End of US highway 16

View a map showing this route.

Photo credits: Monte Castleman; Chris Elbert; Jon Enslin; Jay Maynard; Jim Teresco

Approx. time period East terminus West terminus
1926-1962 Detroit, MI Worland, WY
1962-1963(?) Milwaukee, WI Worland, WY
1963(?)-1965 Waukesha, WI Worland, WY
1965-1978 Waukesha, WI East entrance Yellowstone National Park, WY
1978-1979 (near La Crosse, WI) East entrance Yellowstone National Park, WY
1979-1980 (near Sioux Falls, SD) East entrance Yellowstone National Park, WY
1980-present Rapid City, SD East entrance Yellowstone National Park, WY

An original 1926 route, the west end of US 16 was in Worland WY. The photo below was taken from westbound US 20...

Teresco, July 2003

...but oddly enough, we're actually looking east there on Big Horn Avenue. US 20 continues by turning north (left) on 10th Street. Today westbound US 16 is directed that way too, but until 1965, the west beginning of US 16 was straight ahead. Below we're looking south on 10th, or east on US 16/20:

Elbert, July 2005

As is typical in Wyoming, this urban highway junction is well-marked with big sign bridges. Below is a close-up:

Elbert, July 2005

US 16 once began to the left. Eastbound US 20 actually goes west here for a few blocks before curving south again. The view below is looking west on US 16:

Elbert, July 2005

That used to be the west end of US 16. But in 1965 the designation was extended to the right with US 20, and US 16 is now co-signed with it for approx. 150 miles: all the way to the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park (you can view photos on this page).


US 16 used to continue much further east of Rapid City: mostly along what is now I-90, to Milwaukee WI. From there, the route continued across Lake Michigan via car ferry, to Muskegon MI*. Then east across that state, roughly along modern I-96, to its original east end in Detroit. You can view photos from there on this page.

* Quentin Hibben wrote to inform me that the original ferry, now being restored by the Muskegon Maritime Museum to its original status as a World War II Landing Ship Tank, was actually named "Highway 16" when it served as a car ferry from 1946 - 1973.

Michigan decommissioned US 16 in 1962. After that, the route's west end was in Milwaukee, perhaps at the same place US 18 ends today (see my US 18 page for photos and more info). But most likely it wasn't long until US 16 was truncated back to the interchange to which the sign in the photo below refers:

Enslin, 2001

A mile ahead is I-94's interchange 293 in Waukesha. In its later life, US 16 was routed along today's WI hwy. 16 until it was completely decommissioned in Wisconsin in 1978. The US 16 designation was apparently killed in Minnesota the following year, so its eastern terminus was probably at the SD border east of Sioux Falls for a short time. But it didn't make sense to begin signing it there, so the next year US 16 was truncated still further, to its current east terminus in Rapid City:

Maynard, July 2002

US 16 comes out of the Black Hills, goes through Rapid City, and is co-signed with I-190 north out of town. The end of that freeway at its interchange with I-90 also marks the east end of US 16 (above). Below, we're looking east on I-90 at the exit to the beginning of US 16:

Maynard, July 2002

Note the sign for "Truck US 16" at left; that's a bypass around the east side of town. Below is the same exit as viewed from westbound I-90:

Maynard, July 2002

This last shot is looking south from I-90 along the east beginning of US 16, heading into downtown Rapid City:

Maynard, July 2002