K-4 (Kansas highway)

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K-4 marker

Route information
Maintained by KDOT
Length367 mi (591 km)
Major junctions
West end US-83 north of Scott City
East end US-59 in Nortonville
CountiesScott, Lane, Ness, Rush, Barton, Rice, Ellsworth, McPherson, Saline, Dickinson, Morris, Wabaunsee, Shawnee, Jefferson
Highway system
  • Kansas State Highway System

K-4 is the longest designated state highway in Kansas traversing from north of Scott City at US-83 to US-59 near Nortonville in northeast Kansas. A segment of the highway in Saline County overlaps Interstate 135, and a section in Topeka runs concurrent with Interstate 70.

Route description[edit]

Western Kansas[edit]

K-4 roughly parallels K-96 between its western terminus and the K-14 junction in Rice County. The route begins in rural Scott County at an intersection with U.S. Route 83. Sixteen miles[1] (26 km) east of here, it passes through the town of Healy. Six miles[1] (10 km) further east, it has a 2 mi[1] (3 km) concurrency with K-23. K-4 next serves the towns of Shields, Utica, Arnold, and Ransom, before intersecting US-283. After passing through Brownell, K-4 serves as the southern terminus of K-147. K-4 then turns southward to bisect McCracken before turning to the east to cross US-183 in La Crosse, the county seat of Rush County.

From La Crosse, K-4 heads due east, running through Otis as it approaches the Barton County line. It then meets US-281 in a T-intersection and begins an overlap with it. This overlap carries the two routes through to Hoisington, where they split up. K-4 then runs through Redwing and Claflin. East of Claflin, K-4 has a full folded diamond interchange with K-156. K-4 bypasses Bushton (which can be accessed via K-171) and cuts through Frederick before having a junction with K-14. It then runs just north of Geneseo and along the Rice/Ellsworth County line. The highway then moves fully into Ellsworth County, where it meets the south end of K-141.

Central Kansas[edit]

K-4 then enters McPherson County. It runs just north of Marquette, which lies at the opposite end of the former K-175, before heading towards downtown Lindsborg. In Lindsborg, K-4 encounters former US-81 Business, before heading north out of town and into Saline County. It then heads north in a concurrency with Interstate 135/US-81. K-4 merges onto the northbound Interstate at Exit 78, then splits off again at Exit 82. It then bypasses Assaria to the west before heading north to spawn a child route, K-104, after which it turns due east once again. K-4 next serves Gypsum and Carlton before intersecting K-15. It then continues east to Hope, serving as the southern terminus for K-43 in the latter.

K-4 then runs north of the town of Herington. Near Herington, K-4 junctions with two north–south highways that connect through town: K-218 and US-77. Also near Herington, K-4 gets within two miles (3 km) of US-56, but never actually intersects it.[1] It then zig-zags northeast through Latimer before turning north at the northern end of K-149. K-4 then runs through White City and Dwight, where K-4 serves as a terminus yet again, this time for K-57. K-4 then has a brief concurrency with K-177, and 14 miles[1] (23 km) after that concurrency ends, it forms another one with K-99. The two routes split apart in Eskridge. K-4 then serves Dover before merging onto eastbound Interstate 70 at Exit 353.

I-70 and K-4 (which are also concurrent with US-40 at this point) then enter the state capital, Topeka. The next interchange, Exit 355, is for Interstate 470 and is also where US-75 joins, forming a four-way overlap. US-75 then splits off on its own freeway at Exit 358A. The freeway then snakes around downtown Topeka. At the East Topeka interchange, the Kansas Turnpike joins the mainline, and I-70 merges onto it. US-40 and K-4 split off to the north to their own freeway.

East of Topeka[edit]

US-40 splits off K-4 at the first interchange north of I-70. K-4 then downgrades to a Super-2 freeway. The next interchange (with Seward Avenue) serves Philip Billard Municipal Airport. K-4 then crosses the Kansas River and merges onto the US-24 expressway before splitting off again at the next interchange. K-4 then returns to its normal rural highway configuration.

K-4 then curves southeast of Meriden (K-245 exists to connect the town to K-4). It then passes the west end of K-92 near Rock Creek. It then has a brief overlap with K-16 in the Valley Falls area. K-4 then angles northeast to pass just south of Nortonville. Finally, K-4 comes to an end at US-59 just southeast of Nortonville.

Bannered highways[edit]

Alternate K-4 serves Nortonville. It goes north from K-4, passes through Nortonville, then turns east at an intersection with US-159. The two highways turn east together and both end at an intersection east of Nortonville at US-59.


Original alignment[edit]

Originally, K-4 began at then-K-1 (now U.S. Route 183) in La Crosse.[2] From La Crosse, K-4 followed its current alignment east to Herington.[2][3] Past Herington, K-4 continued east on modern U.S. Route 56 to Council Grove, where it then followed a series of now unnumbered roadways to rejoin its present alignment at Eskridge. From Eskridge to west of Topeka, K-4 was identical to its current routing; however, at the intersection of SW Auburn Road and SW 21st Street, where K-4 currently continues north to access Interstate 70, K-4 turned east, following SW 21st Street into Topeka. At Topeka Boulevard, K-4 turned north, following the street out of the city.[3]

K-4 remained on Topeka Boulevard north to an intersection with NE 82nd Street south of the ShawneeJackson county line. K-4 headed east on 82nd to Meriden, where it rejoined its modern routing near the modern intersection of K-4 and Butler Road east of Meriden. From Meriden to Valley Falls, K-4 did not follow its current alignment. Instead of bypassing Rock Creek, K-4 continued into Rock Creek on (what is now) Rock Creek Rd. K-4 continued North and curved to the east on 114th. From there K-4 continued east until Decatur Rd. where it curved back to the North. From there it continued north until curving back to the east on 134th, continuing on to Edwards Rd. where it curved to the North. From there K-4 went north to 142nd before curving back to the east. From here it continued onto Valley Falls.[3]

Past Valley Falls, K-4 followed 162nd Street and modern K-16 east to Osage Road, where the route intersected K-16. At the time, K-4 and K-16 overlapped northward along Osage Road to Nortonville, then followed the modern alignments of U.S. Route 159 and K-116 to Cummings. Between Cummings and Atchison, K-4 and K-16 zig-zagged across several roadways surrounding the current alignment of U.S. Route 59 before joining the modern routing of US-59 just west of Atchison. In Atchison, K-16 split from K-4 and headed northward on modern K-7 while K-4 continued to the Missouri state line on current US-59.[3]

From Scott City to La Crosse, modern K-4 was designated K-52.[2] From Herington to Eskridge, as well as between Topeka and Meriden, the modern routing of K-4 was unnumbered. Past Meriden, most of K-4's current roadway was unbuilt.[3]

Between 1968 and 1997, K-4 was aligned along US-75 between I-70/US-40 and US-24 and then US-24 in Topeka. In 1997, the Oakland Expressway, serving eastern Topeka, was opened and K-4 gained its current route through Topeka.[4]

Junction list[edit]

Scott0.0000.000 US-83 (Western Vistas Historic Byway) – Scott City, OakleyWestern terminus; road continues as Road 230 (unpaved)
Lane21.84135.150 K-23 northWestern end of K-23 concurrency
23.85738.394 K-23 southEastern end of K-23 concurrency
NessRansom55.12288.710 US-283
64.105103.167 K-147Southern terminus of K-147
RushLa Crosse93.667150.742 US-183
Barton118.767191.137 US-281 northWestern end of US-281 concurrency
Hoisington123.363198.534 US-281 southEastern end of US-281 concurrency
138.136222.308 K-156Folded diamond interchange
RiceGeneseo154.741249.031 K-14
Ellsworth169.586272.922 K-141Southern terminus of K-141
No major junctions
Saline190.396306.413 I-135 / US-81 south – WichitaI-135 exit 78; western end of concurrency with I-135/US-81
Assaria194.492313.005 I-135 / US-81 north – SalinaI-135 exit 82; eastern end of concurrency with I-135/US-81
197.040317.105 K-104Southern terminus of K-104
DickinsonElmo220.027354.099 K-15
Hope229.044368.611 K-43Southern terminus of K-43
Herington234.780377.842 K-218Northern terminus of K-218
236.793381.081 US-77
Morris249.062400.826 K-149Northern terminus of K-149
Dwight264.056424.957 K-57Southern terminus of K-57
county line
269.054433.000 K-177 southWestern end of K-177 concurrency
270.054434.610 K-177 northEastern end of K-177 concurrency
Wabaunsee283.966456.999 K-99 northWestern end of K-99 concurrency
Eskridge294.118473.337 K-99 southEastern end of K-99 concurrency
Shawnee321.527517.448 I-70 / US-40 west – SalinaI-70 exit 353; western end of concurrency with I-70/US-40
Topeka323.615520.808355 I-470 east / US-75 south – TopekaWestern end of concurrency with US-75; western terminus of I-470; exit numbers follow I-70
324.517522.259356Wanamaker Road
325.647524.078357AFairlawn RoadSigned as exit 357 eastbound
326.121524.841357BDanbury LaneWestbound exit only
326.161524.905358A US-75 northEastern end of concurrency with US-75; signed as exit 358 eastbound
358BGage BoulevardSigned as exit 358 eastbound
359MacVicar Avenue
361A1st AvenueProvides access to Topeka Boulevard. Eastbound exit and westbound entrance.
361B3rd Street, Monroe StreetEastbound exit and westbound entrance
362A4th StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
362B8th AvenueSigned as exit 362 eastbound
362C10th Avenue, Madison StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
363Adams Street, Branner Trafficway
332.360534.882364ACalifornia Avenue
364BCarnahan Avenue, Deer Creek Trafficway
365Rice Road
I-70 / Kansas Turnpike east – Kansas CityI-70 exit 366; eastern end of I-70 concurrency
West end of super two
335.443539.843 US-40 east (6th Street)Eastern end of US-40 concurrency
336.484541.519Seward Avenue
339.006545.577 US-24 west – ManhattanWestern end of US-24 concurrency
East end of super two
339.659546.628 US-24 east – LawrenceDiamond interchange; eastern end of US-24 concurrency
JeffersonMeriden346.341557.382 K-245Southern terminus of K-245
350.800564.558 K-92Western terminus of K-92
Valley Falls360.263579.787 K-16 westWestern end of K-16 concurrency
361.065581.078 K-16 eastEastern end of K-16 concurrency
K-4 Alt. east (Osage Street)
369.079593.975 US-59 – Atchison, OskaloosaEastern terminus; highway continues north as US-59
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d e Official State Transportation Map (Map) (2007-2008 ed.). Kansas Department of Transportation.
  2. ^ a b c "Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas (western Kansas)". Rand McNally. 1926. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas (eastern Kansas)". Rand McNally. 1926. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
  4. ^ Kansas Highways Routelog
  5. ^ Staff (2016). "Pavement Management Information System". Kansas Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 21, 2017.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata