US highways in Iowa
(decommissioned routes are in italics):
For an explanation of the route listings, click here.

US 218
Length in Iowa: 273 miles/439 kilometers
Northern terminus: Minnesota state line south of Lyle, MN
Southern terminus: US 136 in Keokuk
Entrance photos

Counties: Mitchell, Floyd, Chickasaw, Bremer, Black Hawk, Benton, Linn, Johnson, Washington, Henry, Lee
Cities along route: St. Ansgar, Osage, Floyd, Charles City, Nashua, Plainfield, Waverly, Janesville, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, La Porte City, Vinton, Cedar Rapids, North Liberty, Coralville, Iowa City, Hills, Riverside, Crawfordsville, Olds, Mount Pleasant, Donnellson, Keokuk

NHS: From the US 18 split in Floyd to the I-380 northern terminus in Waterloo, and from the I-380 southern terminus at I-80 to the IA 27 split near Donnellson
Freeway segments:
  • 6 miles, between Floyd County Roads B35 and T64 west and south of Charles City (co-signed with US 18 and IA 27)
  • 7 miles, bypass to the west and south of Waverly (with IA 27)
  • 15 miles, from the Cedar River crossing in Janesville to US 63 in Waterloo (9 miles with IA 27)
  • 2 miles, from IA 58 to the north city limits of Cedar Falls (with IA 27)
  • About 2 miles with I-380, from Mitchell Avenue in Waterloo to US 20 (which then picks up I-380)
  • 6 miles with US 30 (including 4 miles with US 151 as well) from 16th Avenue in Cedar Rapids to I-380
  • 32 miles, from the US 30 interchange in Cedar Rapids to IA 22 near Riverside (with IA 27), including 16 miles with I-380
  • 6½ miles, bypass to the east of Mount Pleasant (with IA 27 and partially with US 34 and IA 163)
  • 2 miles, between IA 2 east of Donnellson and the split with IA 27
  • Expressway segments:
  • 2 miles, between the split with US 18 near Floyd and County Road B35 northwest of Charles City (with US 18 and IA 27)
  • 24 miles, from County Road T64 at Charles City to the north end of the Waverly bypass (with IA 27)
  • 3 miles, from south of Waverly to Janesville
  • 13 miles, from the split in Benton County to the end of the freeway segment near Cedar Rapids (with US 30)
  • 34 miles, from the end of the freeway segment near Riverside to the end of the Mount Pleasant bypass (with IA 27)
  • 21 miles, from the end of the freeway segment south of Mount Pleasant to the junction with IA 2 at Donnellson (with IA 27)
  • 5½ miles, from the split with US 61 near Montrose to the outskirts of Keokuk (with US 61)
  • Exit lists:
  • Segment between Donnellson and I-80
  • Leo P. Rooff Expressway in Waterloo
  • Segment between Cedar Falls and Charles City
  • Multiplexes:
  • 4 miles with IA 9 east of Osage
  • 50 miles with IA 27 between US 18 near Floyd and IA 57/58 in Cedar Falls, including a 8-mile triplex with US 18 between Floyd and Charles City.
  • 1½ miles with I-380 between Mitchell Avenue and US 20 in Waterloo.
  • 19 miles with US 30 between south-central Benton County and I-380 in Cedar Rapids, including a 4-mile triplex with US 151 between the Williams Boulevard interchange and I-380.
  • 95 miles with IA 27 (again), between US 30 in Cedar Rapids and an interchange southeast of Donnellson; this includes a 16-mile triplex with I-380 between US 30 and I-80 near Coralville.
  • 2½ miles with US 34 and IA 163 east of Mount Pleasant
  • 5½ miles with US 61 in Lee County, from outside of Montrose to the outskirts of Keokuk
  • History
    Designated: October 16, 1926, to a segment of the former IA 40 (I) (the Red Ball Route), between the Minnesota state line and US 30 in Benton County
    Paving history: At the time of designation, the multiplex with US 18 (Floyd to Charles City), the segment through Black Hawk County, and a short segment south of Vinton were paved.
  • 1927: Paved from Charles City to a point north of Waverly and from Vinton to US 30
  • 1928: Paved from a point north of Waverly to the Bremer/Black Hawk county line and from the junction with IA 8 to Vinton
  • 1929: Paved from the Black Hawk/Benton county line at La Porte City to the junction with IA 8
  • 1932: Last original segment, from the Minnesota state line to Osage, was paved. (This included a new alignment between Osage and a point east of Orchard, creating IA 255 as a spur into Orchard.) The 1938 extension was entirely paved.
  • Major alignment changes:
  • January 1, 1938 (approved October 11, 1937): Extended along the decommissioned US 161's route between Cedar Rapids and Missouri state line at Keokuk (which, incidentally, was the other leg of IA 40). By 1952 it was truncated at US 136.
  • November 1, 1956: Re-routed between US 30 and North Liberty, replacing IA 84 (II). It had previously followed present-day County Road W54 toward Shueyville (its segment south of Shueyville was abandoned after the Coralville Reservoir was completed in the 1960s).
  • July 15, 1957: Straightened between North Liberty and Coralville and routed with US 6 into Iowa City. It replaced most of IA 153 (II) between Oakdale and North Liberty; IA 153 (III) was given part of old US 218 in North Liberty in return. US 218 had previously followed present-day County Road W66 out of North Liberty, and Dubuque Street into downtown Iowa City.
  • For other alignment changes in Waterloo and Cedar Falls that are not listed here, see Jeff Morrison's Waterloo/Cedar Falls Highway Chronology page.
  • For other alignment changes in Cedar Rapids that are not listed here, see the Highways of Cedar Rapids page.
  • For street alignments in Iowa City, see the Highways of Iowa City page.
  • Upgrades:
  • September 23, 1981: Freeway segment between Stoney Point Road and 6th Street SW in Cedar Rapids opened (with US 30)
  • November 12, 1982: 5-mile freeway segment between Hills and Riverside opened
  • October 14, 1983: 4-mile freeway segment between Riverside Drive (south of Iowa City) and Hills opened. The old segments of US 218 in these areas became the unsigned IA 923.
  • August 9, 1984: Freeway segment in Waterloo, between Mitchell Avenue and US 20, opened. (I-380 was also routed onto this freeway segment.)
  • June 26, 1985: Last segment of the freeway south of I-80 (7 miles between I-80 and Riverside Drive) opened, and US 218 was re-routed onto I-380 between US 30 and I-80. (Before that, US 6 and US 218 shared about 6 miles through Coralville and Iowa City. The old segment of US 218 north of Coralville became IA 965, and the piece between US 6 and the relocated US 218 south of Iowa City became the unsigned IA 921.)
  • September 9, 1986: Freeway segment between 16th Street SW and Stoney Point Road outside of Cedar Rapids (with US 30) opened
  • October 2, 1989: Freeway segment between the Waterloo Airport and Greenhill Road opened; US 218 was then rerouted onto part of IA 57 west of the airport and Greenhill between the temporary end of the freeway and University Avenue.
  • 1992: Expressway segment from IA 201 to the end of the freeway segment near Cedar Rapids (8 miles) opened (with US 30)
  • November 12, 1992: Freeway segment from Greenhill Road to US 63 in Waterloo opened. (This was supposed to be an extension of I-380, but instead Waterloo chose to participate in the Interstate Substitution Program in 1981, which allowed it to transfer funds for I-380 into other projects. A 1¼-mile, at-grade boulevard connects this segment with I-380. The northbound lanes of this segment and the elevated freeway segment south of US 63 opened a year earlier, while the southbound lanes opened shortly before the freeway did.)
  • 1993: 6-mile expressway segment north of Keokuk opened (consisting of most of the duplex with US 61)
  • November 20, 1993: 6-mile expressway segment, from 29th Avenue in Waverly to County Road C57 south of Janesville, opened.
  • July 21, 1995: Expressway segment between County Road C57 and Cedar Falls (at the IA 57/58 junction) opened.
  • October 19, 1995: Expressway segment between IA 22 and County Road G36 in Washington County (which opened to two lanes in 1985) widened to four lanes
  • October 13, 1997: Segments between County Road G36 and IA 92 (including an interchange at IA 92) and a bypass of Crawfordsville (between County Roads G52 and G62) opened in Washington County. The old segments were added to IA 923's mileage.
  • August 1998: The 2-mile segment between IA 92 and County Road G52 opened.
  • December 2, 1998: The 7-mile bypass of Waverly opened to traffic.
  • June 1999: 10-mile expressway segment between County Roads G62 and H28 opened; the old segment through Olds (except for the one mile it used to share with IA 78) became unsigned IA 424.
  • November 1999: 6-mile expressway segment between the US 30 split and IA 201 opened (with US 30)
  • August 1, 2000: 8-mile freeway/expressway bypass of Charles City opened.
  • October 2000: 2-mile expressway segment between the US 18/218 split and the north end of the Charles City bypass and a 3-mile segment between Henry County Road H28 and the north edge of Mount Pleasant opened.
  • December 19, 2001: Freeway bypass of Mount Pleasant opened, except for the southbound lanes between the north interchange (with the future US 34 north bypass) and US 34. In March 2002 one lane of northbound traffic was moved onto the bypass in order to finish the connections at the north interchange; the bypass opened to four lanes of traffic by August 1, 2002. The old segment became unsigned IA 438.
  • July 19, 2002: 5-mile expressway segment between a point south of Plainfield and the north end of the Waverly bypass opened.
  • November 8, 2002: 2-mile expressway segment bypassing Plainfield opened, with the old segment becoming unsigned IA 390 (II).
  • September 3, 2003: A 2-mile expressway segment between 240th Street in Floyd County (where the Charles City bypass ended) and Walnut Street northwest of Nashua opened, as did a 2-mile bypass of Nashua. The bypassed segment became unsigned IA 254 (III) outside of the Nashua city limits.
  • November 6, 2003: A 2-mile expressway segment between Walnut Street and 270th Street (the north end of the Nashua bypass) opened. The remaining segment between Nashua and Plainfield (5 miles) opened around November 18.
  • February 19, 2004: Bypass to the east of Donnellson opens; the two-mile segment between IA 2 and the split with IA 27 opened to four lanes of traffic right away. The old segment through Donnellson became the unsigned IA 460.
  • June 2005: 11-mile segment between the south end of the Mount Pleasant bypass and the junction with IA 16 opens
  • May 23, 2006: 10-mile segment between IA 16 and IA 2 opens, completing the Avenue of the Saints expressway in Iowa
  • October 14, 2016: Expressway segment from Janesville to Cedar Falls upgraded to freeway with the opening of a new interchange at County Road C57 and the closing of three at-grade intersections along that segment.
  • Notes
  • US 218 from Floyd to IA 58 at Cedar Falls and from Cedar Rapids to split with IA 27 southeast of Donnellson make up much of Iowa's portion of the Avenue of the Saints, which was given the IA 27 designation as a second number on August 30, 2001.
  • Plans are currently in place to remove all intersections between Waverly and US 20. Interchanges opened at County Road C50 in Janesville on October 20, 2012, and at County Road C57 south of there on October 14, 2016. However, a new interchange at 260th Street south of Waverly is currently unfunded.
  • Business US 218
  • Charles City: Designated along the old alignment (following Gilbert Street and Grand Avenue) on August 1, 2000, after the bypass opened. The leg north of US 18 was officially IA 337 until 2001, and the southern leg was unsigned IA 162 until US 18 replaced it in April 2006. (Terminus photos)
  • Waverly: This was designated shortly after the freeway bypass opened in December 1998. The 6-mile route follows 22nd Avenue NW, 35th Street,5th Avenue NW, 20th Street, Bremer Avenue (where it shares a mile with IA 3),and 4th Street SW. The segment north of IA 3 was officially designated as IA 431 (I) until 2001, and the segment south of IA 3 is officially IA 116. (Terminus photos)
  • Mount Pleasant: In August 2005, around the time the US 34 bypass of Mount Pleasant opened, Jeff Morrison reported that the sign on Exit 45 along southbound US 218 now mentions Business US 218 in addition to US 34; another Business US 218 marker (co-signed with Business US 34) was spotted at the eastern split of US 34 and US 218, heading west. On September 8, Mark Odor reported that Business US 218 was also posted on northbound US 218 at Exit 42B. At this time these are the only reported signs for this route, which follows Grand Avenue and Washington Street in Mount Pleasant. AASHTO approved the Business US 218 designation on May 30, 2003, more than a year after the bypass opened. (Terminus photos)

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    © 1997-2016 by Jason Hancock / Last updated October 16, 2016