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Utah State Route 201

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State Route 201 marker

State Route 201
Map of SR-201 (delineated in red)
Route information
Defined by Utah Code §72-4-126
Maintained by UDOT
Length 18.095 mi[1] (29.121 km)
Existed 1939 – present
Major junctions
West end I-80 near Magna
  SR-202 near Magna
SR-111 in Magna
SR-172 in West Valley City
SR-154 in Salt Lake City
I-215 in West Valley City
SR-68 in West Valley City
I-15 / I-80 in South Salt Lake
East end US-89 in Salt Lake City/South Salt Lake
Highway system
  • State highways in Utah
SR-200 SR-202

State Route 201 (SR-201) is an east–west expressway and freeway located in Salt Lake County in the U.S. state of Utah. Colloquially known as the 21st South Freeway,[2] the route serves as an alternative to Interstate 80 (I-80) through Salt Lake City. From the western terminus of the route west of Magna, the highway heads east through Kennecott Copper property as an expressway before running through the western suburbs of Salt Lake City as a freeway. Shortly after the route returns on a surface route, SR-201 terminates on its eastern end at State Street (U.S. Route 89).

The history of the route predates the invention of the automobile; the Donner Party, California Trail and Pony Express all followed the present-day path of the highway. During the 1910s, the route was designated a state highway and, in 1939, State Route 201 was officially written into law, running from Magna east to the mouth of Parley's Canyon. At one point, the highway carried US-50 Alternate west of State Street and both US-40 and US-40 Alternate east of that road, though all were truncated from Salt Lake City by the late 1970s. Construction of the freeway portion of SR-201 west of I-15 commenced in the mid-1960s and was fully completed by 1986.

Route description[edit]

At its western terminus, SR-201 begins at a partial interchange at I-80. Heading generally east with two lanes in each direction, the expressway passes by the Kennecott Smokestack, the tallest structure in Utah.[3][4] Past its intersection at SR-202, the route takes a turn to the southeast, bypassing the Kennecott tailings pond.[5] Now exiting Kennecott property, the route exits unpopulated terrain and enters the urban Wasatch Front, beginning with the Salt Lake City suburb of Magna. Past junctions at 9200 West, 8400 West, 8000 West and 7200 West, the route veers northerly three blocks and becomes a limited-access freeway.[6] East of 7200 West, SR-201 is routed at approximately 2100 South in Salt Lake County's grid system, giving the freeway its nickname of "21st South Freeway".[2]

The intersection of SR-201, I-15, and I-80, locally known as the "Spaghetti Bowl"
View west from the east end of SR-201

Now with three lanes in each direction, the highway straddles the boundary between Salt Lake City and West Valley City, another suburb of the former. The road continues due east with diamond interchanges at 5600 West (SR-172) and Bangerter Highway (SR-154). Immediately following a single-point urban interchange (SPUI) at 3200 West, the freeway intersects I-215 in the form of a cloverleaf interchange. The road dips to the south slightly and, following two SPUIs at Redwood Road (SR-68) and 900 West, the freeway terminates at the Spaghetti Bowl interchange, giving eastbound motorists on SR-201 the option of continuing to I-15, I-80, 1300 South and 900 South. However, an eastbound traveler wanting to continue on the surface portion of SR-201 to State Street must exit on 900 West, head north briefly and then turn eastbound on 2100 South; a westbound traveler on 2100 South wishing to connect to the freeway must take an on-ramp from the surface street just before 900 West. Prior to 1997, this connection was direct.[7] Now on the four-lane 2100 South, a secondary surface street, the route runs along the Salt Lake City-South Salt Lake border. State maintenance of 2100 South ends at the intersection of State Street (US-89).[6]


An aerial photo of the intersection of SR-201 and present-day US-89 (State Street)
  US-40A (1965–1976)
  US-89/US-91 (until 1974)
  US-50A (1953–1979)
  US-40 (until 1965)

State Route 201 is one of the original highways through the Salt Lake Valley. Signs along the route claim the path of the highway to be the historical route of the California Trail, Pony Express and Lincoln Highway. While signed as the route of the California Trail, modern 2100 South is a less common branch called Hastings Cutoff that became infamous because of the Donner Party.[8][9] The Lincoln Highway, generally derived from the route of the Pony Express across Utah,[10] was routed on 2100 South.[11] However, no modern highway exactly follows the route of the Pony Express west of Salt Lake City. SR-201 is one of a few auto-tour routes that approximates the Pony Express trail, which actually ran south of the road.[12]

View east along SR-201 at I-215

In the 1910s, 2100 South in Salt Lake County became an unnumbered state highway.[13] In 1919, when the state legislature redefined the state road system to include only a short list given in the law and any federal aid projects, 2100 South east of State Street remained as a portion of the Lincoln Highway.[14] In 1926, 2100 South became part of US-40, following the creation of the United States Numbered Highway system.[15][16] By 1937, 2100 South west of 9180 West was assigned to US-50, US-40 now turning northward toward Downtown Salt Lake City. This created two signed highways over 2100 South: US-40 east of US-91 and US-50 east of 9200 West (US-50 traveled west on 3500 South through Salt Lake City from US-91 to 2100 South in Magna, whereas US-40 turned from eastbound 2100 South to northbound State Street to connect to North Temple).[17][18]

In 1939, the state legislature designated State Route 201, running west on 2100 South from State Street (US-40/US-91) to US-50 (9180 West) in Magna.[19] By 1954, US-50 was moved south to an alignment through central Utah, the old routing mostly replaced by US-50 Alternate (US-50A). However, US-50A was placed in Salt Lake City on 2100 South west of State Street, replacing the SR-201 designation.[20][21][22][23] By 1965, US-40 was realigned along Foothill Drive (then US-40A), the Utah Highway Department believing the Foothill route was more direct in connecting with North Temple toward the airport. US-40A was now aligned along the entirety of 2100 South from US-40/future I-215 at the mouth of Parley's Canyon west to State Street and beyond with US-50A to US-40 west of Magna.[24][25][26][27][28] Both mainline and Alternate US-40, along with US-50A, were truncated to east of the city by 1979.[29][30]

Constructing a freeway[edit]

By 1958, SR-201 between US-40 west of Magna and SR-68 (Redwood Road) was a two-lane highway through rural Salt Lake County. The rural landscape changed by the time SR-201 intersected 300 West and entered urban Salt Lake County, the highway becoming a four-lane road. The route remained this way until the intersection of 1300 East (SR-181), where the route reverted to a two-lane configuration.[31][32] By 1965, a time when most U.S. Routes in the city were being replaced by Interstate Highways, all two-lane portions of the road east of 1300 East were widened to at least four lanes; an interchange between US-40, US-40A and future I-215 was being built at the mouth of Parley's Canyon. From under-construction I-15 west to Redwood Road, the old route of SR-201 was being superseded by a six-lane freeway directly to the south.[33] All construction was complete by 1970 with interchanges at 900 West and Redwood Road; the new freeway extended west to 2700 West.[34][35]

By 1977, an interchange directly west of Redwood Road at I-215 was being built and the rest of the highway to Magna was given a median in preparation for freeway construction to 5600 West (SR-172).[36] This construction concluded by 1986, with interchanges at 3200 West, Bangerter Highway (SR-154, then solely 4000 West) and 5600 West as a result.[37][38] Beginning in April 1997 and concluding in July 2001, as part of a larger reconstruction project for I-15, SR-201 was rebuilt from 900 West to I-15/I-80, including the colloquial "Spaghetti Bowl" interchange.[39][40] As a result, SR-201 was left in two discontinuous pieces; to connect from the surface portion of SR-201 to the freeway, one must now take an on-ramp.[41] From 2004 to 2006, the freeway from 900 West to I-215 was widened and repaved, the Redwood Road interchange being redone as well.[42] In 2009, the freeway from Bangerter Highway to 5600 West was widened to three lanes in each direction and the road between SR-202 and I-80 was widened to four lanes—the latter project eliminated the final two-lane section of SR-201.[43][44]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Salt Lake County.

Location mi[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Lake Point Junction 0.000 0.000 I-80 west No access to I-80 east; I-80 exit 102
Garfield 3.250 5.230 SR-202 to I-80 north – Great Salt Lake State Park
Magna 7.179 11.553 SR-111 (8400 West) – Magna, Bingham Canyon Mine Seagull intersection
8.684 13.976 7200 West At-grade intersection; west end of freeway
West Valley CitySalt Lake City line 10.805 17.389 11 SR-172 (5600 West)
12.821 20.633 13 SR-154 (Bangerter Highway) – West Valley City
Salt Lake City 13.760 22.145 14 3200 West Single-point urban interchange, first in Utah[45]
Salt Lake CityWest Valley City line 14.418 23.204 15A-B I-215 I-215 exit 20
15.287 24.602 15C SR-68 (Redwood Road)
South Salt Lake 16.414 26.416 17 900 West
17.196 27.674 I-15 north / I-80 west (Veteran's Memorial Highway) – Salt Lake City, Reno Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; part of the "Spaghetti Bowl" interchange; exit includes direct exit ramp onto 1300 South/900 South, entrance includes direct entrance ramp from 2100 South; I-15 exit 305A
I-15 south (Veteran's Memorial Highway) – Las Vegas Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; part of the "Spaghetti Bowl" interchange; I-15 exit 305A
I-80 east – Cheyenne Eastern terminus; I-80 exit 123A
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b "State Route 201 Highway reference" (PDF). Utah Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Facts About I-15 Reconstruction". Archived from the original on June 7, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2008. 
  3. ^ Google (August 6, 2008). "UT-201 near Kennecott Smokestack" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 6, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Amazing Facts". Kennecott Utah Copper. 2009. 
  5. ^ Utah Road and Recreation Atlas (Map). Benchmark Maps. p. 42. § G6. ISBN 0-929591-74-7. 
  6. ^ a b Google (January 15, 2010). "UT-201 overview" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ Official Highway Map, Utah Transportation Commission (Map). 1 inch=17.4 miles. Utah Department of Transportation. 1983. Salt Lake City and Vicinity inset. 
  8. ^ "Mormon Pioneer Trail History". Utah Travel Industry. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  9. ^ Longfellow, Rickie. "The Hastings Cutoff and Highway 80 Tragedy of the Donner Party". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  10. ^ Hokanson, Drake (1999). "Chicago to Salt Lake City". Lincoln Highway – Main Street Across America. University of Iowa Press. p. 61. ISBN 0-87745-676-3. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  11. ^ Patrick, Kevin J. "15 - Lincoln Highway in Utah". Lincoln Highway Resource Guide. Indiana University of Pennsylvania. p. 191. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ Benson, Joe (1995). The Traveler's Guide to the Pony Express Trail. Falcon Press. p. 91. ISBN 1-56044-233-6. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  13. ^ Fourth Biennial Report, State Road Commission, 1915 and 1916. p. 218. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  14. ^ Utah State Legislature (1919). Chapter 57: State Road Commission. Session Laws of Utah. e The Lincoln Highway from the Utah-Wyoming State line, via Echo Canyon, Echo, Coalville, Hoytsville and Parley's canyon to Salt Lake City; thence westwardly via Magna, Garfield, Tooele, Stockton, St. John, Clover, Johnson's Pass, Granite Mountain and Ibapah to the Utah-Nevada State line. 
  15. ^ Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas (Map) (1926 ed.). Rand McNally. p. 94. Salt Lake City and vicinity inset. 
  16. ^ Utah (northern) 1926 (Map). Rand McNally. 1926. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  17. ^ Sears Official Road Map – Nevada & Utah (Map) (1937 ed.). Cartography by Mid-West Map Company. Sears Roebuck and Co. § B-10. 
  18. ^ Salt Lake City Street and Vicinity Maps (Map) (1948 ed.). Cartography by H.M. Goshua Company. Standard Oil. § F-10. 
  19. ^ Utah State Legislature (1939). Chapter 47: Designation of State Roads. Session Laws of Utah. Route 201. From route 1 on State street of Salt Lake City at Twenty-first South street in a westerly direction on Twenty-first South street to route 4 north of Magna, Utah. 
  20. ^ Nevada Highway Map (Map) (1953 ed.). Nevada Department of Transportation. 
  21. ^ Nevada Highway Map (Map) (1954 ed.). Nevada Department of Transportation. 
  22. ^ National Geographic Atlas of the Fifty United States (Map) (1960 ed.). National Geographic Society. p. 23. § B-7. 
  23. ^ Salt Lake City Street and Vicinity Maps (Map) (1954 ed.). Cartography by H.M. Goshua Company. Standard Oil. § F-10. 
  24. ^ "Bid Opening Set June 30 On Project". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. June 11, 1959. pp. 6D. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Hearing Set To Discuss U.S. 40 Plan". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. December 28, 1962. pp. 10B. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  26. ^ Topographic map (Map) (1975 ed.). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  27. ^ Salt Lake City (Map) (1965 ed.). Cartography by H.M. Goshua Company. Standard Oil. § F-7. 
  28. ^ "Route 201" (PDF). Utah Department of Transportation. Nov 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Slim Hope Seen For Satisfying Traffic Demands". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. November 30, 1962. pp. 16A. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  30. ^ Utah – Official Highway Map (Map) (1979 ed.). Utah Department of Transportation. Salt Lake City inset. 
  31. ^ Historic Aerials website (Map) (1958 ed.). United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  32. ^ Historic Aerials website (Map) (1959 ed.). United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  33. ^ Historic Aerials website (Map) (1965 ed.). United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  34. ^ Salt Lake City (Map) (1970 ed.). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  35. ^ Historic Aerials website (Map) (1971 ed.). United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  36. ^ Historic Aerials website (Map) (1977 ed.). United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  37. ^ Utah Multipurpose Map (Map) (1986 ed.). Cartography by AAA Engineering and Drafting, Inc. Utah Travel Council. p. 7. § G-1. 
  38. ^ "Construction on I-80, U.S. 6". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. June 11, 1991. p. B1. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Last step before I-15 reconstruction begins". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. April 10, 1997. p. B5. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  40. ^ Culler, Leah L. (July 14, 2001). "I-15 is open for business – no closures". Deseret News. Salt Lake City: Deseret Digital Media. p. B3. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  41. ^ Historic Aerials website (Map) (1977, 2006 ed.). United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  42. ^ Warburton, Nicole (August 24, 2006). "Reconstruction work on U-201 completed Widening of '21st South highway' took 2 years". Deseret News. Salt Lake City: Deseret Digital Media. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  43. ^ "S.R. 201, Bangerter Highway to 5600 West". Utah Department of Transportation. December 12, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  44. ^ "S.R. 201, S.R. 202 to I-80". Utah Department of Transportation. December 31, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  45. ^ Brown, Matthew (January 20, 1991). "Resist Impulse to Say 'Phooey' to the Safe and Efficient 'SPUI'". Deseret News. OCLC 10171976. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata