U.S. Highway 85 Northbound

U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive North
Northbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive in central Sedalia, just north of the intersection with Colorado 67 (Manhart Street). This mileage sign provides the distance to Littleton (14 miles) and Denver (23 miles). Photo taken 11/14/05.
The two-lane highway has plenty of truck traffic. Some of this is due to the construction activities associated with the gradual upgrading of U.S. 85 to a four-lane divided highway, but plenty of trucks also use U.S. 85 to reach Titan Parkway and various industrial areas along the corridor. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The second Sedalia intersection along northbound U.S. 85 is the junction with Douglas County Route 16 (West Airport Road), also known as Business U.S. 85. The business route turns south onto Peterson Road toward Sedalia. This county route offers a connection to the northern edge of Sedalia, including a variety of industrial properties. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Use either Douglas County Route 16 or Kelly Avenue west to Louviers. For the first option, follow Douglas County Route 16/West Airport Road, which turns into Louviers Boulevard to enter the town of Louviers. For the second option, take Kelly Avenue west from U.S. 85 to Main Street, which connects to Louviers. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Immediately after the Kelly Avenue turnoff, this sign advises of the pending interchange with Titan Parkway. This interchange allows for easy access to and from U.S. 85 via a diamond interchange. At the time this picture was taken, the Titan Parkway interchange represents the southern end of the expressway section of U.S. 85, although plans call for U.S. 85 to become four lanes south of here. This interchange was necessitated by the increasing amount of commuter and truck traffic connecting between U.S. 85 and the Lockheed-Martin plant located at the southern end of Colorado 121 (South Platte Canyon Road). Photo taken 11/14/05.
Use Titan Parkway west to Chatfield State Recreation Area and Roxborough State Park. Chatfield State Recreation Area includes camping, hiking, biking, angling, and hot air balloon launching. Red rock formations and geological formations dominate Roxborough State Park, which is located south of Chatfield State Recreation Area via North Rampart Range Road. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Northbound U.S. 85 reaches Exit 196, Titan Parkway. The highway remains two lanes even as it reaches the gore point for Titan Parkway. Watch for a good amount of truck traffic exiting and entering the highway in this area. Photo taken 11/14/05.

A U.S. 85 reassurance shield is posted after the onramp from Titan Parkway. The U.S. highway widens out to four lanes (two in each direction). Photo taken 11/14/05.
The U.S. 85 expressway, with four lanes of travel, was constructed north of Titan Parkway as a concrete divided highway in the early 2000s, and it was completed in 2005. For the rest of U.S. 85 along Santa Fe Drive, the highway will have at least two lanes in each direction from this point northward to Interstate 25/U.S. 87 in Denver. Photo taken 11/14/05.
A pair of power transmission lines cross over U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive. Although the newly constructed road is four-lane concrete and has an interchange with Titan Parkway, it is not built to freeway standards. Note the left turn lane here. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The new concrete roadway alongside the railroad comes into view as U.S. 85 passes a turn. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The power lines rejoin U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive as the highway continues north toward Littleton. Photo taken 11/14/05.
A rather sharp turn greets the expressway as U.S. 85 angles northeast briefly to avoid an industrial/commercial area (outlet stores). Photo taken 11/14/05.
Downtown Denver comes into view from U.S. 85 Santa Fe Drive to the northeast as the highway crests a hill before descending into the South Platte River Valley and approaching Colorado 470, the Denver Belt Line. Photo taken 11/14/05.
After passing by the industrial/commercial area on the west side of the highway, U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive northbound passes under these railroad bridges before approaching the junction with Colorado 470. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Northbound U.S. 85 approaches its junction with Colorado 470. This freeway corridor offers a fast route to Interstate 70 west via westbound Colorado 470. Use Colorado 470 east to Interstate 70 east and Interstate 25 north. The only missing link in the Denver beltway system is between U.S. 6 in Golden and U.S. 36 in Broomfield, but this gap is expected to close by 2010. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The first ramp connects northbound U.S. 85 with Colorado 470 east. The Colorado 470 freeway transitions into toll E-470 east of Interstate 25; E-470 offers a direct route from here to the Denver International Airport. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The second traffic signal serves to connect northbound U.S. 85 with westbound Colorado 470 via a left turn. It also controls the connection from westbound Colorado 470 to U.S. 85 north and south. Use Colorado 470 west to Ken Caryl Ranch and Golden. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Immediately after the Colorado 470 interchange, U.S. 85 intersects County Line Road as it departs Douglas County and enters Arapahoe County. Photo taken 11/14/05.
This reassurance shield is posted on northbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive after the Douglas-Arapahoe County Line. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Continuing north, the Denver Light Rail system comes into view. This image shows the southern terminus of the light rail line. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Northbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Street follows the Denver light rail, which is visible to the right (east) in this photo. Photo taken 02/02/02.
The next major intersection along northbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Avenue is Mineral Avenue. This traffic signal regulates the flow of traffic. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Part of an expanding system, Denver's light rail station provides an alternative to driving into downtown Denver. The ridership on the light rail route has increased in recent years as the routes to downtown become increasingly congested. Photo taken 02/02/02.
Northbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive reaches Mineral Avenue at this traffic signal. The parking area for the light rail is located to the west of the intersection, and the pedestrian bridge links to the light rail tracks. Photo taken 02/02/02.
The Aspen Grove shopping center sits at the northwestern corner of Santa Fe Drive and Mineral Avenue. This center features a variety of outlets, restaurants, and other stores. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Now passing through the city of Littleton, U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive approaches Church Avenue. The city of Littleton was founded in 1890 with an original population of 245 residents. By the centennial in 1990, the population of Littleton had grown to 33,661 people. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Continuing north, U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive approaches its junction with Colorado 75. Turn left to follow Bowles Avenue west toward Columbine and turn right to follow Alamo Avenue east into downtown Littleton. The state highway is only assigned west of Santa Fe Drive; the section through downtown Littleton was decommissioned in the late 1990s or early 2000s. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The sole Colorado 75 shield is posted on the traffic signal with an arrow pointing west only. Prior to the late 1990s, the arrow pointed both ways. However, the other section of Colorado 75 on Broadway is still signed, so follow Alamo Avenue east to make the connection to this orphaned section of Colorado 75. Photos taken 11/14/05.
After the junction with Colorado 75, northbound U.S. 85 next approaches its junction with Colorado 88, Belleview Avenue. A high occupancy vehicle lane (left lane) appears north of Colorado 75; the lane is restricted during certain commuting hours. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Just prior to the Colorado 88 interchange, Santa Fe Drive intersects Prince Street. Prince Street travels northwest across the South Platte River to meet Belleview Avenue (Colorado 88) and south toward downtown Littleton. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The Colorado 88 interchange is a single point urban interchange (SPUI), which has one traffic signal system that controls all directions of travel. Photo taken 11/14/05.
These overhead signs advise of the vehicle restrictions in the left lane during commuting hours. At the time this photo was taken, the restrictions are in effect during the morning commute only. Motorcycles and any vehicle making a left turn are permitted to use the left lane. Photo taken 11/14/05.
U.S. 85 departs from Littleton and enters the city of Englewood. As of the 2000 Census, this city had a population of 31,727 people. Meaning "wooded nook," Englewood was founded in 1864 as the homestead of Thomas Skerritt; it gradually grew in size as more people arrived, and it became an incorporated May 13, 1903. Photo taken 11/14/05.
U.S. 85 intersects Santa Fe Circle in Englewood, and then it intersects Union Avenue (pictured here). Photo taken 11/14/05.
Northbound U.S. 85 next enters city of Sheridan as the railroad comes into view on the east side of the highway. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The next major intersection along northbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive is at Oxford Avenue. Turn left (west) on Oxford Avenue to Englewood Municipal Golf Course and right (east) to Cherry Hills Village. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The next interchange on northbound U.S. 85 is the connection to U.S. 285/Hampden Avenue. U.S. 285 is an east-west roadway that follows Hampden Avenue through the southwestern portion of the metropolitan area. Follow U.S. 285 east into downtown Englewood and west toward Sheridan Boulevard, where U.S. 285 westbound changes into a freeway en route to Morrison and Conifer. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The first ramp connects northbound U.S. 85 to eastbound U.S. 285 (signed as northbound). Photo taken 11/14/05.
To connect to southbound U.S. 285, use the two left lanes to make a left turn at the next traffic signal, which governs the flow of traffic in this area. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Three lanes of northbound U.S. 85 continue along Santa Fe Drive, while the left two lanes make the turn onto southbound U.S. 285/Hampden Avenue. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The next exit along northbound U.S. 85 is Evans Avenue, continuing the hybrid expressway/freeway configuration that dominates this section of U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Evans Avenue is an east-west city street that travels east in the city grid toward Interstate 25 near the Colorado Boulevard (Colorado 2) interchange. Photo taken 11/14/05.
The Evans Avenue interchange is also a single point urban interchange (SPUI), just like the Colorado 88/Belleview Avenue interchange to the south. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Continuing north, U.S. 85 intersects Iowa Street. Photo taken 11/14/05.
U.S. 85 intersects Florida Street. This stretch of Santa Fe Drive is much more like a city street, with businesses directly connecting to U.S. 85 (such as the McDonald's restaurant seen here). At this point, U.S. 85 splits into two one-way couplets. Northbound U.S. 85 continues north on Santa Fe Drive, while southbound U.S. 85 follows South Platte River Drive. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Even more businesses take their access directly from one-way Santa Fe Drive as U.S. 85 continues northbound. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Northbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive reaches Mississippi Street. Photo taken 11/14/05.
U.S. 85 approaches its junction with Interstate 25. The first ramp connects to Interstate 25 southbound, while U.S. 85 merges onto northbound Interstate 25. Santa Fe Drive itself continues as a city street north into downtown Denver. Photo taken 11/14/05.
At the time this photo was taken, the ramp onto southbound Interstate 25 and U.S. 87 was closed, likely as a result of the T-Rex reconstruction project. Photo taken 11/14/05.
Stay right to follow U.S. 85 onto northbound Interstate 25 and U.S. 87. The three routes will skirt downtown Denver to the west via the Valley Highway, then intersect Interstate 70 northwest of downtown. U.S. 85 continues north via Interstate 70 east, while U.S. 87 continues north via Interstate 25 toward Fort Collins and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Photo taken 11/14/05.
At this ramp, the left two lanes follow Santa Fe Drive into downtown Denver. The right lane carries U.S. 85 (which is curiously unsigned here) onto northbound Interstate 25/U.S. 87. Follow Interstate 25 north to Interstate 70 east to continue north on U.S. 85. Photo taken 11/14/05.

Page Updated December 11, 2005.

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