Table heading

Constitutional
Routes (yellow star)
CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE DESCRIPTIONS are taken from the text of the 1920 Babcock Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, now codified at Minnesota Statutes 161.114. One note regarding route descriptions is that the legal descriptions of many east-west routes run from east to west , while consistent with standard mileposts, all route descriptions on this page go from west to east and south to north .
Constitutional Route 51 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 5 at Shakopee and thence extending in a northerly direction to a point on Route No. 12 northerly of Shakopee, affording a connection between said Route No. 5 and said Route No. 12.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsU.S. 212

Present-day designationsU.S. 169* 
* Not on historic alignment but on a road that meets the Constitutional Route description. Original alignment has been turned back from state highway system.

Comment: Originally, this route ran across the Minnesota River north from downtown Shakopee at the crossing that is now County 101, and then went west to Chaska on the road that became the extension of U.S. 212 in 1934. So, the "northerly" definition had more of a westerly component. After CR-5 was rerouted onto Flying Cloud Drive in the late 1920s, CR-51 actually began north of Shakopee and ran west from CR-5. Since turnback of former U.S. 169 and MN-101 across the Minnesota River, the former route of CR-51 has become a county road and now it is routed along U.S. 169 from the old MN-101 junction east of Shakopee north to MN-7 (CR-12). It therefore follows the same route on which it begins, but the route description probably has never been more accurate.

No connection to post-1934 MN-51

MN-51  

South Terminus: MN-5 in St. Paul
North Terminus
:
I-694 in Arden Hills
Previously --- U.S. 8 in New Brighton (1934-35), U.S. 10 in Arden Hills (1935-65)

Length: 11 Region: M

Legislative Route(s): 125

How numbered: Arbitrary assignment

History: Authorized 1933. Original alignment on the south end was from West 7th St. up Edgecumbe Road to Snelling. This part later realigned to Montreal Avenue. On the north end, the originally authorized route ran up Snelling Avenue to County Road B, then jogged west to Fairview Avenue and ran north along Brighton Road to U.S. 8 in New Brighton. By 1935, Snelling was extended north to the point where MN-51 now turns to follow Hamline Avenue. North end of the route was at U.S. 10 (today's junction of Snelling and County Road E). There was a plan until the 1970s to extend this route beyond its current terminus northward to I-35W around Lexington Avenue.

Improvements: Paved in its entirety by the time Snelling was extended north to U.S. 10. Currently a.divided highway through Roseville and Arden Hills.

Constitutional Route 52 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 5 south of the city of Minneapolis and thence extending in a northeasterly direction to a point on the westerly limits of the United States military reservation at Fort Snelling, affording St. Paul and adjacent communities a reasonable communication with said Route No. 5.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-5 (concurrent with MN-100)

Present-day designationsMN-5 (concurrent in part with I-494


Comment: Originally began at Lyndale and Old Shakopee Road, and you can really see the basis for this route as a connector to the Mississippi River bridge at Fort Snelling and St. Paul by looking at the current routing of Old Shakopee Road. When CR-5 was rerouted in the late 1920s along Flying Cloud Drive, this route moved north to 78th Street and intersected CR-5 at Normandale Blvd. Currently, the only independent part of the route is the short piece of MN-5 that goes by MSP International Airport. The rest has been essentially subsumed by I-494.

No connection to original proposed MN-52
Originally Proposed MN-52 NEVER MARKED AS SUCH, but originally proposed as the 1934 designation for LR 186 (original MN-66, now MN-27 and 18 east of Lake Mille Lacs). This designation became unusable when U.S. 52 was extended into Minnesota in place of U.S. 55 before the new routes authorized in 1933 could be posted.

U.S. 52

Note: although nominally an east-west route nationally, U.S. 52 is marked as a north-south route from the Iowa border to St. Paul and was formerly marked as east-west from St. Paul to the North Dakota border. However, as noted below, only the independent segment south of St. Paul is actually marked.

E/W Segment -
West terminus (MN): ND State Line (U.S. 52) at Moorhead
Nationally --- Canadian border (SK-39) at Portal ND
East terminus (MN):
I-94 at U.S. 52 in St. Paul (Not Posted)
Nationally --- U.S. 17 at Charleston SC
Temporary gap:
Between I-35W along University Ave. to Hennepin/Ramsey County line (1988-94), while this portion was turned back to County jurisdiction. U.S. 52 was subsequently rerouted along I-94 but has never been posted on I-94 except northwest of St. Cloud, where it is not now posted at all now.

Historical Constitutional/Legislative Routes of E/W segment (before re-routing onto I-94):
231, 64, 153, 3

Counties: Clay, Wilkin, Otter Tail, Grant, Douglas, Todd, Stearns, Wright, Hennepin, Ramsey

N/S Segment -
South terminus
: Iowa State Line
(U.S. 52) at Canton
North terminus:
I-94 at St. Paul
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Length (MN): 134 (Iowa-St. Paul), 377 total Regions: SE, M (N/S segment only)

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): (N/S segment only) 20, 50, 116, 115

Counties: Fillmore, Olmsted, Goodhue, Dakota, Ramsey

How numbered: U.S. Route

NHS: Iowa State Line north to I-94 at St. Paul

History (E/W Segment): Part originally
marked
Part now marked

Created 1934. From Moorhead to St. Cloud, was originally U.S. 10S until 1934. The route as originally authorized followed Constitutional Route 64, Constitutional Route 3, a county road (later L.R. 153 [1934]), and Constitutional Route 3 to Minneapolis.

I-94 was generally constructed along the alignment of U.S. 52 between Moorhead and St. Cloud. When the freeway was first completed (even after completion St. Cloud to the Twin Cities), 52 exited I-94 at St. Cloud (along MN-23) to U.S. 10, then was concurrent with 10 to Anoka where it followed current U.S. 169 to current CSAH 81, then to Washington Ave. in Minneapolis (current CSAH 152). The original alignment through downtown was along Washington Avenue to the University of Minnesota. When the new Washington Avenue bridge was built in the mid 60s, this alignment was shifted to 3rd and 4th Streets. East of the University of Minnesota, it followed University Avenue to Robert Street in St. Paul, then south from downtown. U.S. 52 was concurrent with U.S. 12 between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Around 1980, the segment between St. Cloud and I-94 in Brooklyn Park was rerouted to I-94. U.S. 52 continued to follow the surface route now designated CSAH 81 through Robbinsdale and north Minneapolis (Lakeland Avenue and West Broadway) until completion of I-94 through North Minneapolis in 1982.

When I-94 was completed through North Minneapolis around 1982, U.S. 52 was shifted to I-94 to downtown Minneapolis, where it ran down the 4th Street ramp and along 4th Street for several blocks. It then ran north on 3rd Avenue and Central Avenue to University, where it replaced MN-47 on this route and ran east along University and (where these streets are a one-way couplet) 4th Avenue SE. Between 1988 and 1995, the section of University between I-35W and the Ramsey County line was turned back to Hennepin County, and there was actually a gap in U.S. 52. The current realignment along I-94 to St. Paul took place around 1995.

History (N/S Segment): Parts originally marked Robert St. segment
now marked

Originally U.S. 55 from the Iowa border to the current junction of MN-50 and U.S. 52 (U.S. 55 followed present-day MN-50 west from there). From this point to St. Paul, L.R. 116 was authorized in 1934, the same time U.S. 52 was marked. The major change in alignment of the U.S. route was that traffic, which had previously gone west to Farmington along Constitutional Rt. 50 (U.S. 55) now went north on a more direct alignment toward St. Paul. When first established, from Pine Bend, the original routing of U.S. 52 and MN-55 ran west along 105th Street to Rich Valley Blvd., and west to South Robert Trail (today's MN-3). It then turned north and followed Robert Street into St. Paul. The current alignment of MN-55 and former U.S. 52 north and west from Pine Bend was in place by about 1935. By 1995, the segment of U.S. 52 north of MN-55 to St. Paul was relocated to the east from Robert Street to the newly constructed Lafayette Freeway (which had been numbered MN-3 and MN-103). BTW, Robert St. from I-494 to downtown is still a trunk highway, with the invisible designation TH-952A. While a candidate to be turned back to the counties (and/or city of St. Paul), this has not occurred or been programmed.

Improvements (E/W segment): In 1940, still gravel between U.S. 59 S of Fergus Falls and Evansville. This segment paved by 1942. First divided section west of St. Cloud by 1949.

Improvements (N/S segment): Only pavement in 1929 was north of Cannon Falls. All paved by 1940, with construction on expressway segments between St. Paul and Rochester mostly completed in the 1960s and 1970s. Freeway around Rochester to U.S. 63 built by 1963. Freeway segment south of St. Paul completed by 1995. Expressway from MN-55 to the Rochester north city limits, and freeway from there south to the junction with I-90 at Rochester.

MnDOT's extended plan is to improve this highway to freeway all the way from St. Paul to Rochester. In the meantime, there are a number of intersections that are designated as potential interchanges, and MnDOT has also indicated that it will be reluctant to install additional traffic signals in this segment. (Currently, there are two signals at Cannon Falls.) New interchanges are open at 117th Street in Inver Grove Heights and at Dakota CSAH 46 near Coates, both replacing signals. There is also an overpass over new railroad tracks and future 130th Street that will allow removal of the railroad grade crossing at 117th Street. A grade separation at CSAH 47 at Hampton is now under construction, though ramps will not be constructed for about 10 years. Also, a new interchange at 75th Street N north of Rochester is now open. The freeway through Rochester has been widened and interchanges improved, and now boasts a 60 mph speed limit (observation by Adam Froehlig).

Future Improvements: Currently programmed are new roadway and a new interchange at Olmsted CR 112 near Oronoco for 2011 and construction of an interchange in 2013 at Goodhue CSAH 24 in Cannon Falls to eliminate the signals there.

Comments: See also discussion of historic U.S. 55. Nationally, this is one of a few U.S. routes that runs at an angle, as shown by its termination points (North Dakota to South Carolina)

Exit List: Visit Adam Froehlig's exit list for Highway 52 (Twin Cities metro area only)

Constitutional Route 53 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 3 at Hastings and thence extending in a northwesterly direction to a point on the southerly limits of the city of South St. Paul, affording Hastings, South St. Paul and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-55, MN-56

Present-day designationsMN-55, (U.S. 52, I-494)*, MN-156 
* Not on historic alignment but on a road that meets the Constitutional Route description. Part of original alignment has been turned back from state highway system.

Comment: Before U.S. 52 was constructed in the Pine Bend area in the mid-1930s, this road was a connection between Hastings and St. Paul. This road was on the predecessor routes for MN-55 between Pine Bend and Hastings, approximated by present-day Dakota County 42. The present alignment of MN-55 appears to have been constructed about 1934, when it replaced this designation on the east-west portion. This route, like its replacement designation MN-56, ran on Concord St. into St. Paul. Concord St. south of I-494 is now a county road; thus the Constitutional Route is accommodated by the U.S. 52 freeway.

No connection to U.S. 53

U.S. 53

 

South terminus (MN): Wisconsin State Line (U.S. 53) at Duluth
Nationally --- U.S. 14-61 at La Crosse WI
North terminus: Canadian Border
(ON-71) at International Falls

Length (MN): 165 Region: NE

Counties: St. Louis, Koochiching

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 106, 11, 315

How numbered: U.S. route

NHS: Entire length in Minnesota

History: Part originally marked  

Constitutional Route north of Duluth city limits (except for short connector to international bridge at International Falls). This U.S. route was introduced in 1934. Previously, the segment between Virginia and International Falls was marked as U.S. 169 between 1930 and 1934..

Improvements: All paved by 1940. Expressway segments between Duluth and Virginia constructed by 1970 except just north of Duluth. This segment and a bypass around Virginia completed in the 1970s. Four-lane expressway from County Road 307 to north of County Road 65, north of Virginia.

Future Improvements: Expressway planned to be extended north to Cook in 2012-13.

Constitutional Route 54












MN-54 

CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 3 at Elbow Lake and thence extending in a southwesterly direction to a point on Route No. 10 at Herman, affording Elbow Lake, Herman and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-27, MN-54

Present-day designationsMN-27, MN-54


Comment: Part of CR-54 was assumed by MN-27 in 1934.
Post-1934 History:

South terminus
:
MN-27 E of Herman
North terminus:
MN-78 at Elbow Lake

Length: 11 Region: WC

Counties: Grant

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 54

How numbered: Same as its Constitutional route designation

History: Constitutional Route its entire length.

Improvements: Still gravel in 1949, but paved by 1953.

Constitutional Route 55 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 2 northwesterly of Carlton and thence extending in a northerly direction to a point in Cloquet, affording Carlton, Cloquet and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-45

Present-day designations(MN-33*)


Comment: *Separate Legislative Route 164 (MN-33) meets the CR-55 description even though the trunk highway that formerly served this function has been turned back. MN-45 ran along Cloquet Avenue from Old U.S. 61 to MN-33 in Cloquet, but has been turned back as a city and county roadway.


No connection to Post-1934 MN-55.

U.S. 55

South terminus (MN): Iowa State Line (U.S. 55)
Nationally --- U.S. 20, Dubuque, IA
North terminus:
U.S. 12 in Minneapolis

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 20, 50

History: Part now marked Parts subsequently marked
(now changed)

U.S. 55 existed from 1926 until around 1934. It ran along present day U.S. 52 (which did not then exist in Iowa or Minnesota) to the junction with current MN-50. It then followed 50 west through Farmington and Lakeville, then north along Lyndale Avenue to Minneapolis. The segment between Farmington and Minneapolis later became U.S. 65. The original 1934 numbering plan routed U.S. 55 on a new alignment to St. Paul that actually became U.S. 52. I believe 55 was intended to extend west to downtown Minneapolis. U.S. 52 was introduced in 1934, and the new routing of U.S. 55 was never actually marked.

MN-55

West terminus: ND State Line (ND-11) W of Tenney
East terminus
: U.S. 61 at Hastings

Length: 221 Regions: WC, EC, M

Counties: Wilkin, Grant, Douglas, Pope, Stearns, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Wright, Hennepin, Dakota

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 142, 4, 22, 69, 188, 116, 53

How numbered: I have long thought there was a connection to U.S. 55, which in the original 1934 numbering plan would have run along University Avenue to downtown Minneapolis. MN-55 would have been a logical westward extension of U.S. 55. However, the only 1934 map I've seen with U.S. 55 on it shows today's 55 west of Crystal as TH-5. So, who knows...it may have just been a case of using an available number with no connection intended to U.S. 55.

NHS: I-494 east to U.S. 61

History: Several Constitutional Route segments, rest authorized and current route designated in 1933.

Improvements: The original route for 55 from downtown Minneapolis west was along (then) U.S. 52/MN-218 to Rockford Road (now CSAH 9), then west to where this intersects the current alignment of 55. The routing along then 6th Street North to the newly constructed Olson Highway took place in the early 1950s. The Minnesota River crossing is the Mendota Bridge, constructed in 1926 by Hennepin and Dakota Counties. This is a beautiful series of over 12 concrete arches across the river valley, nearly a mile long. The bridge was widened in 1992-93 and many of the original design elements (such as streetlights and railings) were restored. See the Photo Gallery page for photos of the bridge. A four-lane divided boulevard runs between I-94 and MN-62 (see under Comments below).

Comments: One of several routes that run radially into the Twin Cities. Named Olson Memorial Highway west of Minneapolis, Hiawatha Avenue southeast of downtown Minneapolis. The segment of MN-55 through downtown Minneapolis has been removed from city streets between its junctions with I-94 --- it now follows I-94 and signage along 55 does now point you onto the freeway, though it's doubtful reassurance markers will be posted in that stretch along the freeway.

Construction on the new alignment between 46th Street and MN-62 in Minneapolis was the source of bitter battles in the late 1990s. The new alignment skirts the southern edge of Minnehaha Park, and area and imported activists bitterly fought its construction (to the point of camping in trees) until the asphalt was poured. Minnehaha Park passes over Hiawatha Avenue on top of a tunnel. A light-rail transit line follows Hiawatha Avenue from downtown Minneapolis, eventually veering off toward the International Airport and the Mall of America.

An interchange is now complete at MN-62 --- however, construction on this interchange was halted from Fall 2001 until Fall 2003 because the 2001 Legislature enacted a law protecting Camp Coldwater Spring. This spring is not readily accessible to the public, and although it was used by soldiers at Fort Snelling in the early 1800s, it is almost forgotten and serves no public purpose. MnDOT could not demonstrate that construction on the interchange would not divert groundwater from the spring and therefore halted construction. An agreement was finally reached in 2003 for modifications to the interchange to raise it above a level where groundwater would be less affected.

An early 1934 route numbering draft (shown on the 1934 Wisconsin travel map) showed the Hastings to downtown Minneapolis segment as MN-261. Other maps show it as U.S. 261. The segment west of downtown Minneapolis, as noted above, was originally to be TH-5. Why 5 was moved to its current route instead of being used for 55, we probably have no way of knowing.

Constitutional Route 56











MN-56 

CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 9 easterly of Austin and thence extending in a northerly direction to a point on Route No. 21 at or near Kenyon, affording Brownsdale, Hayfield, Dodge Center, West Concord, Kenyon and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designations MN-56

Present-day designations MN-56


Comment: Both ends of designation extended by Legislative action in 1934.
Post-1934 History:

South terminus
: U.S. 63 south of Spring Valley
North terminus
: U.S. 52 at Hampton
Previously --- U.S. 169 at Aitkin (1934-63),
MN-5 in downtown St. Paul (1963-65); U.S. 52 (Concord at Robert) (1965-69); I-94 (N end of Lafayette Bridge) (1969-74); MN-3 in St. Paul (1974-94)

Length: 98 Regions: SE, M

Counties: Fillmore, Mower, Dodge, Goodhue, Dakota

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 81, 56, 116

How numbered: Part of route is Constitutional Route 56; remainder numbered for route continuity.

History: Parts of original routing now marked

Constitutional Route between I-90 and U.S. 52, rest authorized 1933. Formerly extended far north of its current terminus at U.S. 52. It followed U.S. 52 to Concord Avenue (now Dakota CSAH 56 and MN-156), then followed Concord Avenue into St. Paul to Wabasha. Until around 1960 it followed University Avenue (part of a 4-route concurrency with U.S. 12/52 and MN-218) to Minneapolis, then followed the entire extent of current MN-47 from Minneapolis to Aitkin. Later, it terminated in downtown St. Paul, temporarily was the designation for the Lafayette Bridge when the Lafayette Freeway ended at Concord, then terminated at the junction with the Lafayette Freeway (former MN-3) until completion of that freeway south of I-494 and its redesignation as U.S. 52 in 1994.

Improvements: Only the segment betwen U.S. 14 and MN-60 paved in 1940. All paved by 1953. Two lane entire length.

Constitutional Route 57











MN-57 

CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point in Mantorville and extending in a southerly direction to a point on Route No. 7 southerly of Mantorville, affording Mantorville a reasonable means of communication with said Route No. 7.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designations MN-57

Present-day designations MN-57


Comment: Originally a short connecting route from CR-7 (U.S. 14) to Mantorville. Designation extended north by Legislative action in 1934.
Post-1934 History:

South terminus
: U.S. 14 at Kasson
North terminus: U.S. 52 at Hader

Length: 28 Region: SE

Counties: Dodge, Goodhue

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 57, 128

How numbered: Part of route is Constitutional Route 57; remainder numbered for route continuity.

History: The shortest 1920 "Constitutional Route" is Constitutional Route 57 for the three miles from U.S. 14 to Mantorville. The remainder of the route north to U.S. 52 was authorized 1934.

Improvements: Mostly gravel in 1940. Not shown as all paved until 1958.

Constitutional Route 58











MN-58
CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 20 at Zumbrota and thence extending in a northeasterly direction to a point on Route No. 3 at Red Wing, affording Zumbrota, Red Wing and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designations MN-58

Present-day designations MN-58


Comment: Same designation with virtually the same extent today as in 1920.
Post-1934 History:

South terminus
: U.S. 52 at Zumbrota
North terminus: U.S. 61 at Red Wing
Previously --- Probably marked on bridge from Red Wing to Wisconsin in 1934-35 (now U.S. 63)

Length: 23 Region: SE

Counties: Goodhue

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 58

How numbered: Same as its Constitutional Route designation

History: Constitutional Route its entire length.

Improvements: Paved by 1940

Constitutional Route 59










Original U.S. 59

CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on the boundary line between the states of Minnesota and Iowa southerly of Spring Valley and thence extending in a northerly direction to a point on No. 3 at Lake City, affording Spring Valley, Stewartville, Rochester, Zumbrota Falls, Lake City and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsU.S. 59

Present-day designationsU.S. 63 


Comment: This is shown as having a common history with the original U.S. 59 because, as noted below, I believe the U.S. 59 designation was derived from the Constitutional Route designation. Iowa and possibly Wisconsin likely did not accept the designation.
1934-35 History:

South terminus:
Iowa State Line (IA-59?) S. of Spring Grove
Nationally --- not known to have been assigned or posted in Iowa, so above may have been south end of route
North terminus: U.S. 61 at Lake City or possibly Wisconsin State Line at Red Wing

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 59

How numbered: Apparently, Minnesota intended to establish a U.S. 59 --- which would have been more or less in the right location for this route --- along its existing Constitutional Route. 59. The route would have entered Iowa and intersected U.S. 63 southeast of Des Moines. Whether it was intended to enter Wisconsin or end at Lake City is not known.

History: Now

Pre-1934 Trunk Highway 59 was renumbered U.S. 59 between 1934 and 1935. This is shown on the Minnesota highway map for 1934 and referenced in Minnesota Highway News during that year, as well as on the Gousha Minnesota map for that year. I suspect it was not marked in any other state. In 1935, it was redesignated U.S. 63. 63 had previously ended at Des Moines, and was re-routed north to Minnesota that year.

U.S. 59

 

South terminus (MN): Iowa State Line (U.S. 59) S. of Worthington
Nationally ---
I-35 at Laredo TX
North terminus
: Canadian Border (MB-59) N of Lancaster
Previously --- North Dakota state line at St. Vincent until mid 1950s with national terminus at U.S. 81 in ND

Length (MN): 430 Regions: SW, WC, NW

Counties: Nobles, Murray, Lyon, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Swift, Stevens, Grant, Otter Tail, Becker, Mahnomen, Polk, Red Lake, Pennington, marshall, Kittson

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 265, 16, 17, 88, 66, 144, 3, 30, 174

How numbered: U.S. Route

NHS: From junction with U.S. 212 at Montevideo north to Thief River Falls

History: Originally

By 1934, several legislative routes connected other Constitutional Route segments into a continuous route from Worthington to just south of the Canadian border. This route was originally marked as MN-73 from 1934 to 1935. U.S. 59 was in its current location by 1935. Segment four miles long from Iowa border to MN-60 was marked on a county road from around 1940 when a separate MN-60 coming in from Iowa was established, until late 1940s when L.R. 265 was authorized. Northernmost segment, north of Lancaster, originally ran west to U.S. 81 in North Dakota just south of Canadian border along route of present MN-171. This route was constructed to the Canadian border in the mid-1950s.

Improvements: In 1940, only segments paved were between Worthington and U.S. 14, U.S. 212 to U.S. 12, and MN-55 to U.S. 2. North of Thief River Falls (TRF), the road originally followed MN-32 for about 20 miles before angling west and northwest. Original alignment on north end was west of Lancaster to U.S. 75 just south of the border and west to North Dakota (current MN-171). By 1953, a gravel segment still existed north of Marshall. The connection to Canada was completed in the mid-1950s, and the section west of MN-32 north of TRF was completed around 1961.

Comments: U.S. 59 is an "out of sequence" U.S. highway. From its relative east-west position between Texas and Minnesota, it ought to be U.S. 73. It was not one of the original 1926 U.S. routes, but was added in the mid 1930s, thus possibly explaining its numbering out of sequence. U.S. 59 comes within about 2 miles on its south end in Texas of being a border-to-border highway.

Constitutional Route 60











MN-60 

CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 1 at Faribault and thence extending in a southwesterly direction to a point on Route No. 7 at or near Madison Lake, affording Faribault, Morristown, Waterville, Madison Lake and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-60

Present-day designationsMN-60

Comment: A small piece of the long route that was designated MN-60 in 1934.  


Post-1934 History:

(South)West terminus
: Iowa State Line
(IA-60) south of Worthington
Previously --- MN-73/U.S. 59 near Worthington (1934-37)
East terminus
: Wisconsin State Line
(WI-25) at Wabasha
Previously --- U.S. 61 at Wabasha (1934-46)

Length: 219 Regions: SW, SE

Counties: Nobles, Jackson, Cottonwood, Watonwan, Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Waseca, Rice, Goodhue, Wabasha

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 85, 16, 60, 21, 73, 214

How numbered: Part of route is Constitutional Route 60; remainder numbered for route continuity.

NHS: From Iowa State Line south of Worthington east to the junction with U.S. 169

History: Several Constitutional Route segments were combined with new routes in 1933 to form nearly a border-to-border state highway. The last segment (the Wabasha bridge to Wisconsin) was authorized in 1943.

Improvements: South of Worthington and southwest of U.S. 59 to Iowa, the current road was constructed around 1937. On its current alignment east of Worthington by 1940, but gravel from there to Windom. Also gravel east of U.S. 14 and U.S. 52 at that time. Last gravel segment was east of U.S. 52 in the early 1950s. Expressway constructed from St. James to Lake Crystal around 1980, and two-lane road was uppgraded to limited access Super-2 from Worthington to St. James around 1990, bypassing the small towns along this stretch, and now posted 60 mph. Expressway segment immediately northeast of Worthington completed 1997. Since 1997, the road has been improved to expressway status from Worthington to just SW of Windom (MN-86).

Future Improvements: Construction of expressway from the Iowa border to Worthington, with a bypass of some of Worthington, is being planned. Currently, the bypass of Bigelow is programmed for 2008.

Comments: The only state-numbered route that crosses the state line on both ends. Provides a good access route from the Twin Cities (via U.S. 169 to Mankato) southwest into Iowa and Nebraska. Should be an extension of U.S. 77, at least as far as its junction with U.S. 169.

Constitutional Route 61 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 8 at Deer River and thence extending in a northerly direction to a point on Route No. 4 at or near Big Falls, affording Deer River, Big Falls and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-6

Present-day designationsMN-6

Comment: 

No connection with U.S. 61  

U.S. 61

 

South terminus (MN): Wisconsin State Line (U.S. 61) at La Crescent
Nationally --- at New Orleans LA
North terminus
:
I-35 at Wyoming
Previously --- Canadian border (ON-61) (1926-90)

Length (MN): 166 Regions: SW, M, EC

Counties: Houston, Winona, Wabasha, Goodhue, Dakota, Washington, Ramsey, Chisago

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 3, 104, 102, 1

How numbered: U.S. Route

NHS: From Wisconsin state line at La Crescent to I-94 in St. Paul except for segment between two junctions with MN-316 south of Hastings

History: North of Twin Cities generally replaced by

Authorized as two Constitutional Route segments linked by an original U.S. highway in 1926 from the Wisconsin border to the Canadian border. After construction of I-35, U.S. 61 was first duplexed with the Interstate, and then around 1990 decommissioned from the Canadian border south to its current junction with I-35 at Wyoming.

Improvements: See MN-61 below for discussion of former northern segment. In 1929, paved from Duluth south to Hastings and from Wabasha to Winona. All paved by 1940. Expressway segments south of Wabasha built in 1960s and 1970s, new segment between MN-316 and Red Wing completed 1997. Freeway segment between Newport and Cottage Grove.

Special Commentary: The bridge over the Mississippi River at Hastings (called, not surprisingly, the "Hastings Bridge") has received considerable attention from the increased bridge inspections following the 2007 I-35W bridge collapse. This bridge, a steel arch structure built in 1951, is structurally deficient and shows considerable deterioration. It is also a notorious bottleneck because it has only one lane each way and dumps southbound traffic into downtown Hastings. With the enactment of a gas tax increase in 2008, MnDOT has announced that replacement of this bridge will begin in 2010. The replacement will probably connect basically the same points, so the main improvement (other than the elimination of the concern of falling in the river) will be an additional lane. There will be no bypass of Hastings in the near future, however.

Comments: Follows Arcade Street to the north out of downtown St. Paul, and closely parallels I-35E and I-35 from St. Paul to Wyoming. A candidate to be terminated at downtown St. Paul as some of these routes are turned back in the future, but timing of these actions is not certain.

Exit List: Visit Adam Froehlig's exit list for Highway 61 (Twin Cities metro area only)

South terminus: I-35 at Duluth
Previously ---
MN-23/194 in downtown Duluth (1990-97)
North terminus
: Canadian Border
(ON-61) north of Grand Portage

Length: 151 Region: NE

Counties: St. Louis, Lake, Cook

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 103, 1

How numbered: Formerly U.S. 61

NHS: Entire length in Minnesota

History: Originally

The section of U.S. 61 north of Duluth was redesignated MN-61 around 1990. Before completion of I-35 around downtown Duluth, this route began at Mesaba Avenue and I-35, then ran through downtown along Superior Street, then northeast of downtown along London Road. The downtown segment was turned back in 1997, and 61 now begins at the end of I-35.

Improvements: On current lakeshore alignment north of Duluth by 1929, and paved by 1940. The north end from Hovland to the Pigeon River formerly ran inland, bypassing Grand Portage. The new highway and border crossing were constructed in the early 1960s. Expressway between Duluth and Two Harbors constructed inland in the 1960s. Two new tunnels (the only hard rock tunnels in Minnesota) were constructed between Two Harbors and Silver Bay in the early 1990s to bypass sections of the road that were threatening to fall into the lake. (Photo: Silver Cliff Tunnel, NE of Two Harbors).
Comments: One of the most scenic highways in the state, and part of the "Lake Superior Circle Route" that runs through Minnesota, Ontario, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Constitutional Route 62 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 3 at Anoka and thence extending in a southeasterly direction to a point on the northerly limits of the city of St. Paul, affording Anoka, St. Paul and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsU.S. 10

Present-day designationsU.S. 10

Comment: U.S. 10 was not routed this way until 1934 - previously it had followed CR-3 to Anoka. This route began where Lexington Avenue left St. Paul and then ran north and northwest toward Anoka.

No connection with post-1934 MN-62 (either one)  

MN-62 (SW)

West terminus: U.S. 59 at Fulda
East terminus
:
MN-60 at Windom

Length: 24 Region: SW

Counties: Murray, Cottonwood

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 16

How numbered: Arbitrary assignment

History: Constitutional Route its entire length (part of a longer Constitutional Route 16 that includes U.S. 59 and MN-60).

Improvements: Paved by 1942.

Comments: See discussion of other MN-62 below.

MN-62 (Metro "Crosstown") 

West terminus: I-494 in Eden Prairie
East terminus
:
MN-55 near MSP Intl. Airport

Length: 12 Region: M

Counties: Hennepin

Legislative Route(s): 384

How numbered: For its former county designation, CSAH 62. Actually, Hennepin County assigned that number because it often uses the Minneapolis street number for its routes through the city (e.g., 42nd Street is CSAH 42). Much of this route runs along 62nd Street. Thus, this is the only instance where a state highway is (indirectly) numbered for a city street name.

NHS: Entire length

History: This route is a freeway (previously named the "Crosstown Highway", but don't look for that name marked anywhere) built by Hennepin County mostly in the late 1960s. MnDOT assumed control in 1988 in the highway swap.

Improvements: The first major improvements since becoming a trunk highway were to straighten out a very sharp curve at the junction with MN-55 that had been built to protect a patch of native prairie grass. The grass is still there, but the road is much straighter. Then, concurrent with the improvements to MN-55, an interchange was constructed at MN-55, the east end of 62. Freeway its entire length except for western 1/2 mile, which is an expressway with two signalized intersections. The interchange with I-494 is a diamond rather than cloverleaf. The dreaded "Crosstown Commons", a classic interchange built to please politicians, was where this road intersects I-35W. A major project to correct this interchange was held up many years by design squabbles (see below), but is now complete and both freeways are separated through the former commons area..

Comments: This is the only situation where two state-numbered routes have duplicate numbering. MnDOT gave this route its former Hennepin County numbering because of its local familiarity, and further determined that it was not necessary to renumber existing MN-62 because of what MnDOT perceived as low potential for confusion of the two routes. Also noteworthy on this route are the mileposts: rather than a Mile 0 at its junction with I-494, the highway has Mile 104 marked about 1/2 mile east of the junction. Mile 0 is actually the projected junction of MN-7 and 62 (were this extension to ever be built), and to avoid duplication of mileposts between the two 62s, 100 is added to the mile markings.

Reconstruction of the Crosstown Commons interchange, originally scheduled to begin in 2001, was delayed for one year by the 2001 Legislature. MnDOT was required to prepare a study to determine if a continuous lane from eastbound 62 to northbound 35W could be accomplished within the limited new right-of-way authorized for the reconstruction. It couldn't, but a new design was submitted to the Legislature in February, 2003 that provides that extra lane by widening 35W north to 46th St. and taking additional right-of-way. Of course, the construction cost is 30-50% higher. Following environmental review for the new design, funding problems delayed construction that was originally due to begin in 2006 (seems that contractors actually wanted to get paid for their work when it was done rather than wait for later appropriations; none chose to bid). Work finally began in Spring 2007 and was winding down at the end of 2010. The two freeways are totally separated through the former commons area, and the combined pavement is as much as 14 lanes wide.

As far as the numbering duplication, that could be corrected by renaming the Fulda to Windom route as MN-162, or even extending U.S. 212 over this freeway and naming the short piece from I-494 to U.S. 169/212 as 162. If 212 were extended, it could follow MN-55 over the Mendota Bridge and replace MN-110 to terminate at I-494.

Exit List: Visit Adam Froehlig's exit list for Highway 62

Constitutional Route 63 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 1 southerly of Forest Lake and thence extending in a southwesterly direction to a point on the northerly and easterly limits of the city of Minneapolis, affording a reasonable means of communication between Route No. 1 and Minneapolis.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: 8

1934 designationsU.S. 8

Present-day designationsI-35W*

Comment: *Replaced U.S. 8 and meets the route description. Began where New Brighton Blvd. leaves Minneapolis, angled northeast and north generally along the current extent of New Brighton Blvd. and I-35W. Followed Lake Drive to Forest Lake. The last route independent of I-35W to carry this CR was MN-88.

No connection with post-1934 MN-63 or U.S. 63  

Original MN-63

Now

The original designation for MN-73 from 1934 until establishment in SE Minnesota of U.S. 63 in 1935. I speculate it was so numbered because it was the north-south route between Highways 61 and 65. See MN-73 for route and history details.

U.S. 63

 

South terminus (MN): Iowa State Line (U.S. 63) S of Spring Valley
Nationally ---
I-20 at Ruston LA
North terminus (MN)
: Wisconsin State Line
(U.S. 63) at Red Wing
Nationally --- U.S. 2 W of Ashland WI

Length (MN): 94 Region: SE

Counties: Fillmore, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, Goodhue

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 59, 161

How numbered: U.S. route

NHS: From Iowa State Line to U.S. 52 at Rochester

History: South of U.S. 61, originally

Constitutional Route in its entirety except for Wisconsin bridge at Red Wing (authorized 1933). From 1934 to 1935, marked as U.S. 59 (see above). In 1935, U.S. 63, which had formerly angled westward along what is now IA-163 to Des Moines, was extended northward along IA-59 and Minnesota's original U.S. 59, and then into Wisconsin.

Improvements: Paved by 1940. Expressway segment south of Rochester to I-90 constructed in the 1970s. New interchange at 48th Street S south of Rochester.

Comments: Duplexed with U.S. 61 for 15 miles between Red Wing and Lake City.

Constitutional Route 64 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 30 northerly of Fergus Falls and thence extending in a northerly and westerly direction to a point on Route No. 6 southerly of Moorhead, affording Fergus Falls, Rothsay, Barnesville, Moorhead and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: 10S

1934 designationsU.S. 52

Present-day designationsI-94*

Comment: *Replaced U.S. 52 and meets the route description.

No connection with post-1934 MN-64

MN-64 

South terminus: MN-210 at Motley
North terminus
:
MN-200 near Kabekona
Previously ---
MN-34 at Akeley (1934-65)

Length: 66 Region: NW

Legislative Route(s): 193, 234

Counties: Todd, Hubbard

How numbered: Arbitrary assignment

History: South of Akeley, authorized 1933. North of Akeley, authorized 1949 but not constructed until mid-1960s.

Improvements: In 1940, this was a primitive road. Paving completed by the late 1950s. Segment north of Akeley built as new road in the mid-1960s.

Comments: Used by knowledgeable motorists as a shortcut between the Twin Cities and Bemidji to avoid congestion on MN-371. The scariest part of this road, between the junctions with MN-87, was reconstructed in 1998. A sharp 90 degree turn along this stretch has been smoothed out, and the road widened through a swampy area that formerly had steep dropoffs on either side to deep, water-filled ditches. Segment north of Akeley constructed as all new roadway during the 1960s and was shown in earlier maps as a future "MN-234", which I doubt was actually marked as such. Wisely designated as a Regional Corridor to reflect its importance as an alternate to MN-371.

Constitutional Route 65 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 8 at Bagley, and thence extending in a northerly and westerly direction to a point on Route No. 32 southerly of Red Lake Falls, affording Bagley, Clearbrook, Gonvick, Gully, Brooks, Terrebonne and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-92

Present-day designationsMN-92

Comment: 

No connection with post-1934 MN-65

U.S. 65

South terminus (MN): Iowa State Line (U.S. 65) at Gordonsville
Nationally --- U.S. 84 at Ferriday LA
North terminus:
I-35 at Albert Lea
Previously --- U.S. 12 in St. Paul (1926-34); U.S. 2 at Swan River (1934-35); U.S. 12/52 in Minneapolis (1935-80)

Length (MN): 14 Region: SE

Counties: Freeborn

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 1

How numbered: U.S. Route

History 1934 routing between Faribault and Lakeville subsequently marked Those segments that are still separate trunk highway are now marked
  About 1958 above segment moved onto route of     Faribault-
Farmington
(downtown Mpls)
  Much of original routing now replaced by      

Original U.S route authorized over existing trunk highways in 1926. The original (1926) alignment of U.S. 65 north of Faribault ran along current MN-3 and MN-149 (Constitutional Route 1) to St. Paul. After 1934, it was realigned at Farmington along current CSAH 50 and I-35W (Constitutional Route 50) to Minneapolis via Lyndale Avenue. Subsequently, a direct route was imrpoved along L.R. 101 between Faribault and Lakeville. Originally designated MN-165, it later became U.S. 65 just before I-35 was constructed along this alignment. Even after completion of I-35/35W, the U.S. 65 designation formerly ran to Minneapolis. U.S. 65 ran to the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, where it became MN-65. Around 1980, the U.S. 65 designation was dropped along I-35 north of Albert Lea, and the small independent segment through downtown Minneapolis was redesignated MN-65.

Improvements: In 1929, paved from Geneva to St. Paul. Paved in its entirety before 1940. Coincident with construction of the initial segments of I-35, an expressway segment was constructed west of downtown Faribault in the late 1950s and connected to former MN-165, bypassing Farmington.

MN-65 

South terminus: Washington Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis
Previously --- U.S. 12/52 in Minneapolis (1935-80),
I-35W at Downtown Minneapolis (1980-2004)
North terminus: U.S. 71 at Littlefork

Length: 271 Regions: M, EC, NE

Counties: Hennepin, Anoka, Isanti, Kanabec, Aitkin, Itasca, Koochiching

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 105, 5, 189, 5, 159

How numbered: Extension of U.S. 65

NHS: I-694 to MN-242

History: Part originally marked

Originally Constitutional Route from the Minneapolis city limits to U.S. 2. A short-cut north of Mora was authorized in 1933, originally designated as MN-118 over what are now county roads, but then transferred to this route by around 1942. Marked as U.S. 65 as far north as U.S. 2 from 1934 to 1935 (MN-65 from there north), then changed to MN-65 north of Minneapolis. Until decomissioning of U.S. 65 between Albert Lea and Minneapolis, the southern terminus of this route was the intersection of 3rd Avenue and 3rd / 4th Streets South in downtown Minneapolis, where it then intersected U.S. 12/52. The portion along downtown Minneapolis city streets (4th and 5th Avenues South) was turned back to Minneapolis around 2004, the same time as MN-55 through downtown. It appears, however, that the extended ramp to I-35W from 10th St. may still be considered MN-65, since the super-size mileposts that include route markers that Minnesota is now installing along freeways include the MN-65 marker along that segment.

Improvements: By 1940, this road was paved to north of McGrath. A segment replacing MN-118 and bypassing Grasston to the west was constructed by 1942. Still gravel north of Libby in 1949, and on its current alignment south of U.S. 2 by 1953. Paving of sections north of U.S. 2 proceeded through the 1960s and 70s. The last unpaved segment of this route through the Nett Lake Indian Reservation was paved in 2000. North of Minneapolis, a divided highway was constructed on new alignment between (now) I-694 and north of U.S. 10 in 1953. Interchange now open with Anoka CSAH 14 (old MN-242) in Blaine, completed late 2000s. Expressway bypass of Cambridge completed about 1993, and the road is now divided from Cambridge to Minneapolis, with a 60, increasing to 65 mph speed limit beginning in Anoka County just north of U.S. 10.

Comments: See also discussion of U.S. 65. This road formerly began as a freeway and ended as a dirt road near its north end. But that's now paved and the freeway section isn't marked (though the mileposts on the I-35W to 10th Street ramp still have the MN-65 sign and mileage on them).

Constitutional Route 66 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 12 at Montevideo and thence extending in a northwesterly direction to a point on Route No. 26 northerly of Appleton affording Montevideo, Appleton and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-73*/MN-7
*Became U.S. 59 in 1935

Present-day designationsU.S. 59/MN-7

Comment: 

May have influenced proposed 1934 MN-66 (see next entry) but no connection with subsequent post-1934 MN-66
Originally proposed MN-66 NEVER MARKED AS SUCH, but originally proposed as the 1934 designation for part of MN-7. The proposed designation ran east along Lake St. in Minneapolis and Marshall St. in St. Paul to downtown St. Paul. The Minneapolis and St. Paul section actually became U.S. 212 in 1934. I don't know how far west this proposed designation went, but it's notable that the part of MN-7 between MN-119 and Montevideo is Constitutional Route 66, and that 119 was proposed for another route (152 in the Twin Cities).

Original MN-66

West terminus: MN-56 (now 47) east of Isle
East terminus
: MN-23 east of Sandstone

Legislative Route(s): 186

How numbered: Arbitrary assignment

History: Now marked

Initial designation of MN-27 east of MN-47 to MN-65, and MN-18 east of MN-65 to the point where it intersected MN-23 just west of Askov (this section of 23 later designated 123, then turned back). This route would have been designated MN-52 had U.S. 52 not been added in 1934 after the original route numbering plan ws established.

MN-66 

South terminus: Good Thunder (pop. 561)
North terminus
: U.S. 169 at Mankato

Length: 11 Region: SE

Counties: Blue Earth

Legislative Route(s): 256

How numbered: Arbitrary assignment

History: Originally

Authorized 1949, marked as MN-256 until 1963. . Defined route extends further into the city of Mankato than the current marked trunk highway.

Improvements: Paved by 1953

Comments: This would fit the definition of a "short connecting route" as in the note prior to MN-221. This route is likely destined for turnback within the next couple of years, possibly as part of a "swap" with Blue Earth County involving CSAH 90 (the connector between MN-22 and U.S. 169/MN-60 on the south side of Mankato.

Constitutional Route 67













MN-67 

CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 14 southerly of Echo and thence extending in a northerly and westerly direction to a point on Route No. 17 at or near Granite Falls, affording Echo, Granite Falls and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-67

Present-day designationsMN-67

Comment: Designation extended west over CR-48 in 1934. Later (1963) extended east as well.
Post-1934 History:

West terminus
: U.S. 75 N of Canby
East terminus
:
MN-68 at Morgan
Previously ---
MN-19 near Vesta (1934-63)

Length: 76 Region: SW

Counties: Yellow Medicine, Redwood

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 48, 67, 93

How numbered: Part of route is Constitutional Route 67; remainder numbered for route continuity.

History: Part originally

West of MN-19, two separate Constitutional Route segments. Southeast of MN-19, authorized 1933. This segment (half of which is currently MN-68) was designated MN-93 until about 1963.

Improvements: In 1940, paved from U.S. 75 to Granite Falls. All paved by 1953.

Comments: Duplexed with MN-19 for about 10 miles. Eastern L.R. 93 segment of route originally designated MN-93.

Constitutional Route 68









MN-68  

 

CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 14 at Marshall and thence extending in a northwesterly direction to a point on Route No. 6 near Canby, affording Marshall, Minneota, Canby and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-68

Present-day designationsMN-68

Comment: Designation extended in 1934.
Post-1934 History:

West terminus
: SD State Line
(SD-22) W of Canby
East terminus
: U.S. 169 W of Mankato
Previously --- U.S. 59 at Marshall (1933-63)

Length: 141 Regions: SW, SE

Counties: Yellow Medicine, Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood, Brown, Blue Earth

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 154, 68, 272, 93, 83

How numbered: Part of route is Constitutional Route 68; remainder numbered for route continuity.

History: Parts originally marked

Original Constitutional Route segment extends from U.S. 75 to Marshall. Remaining segments were authorized in 1933 and 1949. Current route was consolidated from MN-68, MN-93 and MN-83 in 1963.

Improvements: Canby to Marshall paved in 1940. Even by 1953, the L.R. 272, 93 and 83 segments were gravel at least in part. All paved by 1960.

Constitutional Route 69 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 25 at Buffalo and thence extending in a northwesterly direction to a point on Route No. 22 southeasterly of Paynesville, affording Buffalo, Maple Lake, Annandale, Eden Valley, Paynesville and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-55

Present-day designationsMN-55

Comment: 

No connection to post-1934 MN-69 or U.S. 69

Original MN-69

Later marked Now marked

The original designation for MN-94 (now MN-194) from 1934 to 1935. Route designation was changed when U.S. 69 was established in 1935. See MN-194 for route details.

U.S. 69

 

South terminus (MN): Iowa State Line (U.S. 69) at Emmons
Nationally --- TX-87 at Port Arthur TX
North terminus
:
MN-13 at Albert Lea (location is the same, but terminating route was U.S. 16 until late 1960s)

Length (MN): 12 Region: SE

Counties: Freeborn

Legislative Route(s): 195

How numbered: U.S. Route

History: Originally marked

Authorized 1934. When this route was first established, U.S. 69 had not been extended north from Iowa, and for a short time around 1934, the route was designated as a southward extension of MN-13. U.S. 69 was marked as such by 1935.

Improvements: Paved around 1941.

Comments: Note that this U.S. route ends at MN-13 even though I-90 is only 2 miles north of the junction. This unusual termination point occurred after construction of I-90 and discontinuance of U.S. 16 through Albert Lea. There is almost no signage on I-90 indicating a connection to U.S. 69 at the junction with MN-13. Interesting to note that both of this route's national termini are on state-numbered roads.

Constitutional Route 70 CONSTITUTIONAL ROUTE Posted 1920-33
Beginning at a point on Route No. 7 westerly of New Ulm and thence extending in a northerly direction to a point on Route No. 12 at or near the village of Hector, affording Fort Ridgely, Fairfax, Hector and intervening and adjacent communities a reasonable means of communication, each with the other and other places within the state.

1927-33 U.S. Highways: None

1934 designationsMN-15

Present-day designationsMN-15

Comment: 

No connection to post-1934 MN-70

MN-70 

West terminus: MN-65 at Brunswick
Previously ---
MN-65 near Grasston (1934-42)
East terminus
: Wisconsin State Line
(WI-70) E of Rock Creek

Length: 25 Region: EC

Counties: Kanabec, Pine

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 5, 133

How numbered: Numbered to correspond with Wisconsin 70.

History: East of MN-107, authorized 1933. Between MN-65 and MN-107, was the original route of Constitutional Route 5 and MN-65 until around 1942 when the current short-cut on 65 was built.

Improvements: Route paved in its entirety by about 1949.

Comments: Western segment between MN-65 and MN-107 was an old alignment of MN-65. The condition of this road (narrow, crumbling pavement) stands in stark contrast to the smooth, wide route it connects with in Wisconsin. This route carries a fair amount of recreational traffic to Wisconsin, as Twin Cities residents try to avoid busy U.S. 8.

U.S. 71

South terminus (MN): Iowa State Line (U.S. 71) S of Jackson
Nationally --- U.S. 190 W of Krotz Springs LA
North terminus
: Canadian Border
(ON-71) at International Falls

Length (MN): 423 Regions: SW, WC, NW, NE

Counties: Jackson, Cottonwood, Redwood, Renville, Kandiyohi, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Hubbard, Beltrami, Itasca, Koochiching

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 4, 141, 4

How numbered: U.S. Route

NHS: From Iowa State Line to U.S. 12 at Willmar

History: U.S. 71 was an original U.S. route that originally followed Constitutional Route 4 its entire length. By 1933, the shortcut between New London and Sauk Centre was authorized as a trunk highway, and U.S. 71 was moved onto this route.

Improvements: In 1940, there were still gravel segments from Windom to Redwood Falls, north of Willmar, north of Wadena, and north of Northome. All paved by 1942. Realigned north of Willmar in the late 1960s by construction of new segment west of MN-23. Willmar bypass constructed mid-1980s, but only one carriageway was constructed for many years. Finally, by 2002 the second roadway was opened and Willmar is now bypassed by a four-lane expressway. Also realigned to bypass Bemidji in the late 1970s.

Comments: Last block in Int'l Falls duplexed with U.S. 53.

MN-72 

South terminus: U.S. 71 at Blackduck
North terminus
: Canadian Border
(ON-11) at Baudette
Previously --- Wheeler Pt. (N of Baudette) (1934-63)

Length: 78 Region: NW

Counties: Beltrami, Lake of the Woods

Legislative Route(s): 72, 325

How numbered: Same as legislative route number, with short extension to Canada.

History: Part of original routing now marked

Authorized as one of the first two legislative routes in 1923. (The other [71] was originally found unconstitutional as first enacted). In 1934, an extension to Lake of the Woods (L.R. 140) marked as 72 was added, but when the border crossing at Baudette was added as L.R. 325, MN-72 was moved onto this route and the former northerly extension was redesignated MN-172.

Improvements: Paved by 1942.

Original MN-73

South terminus: Iowa Border
North terminus
: North Dakota Border at Pembina

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 85, 16, 17, 88, 66, 144, 3, 30, 174

How numbered: Major north-south route between U.S. 71 and 75. Maybe MHD even hoped for a U.S. 73 extension.

History: This route now marked

After the 1933 route additions, TH-73 was the original designation for present-day U.S. 59 north of Worthington for one year. Redesignated as U.S. 59 in 1935.

MN-73 

South terminus: I-35 at Moose Lake
North terminus: U.S. 53 S of Orr

Length: 119 Region: NE

Counties: Carlton, St. Louis

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 1, 163

How numbered: Arbitrary assignment

History: Originally marked

Authorized 1933, and was originally assigned the designation MN-63 until that U.S. route was added. Marked as MN-73 by 1935. Designation extended down old U.S. 61 through Moose Lake to I-35 in the mid 1970s.

Improvements: In 1940, mostly gravel south of Hibbing. Last segments paved in mid-50s south of Hibbing.

MN-74 

South terminus: MN-30 E of Chatfield
Previously --- U.S. 16 at Spring Valley (1934-74)
North terminus
: U.S. 61 at Weaver

Length: 30 Region: SE

Counties: Olmsted, Winona, Wabasha

Legislative Route(s): 74

How numbered: Same as Legislative Route number

History: Authorized 1933. South end formerly extended south of Chatfield to (then) U.S. 16 at Spring Valley until the 1970s.

Improvements: South of U.S. 14, still gravel in 1953. Paved by 1960 except for northernmost ten miles, which is still gravel.

Comments: The only trunk highway that has an unpaved section.

U.S. 75

South terminus (MN): Iowa State Line (U.S. 75) S of Luverne
Nationally ---
I-345 (just north of I-30) at Dallas TX
North terminus: Canadian Border at Noyes*

* The Border Crossing into Canada has been closed by the Canadian government. All traffic on U.S. 75 that wishes to enter Canada must use I-29 in North Dakota, about five miles to the west.

Length (MN): 408 Regions: SW, WC, NW

Counties: Rock, Pipestone, Lincoln, Yellow Medicine, Lac Qui Parle, Big Stone, Traverse, Wilkin, Clay, Norman, Polk, Marshall, Kittson

Constitutional/Legislative Route(s): 6, 175, 6

How numbered: U.S. Route

NHS: A short segment between MN-7 west of Appleton and U.S. 12 at Ortonville

History: Part formerly marked Part of original routing
now marked

An original U.S. route that followed Constitutional Route 6 in its entirety until the mid-1950s. Between current MN-200 and U.S. 2, rerouted along old MN-81 in the mid-1950s, with former U.S. 75 segment redesignated MN-9.

Improvements: All paved by 1940. No significant divided segments along entire route.

Comments: Despite its length and U.S. designation, this road is not designated as a Regional or Inter-regional Corridor anywhere along its route. Probably because it is relatively close to I-29 in North Dakota most of the way, and much of U.S. 59 has a Regional Corridor designation. Click the logo at left for the King of Trails website. With closure, probably permanent, of the border crossing at Noyes, it is possible that the U.S. 75 designation will be moved onto MN-171 and ND-59 to intersect I-29 at Pembina, ND. Or, the U.S. route could be terminated at U.S. 2 in Crookston with the remainder of the route north of there taking a MN-75 designation.

Travel on...

You are at Routes 51-75

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  Last updated November 14, 2010