Length: 300.201 miles
Colorado State Line west of Tribune
Greeley, Wichita, Scott, Lane, Ness, Rush, Barton, Rice, Reno, Sedgwick
Historical Counties Served:
Butler, Greenwood, Wilson, Montgomery, Labette, Cherokee (1927-1998)
The on-ramp from K-14 south to US 50 east (0.447 miles)
The off-ramp from US 50 east to K-14 south (0.227 miles)
The ramp from northbound I-235 to southbound I-135 (0.245 miles)
The ramp from northbound I-135 to eastbound K-96 (0.808 miles)
The ramp from eastbound K-96 to eastbound US 54 (0.134 miles)
The off-ramp from US 50 west to K-14 north southwest of Hutchinson (0.665 miles)
The ramp from K-14 north to US 50 west in South Hutchinson (0.273 miles)
The ramp from K-96 west to I-135 north in Wichita (0.365 miles)
The ramp from US 54 west to K-96 west (0.328 miles)
Hutchinson to I-235, Wichita
I-135 to US 54/400, Wichita
Legend has it that the number for K-96 came from Wichita service station operator F.W. “Woody” Hockaday, who, out of his pocket, placed signs marking the routes in Kansas, and other parts of the Southwest, with early versions of guide signs, with a big red “H” to plug his business. According to the legend, the Kansas-Colorado Boulevard had the most number of Hockaday’s signs along the highway, so the state allowed him to choose the number. According to the legend, 96 was the phone number for his shop.
However, that legend is apocryphal. Colorado had numbered its portion of the Kansas-Colorado Boulevard as highway 96 as early as 1923. Kansas did not develop a numbered highway system until 1926. Kansas elected to number is highways that ended at the state line with the same number as the adjoining state’s highway. Thus, K-96 was numbered as an extension of Colorado Highway 96. Furthermore, the telephone number for Hockaday’s shop was ‘Market 102,’ as verified by reviewing the Polk City Directory for Wichita.
In 1941, Missouri re-designated their highway from the Kansas Line to Carthage as MO 96 in order to provide east-west continuity with the Kansas/Colorado highway; however, Kansas had designated the route connecting K-96 near Crestline to Missouri as K-26. To provide the tri-state route continuity, Kansas switched the designations of K-26 and K-96 east of Crestline.
In October of 1940, the highway commission authorized the relocation of K-96 between Shaffer and Great Bend. However, World War II suspended the project. The 1945 map shows the rest of the highway hard-surfaced. The relocation was completed by 1950. In December 1955, relocation was authorized to eliminate a “stairstep” at the Colorado state line. 1957 saw approvals to remove a stairstep on the Lane/Ness County line, as well as an alignment shift in Wichita due to construction of the Wichita-Valley Center “Big Ditch” Floodway. In November 1958, work was approved to relocate the highway between Yaggy and Nickerson. These projects were completed by 1960.
As early as 1949, there was a push to make the multi-state highway 96 a US highway. The states petitioned AASHO at least twice – in 1955 and again in 1962. Both times, the application was rejected as K-96 was not up to AASHO’s desired design standards for the US numbered highways. Thus, K-96 remained a state-numbered route.
The 1960s brought change to K-96 between Wichita and Hutchinson. The first section to begin was the section between K-17 south of Hutchinson and the town of Haven. The segment from Haven to Mount Hope quickly followed, and the entire segment was completed by 1962. The next part of the road, from Mount Hope to Wichita, was started in 1965 and finished by 1969. When the new alignment was opened, the old highway between Mount Hope and Maize was re-designated as K-296. Meanwhile, in Labette County, a segment near Mound Valley was bypassed to the south. Construction began in 1966 and was finished by 1967.
In 1970, a proposal was presented for a new northeast freeway in Wichita connecting US 54 to K-254. The Highway Commission approved a resolution designating the new roadway as K-96. At the same time, a new alignment from I-235to Maize was under consideration. By 1978, the new road was completed as far as Ridge Road, and K-96 was shifted onto a temporary alignment on Ridge Road south to 21st, then on 21st East to Zoo Boulevard, then south on I-235 to US 54 east. The new route from Ridge Road east to I-235 was completed by 1981. K-96 was then re-routed south on I-135 from 235 to US 54, then east on US 54. In 1981, work began on a new freeway alignment on US 54/US 77/K-96 east from August to the US 54/77/K-96 junction. Work was completed by 1987.
The 1990s saw changes that led to the road’s eventual truncation to Wichita. In 1988, work finally began on the Northeast bypass. However; the alignment was changed compared to the original 1970 proposal. The selected alignment intersected US 54 3 miles east of the original plan and, connected to I-135 south of the I-135/I-235/K-254 junction rather than connecting to K-254. The new freeway was shown as complete to 13th Street by 1993 and from 13th Street to US 54 by 1995. In May of 1994, work began on relocating K-96 from Beaumont east about 4 1/2 miles. In December of 1994, KDOT designated a new highway, US 400, across southern Kansas. 400 was co-designated with K-96 from Wichita east to Fredonia. In 1995, work began on the new US 400, running from North of Fredonia, bypassing Fredonia on the east and Neodesha to the west before turning east to US 160 north of Cherryvale. Meanwhile, the route from Wichita to Hutchinson was 4-laned, and a new 2-lane alignment on the west side of Hutchinson began construction. The final truncation of K-96 occurred in December 1998, after the new US 400 was opened. K-96 from Independence east to Crestline was re-designated as US 160, and the connection to Missouri was turned over to Crawford County. MO 96 was truncated to MO 171, with the segment from MO 171 west to the Kansas line re-designated as State Supplemental Route YY.
The expansion of K-96 to four lanes between Wichita and Hutchinson, and a bypass of Hutchinson, was completed by 1999.
- Predecessor road to K-96 graded and graveled from 1.4 miles north of Fredonia to 2nd Street at the North City Limits of Fredonia.
- 2nd Street in Fredonia paved from the North City Limits to Washington Street.
- Predecessor road to K-96 graded and graveled from the South City Limits of Fredonia to Lafontaine.
- Columbus-Crestline road paved.
- Old Santa Fe Trail graded from Great Bend to Ellenwood.
- Northwest Highway concrete paved from Lyons south 2.3 miles.
- Northwest Highway brick-paved from Sterling to 1/2 mile west of Hutchinson.
- Old Santa Fe Trail graded and concrete pavement from Ellenwood to the Barton/Rice county line.
- Brick paved from 1/2 mile west of Hutchinson to the west city limits of Hutchinson on 5th Avenue.
- Concrete paved from Central Avenue in Wichita to the Sedgwick/Butler county line.
- Ozark Trail Graveled from Union Street in Oswego to Columbus.
- Santa Fe Avenue in Ellinwood concrete paved from Washington Street to the east city limits.
- New Arkansas River bridge on Haven Road 3 1/2 miles north of Haven.
- Kellogg Road Brick Paved from the Sedgwick/Butler County Line to Augusta.
- Ozark Trail graveled from the Montgoermy/Labette County line to Oswego.
- Old Santa Fe Trail concrete paved from 5 miles west of Lyons to 3 miles west of Lyons
- Graveled in Scott County.
- Graded in Lane county.
- K-14/K-96 paved from 1 1/2 miles north of Sterling to the north city limits.
- Concrete paved from Maize east 5 miles.
- Graded from the Colorado state line to K-27 in Tribune.
- US 50N/K-96 graveled from 9 miles west of Lyons to 7 miles west of Lyons.
- New bridges built over Arkansas River’s main and auxiliary channels west of Nickerson.
- Graveled from 1 mile south of Andale to Colwich.
- Augusta-El Dorado Highway (US 54/US 77/K-96) Paved from Augusta to the East Junction of US 54/US 77 and K-96.
- Graveled from Lafontaine to the Wilson/Montgomery county line.
- K-12/K-96 brick-paved from the Verdigris River east of Independence east 2 miles and concrete paved to K-16.
- Graveled in Wichita County
- Graveled in Lane County.
- Graded from Bazine to Alexander.
- Graded and graveled from Rush Center to 6 miles South of Albert
- US 50N/K-96 graveled from the west junction of US 50N and K-96 to Great Bend
- Graveled from the Reno/Sedgwick county line to 1 mile south of Andale
- Graveled through Colwich
- Graded from US 54/77 to 2 miles southeast of Leon.
- Graveled from K-16 to the Montgomery/Labette County line.
- Graded from K-27 to the Greeley/Wichita County Line.
- Graded from the Lane/Ness county line to Bazine
- Graded and graveled from Alexander to Rush Center.
- Graded and graveled from 6 miles South of Albert to US 50N near Great Bend.
- July: K-14/K-96 concrete paved from 2.3 miles south of Lyons to 1.5 miles north of Sterling
- Graveled in Greeley County
- Blacktopped from the Lane/Ness county line to Ness City.
- Graveled from Ness City to Bazine
- New alignment for US 50N/K-96 graded from Great Bend to Ellinwood.
- Graveled from US 50S to the Reno/Sedgwick county line
- Blacktopped from the Reno/Sedgwick county line to Mount Hope
- Graveled from US 54/77 to 2 miles southeast of Leon.
- Graded from 2 miles southeast of Leon to the Butler/Greenwood county line.
- US 73E/K-96 re-aligned on a new gravel alignment from Labette/Cherokee County line east 2 miles.
- Paved from US 73E to US 66
- Blacktopped from Dighton to the Lane/Ness county line.
- Blacktopped from Ness City to the Ness/Rush county line
- US 50N/K-96 blacktopped from Great Bend to Ellinwood.
- US 50N/K-96 blacktopped from the Barton/Rice county line to Lyons, save the 2-mile segment paved in 1926.
- Blacktopped from US 54/77 to the Butler/Greenwood county line.
- Graded from Piedmont to K-11.
- Graveled from the Wilson/Montgomery line to US 160.
- Blacktopped from K-16 to Columbus
- Graded from Fall River to the Greenwood/Wilson County Line
- New Gravel alignment (gap in blacktop) 1/2 mile south of Hallowell.
- Graveled from the west city limits of Leoti to 2nd Street.
- Concrete paved from 2nd to 5th Streets in Leoti.
- Blacktopped from the Wichita/Scott County line to Scott City.
- 10th Street in Great Bend concrete paved from Monroe Street to Main Street, including a re-alignment at Washington Street.
- Graveled from K-11 to K-39.
- US 160/K-96 brick-paved from Independence to the Verdigris River bridge.
- Blacktopped from US 50S to the Reno/Sedgwick county line
- Graded from the Butler/Greenwood county line to Piedmont.
- US 160/K-96 blacktopped from Elk City to Independence
- Blacktopped from the Greeley/Wichita county line to 2nd Street in Leoti.
- Blacktopped from the Ness/Rush county line to Rush Center.
- US 50N/K-96 blacktopped from the west junction of US 50N and K-96 to Great Bend
- Graveled from the Butler/Greenwood county line to Piedmont.
- Blacktopped from Fredonia to Lafontaine
- New alignment graded and graveled from Rush Center east 4 miles.
- New alignment graded connecting 6th Street to 2nd Street North of Fredonia.
- K-96 alignment changed between Lafontaine and Independence
- K-96 from K-39 junction to Lafontaine re-designated K-39/K-96
- K-34 from Lafontaine to Neodesha re-designated K-96
- K-96 from Lafontaine to US 160 near Elk City redesignated K-39
- K-96 removed from US 160 between Elk City and Independence and added to US 75 from Neodesha to Independence.
- The new alignment is blacktopped from Lafontaine to Neodesha and paved from Neodesha to Independence
- Blacktopped in Greeley County.
- US 54/US 77/K-96 reconstructed from the Railroad Crossing in Augusta east 1.6 miles.
- New blacktop US 59/K-96 alignment and railroad overpass on the north side of Oswego.
- Graded and blacktopped from 5th Street in Leoti to the Wichita/Scott county line.
- New alignment graded and graveled from 4 miles east of Rush Center to the Rush/Barton County line.
- Blacktopped from K-99 to Neodesha.
- K-96 alignment changed in Cherokee County.
- K-26 from the US 69/K-96 junction to the Missouri State line redesignated K-96
- K-96 from the US 69/K-26 Junction to US 66 re-designated K-26
- The new alignment is gravelled.
- Blacktopped from Rush Center to the Rush/Barton County line.
- New alignment graded from the Rush/Barton County line to 2 miles northwest of Heizer
- US 50N/K-96 rebuilt with slight alignment change from 5 miles west of Lyons to 3 miles west of Lyons.
- By this year, K-96 is blacktopped from Mount Hope to Maize, and from the end of the concrete pavement east of Maize to Wichita.
- Blacktopped from the Butler/Greenwood county line to K-99.
- US 54/K-96 along the Beech Aircraft factory east of Wichita is temporally moved onto a blacktop alignment 700 feet to the north and the existing concrete road is widened to serve as the factory entrance.
- The brick pavement on US 54/K-96 from the Sedgwick/Butler County line to August overlaid with blacktop.
- Blacktopped from the Rush/Barton county line to 2 miles northwest of Heizer.
- Graded from 2 miles northwest of Heizer to US 50N west of Great Bend.
- US 50N/K-96 rebuilt from blacktop to concrete from the Barton/Rice county line to 5 miles west of Lyons
- US 54/K-96 relocated from Central Avenue to Kellogg Avenue from Wichita to one mile east of the Sedgwick/Butler County Line.
- Blacktopped in Leoti.
- Blacktopped from 2 miles northwest of Heizer to US 50N west of Great Bend
- K-96 now hard-surfaced along the entire route.
- Plans for a US 50N/K-96 bypass on the north side of Ellinwood drafted. (This proposed route would not be constructed)
- US 50N/K-96 widened to 4 lanes from Frey Street in Great Bend east ~ 3/4 mile.
- US 50N/K-96 re-aligned just east of Ellinwood
- US 50N/K-96 widened to 4 lanes from the west city limits of Lyons to Sherman Street.
- New Bridge built over the Arkansas River between Maize and Wichita.
- New alignment for US 54/K-96 constructed between 1 mile east of the Sedgwick/Butler County line and Augusta. Constructed as future westbound lanes of a 4-lane alignment.
- Reconstructed from the Colorado state line to K-27, including a re-alignment to remove sharp “stairstep” curves at the Colorado state line.
- US 56/K-96 widened to 4 lanes from the west junction of US 56 and K-96 to Williams Street in Great Bend.
- US 54/K-96 widened to 4 lanes from the Sedgwick/Butler County line east 1 mile
- Reconstructed and re-aligned from K-39 to Neodesha.
- Reconstructed and re-aligned from Leoti to the Lane/Ness county line.
- US 56/K-96 widened to 4 lanes from the west city limits of Ellinwood to Main Street.
- US 54/K-96 widened to 4 lanes from I-35/Kansas Turnpike to the Sedgwick/Butler County line.
- US 56/K-96 widened to 4 lanes from Main Street in Ellinwood to the east city limits.
- US 54/K-96 widened to 4 lanes between 1 mile east of the Sedgwick/Butler county line and Augusta with the construction of new eastbound lanes.
- US 160/K-96 reconstructed and realigned from Independece to US 169.
- Broadway in Sterling (K-14/K-96) widened, median removed, and any remaining brick pavement overlaid with blacktop.
- New blacktop alignment completed from Nickerson to Yaggy.
- US 54/K-96 Widened from Rock Road to I-35/Kansas Turnpike
- New blacktop alignment completed from K-17 near Elmer to 2 miles east of Mount Hope. K-96 removed from US 50 east of Hutchinson. K-17 from US 50 to Elmer re-designated K-96
- US 54/K-96 Widened to 4 lanes from Edgemoor to Rock Road.
- Reconstructed as a 4-lane divided highway in the vicinity of a proposed interchange with a realigned US 50 near the south city limits of South Hutchinson.
- New “super two” alignment completed from 2 miles east of Mount Hope to Haven
- Reconstructed as a to 4-lanes divided highway from the Blanchard Street in South Hutchinson to the 4-lane segment completed in 1969.
- New 4-lane freeway from Maize to West Street in Wichita
- Bridge Over Arkansas River south of Sterling on K-14/K-96 replaced.
- Widened to 4-lanes divided from now-completed US 50 interchange to K-17.
- New 4-lane freeway from West Street to I-235
- Plans for new alignment “super two” freeway from US 54/77 to east of Leon drafted. (This project would not be built)
- New US 54/US 77/K-96 4-lane freeway alignment between Augusta and the east junction with US 54/US 77 and K-96
- Reconstructed concrete alignment between Leon and the Butler/Greenwood county line.
- Bridge over Arkansas River west of Nickerson replaced.
- New 4-lane freeway around the northeast side of Wichita from I-135 to US 54.
- US 400 added to K-96 from US 54 east of Augusta to K-47 near Fredonia
- Widened to 4 lanes divided with limited access and slight alignment changes from Haven to Maize.
- US 400/K-96 reconstructed and re-aligned from the Butler/Greenwood county line to 5 miles east of K-99
- Concrete reconstruction of Broadway (K-14/K-96) in Sterling from Jackson Street to Jefferson Street.
- Widened to 4 lanes divided with limited access and slight alignment changes from K-17 to Haven
- US 400/K-96 reconstructed and re-aligned from 5 miles east of K-99 to Fredonia
- K-96 designation truncated to Wichita
- US 400/K-96 from US 54 east of Augusta to K-47 near Fredonia re-designated US 400
- K-96 from K-47 near Fredonia US 75 near Neodesha re-designated US 400
- K-96 from US 75 near Independence to US 69 near Columbus re-designated US 160.
- K-96 from the US 69/US 69A junction east of Columbus to the Missouri State line turned back to Cherokee County.
- New controlled-access “Super Two” alignment constructed on the west side of Hutchinson.
- K-17 re-designated K-14; K-96 from former junction with K-17 south of Hutchinson and former south junction with K-14 west of Nickerson re-designated K-14/K-96.
- New controlled-access “Super Two” alignment on K-14/K-96 bypassing Nickerson and Sterling to be let in February.
|County MP||State MP||Junction|
|96-36/0.000||0.000||Colorado/Kansas State Line|
|26.149||Greeley/Wichita county line|
|96-102/10.854||37.003||West city limits Leoti|
|96-102/11.999||38.148||East city limits Leoti|
|96-102/19.300||45.449||K-167 spur to Marienthal|
|50.078||Wichita/Scott County Line|
|96-86/11.479||61.557||West city limits Scott City|
|96-86/12.463||62.541||East city limits Scott City|
|74.013||Scott/Lane county line|
|96-51/11.406||85.419||West city limits Dighton|
|96-51/12.464||86.477||East city limits Dighton|
|98.192||Lane/Ness county line|
|96-68/18.321||116.513||West city limits Ness City|
|96-68/19.509||117.701||East city limits Ness City|
|134.613||Ness/Rush county line|
|96-83/14.470||149.083||West city limits Rush Center|
|96-83/15.372||149.985||East city limits Rush Center|
|164.740||Rush/Barton County line|
|96-5/13.630||178.370||North city limits Great Bend|
(K-96 joins US 56/K-156)
|56-5/14.815||181.326||US 281, Great Bend|
|56-5/16.320||182.831||East city limits Great Bend|
|56-5/18.610||185.121||East junction K-156|
|197.082||Barton/Rice county line|
|56-80/14.117||211.199||West city limits Lyons|
(K-96 leaves US 56 and joins K-14)
|14-80/12.080||213.192||South city limits Lyons|
|14-80/4.370||220.902||North city limits Sterling|
|14-80/3.022||222.250||South city limits Sterling|
|225.272||Rice/Reno County Line|
|14-78/33.458||232.254||West city limits Nickerson|
|14-78/32.516||233.196||East city limits Nickerson|
|244.819||West Junction US 50|
(K-14/K-96 joins US 50/K-61)
|246.331||East Junction US 50|
(K-14/K-96 leaves US 50/K-61)
|249.056||East Junction K-14 (Crupper’s Corner)|
(K-96 leaves K-14)
|263.956||Reno/Sedgwick County Line|
|96-87/21.085||285.041||West city limits Wichita|
|286.015||West Junction I-235|
|288.413||East Junction I-235|
North Junction I-135
|289.619||South Junction I-135|
|96-87/36.245||300.201||US 54 (K-96 ends)|
|Colorado State Line to Tribune||510||40.2%|
|East of Tribune||1,050||28.6%|
|West of Leoti||1,380||24.3%|
|East of Leoti||2,120||22.6%|
|West of K-167||1,370||35.0%|
|East of K-167||1,413||31.2%|
|West of Scott City||1,790||28.2%|
|In Scott City||4,530||8.2%|
|East of Scott City||1,380||23.2%|
|At the Scott/Lane county line||845||38.5%|
|West of Dighton||1,030||35.0%|
|East of Dighton||935||35.3%|
|At the Lane/Ness county line||635||53.5%|
|West of Ness City||865||46.2%|
|In Ness City||3,020||8.3%|
|East of Ness City||1,450||15.5%|
|At the Ness/Rush county line||1,110||32.0%|
|West of Rush Center||1,430||18.9%|
|In Rush Center||1,760||16.8%|
|Rush Center to Timken||1,640||22.6%|
|East of Timken||1,590||17.3%|
|At the Rush/Barton county line||1,970||18.0%|
|MP 171 to MP 177||2,280||16.9%|
|MP 177 to US 56||3,240||11.3%|
|On US 56 in Great Bend||16,900||9.2%|
|On US 56 from Great Bend to K-156||8,420||20.8%|
|On US 56 from K-156 to Ellinwood||4,571||18.4%|
|On US 56 in Ellinwood||5,110||16.7%|
|On US 56 from Ellinwood to Chase||3,190||26.8%|
|On US 56 from Chase to Lyons||4,130||21.9%|
|US 56 from WCL Lyons to K-14||5,960||14.4%|
|K-14 from US 56 to SCL Lyons||5,870||14.2%|
|K-14 from SCL Lyons to Avenue Q||4,400||18.6%|
|K-14 from Avenue Q to Avenue T||3,230||25.1%|
|K-14 from Avenue T to NCL Sterling||3,690||21.7%|
|On K-14 in Sterling||4,510||17.7%|
|K-14 from SCL Sterling to 101st Avenue||2,600||30.8%|
|K-14 from 101st Avenue to Sego Road||2,250||35.1%|
|K-14 from Sego Road to Nickerson||2,090||38.3%|
|K-14 in Nickerson||4,140||19.8%|
|K-14 from east city limits Nickerson|
to Wilson Road
|K-14 from Wilson Road to|
west junction US 50
|On US 50/K-14/K-96 concurrency||8,340||28.9%|
|K-14 from east junction US 50|
to Morgan Avenue
|K-14 from Morgan Avenue to|
south junction K-14/K-96
|Crupper’s Corner to Yoder||7,080||21.4%|
|Yoder to Haven||11,200||12.9%|
|Haven to Mount Hope||12,000||12.4%|
|Mount Hope to Maize||13,100||13.6%|
|West of I-235||29,900||13.3%|
|On I-235/K-96 concurrency||50,800||9.8%|
|On I-135/K-96 concurrency||75,700||9.7%|
|I-135 to Woodlawn||66,700||3.8%|
|Woodlawn to Rock||53,200||4.3%|
|Rock to Webb||40,000||5.8%|
|Webb to Greenwich||29,087||7.1%|
|Greenwich to 13th Street||23,100||9.7%|
|13th to I-35||19,200||10.5%|
|I-35 to US 54||17,300||6.6%|