SR 516 starts at Jct SR509 at the intersection of Marine View Dr and Kent- Des Moines Rd in Downtown Des Moines. SR 516 heads east, crossing SR 99/Pacific Hwy S and I-5 at Midway. Since April 1, 1992, SR 509 has shared the same roadway with SR 516 from Downtown Des Moines to Jct SR 99. This section of highway is only posted as SR 516, however. Continuing east, SR 516 descends into the Green River Valley and goes through Kent. Originally, SR 516 passed through Downtown Kent. The highway was upgraded to a 4 lane divided expressway from I-5 toW Meeker St and a new expressway was built from W Meeker to SR 167 in the 1980s. This allowed SR 516 to skirt the south and east sides of downtown. Continuing easterly from Downtown Kent, SR 516 climbs back out of the Green River Valley. At the top of the hill, SR 516 intersects with SR 515. SR 516 continues easterly along the Kent- Kangley Rd, interchanging with SR 18 at Covington and ending at Jct SR 169 in Maple Valley. The Kent-Kangley Rd continues to the east as a city street/county road to Kangley. Today, SR 516 is 16.49 miles long.
Before 1964, SR 516 had been SSH 1K from Des Moines to I-5 and SSH 5A from I-5 to Maple Valley.
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