U.S. Highway 85 Southbound


U.S. 85 South - Santa Fe Drive
After leaving Interstate 25 at Exit 207B, U.S. 85 south carries four through lanes onto Santa Fe Drive. U.S. 85 will follow Santa Fe Drive through the southern half of metropolitan Denver. As a semi-expressway/freeway, Santa Fe Drive has some access control, including some interchanges, frontage roads, and high occupancy vehicle lanes. However, several intersections are controlled by traffic signals. Photo taken 08/27/04.
These small signs provide lane markings as the right two lanes prepare to exit onto southbound South Platte River Drive, while the left three lanes continue south on U.S. 85 and Santa Fe Drive. South Platte River Drive continues along the west bank of the South Platte River, winding its way past Ruby Hill Park toward Englewood. Photo taken 08/27/04.
As for Santa Fe Drive, it turns a bit to the southeast, allowing the southbound carriageway to rejoin the northbound carriageway of U.S. 85. The two directions become closely aligned once Santa Fe Drive approaches the Overland Municipal Golf Course. The first traffic signal along southbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive is for Iowa Street, which travels east into Platt Park. The next interchange along southbound is with Evans Avenue. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Even though this is not a freeway, the left lane of U.S. 85 is reserved for high occupancy vehicles and traffic preparing for a left turn at intersections. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Southbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive reaches the interchange for Evans Avenue. Use Evans Avenue east to Denver University and Interstate 25; use Evans Avenue west to the Denver communities of Ruby Hill, Mar Lee, and Harvey Park. Photo taken 08/27/04.

The Evans Avenue overpass is relatively new and is of a sleek design unlike most others found in the metropolitan area. Photo taken 08/27/04.
This is a typical view of southbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive south of Evans Avenue. The lighting standards, HOV lane, and three through lanes in each direction is the common structure of the highway through here. U.S. 85 leaves Denver City/County and enters Arapahoe County, city of Englewood. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Feeling almost like a freeway, the next exit along southbound U.S. 85 is the junction with U.S. 285, Hampden Avenue. U.S. 285 itself is mostly a freeway to the west as it travels toward Morrison, while it enters urban Englewood to the east of this junction. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Southbound U.S. 85 reaches the ramp for southbound (westbound) U.S. 285/Hampden Avenue into Sheridan. Note the traffic signals immediately thereafter, which allows for the connection from northbound U.S. 85 to westbound U.S. 285. This interchange is not a high speed, freeway-to-freeway interchange by any stretch. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next ramp connects U.S. 85 south with U.S. 285 north (east). Use U.S. 285/Hampden Avenue east to downtown Englewood (including City Hall), Old Englewood, and a unique interchange at Broadway. Another signal follows this ramp, which offers the connection from eastbound U.S. 285 to northbound U.S. 85. South of this interchange, U.S. 85 straddles the cities of Sheridan to the west and Englewood to the east. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The next major intersection along southbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive is the traffic signal for Oxford Avenue, which travels east to Broadway Heights and west to Englewood Municipal Golf Course. More intersections ahead include Quincy Avenue, Tufts Avenue, and Union Avenue. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Continuing south, southbound U.S. 85 approaches the junction with Colorado 88, Belleview Avenue. Colorado 88 follows Belleview Avenue east to Interstate 25 and west to Federal Boulevard, then turns north onto Federal Boulevard toward the area just west of downtown, near Invesco Field. Northbound Colorado 88 ends at the junction with U.S. 40-287 and Business Loop I-70 (Colfax Avenue). Photo taken 08/27/04.
Speaking of Union Avenue, here is the traffic signal that governs traffic at the intersection with southbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The right lane becomes exit only, while the number three lanes provides an optional connection to Colorado 88. The HOV lane and two middle lanes continue south on U.S. 85. U.S. 85 leaves Englewood and enters Littleton. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Another HOV sign reminds motorists of the laws surrounding the use of the left lane during commuting hours. Photo taken 08/27/04.
A southbound reassurance shield for U.S. 85 is posted after the Colorado 88/Belleview Avenue interchange. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Southbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive reaches the intersection with Bowles Avenue, the northern terminus of Colorado 75, in Littleton. To the east, Bowles Avenue changes into the one-way couplet of Main Street and Alamo Avenue, passing through downtown Littleton before merging into Littleton Boulevard east toward Littleton Square. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Another neat bridge passes over U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive near the light rail station at Mineral Avenue in Littleton. This arched bridge allows pedestrians to cross the busy Santa Fe Drive corridor and to use the shops on the west side of the highway. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Southbound U.S. 85/Santa Fe Drive reaches the intersection with Memorial Avenue in Littleton. Photo taken 08/27/04.
This is the end of the light rail line, and U.S. 85 continues to narrow as it gets further south. By this point, there is no longer a dedicated HOV lane, and signalized intersections are the rule rather than the exception. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Indeed, U.S. 85 south approaches the Denver Beltway, Colorado 470. Use Colorado 470 northwest to Golden and Interstate 70 and east to Interstate 25 and Castle Rock. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Use the right lane to turn west on Colorado 470 and the left lane to turn east on Colorado 470. Southbound U.S. 85 leaves Arapahoe County/city of Littleton and enters Douglas County. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Southbound U.S. 85 reaches the offramp to westbound Colorado 470 to Ken Caryl Ranch, Golden, and Interstate 70. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Immediately thereafter, southbound U.S. 85 reaches the ramp to eastbound Colorado 470 to Interstate 25, E-470, and Denver International Airport. Photo taken 08/27/04.
A railroad line passes over U.S. 85 after the Colorado 470 interchange. Photo taken 08/27/04.
After passing Town Center Drive and Highlands Ranch Parkway, the suburban areas fade, and rural areas take over. The next intersection along southbound is with Douglas County Route 7, Titan Road. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Use Douglas County Route 7 west to Chatfield State Park and Roxborough State Park. Photo taken 08/27/04.
This is a rarity: a Super Two diamond interchange between U.S. 85 and Douglas County Route 7 as seen along southbound. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Continuing south, U.S. 85 follows the Burlington Northern Railroad in a southeastern direction toward Castle Rock. Near Sedalia, U.S. 85 south approaches a junction with Colorado 67. This marks the northern terminus of disjointed Colorado 67. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Now traveling due east, U.S. 85 south enters the vicinity of Castle Rock, where U.S. 85 and Interstate 25 will again merge. Photo taken 08/27/04.
At this upcoming traffic signal, southbound U.S. 85 turns east (left) onto Founders Parkway so that U.S. 85 can rejoin Interstate 25. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Now on Founders Parkway, the Interstate 25 interchange is only a short distance ahead. Follow Interstate 25 south to continue south on U.S. 85. Photo taken 08/27/04.
The right lane becomes exit only for southbound Interstate 25 and U.S. 85 (and U.S. 87, which is unsigned). It is nice to see U.S. 85 and Interstate 25 sharing the same sign for southbound. The two routes will remain merged from Castle Rock south to Colorado Springs, at the business loop interchange (Nevada Avenue). Photo taken 08/27/04.
Southbound U.S. 85 approaching Interstate 25/U.S. 87 in Castle Rock. U.S. 85 silently merges onto southbound Interstate 25/U.S. 87, and it will reemerge from Interstate 25 just south of Colorado Springs as it passes through Security-Widefield east of Fort Carson Military Reservation. Photo taken 11/11/03.
At the gore point, this U.S. 85 shield indicates that U.S. 85 merges onto Interstate 25. As usual in Colorado, silent U.S. 87 is not mentioned. Photo taken 11/11/03.
U.S. 85 South - Colorado Springs
After silently following Interstate 25 from Castle Rock to Colorado Springs, U.S. 85 again appears on its own as part of the business route through downtown via Nevada Avenue. However, standalone shields for U.S. 85 do not appear until south of downtown, as part of the Colorado 115 interchange with Interstate 25. Here, southbound U.S. 85 approaches Colorado 29. Photo taken 08/27/04.
Southbound U.S. 85 (and silent U.S. 87) turns to the right, while Colorado 29 north begins straight ahead. Photo taken 08/27/04.

Page Updated November 30, 2005.

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