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U.S. Highway 159 (US 159) is a 83.6-mile-long (134.5 km) auxiliary route of US 59. It travels from Nortonville, Kansas at US 59 to New Point, Missouri, also at US 59. The highway permits through traffic on US 59 to bypass the cities of Atchison, Kansas and Saint Joseph, Missouri.

U.S. Route 159 marker

U.S. Route 159
US 159 highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of US 59
Length83.6 mi[a] (134.5 km)
  • Kansas: 52.3 mi (84.2 km)
  • Nebraska: 13.86 mi (22.31 km)
  • Missouri: 17.424 mi (28.041 km)
Existed1935[citation needed]–present
Major junctions
South end
US-59 / K-4 Alt. in Nortonville, KS
North end US 59 in New Point, MO
StatesKansas, Nebraska, Missouri
CountiesKS: Jefferson, Atchison, Brown
NE: Richardson
MO: Holt
Highway system

Route descriptionEdit


US-159 begins in Nortonville, Kansas. It joins with U.S. Route 73 in Horton, Kansas. The two highways overlap and stretch to the Nebraska border, passing through Hiawatha, Kansas before leaving the state north of Reserve, Kansas.


US-159 clips the far southeastern corner of Nebraska. It enters south of Falls City, Nebraska concurrently with U.S. Route 73. In Falls City, US-159 turns east. It leaves the state at the Missouri River bridge in Rulo, Nebraska.


The former Rulo Bridge (US 159) from the Missouri side with the Burlington Northern bridge to the right (north)

US-159 enters northwestern Missouri near Big Lake. It crosses Interstate 29 near Fortescue, Missouri before ending at US-59 near New Point. Its total length in Missouri is approximately 16 miles (26 km).


When the route was commissioned in 1934, U.S. Route 159 only went between Nortonville, Kansas and Horton, Kansas. In 1945, it was extended north to Craig, Missouri via Falls City, Nebraska. After 1975, the route in Missouri was altered to go east from the Fortescue area to what is now its current terminus near New Point, Missouri. The old route which went to Craig is now Route 111.[1]

In 2013, a new bridge over the Missouri River, located about 650 feet south of the old Rulo Bridge, opened to traffic.[2]

Major intersectionsEdit

   K-4 Alt. begins / US-59 – Atchison, Topeka
South end of K-4 Alt. overlap
  K-4 Alt. west (Osage Street)
North end of K-4 Alt. overlap
AtchisonCenter Township3.65.8  K-116 eastSouth end of K-116 overlap
township line
4.36.9  K-116 westNorth end of K-116 overlap
8.714.0  K-9 eastSouth end of K-9 overlap
Grasshopper Township22.736.5  K-9 westNorth end of K-9 overlap
BrownHorton28.345.5   US-73 south / K-20 east (15th Street)South end of US-73/K-20 overlap
28.445.7  K-20 west (15th Street)North end of K-20 overlap
Hiawatha40.364.9  US-36 – Seneca, TroyInterchange
Kansas–Nebraska state line
NebraskaRichardsonFalls City4.116.61  US 73 north (Harlan Street)North end of US 73 overlap
Missouri River13.86
Nebraska–Missouri state line
MissouriHoltBig Lake13.24821.321  Route 111 north (Lake Shore Drive)South end of Route 111 overlap
Minton Township7.77112.506  Route 111 southNorth end of Route 111 overlap
Benton Township3.242–
  I-29 – St. Joseph, Council BluffsExit 79 along I-29
Hickory Township0.0000.000  US 59 – Mound City, Oregon
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Total mileage is the sum of each state's length


  1. ^ Sanderson, Dale End of US highway 159.
  2. ^ Laukaitis, Algis J. (January 19, 2014). "Span of historic Rulo bridge destroyed". Lincoln Journal Star. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "County Maps". Kansas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  4. ^ "Nebraska Highway Reference Log Book" (PDF). Nebraska Department of Roads. 2015. p. 281. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Missouri Department of Transportation (July 13, 2012). MoDOT HPMAPS (Map). Missouri Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 13, 2012.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
Browse numbered routes
  US 138NEI-180  
  Route 158MOUS 160