Iowa Route 21 is a north-south route running near the longitude that splits the eastern quarter of Iowa from the remaining three-quarters, and the endpoints are about a quarter of the way into the state from the state's northern and southern borders. The northern end is at an interchange with US Route 20 on the south side of Waterloo (US Route 20 is concurrent with Iowa Route 27 at this point). The southern end is at an east-west jog in Iowa Route 149, near Hedrick, a town northeast of Ottumwa. Much of the Iowa Route 21 traffic reaching the southern end continues onto Iowa Route 149's western leg, which bends south to Ottumwa. (I personally believe it's the Iowa Route 21 designation that continues south to Ottumwa instead of Iowa Route 149's, but that is neither here nor there.)
My photo for Iowa Route 21 actually doesn't make much sense at all, but it's just how the cookie crumbled. I have taken a few shots of Iowa Route 21, but the cleanest shot I accepted for this webpage is of an Iowa Route 21 marker whose placement defies logic. The photo you see here sits at the south end of the diamond interchange Iowa Route 21 has with US Route 20. If you recall from earlier, I said that Iowa Route 21's northern end is at the interchange with US Route 20. Sure, we can technically say that Iowa Route 21 continues a bit farther north past this sign assembly posted for northbound traffic, but it only continues to the other side of the interchange. The end marker is maybe another quarter mile farther into the photo's background, so I don't know why the Iowa Route 21 sign with the ahead arrow is even here. No one observing this sign is looking to continue north on Iowa Route 21 past this interchange with US Route 20 and Iowa Route 27, because Iowa Route 21 doesn't continue beyond the interchange! I took this photo in May 2022 as part of the final Iowa routesnapping trip around northern and central Iowa. Back to the Iowa main page. Back to the home page.