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U.S. Route 16 in South Dakota

U.S. Route 16 (US 16) is a 69-mile-long (111 km) east–west U.S. Highway in the western part of the U.S. state of South Dakota. It travels between Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Rapid City. In South Dakota, the highway extends from the Wyoming state line near Newcastle, Wyoming to Interstate 90 (I-90) in Rapid City.

U.S. Route 16 marker

U.S. Route 16
Route information
Length69.00 mi[1] (111.04 km)
Major junctions
West end US 16 at Wyoming state line
East end I-190 / I-90 in Rapid City
StatesWyoming, South Dakota
Highway system
SD 15SDSD 16


Route descriptionEdit

US 16 is also known as Mount Rushmore Road in western South Dakota. The highway enters South Dakota east of Newcastle, Wyoming. It travels near Jewel Cave, the third-longest cave in the world.[2] The highway goes through the city of Custer and shares alignment with US 385. East of Hill City, US 16 splits off US 385. It then becomes a four-lane divided highway, with the two roadways separated by up to 0.5 miles (0.80 km) in some places, including the old gold-mining town of Rockerville, South Dakota, which is contained entirely in the median of US 16. In Rapid City, US 16 follows Mount Rushmore Road to a concurrency with SD 44 (Omaha Street) to the southern terminus of I-190. US 16 stays concurrent with I-190 until both highways end at I-90.

This section of US 16 is defined at South Dakota Codified Laws § 31-4-138.[3]


US 16 formerly ran all the way across the state, to the Minnesota state line east of Sioux Falls. It entered the state on the current routing of US 14/I-90 (the current routing is former US 216), and followed the US 14 routing to Rapid City. It joined U.S. Route 216 in Rapid City, and continued east into Box Elder. "Highway 14-16," as it was known, was a divided highway through most of Box Elder before returning to a two-lane road. (This road is still in use today, and still referred to as "14-16.") US 16 traveled east to New Underwood, then continued through the foothills to Wasta. The highway ran north of Wasta, across the Cheyenne River, then ran southeast to Wall. In Wall, an alternate route of US 16 (present day SD 240) split from the highway and headed south, through the Badlands National Monument (now Badlands National Park). US 14 and US 16 split east of Wall, with US 14 travelling due east and US 16 continuing southeast to its intersection with the eastern end of US 16 Alternate. From there, US 16 travels due east, on the present-day routing of South Dakota Highway 248. The highway followed this routing through Kadoka, Murdo, and Vivian, where it intersected U.S. Route 83. The highway continued east to Reliance, where present-day SD 248 ends. US 16 then returned to the current routing of I-90, and followed this routing to Oacoma, where it followed the current I-90 Business Loop to a bridge over the Missouri River into Chamberlain. East of Chamberlain, US 16 followed present day Old Airport Road to East King Street, then turned onto 249th Street just north of where I-90 now lies. It followed 249th Street to Pukwana, present-day 350th Avenue to an intersection with SD 47 (now SD 50), 251st Street to Kimball, and 252nd Street to White Lake. US 16 then followed present-day County Road 34 (also named Old Highway 16) to Mount Vernon and present-day 254th Street to Mitchell. It then followed what is now SD 38 east to Sioux Falls. US 16 ran concurrent with US 77 to its intersection with SD 42. The highway followed SD 42 to the eastern end of its concurrency with SD 11, then followed SD 11 to Brandon. It then followed present-day Aspen Boulevard from Brandon east to the Minnesota state line north of Valley Springs.

Visible abandoned sectionsEdit

Visible stub locations are listed from west to east.

Three stubs near Wasta:
  • SD 248 and SD 47 meet south of Reliance. SD 248 travels west and south, while SD 47 travels north and east. US 16 travelled straight through this intersection, west to east, and followed present-day SD 47 east. When SD 47 turns to cross the Interstate, a stub of US 16 extends east from this turn for about 3 miles before crossing the highway itself on 245th Street. The pavement shifting this alignment back to the I-90 alignment is no longer present, but a dirt track shows the former routing. (43°50′48″N 99°30′29″W / 43.846682°N 99.508129°W / 43.846682; -99.508129)

Major intersectionsEdit

Custer0.000.00  US 16 west – NewcastleContinuation into Wyoming
Custer26.4642.58   US 385 south / SD 89 south – Wind Cave National Park, Hot SpringsWestern end of US 385 and SD 89 concurrencies
26.9643.39   US 16A east / SD 89 north – Custer State ParkEastern end of SD 89 concurrency
Pennington37.4960.33  SD 87 south (Needles Highway) – Sylvan Lake, Custer
37.6960.66  SD 244 east – Mount Rushmore
Hill City40.5165.19    
   US 16 Truck east / US 385 Truck north
   US 16 Truck west / US 385 Truck south
45.0072.42  US 385 north – Deadwood, LeadEastern end of US 385 concurrency, also known as Three Forks
50.6081.43  US 16A west – Keystone, Mount RushmoreDirectional-T interchange, also known as the Keystone Wye
RockervilleInterchange; left exits and entrances
Rapid City64.19103.30  
   US 16 Truck to I-90
69.00111.04   SD 44 (Omaha Street) to I-190Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Special routesEdit

Custer–Keystone alternate routeEdit


U.S. Highway 16A
LocationCusterKeystone, South Dakota

Hill City truck routeEdit



U.S. Highway 16 Truck
LocationHill City, South Dakota

U.S. Route 16 Truck (US 16 Truck) in Hill City runs east of mainline US 16/US 385 along Walnut Avenue, and is also overlapped with US 385 Truck. It begins at Main Street north of Pond Court, then runs alongside the Mickelson Trail. Across the street from MacGregor Street the street name changes to Railroad Avenue for the South Dakota State Railroad Museum[4] and the former Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad depot, which serves the Black Hills Central Railroad. The name Walnut Avenue is revived as "North Walnut Avenue" as US Truck Route 16/385 ends at East Main Street.

Rapid City truck routeEdit



U.S. Highway 16 Truck
LocationRapid City, South Dakota
Length9.024 mi[1] (14.523 km)

U.S. Route 16 Truck (US 16 Truck) in Rapid City runs from US 16 in the southern portion of the city to Interstate 90's Exit 61 on the city's eastern boundary with Box Elder.[1] The route, recognized by the AASHTO as "U.S. Route 16 Bypass", was established in 1989[5] and its relocation eastward was approved in 2005.[6] While not reflected in these records, the route is signposted along Interstate 90 westward to Interstate 190 and US 16 at I-90's Exit 57.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d "State Highway Log: Rapid City Region" (PDF). South Dakota Department of Transportation. January 2017. pp. 23–24. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "Jewel Cave National Monument". U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  3. ^ South Dakota Codified Laws
  4. ^ South Dakota State Railroad Museum
  5. ^ Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (October 7, 1989). "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering to the Executive Committee" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 9. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 16, 2017.
  6. ^ Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (May 6, 2005). "Report of the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 16, 2017.

External linksEdit