U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-09-2011, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,620,013 times
Reputation: 1777

Advertisements

I had thought about this before but I hadn't thought about WHY and was wondering if anyone could shed some light on it.

Along the Front Range we're probably all familiar with how I-70 bends south at Strasburg for about 45 miles before bending back east at Limon. I was wondering if anyone knew why? Could be something overwhelmingly simple for all I know. I figured possibilities included land rights, location of towns, previous right of way (what was the original route from Kansas City? was there a rail ROW along that route?), topography (perhaps even that Palmer Divide tail.) Any ideas?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-09-2011, 12:55 PM
 
20,310 posts, read 37,804,669 times
Reputation: 18087
I'm guessing the plan was to split the difference between Denver and COLO SPGS, so a connector could be built equidistant to COLO SPGS, which obviously never happened.
__________________
- Please follow our TOS.
- Any Questions about City-Data? See the FAQ list.
- Want some detailed instructions on using the site? See The Guide for plain english explanation.
- Realtors are welcome here but do see our Realtor Advice to avoid infractions.
- Thank you and enjoy City-Data.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-09-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,954,423 times
Reputation: 9442
From Wikipedia

Quote:
The freeway (I-70) proceeds east (from Denver) across the Great Plains, briefly dipping south to serve the city of Limon, which bills itself as Hub City because of the many rail and road arteries that intersect there. I-70enters Kansas near Burlington, a small community known for having one of the oldest carousels in the United States.
I've been through Burlington many times and never knew that about the carousel!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-09-2011, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Silverthorne, Colorado
884 posts, read 1,464,107 times
Reputation: 736
It also does a similar bend at Colby, KS where it turns due southeast for a period of time before turning east again.

I think it's just how the roadway was planned, in stair-like intervals. I think Mike's suggestion about how it may have been the northern part of a planned Denver - CoSprings split seems pretty reasonable.

Limon is also seen as sort of a major town for a town of its size. It's interesting though because Lamar, La Junta, and Las Animas are all bigger yet were given no freeway, even though the big idea was to connect Denver. That didn't happen with Salt Lake City, though...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-09-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,607 posts, read 20,191,430 times
Reputation: 5311
I-70 has to turn a bit south sooner or later in order to connect to the major cities and town of Kansas (Salina, Topeka, Lawrence, KC).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2011, 03:10 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,516,166 times
Reputation: 1457
Great Question!

As Vegas suggests, the highway had to swing south in order to connect to I-70 in Central/Eastern Kansas, which pre-existed before Colorado's section of I-70 by a long shot. These were built along the alignment of US-40. In fact, I-70 is on the US-40 alignment for most of its length from Baltimore to Central Kansas.

When they extended the highway west, they left the US-40 alignment at Oakley, KS, jogged up to Colby KS, and then met the alignment of US-24. They continued to follow the US-24 alignment to Limon, at which time I-70 rejoined the US-40 alignment (which there runs NW/SE) all the way to Denver. This is the curve that you're talking about.

Now, in Denver we know US-40 as Colfax Ave -- the main highway into Denver prior to I-70, so one question would be why they simply didn't continue to route I-70 along the US-40 alignment all the way from Oakley KS into Denver? Especially since I-70 follows US-40 pretty much to the other side of the country from Oakley.

I'm not sure about that -- but if you look at a map the US-40 alignment veers southwest from Oakley, before finally turning northwest around Kit Carson, CO and heading to Limon and finally northwest from Limon until Denver (along the current route of I-70). So, perhaps they felt that the US-24 alignment was shorter and more direct than the old US-40 route (which it clearly is, although not dramatically different).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2011, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
18,906 posts, read 8,878,766 times
Reputation: 18307
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
Great Question!


Now, in Denver we know US-40 as Colfax Ave -- the main highway into Denver prior to I-70, so one question would be why they simply didn't continue to route I-70 along the US-40 alignment all the way from Oakley KS into Denver? Especially since I-70 follows US-40 pretty much to the other side of the country from Oakley.
I'm wondering if that may be related to the two different philosophies of building interstate highways all over the country.

Sometimes interstates are routed to directly parallel the "old" road, or even cover over the old road (as much of I-25 does from Denver to Colorado Springs). On the plus side -- that maintains the "main" alignment of traffic. On the negative side -- it keeps funneling ever-increasing volumes of traffic along one artery.

Sometimes interstates take a completely new alignment. This disrupts established alignments, but also opens alternate arteries -- desirable in some cases to de-emphasize growth in one particular area, or cause growth in another particular area.

And then there's just plain politics. I can give you a good example of that from another state (don't know the local politics here yet). If you look at a map of NY State, and follow the Thruway (now I-90), you'll see that it goes directly through every major city any where near its path (Albany, Utica, Syracuse, and Buffalo) except one -- Rochester (a major manufacturing city, including being the home of Xerox and Kodak, Koday being a true giant at the time). At the time of the construction of the Thruway, Rochester was governed by the opposite political party than was in power in the state capital. Thus, the Thruway from Syracuse west skips every major small city (Newark, Fairport, Penfield, Webster, Irondequoit, Gates-Chili, in preference for a route that has only small villages, mostly with populations that were (and mostly still are of less than 3,000). Eventually, I-490 was built to connect Rochester to the Thruway. But originally it was just pure politics.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2011, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Colorado, Denver Metro Area
1,048 posts, read 3,922,681 times
Reputation: 396
There is nothing major to 'hit'. If they kept it straight eventually it would run into Springfield,IL but that's not the reason for I-70 and that would of made it run too close to I-80 while having nothing further south.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2011, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,620,013 times
Reputation: 1777
Fantastic responses and thank you.

Just to clarify (and I know this has somewhat been answered by discussing alignments and older U.S. Highways), I suppose part of my question related more to "why didn't it just gradually 'slope' southward toward KC at a shallow angle" type thing, rather than than make that rather dramatic bend. Again, great answers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2011, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Colorado, Denver Metro Area
1,048 posts, read 3,922,681 times
Reputation: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenkonami View Post
"why didn't it just gradually 'slope' southward toward KC at a shallow angle" type thing, rather than than make that rather dramatic bend.
Guessing here but looking at the map I am sure they wanted to connect the towns (Strasburg, Byers, Agate, Deer Trail, Limon) but also not to run it though some of the farms when there was a path already available.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top