Interstate 76 or I -76 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Colorado. The highway runs northeast from the state capital Denver to Interstate 80, just in the state of Nebraska. A significant portion of the highway runs parallel to the South Platte River and the highway crosses the High Plains. Interstate 76 is partially double-numbered with US 6. The route is 303 kilometers long.
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I-76 in Denver.
The interstate begins in the Denver metropolitan area. I-76 begins in the suburb of Wheat Ridge at Interstate 70, just west of Denver itself. There are 2×2 lanes available here. It passes through the state’s largest industrial estate, which stretches 17 miles on the north side of Denver. The city is an important road, rail and air hub. From the suburb of Westminster East, 2×3 lanes are available. A little further on, one crosses Interstate 25, which runs north to Fort Collins and Cheyenne and south to downtown Denver, Colorado Springs, and on to Albuquerque, New Mexico. One kilometer after this you cross the Interstate 270, a short highway connecting I-70 and I-25 through Commerce City. After this, the highway narrows to 2×2 lanes. From Commerce City, 2×3 strips are available again. But when the US 85 exits towards Brighton, the road narrows again. This part of the agglomeration is still under development. At Brighton one crosses the E-470, a toll motorway that forms a ring around the conurbation. You still pass Brighton itself and then leave the conurbation.
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I-76 over the High Plains near Fort Morgan.
They now begin the long journey to Nebraska over the High Plains, a barren and treeless plateau at an altitude of 1500 meters. The route is quite boring, but towards Denver the Rocky Mountains are visible in clear weather. There is also some circular irrigation farming in this area, but not on a large scale. The motorway has frontage roads. The route across the steppes is not busy. US 34. closes in Wiggins villagewho comes from Greeley. At Fort Morgan, the highway parallels the South Platte River. Fort Morgan is a regional town of 11,000 residents. At Brush, US 34 turns east to Yuma in virtually unpopulated eastern Colorado. The highway in this area has long straight lines and there are so-called “rumble strips” along the highway to warn motorists who have fallen asleep. They now pass Sterling, with 13,000 inhabitants the largest town in northeastern Colorado. Even after Sterling the road is long, straight and flat. At Sterling, US 6 turns east, and continues on US 138parallel to the highway, across the South Platte River. Bad weather can occur in this area with large hailstorms and tornadoes. One eventually arrives at Julesburg, Colorado’s northernmost town and border town with Nebraska. Here they cross the border into Nebraska and two miles away, I-76 ends at Interstate 80, which runs from Salt Lake City to Omaha.
Most of Interstate 76 opened in 1966, between I-25 in Denver and the village of Crook in northeastern Colorado. By 1970, the easternmost section to I-80 in Nebraska was completed. Wiggins bypass was not yet a full-fledged Interstate standard, it was upgraded in 1977. Until 1975, I-76 was signposted as I-80S, but was renumbered I-76 to remove the letter suffix from the signage.
For a long time, the link between I-70 and I-25 in northern Denver was missing. Construction began in the mid-1980s and the link has been fragmented, from exit to exit, opening between 1985 and 1993, completing I-76. Through traffic would no longer have to travel through the congested interchange between I-25 and I-70 north of downtown Denver.
In 2013-2014, I-76 between Fort Morgan and Brush was modernized. Three connections have been reconstructed here, whereby the cloverleaf with State Route 71 at Brush has been replaced by a diamond interchange.
|Exit 5||Exit 149||232 km||1966|
|Exit 180||Exit 1 (NE)||7 km||12-1969|
|Exit 149||Exit 165||26 km||1970|
|Exit 165||Exit 180||24 km||24-10-1970|
|Exit 0||Exit 1B||2 km||03-12-1985|
|Exit 1B||Exit 3||2 km||05-11-1987|
|Exit 3||Exit 4||1 km||01-11-1989|
|Exit 4||Exit 5||1 km||15-09-1993|
I-76 in northeastern Colorado.
The busiest part is of course in Denver, with 100,000 vehicles per day. Outside of Denver, this quickly drops to below 20,000 vehicles per day. Congestion hardly ever occurs. 6,900 vehicles cross the border into Nebraska every day.