Iowa Highways: 50 to 59

Jump directly to route:
40-49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60-69
For an explanation of the route listings, click here.

Iowa 50
Designated: July 1, 1920
Decommissioned: July 1, 2003
Original western terminus: IA 16 (I), later US 169, south of Fort Dodge; it was extended westward to Callender on June 4, 1935, but truncated to its original west end at US 169 on December 11, 1963.
Original eastern terminus: Lehigh
Counties: Webster
Paving history: Unpaved at designation, the segment east of US 169 was paved in 1951. The segment west of US 169 was not paved until 1964, after it was decommissioned.
Replaced by: County road, later numbered D43 (in 1963); County Road D43 (at decommissioning)
Terminus photos
Iowa 51
Length: 11 miles/18 kilometers
Northern terminus: IA 9 southwest of Waukon
Southern terminus: US 18 in Postville
Terminus photos

Counties: Allamakee
History
Designated: July 1, 1920, from the Minnesota state line at Eitzen, MN, to Postville.
Paving history: Unpaved at designation, the segments from Waukon to a point south of the split with IA 13 was paved in 1934, and the segment from the Yellow River crossing to Postville was paved in 1935. The segment in between had a bituminous surface when IA 51 was straightened on a new paved alignment in 1968.
Major alignment changes:
  • December 8, 1924: Truncated south of the junction of IA 13 near Waukon, as IA 13 replaced it north of there
  • December 1968: Straightened to run northward from Postville to IA 9; its old alignment followed present-day County Roads X16 and W4B southward from IA 13 (now 76).
  • Iowa 52
    Designated: July 1, 1920
    Decommissioned: December 4, 1934
    Original western terminus: Elma
    Original eastern terminus: IA 59, later US 63
    Counties: Howard
    Paving history: There were no paved segments.
    Replaced by: IA 272; the number has since been used for US 52
    Iowa 53 (I)
    Designated: July 1, 1920
    Decommissioned: October 16, 1926
    Original western terminus: IA 19 in Nora Springs; it was truncated to a county road junction (now T24) west of Rudd on January 6, 1925.
    Original eastern terminus: IA 40 in Charles City, via Rockford; it was truncated at IA 14 between the two cities on November 3, 1924, to eliminate the redundant multiplex with IA 14.
    Counties: Floyd
    Paving history: There were no paved segments.
    Replaced by: IA 147. The renumbering was made because US 53 was expected to go through Iowa, but US 53 became US 55 instead, and IA 53 was reused for the highway that was previously IA 55.
    Iowa 53 (II)
    Designated: October 16, 1926
    Decommissioned: August 3, 1949
    Original northern terminus: Clarksville
    Original southern terminus: IA 10 (now IA 3)
    Counties: Butler
    Paving history: Unpaved at designation, the road was paved in 1935.
    Replaced by: IA 188. This was originally IA 55 (I); for a short time in the 1960s, this road was IA 122 (II).
    Iowa 53 (III)
    Designated: August 25, 1953
    Decommissioned: September 17, 1969
    Original northern terminus: Gowrie
    Original southern terminus: IA 175 south of Gowrie; this is a former segment of IA 175 that was redesignated when it bypassed the town on a new alignment.
    Counties: Webster
    Paving history: Unpaved at designation, the road had a bituminous surface at the time of decommissioning.
    Replaced by: Local roads (Market and 4th Streets in Gowrie)
    Iowa 54
    Designated: July 1, 1920
    Decommissioned: July 1, 1980
    Original western terminus: Marble Rock
    Original eastern terminus: IA 14
    Counties: Floyd
    Paving history: Unpaved at designation, the road was paved in 1955.
    Replaced by: County Road B60
    Iowa 55 (I)
    Designated: July 1, 1920
    Decommissioned: October 16, 1926
    Original northern terminus: Clarksville
    Original southern terminus: IA 10 (now IA 3)
    Counties: Butler
    Paving history: There were no paved segments.
    Replaced by: IA 53 (II). Between 1926 and 1934 the number was reserved for US 55.
    Iowa 55 (II)
    Designated: December 4, 1934
    Decommissioned: July 1, 2003
    Original northern terminus: IA 3 (I), later IA 2, east of Promise City
    Original southern terminus: Seymour
    Counties: Wayne
    Paving history: Unpaved at designation, the road was upgraded from bituminous to paved in 1959.
    Replaced by: County Road J56/Main Street in Seymour (two blocks in 1988); County Road S60 (at decommissioning). This replaced the former IA 67 upon the commissioning of US 67; incidentally, US 67 had replaced part of old US 55.
    Terminus photos
    Iowa 56
    Length: 24 miles/39 kilometers
    Western terminus: IA 150 in West Union
    Eastern terminus: IA 13 in Elkader
    Terminus photos

    Counties: Fayette, Clayton
    Cities along route: West Union, Elkader
    History
    Designated: July 1, 1920, between West Union and Guttenberg
    Paving history: There were no paved segments at designation. A short segment west of Elkader was paved in 1931; the rest of the road was paved in 1955.
    Major alignment changes:
  • November 3, 1924: Segments east of Elkader taken over by IA 13 (duplicated segment), IA 128, and IA 20 (I) (duplicated segment that later became US 55).
  • October 7, 1953: West end in West Union moved from US 18 to IA 150
  • November 30, 1982: Extended southward from downtown Elkader to the relocated IA 13, replacing part of IA 13 along the way.
  • Iowa 57
    Length: 44 miles/71 kilometers
    Western terminus: US 65 northeast of Iowa Falls
    Eastern terminus: US 218 in Cedar Falls
    Terminus photos

    Counties: Franklin and Hardin (straddling the county line), Butler, Grundy, Black Hawk
    Cities along route: Ackley, Aplington, Parkersburg, New Hartford, Cedar Falls

    Multiplexes: 1½ miles with IA 14 in Parkersburg
    History
    Designated: July 1, 1920, from Grundy Center to Cedar Falls
    Paving history: There were no paved segments at designation. The original segment was paved in 1931; all future extensions were paved.
    Major alignment changes:
  • November 3, 1924: Duplicated segment with IA 14 north of Grundy Center eliminated
  • August 1932 (approved July 20): Extended southward and westward to US 65 in Hardin County via Eldora and Grundy Center, replacing IA 58 between US 65 and Grundy Center and sharing 14 miles with IA 14 in Grundy County.
  • December 18, 1934: Extended northward and eastward from Cedar Falls to US 63 north of Waterloo
  • August 25, 1956: Replaced part of IA 58 through Cedar Falls. It had previously followed 27th Street (now University Avenue), Main Street, and 1st Street through the city, but the new route followed Hudson Road and 1st Street (creating a "bump" with IA 58 at the Hudson/University intersection that lasted until IA 57's swap with US 20 in 1986). IA 58, in return, got part of IA 57's old route between the "bump" and US 218.
  • January 1, 1969: Truncated west of IA 14 (old segments west of Grundy Center became part of IA 175).
  • July 1, 1980: Truncated east of the intersection of 1st Street (US 20 at the time) and Hudson Road in Cedar Falls; it had previously run along US 20, Airport Boulevard, and Airline Highway to the junction of Logan Avenue (US 63).
  • June 14, 1986: Switched routes with US 20 upon the completion of the freeway south of Waterloo and Cedar Falls; IA 57 was assigned to the former US 20 segment between Parkersburg and US 63 in downtown Waterloo, while US 20 assumed IA 57's old route through Dike.
  • October 2, 1989: Truncated east of US 218 in Cedar Falls after a relocated US 218 opened and the city of Waterloo took over the remaining segments along Broadway and Franklin Streets.
  • July 21, 1995: Extended eastward by one mile from Franklin Street (old US 218) in Cedar Falls to the new US 218/IA 58 interchange.
  • August 22, 2003: Extended westward from Parkersburg to US 65 northeast of Iowa Falls, replacing part of US 20 upon the opening of a new freeway segment.
  • For alignment changes in Waterloo and Cedar Falls that are not listed here, see Jeff Morrison's Waterloo/Cedar Falls Highway Chronology page.
  • Iowa 58
    Length: 12 miles/19 kilometers
    Northern terminus: The US 218/IA 57 interchange in Cedar Falls
    Southern terminus: US 63 in Hudson
    Terminus photos

    Counties: Black Hawk
    Cities along route: Cedar Falls, Hudson

    NHS: The segments it shares with US 20 and IA 27 in Cedar Falls
    Freeway segment: 3 miles, between the north end and Greenhill Road in Cedar Falls (with IA 27).
    Expressway segment: 3½ miles, between Greenhill Road and US 20 in Cedar Falls (with IA 27)
    Exit lists: Segment between US 20 and US 218, part of a list for the Avenue of the Saints between Cedar Falls and Clear Lake.
    Multiplexes:
  • 6 miles with IA 27, between US 218 and US 20 in Cedar Falls
  • 1 mile with US 20 on the south edge of Cedar Falls
  • History
    Designated: July 1, 1920, as an east-west highway between IA 5 in Iowa Falls and IA 40 in Vinton
    Paving history: Unpaved at designation, the remaining segment between US 65 and IA 14 west of Grundy Center was paved in 1931. The March 1932 extension was paved, but the extension into Cedar Falls was gravel until it was paved in 1940.
    Major alignment changes:
  • November 3, 1924: Truncated west of the junction with IA 1 (I) south of Iowa Falls. While the Highway Commission notes of that day did not mention a truncation east of the junction with IA 40 (I) west of Vinton, that segment's exclusion from the Commission's Service Bulletin for the fall of 1925 implies that the truncation happened at or shortly after this time. In both cases, the duplicated segments with the aforementioned highways were dropped.
  • October 16, 1926: Truncated east of the junction of IA 14 west of Grundy Center, removing the route from Tama and Benton counties. The duplicated segments with IA 14 and IA 59 were dropped, while the standalone segment between Grundy Center and IA 59 became IA 90 (II), and the segment between Traer and US 218 became IA 8.
  • Summer 1930: Straightened between US 65 and a point west of Eldora, replacing IA 134 (I).
  • March 1932 (approved February 28): Extended eastward through Grundy Center to IA 59 south of Hudson, replacing IA 90 (II) and sharing 7 miles with IA 14.
  • August 1932 (approved July 20): Truncated west of Grundy Center, as an extension of IA 57 replaced it west of there. This removed IA 58 from Hardin County.
  • April 9, 1935: Extended northward from US 63 through Hudson to US 20 in Cedar Falls
  • August 25, 1956: Rerouted through Cedar Falls, replacing part of IA 57. It had previously run due northward to 1st Street, which then carried US 20, via Hudson Road, but the new route followed the present-day University Avenue between Hudson Road and US 218. IA 57, in return, replaced IA 58's old alignment between US 20 and the "bump" that was created at the Hudson/University intersection. (The "bump" lasted until US 20 and IA 57 swapped routes in 1986.)
  • January 1, 1969: Decommissioned south of Hudson, removing the road from Grundy County; the east-west segment between Grundy Center and US 63 (via Reinbeck) was superseded by IA 175.
  • July 1, 1987: Truncated north of US 20; Hudson Road and University Avenue were turned over to the city of Cedar Falls.
  • 1993: Extended northward from US 20 to University Avenue along a new four-lane segment
  • July 21, 1995: Extended northward along a freeway segment between University Avenue and relocated US 218.
  • For maps of its street alignments in Cedar Falls, see Jeff Morrison's Waterloo/Cedar Falls Highway Chronology page.
  • Notes
  • IA 58 through Cedar Falls really is part of the Avenue of the Saints — it bypasses the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area along IA 58 and US 20 rather than following US 218 (the Leo P. Rooff Expressway) as previously thought. The co-signing of IA 27 along that route in late 2001 is further proof. Here is more from a June 25, 1999, e-mail from Mark Hasty:
      "The official word I have from IaDOT is that Iowa 58 is, indeed, the designated route of ATS through Cedar Falls. The current state five-year highway plan does not mention anything about eliminating stoplights or at-grade intersections along 58 in Cedar Falls. 58 is already basically an expressway, with a short controlled-access section, so not much improvement would be needed, but at least in Cedar Falls, the ATS will have stoplights on it. Maybe down the road this will change, but there's no indication of that now.

      "I have a hunch that this routing is to keep the heavy through traffic out of downtown Waterloo. US-218 is a rather congested road in the area where it has at-grade intersections, and there wouldn't be any way to control the access along it without effectively dividing Waterloo in half."
  • Plans are currently in place to remove all intersections along the expressway segment in Cedar Falls. While a new single-point urban interchange (SPUI) at Viking Road in Cedar Falls is scheduled for construction in 2017, additional interchanges in Cedar Falls (including an upgraded interchange with US 20) are currently unfunded.
  • Iowa 59
    Designated: July 1, 1920
    Decommissioned: December 4, 1934
    Original northern terminus: Chester; it was extended into Minnesota in 1929.
    Original southern terminus: Missouri state line southwest of Cincinnati; it was truncated at Albia on October 16, 1926
    Counties: Howard, Chickasaw, Bremer, Black Hawk, Tama, Poweshiek, Mahaska, Wapello, Monroe, Appanoose (1920-1926)
    Paving history: There were no paved segments at designation.
  • 1924: Paved from Waterloo to Hudson
  • 1926: Paved from Oskaloosa to a point between Oskaloosa and Eddyville
  • 1927: Paved from Toledo to Tama
  • 1928: Multiplexed segments with US 18 (south of New Hampton) and US 32 (now US 6, in Poweshiek County) paved
  • 1929: Paved from IA 9 in Howard County to New Hampton and from IA 10 (now 3) in Bremer County to Waterloo
  • 1930: Paved from Hudson to Toledo (on a new alignment to the south and west of Traer), from Tama to the western split with US 32, and from New Sharon to Oskaloosa
  • 1931: Paved from the Minnesota state line to IA 9 (on a new alignment, creating IA 157 to serve Lime Springs)
  • 1932: Paved from the southern split with US 18 to the Chickasaw/Bremer county line and from the Mahaska/Poweshiek county line to New Sharon
  • 1933: Paved from the Chickasaw/Bremer county line to IA 10 (now IA 3). The segment from the eastern split with US 6 to the Poweshiek/Mahaska county line was still gravel at the time of decommissioning.
  • Replaced by:
  • IA 6 (II) (south of Albia in 1926)
  • IA 137 (between Oskaloosa and Albia at decommissioning)
  • US 63 (north of Oskaloosa at decommissioning). The number has since been used for US 59.
  • Was this route supposed to be US 59 instead of US 63? Minnesota highways page author Steve Riner told me in 1998 that he found a 1934 Minnesota state highway map which marked this route as US 59 through Minnesota into Iowa. In early 1934, Minnesota commissioners proposed a new US 59 between Ashland, WI, and Laclede, MO, that would have included all of IA 59 and what was then IA 60 (I) south of Albia. However, Iowa was not in favor of this change because of its reluctance to request new US highways at the time (the only exception was US 275, as Minnesota and Missouri were behind the designation of US 169). No new US highways were created until the American Association of State Highway Officials approved a series of new highways, including the existing US 59 and US 63, at a November 1934 convention in Santa Fe, NM. (See IA 73 (II) and IA 150 for other proposed US highways that weren't.)
    For maps of its street alignments in Waterloo, see Jeff Morrison's Waterloo/Cedar Falls Highway Chronology page.

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    © 1997-2017 by Jason Hancock / Last updated March 26, 2017