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K-96 is a 300-mile-long (480 km) state highway in central and southern Kansas. Its western terminus is at the Colorado state line east of Towner, Colorado, where it continues as Colorado State Highway 96; its eastern terminus since 1999 is at U.S. Route 54/U.S. Route 400 in eastern Wichita.

K-96 marker

K-96
Route information
Maintained by KDOT
Length300.201 mi[1] (483.127 km)
Major junctions
West end SH 96 at the Colorado state line
 
East end US-54 / US-400 in Wichita
Location
CountiesGreeley, Wichita, Scott, Lane, Ness, Rush, Barton, Rice, Reno, Sedgwick
Highway system
  • Kansas State Highway System
K-95K-97

The eastern terminus was once at the Missouri state line, where the road continued as Route 96. With the construction of US-400, K-96 was either concurrent with or bypassed by this road, and the road was decommissioned east of the current eastern terminus. It was concurrent with U.S. Route 75 between Neodesha and Independence; and from Independence to Columbus, it was replaced with a realigned U.S. Route 160. East of Alternate U.S. Route 69, it was turned over to the county. In Missouri, Missouri 96 was terminated at Route 171, and the section between Missouri 171 and the Kansas state line was turned into Missouri Supplemental Route YY.

Contents

Route descriptionEdit

K-96 begins at the Colorado border in Greeley County, just east of Towner, Colorado. It heads east from this point, bypassing Horace and crossing K-27 in Tribune. After crossing into Wichita County, it bypasses Selkirk to the south and meets K-25 in Leoti, before running south of both Marienthal (served by K-167) and Modoc. K-96 junctions with US-83 in Scott City, followed by 24 miles (38.6 km) without another highway junction until K-23 at Dighton.

After leaving Dighton, K-96 runs parallel to Walnut Creek, providing access to a George Washington Carver Monument and passing north of Beeler. It meets US-283 at Ness City. East of Ness City, K-96 runs through Bazine, Alexander, and Nekoma. It crosses US-183 at Rush Center, then bypasses Timken and runs through Albert and Heizer, gradually curving south to enter Great Bend.

In Great Bend, K-96 begins a concurrency with US-56 and crosses US-281. The two highways pass through Ellinwood and Chase before entering Lyons, where K-96 heads south with K-14, while US-56 continues east to McPherson and Interstate 135. K-96 and K-14 pass through Sterling and then turn east. K-14 and K-96 continue east until Nickerson, where it takes a more southeast course to bypass Hutchinson to the west and south. Through South Hutchinson, it has a brief quadruple concurrency with US-50 and K-61.

After splitting from US-50 and K-61, K-14 splits off to continue south. K-96, heading southeast, provides access to, but does not directly serve, the Amish community of Yoder, while also going through Haven, Mount Hope, and Maize before entering Wichita.

Throughout the Wichita metropolitan area, K-96 is a freeway. It concurs with Interstate 235 until that route ends at I-135, which it briefly follows southward until it splits off westbound onto its own freeway alignment. It continues eastbound until reaching the Jabara Airport, where it curves south. K-96 has an interchange (exit 53) with Interstate 35 (the Kansas Turnpike) before it ends at a trumpet interchange with US-54/400.

K-96 between Rush Center and Wichita is a part of the National Highway System.

Between Hutchinson and Wichita, K.S.A. 68-1044 designates K-96 as the State Fair Freeway (even though it is not a full freeway).[2]

HistoryEdit

 
View along K-96 in Scott City

The Wichita-Hutchinson segment was straightened in the early 1970s, bypassing the towns of Maize and Mount Hope. In recent years, urban sprawl has brought the highway within city limits. Near the Amish community of Yoder, symbolic warning signs were placed on the road to warn drivers of the presence of carriages on the cross streets.

By 1996, the roadway had been widened to a four-lane expressway, and the symbolic warning signs near Yoder were not retained, as the signs did not comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices at the time. An interchange was built at Yoder Road; however, carriage traffic still crossed the roadway at-grade. In September 2000, a minivan heading home from the Kansas State Fair struck a carriage, killing the elderly occupants and their horses. The driver of the van could not see the carriage in time to avoid the accident, and was cleared of wrongdoing. The Kansas Department of Transportation received bad publicity in the wake of the accident because of the removal of the carriage warning signs. Despite the non-compliance with the MUTCD, new symbolic signs were installed along the roadway in 2001. The expressway segment of K-96 has been posted with a speed limit of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) since the repeal of the national speed limit. This has also been a contention in accidents along this stretch, and some state legislators have attempted to write legislation to lower the speed limit along this stretch.

Major junctionsEdit

CountyLocationmi[1]kmExitDestinationsNotes
Greeley0.0000.000  SH 96 west – Sheridan LakeContinuation into Colorado
Tribune15.92225.624  K-27 (Broadway Avenue)
WichitaLeoti37.57860.476  K-25 (4th Street) – Lakin, Russell Springs
45.44973.143  K-167 north – MarienthalSouthern terminus of K-167
ScottScott City62.05899.873  US-83 (Main Street)
LaneDighton85.918138.272  K-23 (Main Street) – Gove, Cimarron
NessNess City117.161188.552  US-283 (Pennsylvania Avenue) – Jetmore, WaKeeney
RushRush Center149.772241.035  US-183 – La Crosse, Kinsley
BartonGreat Bend179.549288.956   US-56 / K-156 west (10th Street) – LarnedWest end of US-56/K-156 concurrency; former US-156 west
181.326291.816  US-281 (Main Street) – Russell, St. John
185.121297.923  K-156 east – EllsworthEast end of K-156 concurrency; former US-156 east
RiceLyons212.196341.496   US-56 east (Main Street) / K-14 north (Grand Avenue) – Ellsworth, McPhersonEast end of US-56 concurrency; west end of K-14 concurrency
Reno238.909384.487Wilson Road / Nickerson BoulevardInterchange
241.431388.5464th AvenueInterchange
242.931390.9606th AvenueInterchange
244.819393.998   US-50 west / K-61 south (John Neal Memorial Highway) – Kinsley, PrattPartial cloverleaf interchange; west end of US-50/K-61 concurrency; former K-14 south
South Hutchinson246.331396.431    US-50 east / K-61 north (John Neal Memorial Highway) / Main Street orth – Newton, McPhersonInterchange; southern end of US-50/K-61 overlap; access to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center
249.056400.817  K-14 southEast end of K-14 concurrency; former K-17
Yoder253.892408.600Yoder RoadInterchange
Sedgwick278.627448.407119th Street WestAt-grade intersection; west end of freeway section
Maize279.669450.084Maize Road / 53rd StreetMaize Rd. is former K-296 west
Wichita282.419454.509Ridge Road
283.466456.19455th Street WestWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
284.469457.808West Street
286.015460.297  I-235 southWest end of I-235 concurrency; I-235 exit 13
286.503461.082Meridian Avenue – Valley CenterSigned as Meridian Ave. eastbound, Valley Center westbound
287.473462.64315Broadway StreetExit number follows I-235
288.413464.156     I-235 ends / I-135 / US-81 / K-15 north – SalinaEast end of I-235 concurrency; I-235 exit 16A; west end of I-135/US-81/K-15 concurrency; I-135 exit 11B
289.619466.097    I-135 / US-81 / K-15 southEast end of I-135/US-81/K-15 concurrency; I-135 exit 10
289.710466.24329th Street North / Hydraulic AvenueNo westbound entrance
290.714467.859Hillside Street
291.749469.525Oliver Avenue
292.749471.134Woodlawn Road
293.725472.705Rock Road
294.908474.608Webb Road
296.086476.504Greenwich RoadEastbound exit and westbound entrance
296.886477.79221st Street North
297.895479.41613th Street North
299.450481.918   I-35 / Kansas Turnpike / 127th Street EastExit 53 on I-35/Kansas Tpke.
300.201483.127   US-54 / US-400 – AugustaEastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Staff (2016). "Pavement Management Information System". Kansas Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  2. ^ "68-1044. Designation of part of K-96 highway as the state fair freeway". kslegislature.org. Kansas State Legislature. Retrieved 2019-05-01.

External linksEdit