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U.S. Route 16: Wikis


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U.S. Route 16 shield
U.S. Route 16
Length: 540 mi[1] (869 km)
Formed: 1926[1]
West end: US 14 / US 20 at Yellowstone National Park entrance
I-25 in Buffalo, WY

US 85 in Newcastle, WY

East end: I-90 near Rapid City, SD
United States Numbered Highways

U.S. Route 16 is an east–west United States highway between Rapid City, South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

As of 2004, the highway's eastern terminus is at a junction with Interstate 90, concurrent with I-190, outside of Rapid City, South Dakota. The western terminus is the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.


Route description



Highway 16 in Wyoming crosses through the towns of Newcastle and Upton before joining Interstate 90 near Moorcraft. It runs concurrently with I-90 to Gillette, where it splits off north and then arcs back down to the town of Buffalo. From Buffalo it goes over the Powder River Pass on its way to Worland. In Worland, it turns north and overlaps U.S. Highway 20 through the towns of Basin and Greybull. In Greybull, the two routes combine with U.S. Highway 14 and go west to Cody and into Yellowstone National Park. For most of the way it is a two-lane road.

South Dakota

US Highway 16 is also known as Mount Rushmore Road in western South Dakota. Highway 16 enters South Dakota east of Newcastle, Wyoming. It travels near Jewel Cave, the second-longest cave in the world.[2] The highway goes through the city of Custer and shares alignment with US Highway 385. East of Hill City Highway 16 splits off of Highway 385. It then becomes a four lane divided highway, with the two roadways separated by up to a half-mile in some places, including the old gold-mining town of Rockerville, South Dakota, which is contained entirely between the two roadways. In Rapid City, a newly complete truck bypass runs along Catron Boulevard and Elk Vale Road up to Exit 61 on I-90.

The South Dakota section of U.S. 16 is defined at South Dakota Codified Laws § 31-4-138.[3]


US 16 in Wyoming, westbound to Ten Sleep

US-16 originally connected Detroit, Michigan with Yellowstone, including a ferry link across Lake Michigan between Muskegon, Michigan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Michigan, the route was in use long before automobiles and was known to white settlers as the Grand River Trail, and prior to the designation of U.S. routes in 1926, had been designated as M-16 in the 1920s from Detroit to south of Muskegon. In 1938, reflectorized discs were placed on US-16 every 100 feet (30 m) from Detroit to Lansing, resulting in fewer nighttime traffic accidents. Other states would later do the same on their roads.

US 16 initially crossed the South Dakota-Wyoming state line west of Spearfish. U.S. Route 216 was commissioned in 1930 as a loop off US 16 to the south between Rapid City and Moorcroft, crossing the state line west of Custer. In 1934, US 16 was moved to the US 216 alignment, while the former US 16 became part of an extension of US 14.

In Michigan, most of US-16 was superseded by Interstate 96 and a segment of Grand River Avenue in Detroit ultimately became M-5. US-16 was later decommissioned in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and eastern South Dakota to its present termini. Between Rapid City and Dexter, Minnesota, it has been supplanted by Interstate 90. East of there it is now Minnesota State Highway 16 and Wisconsin Highway 16. In South Dakota it was replaced by various state highways (including SD Highway 38) and county roads: generally, in West River the old alignment was transferred to county responsibility entirely, while in East River it remained a state-maintained highway.

What remains of US 16 is a route that passes through the towns of Cody, Wyoming, Greybull, Wyoming, Worland, Wyoming, Buffalo, Wyoming, Gillette, Wyoming, Newcastle, Wyoming, and Custer, South Dakota and gives good access to Mount Rushmore. Between Buffalo and Rapid City, Interstate 90 is a much more direct (but not necessarily more scenic) route.

An "Alternate US 16" passes through Powell, Wyoming; an older Alternate US 16 in South Dakota has become South Dakota State Highway 240.

See also

Related routes

Bannered and suffixed routes


External links

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Lists  U.S. Routes - Bannered - Divided - Bypassed - Portal
Browse numbered routes
< WYO 14 WY US 18 >
< SD 15 SD SD 17 >
< M-15 MI M-17 >


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