State Route 103, 105 and 109 in Colorado
State Route 103 in Colorado
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State Route 103, commonly known as State Highway 103 or SH 103 is a state route in the U.S. state of Colorado. The road connects through the Rocky Mountains west of Denver, between Idaho Springs and Squaw Pass. SH 103 is 36 kilometers long.
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SH 103 begins in Idaho Springs at a junction with Interstate 70 and begins a long climb from there. Idaho Springs is at 2,300 meters, and the road rises continuously, through some hairpin bends, to Echo Lake at 3,200 meters. At the lake, SH 5 turns off to the top of Mount Evans. SH 103 continues eastwards over a ridge, the highest point is approximately 3,400 meters. However, SH 103 does not rise above the tree line, so there are few expansive views. East of Squaw Mountain, SH 103 ends, a county road then continues toward Evergreen.
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SH 103 is one of the original 1920s state highways. At the time, the road ran from Idaho Springs to the south side of Mount Evans. The section to the top of Mount Evans was completed in 1927. At the time, the road was planned to continue from Mount Evans to Grant, but there is no indication that this road ever existed as a motorable connection. The section from Idaho Springs to Echo Lake was paved in 1939. In 1952 the planned connection to Grant was scrapped. In 1954, SH 103 was modified, the road to the top of Mount Evans was scrapped as a state highway, and SH 103 was extended east over Squaw Pass. In 1955 the section to Mount Evans was numbered as SH 5.
Every day, 6,600 vehicles drive through Idaho Springs, dropping to 700 vehicles until it splits onto SH 5 at Echo Lake. The eastern section over Squaw Pass only handles 350 vehicles per day.
State Route 105 in Colorado
State Route 105, commonly known as State Highway 105 or SH 105 is a state route in the U.S. state of Colorado. The road forms a north-south route along the base of the Rocky Mountains south of Denver, between Monument and Sedalia. SH 105 is 53 kilometers long.
SH 105 begins east of Monument at an intersection with SH 83. The road heads west at first, through a forest area in flat terrain that is somewhat exurban, with many scattered buildings. At Monument there is a connection to Interstate 25. The road then heads northwest to Palmer Lake, at the base of the mountains, and then heads north, parallel to the Rocky Mountains. There are no real places between Palmer Lake and Sedalia, but there are quite a few scattered buildings. On the south side of Sedalia, SH 105 ends at SH 67, not far from US 85.
SH 105 is one of the original state highways from the 1920s and ran from the then US 85/87 in Palmer Lake to Sedalia. The east-west section was then numbered as SH 50. In 1954, US 85/87 was moved to the route of today’s I-25, extending SH 105 south to Monument. The road was paved in the early 1960s. In 1968, SH 105 was extended eastwards over the former SH 50, so that there was no confusion with US 50. The east-west section between SH 83 and I-25 has been formally no longer a state highway since 2007. Portions of the route between Palmer Lake and Sedalia are also no longer under the control of the state of Colorado.
Every day, 19,000 vehicles drive through the junction with I-25 at Monument, dropping to 6,000 vehicles at Palmer Lake. North of Palmer Lake, there are only 1,000 vehicles per day.
State Route 109 in Colorado
State Route 109, commonly known as State Highway 109 or SH 109 is a state route in the U.S. state of Colorado. The road forms a north-south route across the High Plains in the southeast of the state, from near Kim through La Junta to Cheraw. SH 109 is 105 kilometers long.
The Comanche National Grassland.
SH 109 begins north of Kim at an intersection with US 160. The road then heads 90 kilometers north through virtually uninhabited area, part of the Comanche National Grassland, which has some elevation changes. There are no significant intersecting roads up to the town of La Junta. La Junta is also the only place of size on the route, crossing US 50 and crossing the Arkansas River. The road then leads past the La Junta Municipal Airport and ends in the village of Cheraw, just north of La Junta.
SH 109 is one of the original state highways from the 1920s. The original route was a north-south link further north, between Karval and Genoa (at today’s I-70). Several extensions were made in 1939, including south to US 160 at Kim. In 1950 the section between La Junta and Cheraw was asphalted. By 1954, almost the entire route had been handed back to the counties, leaving only the section between La Junta and Cheraw. From 1964 to 1983, SH 109 was gradually extended southwards, again to US 160 at Kim, and was also paved in phases during that period.
Only 200 to 400 vehicles run daily between Kim and La Junta, peaking at 5,000 vehicles in La Junta itself, then 600 vehicles as far as Cheraw.