT publication indicating the pavment condition of much of the Kansas State Highway system. Since it also shows highway lengths and junction locations to the 1/1000th of a mile, it also serves as the de facto publically available highway log.
  • CR: County road
  • Decommision: Term used by road enthusiests to describe the removal of an US or Interstate route numbering. It can also refer to the removal or re-designation of a state highway.
  • Expressway: A multi-lane divided highway that still has intersections, but may have the occasional interchange
  • Expy: Expressway
  • Freeway: A multi-lane divided highway with access only at interchanges
  • Fwy: Freeway
  • K-x: Kansas Highway x. Used by the public and by KDOT.
  • KC Scout: The joint KDOT-Missouri Department of Transporation agency responsible for the traffic managment system in the Kansas City area.
  • KDOT: Kansas Department of Transportation
  • KTA: Kansas Turnpike Authority. The subsidiary of the state that maintains the Kansas Turnpike
  • MUTCD: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the book put out by the Federal Highway Administration which sets sign, signal and pavement marking practices for the US.
  • NHS: National Highway System, a system of major routes across the US that get partial federal funding
  • Pkwy: Parkway
  • Ramp Meter: A traffic signal part way down a freeway onramp that, when operating, is red part of the time to control the number of vehicles entering the freeway. The timing of the meter can be set such that it spaces out cars entering the freeway to smooth out operation of the merge area, or it can be used to proactively restrict the number of vehicles entering the freeway to keep the mainline from reaching capacity. Studies have shown travel time and accidents decrease when meters are used.
  • Spur: A highway that branches off of the mainline, for usually a fairly short distance.
  • State Highway Commission: Prior to 1975, what is now KDOT was the State Highway Commission of Kansas.
  • Turn Back: When KDOT removes a stretch of state highway from its system and turns authority of it back to a local government, usually a city or county
  • VMS: Variable message sign, an electronic sign that can display a variety of messages.
  • VPD: Vehicles per day

Sources

Much of the information used in the compilation of Kansas Highways came from the T.R. Smith map collection at the University of Kansas, or via online publications by the Kansas Department of Transportation.