State Route 5 and 61 in Kansas
State Route 5 in Kansas
According to Watchtutorials, State Route 5, also known as K-5 is a state route in the U.S. state of Kansas. The road forms an east-west route between Leavenworth and Kansas City and is 39 kilometers long.
K-5 is a somewhat secondary route, but it is the shortest connection between Leavenworth and Kansas City. The road begins on the south side of Leavenworth on US 73 and K-7 and follows the Missouri River valley to the southeast. The road is interrupted by a short section of Interstate 435, Kansas City’s beltway.
The second section is an urban arterial, Leavenworth Road through western Kansas City. West of Interstate 635, the road is single-lane and opens up suburbs. East of I-635, the road is a 2×2 lane highway-style junction that descends to the Missouri River business park. Here K-5 ends at an intersection with US 69.
According to Citypopulationreview, Fort Leavenworth was an important US military installation in the 19th century and crucial in leading the ‘Old West’. In 1870, it was the largest city in the region, larger than Kansas City, Missouri, and larger than Kansas City, Kansas by 1880.
K-5 has always run between Leavenworth and Kansas City. In 1932, about two-thirds of the road was paved from Kansas City. The part close to Leavenworth was unpaved, but at that time you could already take the asphalted US 73E to Leavenworth. Therefore, K-5 had a secondary importance even in the 1930s. Around 1940-1941, the section southeast of Leavenworth was also paved.
The Leavenworth Road running straight east-west has always been the route of K-5, this road was already the route of K-5 before the suburbanization. The construction of Wyandotte County Lake, a small reservoir in western Kansas City, caused K-5 to be interrupted. A ‘temporary’ diversion route was then signposted, but was not removed until I-435 opened in 1987, and K-5 was diverted over it.
It was originally planned for I-635 to branch off to US 69 just before the Missouri River and cross the river there to access Fairfax Municipal Airport. However, in 1969 it was decided to build I-635 directly to the north, alternatively a spur was constructed with 2×2 lanes and grade separated intersections to Fairfax Municipal Airport. This stretch of freeway was opened circa 1976 as part of K-5. The airport closed in 1985 and has been converted into a factory. The road has not been of much importance since then.
Every day, 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles travel between Leavenworth and I-435 and 6,000 to 10,000 vehicles travel on Leavenworth Road in western Kansas City. The highway-like section between I-635 and US 69 is 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles per day.
State Route 61 in Kansas
State Route 61, also known as K-61 is a state route in the U.S. state of Kansas. The road forms a diagonal route in the middle of the state, from Pratt through Hutchinson to McPherson. K-61 is 134 kilometers long.
K-61 is a diagonal route through the middle of Kansas and can be divided into two routes with their own character. The southern section between Pratt and Hutchinson is a single carriageway across the countryside. This connects US 54 / US 400 on the east side of Pratt to US 50 just before Hutchinson. The double numbering of the US 50 along Hutchinson is a 2×2 divided highway with some grade separations.
The northern part of Hutchinson to Interstate 135 south of McPherson is a more advanced route, outside Hutchinson this is a 2×2 limited-access highway with the important intersections being grade separated. The road looks like a quasi-freeway. The part through Hutchinson himself is an urban arterial with traffic lights. K-61 forms the southern bypass of the town of McPherson and terminates at a junction with I-135.
In the 1930s, the current road did not actually exist, but K-61 did exist as a dirt road in the grid between US 54 at Pratt and US 50S at Sylvia. Between Hutchinson and McPherson existed a partially tarmac road that was numbered K-17 and followed a ‘stairway’ route through the grid. This connected well south of McPherson to the also unpaved US 81.
The situation was unchanged until 1940. In the early 1940s, construction began on a new diagonal road between Pratt and Hutchinson, numbered K-61. In 1945 a tarmac section was completed between Arlington and Hutchinson. The section between Pratt and Arlington was built in the second half of the 1940s, but was previously a gravel road. By 1951 there was a small stretch of gravel road left between Langdon and Arlington, which had been paved by 1953.
Around 1957, the K-17 between Hutchinson and McPherson was renumbered K-61. The section between Hutchinson and Inman then ran diagonally as an asphalt road, between Inman and the US 81 at McPherson K-61 still followed the stair structure through the grid, but as an asphalt road. At the end of the 1950s, this part was also laid out diagonally, but it still ended in McPherson.
The road was little changed during the 1960s. A change followed around 1971, when US 50 west of Hutchinson was constructed on a new route that partly followed K-61. US 50/K-61 has therefore been doubled to 2×2 lanes west of Hutchinson. Around 1973, I-135 opened south of McPherson and K-61 was routed south of this city to the new highway. For a long time, however, these were the only adjustments.
It wasn’t until around 2002 that the second grade-separated connection at Hutchinson, the western connection to K-96, opened . After that, around 2009 the section along the south side of Hutchinson further doubled to the eastern fork with US 50, although the grade separated intersection with US 50 did not open until about 2014. The section between Hutchinson and McPherson was converted into a 2×2 divided highway in the period 2011-2012, partly with route relocations. The formal opening was on August 10, 2012.
2,000 to 3,000 vehicles drive daily between Pratt and US 50 southwest of Hutchinson. This increases to 7,000 to 8,500 vehicles on the southern bypass of Hutchinson (US 50) and 8,000 to 11,000 vehicles on the eastern section of Hutchinson. Between Hutchinson and McPherson, between 5,000 and 6,000 vehicles per day, and 4,500 vehicles connect to I-135.