Colorado State Highway 42

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State Highway 42 marker

State Highway 42
Map of Boulder County in north central Colorado with SH 42 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by CDOT
Length 4.876 mi[1] (7.847 km)
Major junctions
North end SH 7 in Lafayette
East end US 287 in Lafayette
Counties Boulder
Highway system
Colorado State Highways
SH 41 SH 44

State Highway 42 (SH 42) is a state highway in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. It runs south from SH 7 to Louisville and then east to US 287.

Route description[edit]

Westbound on SH 42 in Louisville

SH 42 begins in northwestern Lafayette at a junction with SH 7 (Arapahoe Road) and heads south on 95th Street. 1 mile (1.6 km) later, after crossing Baseline Road, the roadway S-curves to the east to line up with 96th Street, though it keeps the 95th Street name until the Louisville city limits. After bypassing downtown Louisville to the east, SH 42 turns east onto a road that becomes Empire Road upon leaving Louisville. It ends at US 287 south of downtown Lafayette.[2]


State Highway 168 was designated in 1932-1934 along a route similar to the present SH 42, but using a number of different roadways. It began on SH 7 in the same place and headed south on 95th Street, but the S-curve was not in place and it jogged east on Baseline Road to reach 96th Street. SH 168 then jogged west on South Boulder Road across the railroad to Louisville's Main Street, and turned east on Pine Street, crossing SH 42 onto Empire Road. This street curves south to meet SH 42 at the current city limits of Louisville, after which SH 168 followed SH 42 to end at SH 1 (now US 287).[3] In 1953 the state highway system was greatly reduced[4] and SH 168 disappeared. The loop through Louisville returned to the system in 1960-1961 with a new number: State Highway 42. Two new segments of road were built in about 1970, giving SH 42 its current shape (but initially a sweeping curve carried traffic around the corner east of downtown Louisville).[5][6][7]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Boulder County.

Location mi km Destinations Notes
Lafayette 0.000 0.000 SH 7
Louisville 2.624 4.223 Pine Street / Empire Road – Louisville
2.951 4.749 96th Street SH 42 changes direction
3.795 6.107 104th Street / Empire Road
Lafayette 4.876 7.847 US 287
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Colorado Department of Transportation, Highway Data Explorer, accessed November 2013
  2. ^ Google Maps including Street View photographs, accessed November 2013
  3. ^ Colorado State Highway Department, Boulder County, 1936 (reproduced as part of the 1940 Census)
  4. ^ 1923 list of state highways, reproduced in Highways to the Sky, Appendix C, p. 39
  5. ^ United States Geological Survey, Louisville 1:24000, 1967
  6. ^ United States Geological Survey, Louisville 1:24000, 1973
  7. ^ Colorado Department of Transportation, official highway maps: 1932, 1934, 1952, 1954, 1960, 1961, 1965

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata