U.S. Route 159

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U.S. Route 159 marker

U.S. Route 159
Route information
Auxiliary route of US 59
Length: 83.6 mi[a] (134.5 km)
  • Kansas: 52.3 mi (84.2 km)
  • Nebraska: 13.86 mi (22.31 km)
  • Missouri: 17.424 mi (28.041 km)
Existed: 1935[1] – present
Major junctions
South end:
US-59 / K-4 Alt. in Nortonville, KS
North end: US 59 in New Point, MO
States: Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri
Highway system

U.S. Highway 159 is an auxiliary route of U.S. Highway 59. It currently runs for 85 miles (137 km) from Nortonville, Kansas at U.S. Highway 59 to New Point, Missouri at US 59. The highway permits through traffic on US 59 to bypass the cities of Atchison, Kansas and Saint Joseph, Missouri.

Route description[edit]


US-159 begins at US-59 in Nortonville. It joins with U.S. Route 73 in Horton. The two highways overlap to the Nebraska border, passing through Hiawatha before leaving the state north of Reserve.


US 159 clips the far southeastern corner of Nebraska. It enters south of Falls City concurrently with U.S. Route 73. In Falls City, US 159 turns east. It leaves the state at the Missouri River bridge in Rulo.


The former Rulo Bridge (US 159) from the Missouri side with the Burlington Northern bridge to the right (north)

US 159 enters northwestern Missouri near Big Lake. It crosses Interstate 29 near Fortescue before ending at US 59 near New Point. Its total length in Missouri is approximately 16 miles (26 km).


When the route was commissioned in 1934, U.S. Route 159 only went between Nortonville, Kansas and Horton, Kansas. In 1945, it was extended north to Craig, Missouri via Falls City, Nebraska. After 1975, the route in Missouri was altered to go east from the Fortescue area to what is now its current terminus near New Point, Missouri. The old route which went to Craig is now Route 111.[2]

In 2013, a new bridge over the Missouri River, located about 650 feet south of the old Rulo Bridge, opened to traffic.[3]

Major intersections[edit]

State County Location mi
km Destinations Notes
Kansas Jefferson Nortonville 0.0 0.0
K-4 Alt. begins / US-59 – Atchison, Topeka
South end of K-4 Alt. overlap
0.5 0.80
K-4 Alt. west (Osage Street)
North end of K-4 Alt. overlap
Atchison Center Township 3.6 5.8 K-116 east South end of K-116 overlap
township line
4.3 6.9 K-116 west North end of K-116 overlap
8.7 14.0 K-9 east South end of K-9 overlap
Grasshopper Township 22.7 36.5 K-9 west North end of K-9 overlap
Brown Horton 28.3 45.5 US-73 south / K-20 east (15th Street) South end of US-73/K-20 overlap
28.4 45.7 K-20 west (15th Street) North end of K-20 overlap
Hiawatha 40.3 64.9 US-36 – Seneca, Troy Interchange
Kansas–Nebraska state line
Nebraska Richardson Falls City 4.11 6.61 US 73 north (Harlan Street) North end of US 73 overlap
Missouri River 13.86
Nebraska–Missouri state line
Missouri Holt Big Lake 13.248 21.321 Route 111 north (Lake Shore Drive) South end of Route 111 overlap
Minton Township 7.771 12.506 Route 111 south North end of Route 111 overlap
Benton Township 3.242–
I-29 – St. Joseph, Council Bluffs Exit 79 along I-29
Hickory Township 0.000 0.000 US 59 – Mound City, Oregon
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Total mileage is the sum of each state's length


  1. ^ Droz, Robert V. U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830). URL accessed 06:08, 25 October 2006 (UTC).
  2. ^ Sanderson, Dale End of US highway 159.
  3. ^ Laukaitis, Algis J. (January 19, 2014). "Span of historic Rulo bridge destroyed". Lincoln Journal Star. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 
  4. ^ "County Maps". Kansas Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Nebraska Highway Reference Log Book" (PDF). Nebraska Department of Roads. 2015. p. 281. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  6. ^ Missouri Department of Transportation (July 13, 2012). MoDOT HPMAPS (Map). Missouri Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata
Browse numbered routes
K-156 KS US-160
US 138 NE I-180
Route 158 MO US 160