|Length||1,540 mi (2,478 km)|
|West end||/ near Minturn, CO|
|East end||near Clarkston, MI|
|States||Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan|
U.S. Route 24 (US 24) is one of the original United States highways of 1926. It originally ran from Pontiac, Michigan, in the east to Kansas City, Missouri, in the west. Today, the highway's eastern terminus is in Independence Township, Michigan, at an intersection with I-75 and its western terminus is near Minturn, Colorado at an intersection with I-70. The highway transitions from north-south to east-west signage in Toledo, Ohio.
In Colorado, US 24 runs from Interstate 70 (and implicitly with, U.S. Route 6) from Minturn where it goes through Minturn and continues south to the Continental Divide at Tennessee Pass. It continues south to Johnson Village and then joins with U.S. Route 285 northbound to the Trout Creek Pass. After the pass, US 24 separates from US 285 and continues east to Colorado Springs and then northeast to Limon, where US 24 joins I-70 for most of the rest of its routing to the Kansas state line.
When the United States Highway System was started in 1926, US 24 in Colorado was designated U.S. Route 40S. It began in Grand Junction and went east along the current Interstate 70 corridor to Minturn, from which it follows the current route to Limon. From Limon east to the Kansas border, the current US 24 was designated U.S. Route 40N. US 40S west of Limon and US 40N east of Limon received the US 24 designation in 1936, when US 24 was extended west from Kansas City, Missouri. The segment between Grand Junction and Minturn was decommissioned in 1975.
In Kansas, US-24 enters from Colorado west of Kanorado; it overlaps I-70 for 45 miles (72 km) to Colby. US-24 does not meet I-70 again until Kansas City. On December 1, 2008, US 24 was rerouted southward on US 73 to I-70 west of Kansas City, continuing east on I-70 on the final 16 miles (26 km) in Kansas. US-24 serves Manhattan, as well as the northern sides of Topeka and Lawrence.
The original designation for the current US-24 route in Kansas was U.S. Route 40N. It went from the Colorado border to Manhattan. In 1936, U.S. Route 24 received its current designation after an extension west from Kansas City.
In Missouri, US 24 serves Kansas City, Independence, Buckner, Lexington, Waverly, Carrollton, Keytesville, Moberly, Madison, Monroe City, Palmyra and West Quincy. It is concurrent with U.S. Route 65 between Waverly and Carrollton, passing over the Missouri River via the Waverly Bridge when concurrent. After becoming a two-lane road, it is then concurrent with Highway 5 in Keytesville (where it is called Jackson Street), and then passes by the city of Huntsville before turning into a four-lane highway and crossing U.S. 63 at Moberly. It is finally concurrent (for the third time) with U.S. Route 36 east of Monroe City and with U.S. Route 61 from south of Palmyra to West Quincy. The segment shared with US 61 is part of the Avenue of the Saints.
Along the route within Independence is the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.
Crossing into Illinois, US 24 uses the pairing of the cable-stayed Quincy Bayview Bridge (westbound) and the older Quincy Memorial Bridge (eastbound) over the Mississippi River in Quincy. As of 2006 , it is the main arterial highway from Quincy northeast to Peoria. Between these two cities, the highway follows the old Peoria to Quincy stage coach route. US 24 travels onto the Shade-Lohmann Bridge on I-474 to bypass Peoria, and it gets off at exit 9.
In East Peoria, US 24 forms a wrong-way concurrency with IL 116 and US 150 as it parallels the Illinois River. From East Peoria, US 24 runs directly east (parallel to Toledo, Peoria and Western Railway) through a number of small towns en route to Indiana. US 24 crosses into Indiana at the state line east of Sheldon.
In Indiana, U.S. Route 24 runs east from the Illinois state line to Huntington. At Huntington, U.S. 24 turns northeast and runs to Fort Wayne; it then overlaps Interstate 69 and Interstate 469 to bypass the city before entering Ohio at the state line east of Fort Wayne. The segment of U.S. 24 between Logansport and Toledo, Ohio is part of the Hoosier Heartland Industrial Corridor project of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.
From Fort Wayne, US 24 follows the path of the Maumee River towards Toledo. In Ohio, the roadway enters the state east of Woodburn, Indiana, near Antwerp. Between the Indiana state line and Toledo, this portion of the roadway is known as the Fort to Port segment of the Hoosier Heartland Industrial Corridor.
Between Napoleon and Toledo, modern US 24 lies north of the Maumee River as a highway built to Interstate Highway standards. Just north of Waterville is the site of the Battle of Fallen Timbers of 1794. General Anthony Wayne after, constructing a trail from Fort Wayne to (Fort) Defiance, fought and defeated an Indian consortium, thus opening northern Ohio to white settlement. At a point on the Toledo's north side US 24 veers from northeast-southwest to true north-south, turning on to Telegraph Road, while Detroit Avenue continues as a city street that connects to M-125 (Dixie Highway) at the Michigan border.
The path through Toledo of US 24 follows the course of old US 25, old US 25 being farther away from the course of north-south I-75. Partially truncated as a state route, what had been US 24 was renumbered as Ohio State Route 25 where it remained a state highway, and US 25 in greater Toledo became US 24.
In Michigan, U.S. Route 24 enters from Toledo, Ohio and serves the city of Monroe and the Detroit Metro Area, where it is known as Telegraph Road. It continues north through the western edge of Detroit. It passes through Michigan's "mixing bowl" (which is where the freeways I-696 (Walter P. Reuther Freeway), M-10 (John C. Lodge Freeway/Northwestern Highway), and Lahser Road intersect). US-24 continues north along Telegraph Road as the border between Waterford and Pontiac until its intersection with Dixie Highway where it travels to the northwest until its termination at I-75 in Independence Township, Michigan.
Between Dixie Highway in Pontiac, Michigan, and Laskey Road in Toledo, Ohio, the highway is known as Telegraph Road, named before the highway system existed after the telegraph wires to which it once ran parallel. Mark Knopfler of the rock band Dire Straits wrote the song "Telegraph Road", about the development and decay of the road, which he spotted en route to a concert. It is a major surface route through western areas of Metro Detroit.
US 24 (Telegraph Road) along the west edge of Detroit, Michigan, was one of the first roads where Michigan left turns were implemented. This pattern was introduced at the time of, or soon after, its widening to a six- to eight-lane divided highway in 1960-63. Several other channelization techniques are also used; for instance the M-153 (Ford Road) intersection includes a southbound jughandle and a cutoff for northbound left-turning traffic.
From 2008 to 2012, US 24 from Fort Wayne to Toledo was mostly expanded to Interstate Standards.