US Route 61's course through Iowa follows the western bank of the Mississippi River in southeastern Iowa, and it cuts a straight north-south path across the eastern lobe of Iowa. These two different behaviors exhibited by US Route 61 are divided by Davenport. The northern extent of US Route 61 is a bridge across the Mississippi River from Dubuque to the southwestern corner of Wisconsin; this bridge is shared with US Route 151. Upon reaching Dubuque, US Route 61 splits from US Route 151, also meeting US Route 20 and US Route 52 while in Dubuque. While the Mississippi River heads southeast, south, and then southwest to form Iowa's eastern "lobe", US Route 61 cuts straight south across this lobe to Davenport as a four-lane expressway. At Davenport, US Route 61, which was just kicked out of town onto some bypassing freeways, joins Interstate 80 west to Interstate 280 south. Interstate 280 then deposits US Route 61 onto a surface road, so it can begin its second phase of following the western bank of the Mississippi River. A four-lane highway carries US Route 61 from Interstate 280 to a point past Muscatine, which US the highway bypasses to the northwest. US Route 61 then passes through Burlington, picking up another 4-lane stint until just before Keokuk. Keokuk, at the southeast corner of Iowa, is where US Route 61 exits Iowa into Missouri, on a bridge it shares with US Route 136 over the Des Moines River.
My photo of a US Route 61 marker comes from its southernmost mile in Iowa, where US Route 136 eastbound splits from US Route 61 northbound. US Route 61's main alignment flanks the western side of Keokuk, where as a business alignment starts by following US Route 136 easterly into downtown. The signage depicted faces southwesterly to traffic on the concurrency shared by US Route 61 and US Route 136 that just crossed over the Des Moines River from Missouri. I took this photo on June 30, 2017, as I was traveling to the southeastern and northeastern corners of Iowa. Back to the Iowa main page. Back to the home page.