Interstate 76 (Colorado–Nebraska)

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Interstate 76

I-76 highlighted in red
Route information
Length187.29 mi[1][2] (301.41 km)
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
West end I-70 in Arvada, CO
Major intersections
East end I-80 near Big Springs, NE
CountryUnited States
StatesColorado, Nebraska
CountiesCO: Jefferson, Adams, Weld, Morgan, Washington, Logan, Sedgwick
NE: Deuel
Highway system
SH 75CO SH 78
US 75NE US 77

Interstate 76 (I-76) is an east–west Interstate Highway in the Western United States that runs from I-70 in Arvada, Colorado – near Denver – to an interchange with I-80 near Big Springs, Nebraska. The highway measures 187.29 miles (301.41 km) long,[1] all but approximately three miles (4.8 km) of which is in Colorado. Along the route, the highway runs concurrent with US Route 6 (US 6), US 85 in the Denver metropolitan area, and US 34 from Wiggins to Fort Morgan. It has no auxiliary Interstates, but it has two business routes that are located in northeastern Colorado. This route is not connected with the other I-76 that spans from Ohio to New Jersey.

Route description

  mi km
CO 184.14 296.34
NE 3.15 5.07
Total 187.29 301.41


I-70 at its interchange with I-76

I-76 begins at an interchange with I-70 in Arvada. From I-70, the freeway heads east to an exit at State Highway 95 (SH 95), known as Sheridan Boulevard. The route heads northeastward across US 287, known as Federal Boulevard, to an interchange with I-25. Running roughly parallel to nearby Clear Creek, I-76 meets another interchange, with I-270 in North Washington, Colorado, where Clear Creek joins the South Platte River, which is crossed by I-76. After an interchange at SH 224, I-76 joins US 85 and US 6 at Brighton Boulevard. Past Derby, US 85 veers away from I-76 after 96th Avenue. The combined routes of US 6 and I-76 head northeastward, crossing SH 2 south, named Sable Boulevard, before meeting an exit at E-470, a toll road. Past E-470, the freeway exits the Denver metropolitan area.

Passing just west of Barr Lake, the freeway heads northeastward east of Brighton. Near Lochbuie, the freeway crosses SH 7, before crossing into Weld County. I-76 meets SH 52 in Hudson, the next city along the freeway. Past Hudson, the combined routes of US 6 and I-76 turn slightly eastward into Keenesburg, which is served by a business loop (I-76 Business [I-76 Bus]). I-76 then turns northeast and east into Roggen, where it meets County Road 73. The highway heads away from the farmland it was formerly running through and traverses a large grassland area. Just south of the Empire Reservoir, the freeway turns back east, crossing into Morgan County within circular fields. Heading east, I-76 heads into Wiggins, near which I-76 joins US 34. The three combined routes head east through farms.

I-76 near Brush

The freeway heads east toward Fort Morgan, spawning another business loop (I-76 Bus) that carries US 34 away from I-76. The freeway heads east into Fort Morgan, meeting SH 52, now running again near the South Platte River. Still running between the South Platte River to the north and its business loop to the south, I-76 heads just north of Brush, where it meets an interchange with SH 71. US 34 veers away from the business loop as I-76 turns back east, crossing over the business loop, which does not terminate at the freeway. I-76 Bus carries US 6 toward Hillrose. Bypassing that city, I-76 traverses northeast into Washington County, with farms to the north along the river and grasslands to the south. Passing the Prewitt Reservoir, the freeway heads into Logan County. Heading northeasterly, the route crosses SH 63, which serves Atwood. I-76 Bus then enters Sterling, which is near I-76. The business loops turns abruptly east within the city, carrying US 6. US 6 continues past the interchange with the business route.

I-76 continues parallel to the South Platte River, surrounded by farms to the northwest and plains to the southeast. Northwest of the river is US 138, which serves several towns bypassed by the freeway. I-76 has an exit at SH 55 which serves the town of Crook. With farms on the south part of the freeway as well, I-76 enters Sedgwick County, crossing SH 59 which heads to Sedgwick. The freeway then veers eastward before turning back northeast toward Julesburg. I-76 comes to an exit at US 385, which heads northwest to Julesburg. I-76 then heads northeast to the Nebraska state line.[3][4]


I-76 signed as a north–south route in Nebraska

In Nebraska, I-76 stretches just over three miles (4.8 km). It is signed as a north–south direction as opposed to the east–west designation in Colorado. Its entire route is located in Deuel County, parallel to the South Platte River and US 138. Its only interchange is at I-80, formerly numbered exit 102 based on I-80's mileage, now renumbered as exit 3 based on I-76's mileage.


I-76 exit along E-470

Until 1974, both the segment of I-76 in Colorado and Nebraska and a portion of I-76 in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey were signed as Interstate 80S (I-80S). In July 1974, the already-completed route, I-80S, was renumbered to I-76 in accordance with American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) policy to remove the letter suffixes from Interstate routes and to avoid the confusion of this route with I-80.[5][6] This prompted the replacement of around 488 signs in eliminating I-80S.[1] The number 76 has an association with 1876, the year Colorado was admitted as a state.[6] Nebraska renumbered its existing Nebraska Highway 76 (N-76) to N-53 as a result.[7]

I-76 was conceived in August 1958. The Colorado portion was planned and built first. In December 1969, the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) worked together with the Colorado Department of Highways to open a three-mile-long (4.8 km) route connecting I-80 with the rest of I-80S in Colorado.[1] The original western terminus of I-76 was at I-25, as planned. The western extension to I-70 was built in the late 1980s and early 1990s. By its completion in November 2002, the total cost was about $45.5 million (equivalent to $73.7 million in 2023[8]).[1]

In 1968, I-25 and US 85 were open to the general traffic to the Denver vicinity after all the structures located throughout the route were completed, as well as meeting the criteria of the Interstate standards. Structures connected several interchanges; each one connecting I-270, US 85, Dahlia Street, Washington Street, 74th Avenue, and York Street. The completion also included structures in which each cross the Burlington Canal, Platte River, and Union Pacific Railroad. By October 24, 1970, the route was open to traffic from Sedgwick to Julesburg, as well as the completion of the route, connecting from its western terminus of I-25 in Colorado to its eastern terminus at I-80 near Big Springs, Nebraska.[1]

Beginning in 1990, six additional miles (9.7 km) were planned and constructed west of I-25. By October 2002, all of I-76 was open, and the highway reached its current western terminus at I-70 in Arvada.[1]

Exit list


I-70 west – Grand Junction
Western terminus; I-70 exit 269B
0.0000.0001A SH 121 (Wadsworth Boulevard)Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
county line
ArvadaBerkley line1.7682.8451B SH 95 (Sheridan Boulevard)
AdamsBerkley3.2235.1873 US 287 (Federal Boulevard)
BerkleyNorth Washington line4.2106.7754Pecos Street
North Washington5.7779.2975 I-25 (US 87) – Fort Collins, Colorado SpringsWestbound access to I-25 north is via exit 6B; I-25 exits 216A-B

I-270 east (US 36 east) to I-70 east – Limon, Aurora
Serves Denver International Airport

I-270 west to US 36 – Fort Collins, Boulder
Westbound exit and entrance only; I-270 exit 1
Adams City8.05212.9588 SH 224 (74th Avenue)Eastbound exit and westbound entrance

US 6 west / US 85 south – Commerce City
Western end of US 6 / US 85 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
10.46616.8431088th Avenue
11.54918.5861196th Avenue
US 85 north – Greeley, Brighton
Eastern end of US 85 overlap; no eastbound entrance
SH 2 south (Sable Boulevard) / 120th Avenue – Denver International Airport

E-470 south to I-70 east – Limon, Denver International Airport
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; E-470 exit 35
19.72331.74120136th Avenue
21.08133.92721Eagle Boulevard
22.40736.06122Bromley Lane
county line
SH 7 west – Lochbuie, Brighton
WeldHudson31.48050.66231 SH 52 – Hudson, Fort Lupton
34.41255.38134Kersey Road
49.23679.23849Painter RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
57.21992.08557County Road 91
SH 144 east – Orchard
Morgan63.883102.81064Wiggins (US 6 east)Eastern end of US 6 overlap;[9] eastbound exit and westbound entrance

SH 39 north / SH 52 west (US 6 west) – Wiggins, Goodrich
Western end of US 6 and SH 52 overlaps[9]
US 34 west – Greeley, Estes Park
Western end of US 34 overlap; westbound exit and eastbound entrance only
73.130117.69173Long Bridge Road

I-76 BL east / US 34 east (SH 52 east) – Fort Morgan
Western terminus of I-76 BL; eastern end of US 34/SH 52 overlap
78.852126.90079 SH 144 – Weldona
Fort Morgan80.139128.97180 SH 52 – Raymer, Fort Morgan
81.648131.40082Barlow Road – Fort Morgan
85.713137.94286Dodd Bridge Road
88.695142.74189Hospital Road
SH 71 to US 34 – Brush, Akron, Limon, Snyder

US 6 east (I-76 BL) to US 34 – Akron, Yuma, Wray, Brush
Eastern end of US 6 overlap; access to US 34 via unsigned US 34 Spur (I-76 BL west)
Logan115.197185.392115 SH 63 – Akron, Atwood
Sterling124.756200.775125 I-76 BL west / US 6 – Sterling, HolyokeEastern terminus of I-76 BL
148.880239.599149 SH 55 – Crook
155.288249.912155Red Lion Road
Sedgwick164.933265.434165 SH 59 – Sedgwick, Haxtun
US 385 to US 138 – Julesburg
ColoradoNebraska line
3 I-80 – Sidney, OmahaEastern terminus; exit number formerly based on I-80 mileage; exit is for I-80 west; I-80 exit 102
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Business routes


Interstate 76 Business

LocationKeenesburg, Colorado
Length0.47 mi[10] (760 m)

Interstate 76 Business (I-76 Bus) is an unsigned business spur that connects Keenesburg, Colorado, in Weld County to the Interstate. Inventoried by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the 0.5-mile (0.80 km) route begins at the I-76 frontage road (County Road 398) within the town limits and heads north as Market Street. The route terminates north of I-76 exit 39.[11]

Major intersections
The entire route is in Keenesburg, Weld County.

0.4720.760County Road 398Southern terminus; former US 6 / SH 2; road continues as Market Street
0.1810.291 I-76 (US 6)I-76 exit 39
0.0000.000Road 18Northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Fort Morgan–Sterling

Interstate 76 Business

LocationFort MorganSterling, Colorado
Length52.31 mi (84.18 km)

Interstate 76 Business (I-76 Bus) is a business route of I-76 serving Fort Morgan, Colorado, and adjacent areas to Sterling in Morgan and Logan counties. This 52.31-mile (84.18 km) route is the longest continuously signed Interstate business loop in the system. It begins at exit 75 at I-76 west of Fort Morgan. The route overlaps US 34 and SH 52 heading east and becomes W Platte Avenue. After intersecting Sherman Street, SH 52 turns North on Main Street and the route becomes East Platte Avenue, only overlapping US 34. After crossing County Road 21, the route is only assigned as US 34. Entering Brush, the route becomes Edison Street and passes toward the south of town, remaining parallel with the Interstate. Intersecting Colorado Avenue, the route starts overlapping SH 71. SH 71 goes south after the route exits Brush. Then, I-76 Bus comes across a minor Y interchange and US 34 continues east while the business loop proceeds northeast. It interchanges with I-76 again at a partial cloverleaf interchange and starts overlapping US 6. It passes through unincorporated Camden and then enters Hillrose as Railway Street. It remains signed with US 6 after crossing County Road 3305. It remains almost parallel with the Interstate until it approaches the Prewitt Reservoir, where it turns north through Beta and into Merino, becoming Platte Street between Ram Avenue and Logan Avenue. The route continues northeast into Atwood and intersects SH 63, becoming Front Avenue toward 7th Street, remaining concurrent with US 6. The route then enters Sterling, becoming a one-way street between South 3rd Avenue and South Division Avenue, where the route becomes a two-lane road, turns north, and then becomes South 3rd Street. The route turns to the southeast at Chestnut Street and exits town. I-76 Bus meets I-76 and terminates there at a diamond interchange at exit 125, and US 6 continues east past the Interstate.

Major intersections

I-76 (US 6) / US 34 west (SH 52 west)
Western terminus; western end of US 34/SH 52 concurrency; I-76 exit 75
Fort Morgan4.47.1

SH 52 east (Main Street) to I-76
Eastern end of SH 52 concurrency

SH 71 north (Colorado Street) to I-76
Western end of SH 71 concurrency
SH 71 south – Last Chance, Limon
Eastern end of SH 71 concurrency
US 34 east – Akron
US 34 Spur begins
Eastern end of US 34 concurrency; western end of unsigned US 34 Spur concurrency
17.3127.86US 34 Spur ends

US 6 west / I-76 – Denver
Eastern end of US 34 Spur concurrency; western end of US 6 concurrency; I-76 exit 92
County Road Q to I-76
SH 63 south – Akron
Northern terminus of SH 63

US 138 east (3rd Street north) / SH 14 west (Chestnut Street west) – Julesburg, Fort Collins
Western terminus of US 138; eastern terminus of SH 14
50.9281.95Front StreetInterchange; no westbound entrance
US 6 east / I-76
Eastern terminus; eastern end of US 6 concurrency; I-76 exit 125; highway continues as US 6 east
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Colorado Department of Transportation (2006). "The History of I-76 in Colorado". Colorado Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on March 29, 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Nebraska Highway Reference Log Book" (PDF). Nebraska Department of Roads. 2015. p. 190. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Microsoft; Nokia (March 3, 2011). "I-76 in Colorado" (Map). Bing Maps. Microsoft. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Highway 76A between 0 and 184.135". CDOT Online Transportation Information System. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  5. ^ U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee (June 25, 1974). "U.S. Route Numbering Subcommittee Agenda" (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 8. Retrieved October 8, 2021 – via Wikisource.
  6. ^ a b "I-80S renamed Interstate 76". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Associated Press. August 1, 1974. p. 16. Retrieved October 8, 2021 – via
  7. ^ "Highways will have new number designations". Columbus Telegram. Associated Press. November 19, 1974. p. 21. Retrieved October 8, 2021 – via
  8. ^ Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved November 30, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the MeasuringWorth series.
  9. ^ a b "Highway 006I between 343.519 and 346.697". CDOT Online Transportation Information System. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Highway 076B between 0 and 0.472". CDOT Online Transportation Information System. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
  11. ^ "Interstate Business Route 76". Retrieved December 25, 2020.

External links