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U.S. Highway 71: Wikis

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U.S. Route 71 shield
U.S. Route 71
Length: 1,532 mi[1] (2,465 km)
Formed: 1926[1]
South end: US 190 in Krotz Springs, LA
Major
junctions:
I-20 from Bossier City to Shreveport, LA

I-30 in Texarkana, TX/AR
I-40 in Alma, AR
I-70 in Kansas City, MO
I-35 in Kansas City, MO
I-29 in Kansas City, MO
I-80 / US 6 near Atlantic, IA
I-90 in Jackson, MN
I-94 in Sauk Centre, MN
US 2 in Bemidji, MN
US 53 / MN 11 in Int'l. Falls, MN

North end: Hwy 71 to Hwy 11 / TCH
at Fort Frances, ON
United States Numbered Highways
ListBanneredDividedReplaced

U.S. Route 71 is a north–south United States highway. This original 1926 route has remained largely unchanged by encroaching Interstate highways. Currently, the highway's northern terminus is in International Falls, Minnesota at the Canadian border, at the southern end of the Fort Frances-International Falls International Bridge to Fort Frances, Ontario. U.S. Route 53 also ends here. On the other side of the bridge, Trans-Canada Highway 11 is an east–west route. US 71's southern terminus is between Port Barre and Krotz Springs, Louisiana at an intersection with U.S. Route 190.[2]

Contents

Route description

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Louisiana

The southern terminus of U.S. 71 is in Louisiana, beginning between Port Barre and Krotz Springs, Louisiana, at an intersection with U.S. 190. The highway follows a northwesterly course through Louisiana, passing through the communities of Alexandria, Montgomery, Coushatta, and Shreveport. From its southern terminus to Shreveport, U.S. 71 has largely been superseded by Interstate 49 - which is eventually planned to roughly follow the U.S. 71 alignment as far north as Kansas City, Missouri. After Shreveport, U.S. 71 follows a northerly course, crossing into Arkansas just north of Ida, Louisiana.

Arkansas (and Texas)

U.S. 71 travels approximately 300 miles (480 km) in Arkansas entering the state approximately 1-mile (1.6 km) north of Ida, Louisiana and running approximately 30 miles (48 km) to Texarkana, passing through the communities of Doddridge and Fouke.

At Texarkana, U.S. 71 has a short, 2 block concurrency with U.S. Route 67 and U.S. Route 82 before turning north along State Line Avenue. On State Line Avenue, the northbound lanes are in Arkansas; the southbound lanes are in Texas. While on State Line Avenue, U.S. Route 59 joins U.S. 71 at Interstate 30.

From Arkansas Highway 296 north of Texarkana to the Red River, U.S. 71 & 59 run together as an expressway. Except for the northbound lanes (which return to the Arkansas side just before the Red River), this section is entirely in Texas.

After the highways re-enter Arkansas completely at the Red River, U.S. 59 continues to overlap U.S. 71 through Ashdown, Lockesburg, DeQueen and Mena, finally leaving U.S. 71 at Acorn. In addition, U.S. Route 371 overlaps U.S. 71 & 59 for approximately 14 miles (23 km) from Lockesburg to DeQueen, joined by U.S. Route 70 8 miles (13 km) east of DeQueen.

Between Acorn and Y City, US 71 overlaps U.S. Route 270.

North of Acorn, US 71 passes through Waldron, Mansfield and Greenwood before intersecting with Interstate 540 on the south end of Fort Smith. US 71 overlaps I-540 approximately 12 miles (19 km) until it reaches Interstate 40, then follows I-40 6 miles to Alma.

U.S. 71 passes through Mountainburg, Winslow, West Fork and Greenland on its way to Fayetteville. At Fayetteville, US 71 overlaps I-540 to Bentonville, as well as U.S. Route 62.

North of Bentonville US 71 continues another 12 miles (19 km) passing through Bella Vista to the Missouri State Line.

Missouri

Route 71 in Missouri

In Missouri, US 71 is a major north–south artery on the western side of the state, connecting Joplin with Kansas City. Construction is in progress to upgrade US 71 to Interstate standards as a future extension of Interstate 49. On August 15, 2007, the final section of US 71 south of Kansas City to be completed to a 4-lane divided expressway, was opened in McDonald County, MO, between the cities of Lanagan and Jane,[3]. In Kansas City, US 71 is one of the components of the Grandview Triangle interchange. Though US 71 is a freeway from Harrisonville almost to downtown Kansas City, there is a 2-mile (3.2 km) section near Swope Park that has three at-grade intersections. Ample right of way exists on the corridor to upgrade to a freeway, though there are no plans to do so in the near future.[4] From downtown Kansas City, US 71 overlaps with Interstate 29 to Saint Joseph. From there, US 71 continues as an expressway to Maryville before angling towards Iowa just north of Clearmont. In 2002, US 71 was four laned from Interstate 29, northwest of St. Joseph to Maryville. From there, until it enters Iowa at Braddyville, it continues to be the only remaining rural two lane section of this highway north of Kansas City.

US 71 overlaps Interstate 70 on the east side of downtown Kansas City's freeway loop. US 71 then overlaps Interstate 35 and Interstate 29 for a segment which crosses the Missouri River via the Paseo Bridge in Kansas City. It then continues concurrent with Interstate 29 after separating from Interstate 35 north of the Missouri River to just north of St. Joseph, Missouri where it diverges.

An alternative in the design of Interstate 29 called for it to follow US 71 on a more populated route through Maryville, Missouri and Clarinda, Iowa. However the interstate was to be routed along the more direct route to Omaha, Nebraska/Council Bluffs, Iowa and more sparsely populated Missouri River bottoms.

During the Great Flood of 1993 when the Missouri River flooded I-29 traffic was detoured along US 71 through Maryville and Clarinda.

The four-lane segment between Savannah, Missouri to Maryville was completed in 2002. It is a two lane highway north of Maryville to the Iowa state line. The long delay in bringing a four-lane highway to Maryville even as most of the highway from Savannah south to the Arkansas line has been a four lanes for some time was a source of considerable irritation for Maryville and Northwest Missouri State University.

Outlaws Bonnie and Clyde engaged in a shoot out with law enforcement officers in 1933 beside the highway at the Red Crown Tourist Court in Platte County, Missouri. The tourist court (which has been torn down) was just east of the main exit for Kansas City International Airport on I-29.

Iowa

U.S. 71 passes through a rural section of western Iowa. It enters the state at Braddyville and junctions Interstate 80 near Brayton, northeast of Atlantic. North of I-80, U.S. 71 passes through Carroll, where it intersects U.S. Route 30, and overlaps U.S. Route 20 through Early and U.S. Route 18 through Spencer. The highway crosses the Iowa Great Lakes where West Okoboji and East Okoboji Lake meet before exiting the state.

U.S. 71 formerly entered Storm Lake concurrently with Iowa Highway 7 but was moved to a new alignment east of Storm Lake in 1996 to lessen travel time between Carroll and Spencer, the two largest communities on U.S. 71 in Iowa. A business route of U.S. 71 follows the highway's former alignment through Storm Lake.

A business route for U.S. 71 also passes through Clarinda on a former alignment of U.S. 71.

Minnesota

As in Iowa, U.S. 71 in Minnesota is largely a rural highway. It crosses Interstate 90 at Jackson and passes through Windom, Redwood Falls and Willmar before its junction with Interstate 94 at Sauk Centre. From there, U.S. 71 passes through Wadena and Park Rapids before touching Itasca State Park, the source of the Mississippi River. It then crosses the Mississippi and is a major route for northern Minnesota as it goes around Bemidji (the "first city on the Mississippi") and angles northeast to its end at the Canadian border in International Falls. On the Canadian side, a short connector route links the bridge to Highway 11 and Highway 71 in Fort Frances, Ontario.

The Minnesota section of U.S. 71 is defined as Routes 4 and 141 in Minnesota Statutes §§ 161.114(2) and 161.115(72).[1],[2]

History

Until 1950, US 71 extended down the present-day route of U.S. Route 190 to Port Allen, Louisiana near the state capitol, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Otherwise, the route is largely intact.

In northwest Arkansas, the 1926 alignment of US 71 followed Highway 102 from Bentonville to Centerton, then north on Highway 102 Business to Highway 72 southeast of Hiwasse. From there, it followed Arkansas 72 to Gravette, where it turned north on Highway 59 to the Missouri state line. In the 1930s, US 71 was rerouted along Arkansas 72 between Bentonville and Gravette, then north on Arkansas 59. This alignment lasted until the early 1960s when it was realigned along Highway 100 between Bentonville and the Missouri state line. In Missouri, the new US 71 replaced Route 88, which had been defined in 1922, while the old US 71 became Route 59.

In southern Louisiana, US 71 originally travelled south to Lebeau, Louisiana where it turned east, passing through Melville before turning south at Ravenswood then turning east at Rosedale towards Baton Rouge.

This segment now generally follows Louisiana Highway 10 between Lebeau and Ravenswood, Louisiana Highway 77 between Ravenswood and Rosedale, and Louisiana Highway 76 to Baton Rouge.

Future

A large section of U.S. 71 through Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana is being upgraded to Interstate standards as a potential extension of Interstate 49 from Shreveport, Louisiana to Kansas City, Missouri. For more, see Interstate 49, Interstate 540 (Arkansas) (completed from Alma to Bentonville), and Arkansas Highway 549 (completed from Texarkana to just north of Louisiana state line).

Major intersections

See also

Related U.S. Routes

Auxiliary and suffixed routes

U.S. 71 has 14 bannered routes, and has had more in the past. Decommissioned routes are shown in italics.

References

US blank.svg Main U.S. Routes
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 36 37 38
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
80 81 82 83 84 85 87 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99
101 163 400 412 425
Lists  U.S. Routes - Bannered - Divided - Bypassed - Portal
Browse numbered routes
< LA 70 LA LA 72 >
< SH 70 TX SH 71 >
< U.S. 70 AR Hwy. 72 >
< I-70 MO I-72 >
< IA 70 IA I-74 >
< MN 70 MN MN 72 >

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