Avenue of the Saints
|High Priority Corridor 2|
|Length:||563 mi (906 km)|
|Existed:||1991 – present|
|South end:||I-64 near St. Louis, MO|
|North end:||I-94 at St. Paul, MN|
The Avenue of the Saints is a 563-mile-long (906 km) highway in the Midwestern United States that connects St. Paul, Minnesota, and St. Louis, Missouri.
The southern end of the Avenue of the Saints is at exit 28A of Interstate 64/US 40, which is also the southern end of its concurrency with US 61. The Avenue of the Saints heads west, to Chesterfield, crossing I-270. Here, the Avenue of the Saints turns northwest, crosses the Missouri River via the Daniel Boone Bridge. In Wentzville, the route interchanges with I-70. The western terminus of I-64 and the northern terminus of the concurrency with US 40 is here. The Avenue of the Saints continues north as just US 61, intersects with the western terminus of I-72 in Hannibal, reaches the northern terminous of its concurrency with US 61, then crosses the Des Moines River into Iowa.
The Avenue of the Saints is co-signed with Missouri Route 27 to the Iowa state line.
In Iowa, the Avenue of the Saints is a 282-mile-long (454 km) highway, which begins in Lee County where Missouri Route 27 crosses the Des Moines River, and ends at the Minnesota state line in Worth County, concurrent with Interstate 35. Construction of the Avenue of the Saints corridor in Iowa was completed on May 23, 2006.
The route runs north from the Missouri state line as just Iowa Highway 27 for about 10 miles, then is co-signed with US 218 until just south of Cedar Rapids, crossing I-80 in Iowa City. This is also the location of the southern terminus of its concurrency with I-380, and this concurrency terminates in Waterloo. Near Floyd, US 218 splits off, just after the route starts a concurrency with US 18, running west to its intersection with I-35, where the route turns north again and runs into Minnesota.
In 2001, the Iowa Department of Transportation designated the Avenue of the Saints as Iowa Highway 27. Prior to its creation, motorists wanting to travel the Avenue through Iowa had to follow a lengthy list of directions: (heading north from Missouri) Iowa Highway 394, U.S. Route 218, Interstate 380, U.S. Route 20, Iowa Highway 58, US 218 (again), U.S. Route 18 and Interstate 35.
As with many rural expressways in Iowa, the Avenue of the Saints has exit numbers in that state. The exit numbers correspond to the underlying U.S. Highway or Interstate Highway – U.S. 218, I-380, U.S. 20, U.S. 18 and I-35. The section along Iowa Highway 58 in Cedar Falls has no exit numbers, and the separate section south of Donnellson has one numbered exit—the northbound one to U.S. 218 south—based on Iowa 27's mileage.
In Minnesota, the Avenue of the Saints is co-signed with I-35 for the entirety of its length in that state. The route runs straight north, crosses I-90 in Albert Lea, and runs to its northern terminus in St. Paul, shortly after crossing the Mississippi River via the Lexington Bridge.
The Avenue of the Saints was the idea of Mount Pleasant, Iowa businessman Ernest Hayes, who envisioned a four-lane highway between St. Paul and St. Louis in the 1980s. The Iowa Department of Transportation decided to study the idea in 1988. Several politicians endorsed the idea, including Mount Pleasant mayor (and future Iowa governor) Tom Vilsack, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, and Congressmen David Nagle and Fred Grandy of Iowa and Dick Gephardt of Missouri.
By the end of 1989, four possible routes for the Avenue of the Saints were under consideration by the Federal Highway Administration. Two of the rejected routes would have followed U.S. Route 52 and U.S. Route 63 from St. Paul through Rochester, Minnesota, to Waterloo, Iowa.
The third rejected route would have followed U.S. Route 61 from St. Paul through La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Dubuque, Iowa, to Davenport, Iowa, and U.S. Route 67 from Davenport crossing the Mississippi River through western Illinois (Forgottonia) to Alton, Illinois and crossing the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to St. Louis.
In 1990 the FHWA chose its route for the Avenue of the Saints:
The highway would follow the existing Interstate 35 from St. Paul to a point south of Clear Lake, Iowa; U.S. Route 18 to Charles City, Iowa; U.S. Route 218 to Cedar Falls, Iowa; Iowa Highway 58 and U.S. Route 20 around Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa; Interstate 380 from Waterloo through Cedar Rapids to Interstate 80 near Coralville, Iowa and Iowa City, Iowa; U.S. 218 to Donnellson, Iowa; Iowa Highway 394 and Route B to Wayland, Missouri; and U.S. 61 and Interstate 64 from Wayland to St. Louis.
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 made the Avenue of the Saints an official "high-priority corridor," and signs were put along the route by the end of the year. At that time the only four-lane segments were Interstates 35, 380, and 64; U.S. 20 around Waterloo; U.S. 218 from I-80 to Iowa Highway 22 near Riverside, Iowa; and two segments of U.S. 61 in Missouri (from La Grange to New London and from Bowling Green to St. Louis). The decision had also been made to build the Avenue of the Saints to expressway standards—with intersections at rural roads—rather than to full freeway standards as a cost-saving measure. Freeway segments would be built around cities that needed to be bypassed.
After the routing was approved, both Iowa and Missouri began constructing new four-lane segments. Iowa opened bypasses around Waverly (1998), Mason City (1999), Charles City (2000), Mount Pleasant (2001), and Donnellson (2004). A four-lane link between I-35 and I-380 was completed with the opening of a segment near Nashua in November 2003. Missouri completed four-lane segments from New London to Bowling Green in November 2000 and from Canton to La Grange in 2003.
In 2001 the Iowa Department of Transportation gave the Avenue of the Saints its own highway number: Iowa Highway 27. The number was added as an additional number to the existing routes; however, after the Donnellson bypass opened in 2004, Iowa 394 was decommissioned and Iowa 27 is now a standalone highway south of the split with U.S. 218.
On July 25, 2008, the final nine miles (14 km) of highway between the Lewis/Clark county line and Wayland, Missouri was open to four-lane traffic. A ceremony was held at the intersection of US 61 and Route 27 to commemorate the completion of the four-lane highway in Missouri. The Avenue of the Saints is now complete from suburban St. Louis to St. Paul (see Future construction below).
On December 8, 2004, a new four-lane bridge across the Des Moines River opened; this replaced an existing toll bridge operated by the Wayland Special Road District. A new four-lane road between the bridge and U.S. 61 south of Wayland also opened that day. This road was numbered Route 27 to match Iowa's number for the Avenue of the Saints.
In June 2005, a four-lane segment from the end of the Mount Pleasant bypass to the junction with Iowa Highway 16 east of Houghton was opened to four lanes of traffic. The segment of Iowa 27 between the split with U.S. 218 and the Des Moines River bridge opened to four lanes on August 25, 2005. The last remaining segment in Iowa was opened to traffic May 23, 2006.
The only portions of the road which do not bypass major towns are Waterloo, Iowa; Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Hannibal, Missouri.
A "festival" was held from June 16–18 amongst towns along the corridor to celebrate the completion of Iowa's segment.
On July 25, 2008, the Avenue of the Saints was completed with the opening of the final nine-mile (14 km) segment from the Lewis County line to Wayland in Clark County, Missouri.
Ongoing construction projects and future proposals along the Avenue of the Saints include:
- The upgrading of US 61 to interstate standards from I-70 in Wentzville to Route 47 in Troy, Missouri. In 2007, an interchange was installed at Route C in Moscow Mills, Missouri. Proposals include installing interchanges at Route U in Moscow Mills and South Lincoln Drive just south of Troy.
- MoDOT has published initial maps for the Hannibal Expressway, a bypass around Hannibal, MO. According to the maps, the Hannibal Expressway would depart from US 61 south of Hannibal, travel in a northwesterly direction toward the Rocket Junction where it would intersect with US 36/I-72 and US 24 West. The Hannibal Expressway would then travel along the current US 24 East alignment and re-connect with US 61 four miles (6 km) north of the Rocket Junction. The "Hannibal Expressway" project is presently unfunded. Presently, there are seven stoplights along US 61 in Hannibal: Red Devil Rd./Warren Barrett Dr., Market St. (Business 61), Hwy MM (Business 36), West Ely Rd., I-72/US 36, Stardust Dr./Pirate Pride, and MO 168.
|St. Louis||Frontenac||I-64 east / US 40 east||Continuation beyond interchange; south end of I-64 and US 40 overlaps|
|0.000||0.000||28A||US 61 south / US 67 (Lindbergh Boulevard)||Avenue of the Saints begins; south end of US 61 overlap|
|Town and Country||2.060||3.315||26||Ballas Road|
|25||I-270 – Tulsa, Chicago, Memphis|
|5.036||8.105||23||Maryville Centre Road||No eastbound exit|
|5.719||9.204||22||Route 141 (Woods Mill Road)|
|Chesterfield||6.836||11.001||21||Timberlake Manor Parkway|
|7.951||12.796||20||Chesterfield Parkway||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only|
|8.427||13.562||19B||Route 340 (Olive Boulevard, Clarkson Road)|
|11.913||19.172||16||Long Road||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only|
|13.618||21.916||14||Spirit of Saint Louis Boulevard||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only|
|14.512||23.355||Chesterfield Airport Road||Eastbound exit and westbound entrance only|
|Missouri River||15.803||25.432||Daniel Boone Bridge|
|St. Charles||Weldon Spring||16.338||26.293||11||Research Park Circle||No westbound entrance|
|17.534||28.218||10||Route 94 – St. Charles||Westbound exit via exit 9|
|O'Fallon||18.273||29.408||9||Route K – O'Fallon|
|21.998||35.402||6||Route DD (WingHaven Boulevard)|
|Lake St. Louis||25.229||40.602||2||Lake St. Louis Boulevard|
|28.267||45.491||1A-B||I-64 ends / I-70 / US 40 west – Kansas City, St. Charles||North end of I-64 and US 40 overlaps|
|28.662||46.127||—||Pitman Avenue||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|29.505||47.484||Route A (Wentzville Parkway) – Wentzville|
|Lincoln||Moscow Mills||37.023||59.583||Route U (Crossroads Boulevard)|
|39.709||63.905||Route C – Moscow Mills|
|Troy||42.557||68.489||Old Cap au Gris Road||Northbound exit and entrance only|
|43.221||69.557||Route 47 – Troy, Winfield|
|Pike||Eolia||61.099||98.329||Route D / Route FF – Eolia|
US 61 Bus. / Route 161 – Bowling Green, Ashley
|75.100||120.862||US 54 – Louisiana, Mexico|
US 61 Bus. / Route UU – Bowling Green
|Frankford||86.668||139.479||Route B / Route C / Route ZZ – Frankford|
US 61 Bus. / Route 19 – Center, New London
US 61 Bus.
US 36 Bus. east / Route MM
|South end of US 36 Bus. overlap|
I-72 east / US 36 / Route 110 / US 36 Bus. ends – Downtown Hannibal, Monroe City, Springfield
|North end of US 36 Bus. overlap; I-72 begins at interchange|
|105.126||169.184||Route 168 west / Route W|
|Barkley||111.689||179.746||US 24 west – Monroe City||South end of US 24 overlap|
US 61 Bus. – Palmyra
US 61 Bus. / Route 168 – Palmyra
|123.855||199.325||Route 6 west – Edina, Taylor|
|US 24 east – Quincy, Ill.||North end of US 24 overlap|
US 61 Bus. / Route B – La Grange, Wakonda State Park
US 61 Bus. / Route C – La Grange
US 61 Bus. / Route P – Canton
|139.205||224.029||Route 16 to Route 81 – Canton, Monticello|
US 61 Bus.
|Clark||155.658||250.507||US 61 north / Route 27 begins – Keokuk||North end of US 61 overlap; south end of Route 27 overlap|
|Wayland||158.397||254.915||US 136 – Wayland, Kahoka|
|Des Moines River||165.784
|Missouri–Iowa state line|
|US 218 south – Keokuk||South end of US 218 overlap; exit numbers follow US 218|
|Donnellson||12.322||19.830||19||Iowa 2 – Donnellson, Fort Madison|
|Marion Township||22.409||36.064||Iowa 16|
|Henry||Mount Pleasant||33.312||53.610||40||255th Street, Old Thresher's Grounds – Mount Pleasant|
US 34 east / Iowa 163 east / US 34 Bus. / US 218 Bus. – Mount Pleasant, Burlington
|South end of US 34 and Iowa 163 overlaps; signed as exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)|
|38.872||62.558||45||US 34 west / Iowa 163 west – Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa||North end of US 34 and Iowa 163 overlap; northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
US 218 Bus. (Iowa 438) to US 34 west – Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa
|Southbound exit and northbound entrance only|
|Washington||Oregon Township||59.230||95.321||66||Iowa 92 – Washington, Columbus Junction|
|Riverside||72.721||117.033||80||Iowa 22 – Kalona, Lone Tree|
|West Lucas Township||81.622||131.358||89||CR F50 (Riverside Drive) – Iowa City Municipal Airport|
|Iowa City||83.232||133.949||91||Iowa 1 – Iowa City, Kalona|
|85.475||137.559||93||CR F46 (Melrose Avenue) – University Heights|
|Coralville||88.847||142.985||0||I-80 / I-380 begins – Iowa City, Davenport, Des Moines||South end of I-380 overlap; signed as exits 0A (eastbound) and 0B (westbound); no exit numbers northbound|
|North Liberty||92.893||149.497||4||CR F28 – North Liberty|
|Jefferson Township||99.705||160.460||10||CR F12 – Swisher, Shueyville|
|Linn||Cedar Rapids||102.663||165.220||13||Ely, The Eastern Iowa Airport|
|105.176||169.264||16||US 30 / US 151 / US 218 north – Mt. Vernon, Tama||North end of US 218 overlap; northbound exits signed 16A (east) and 16B (west)|
|106.432||171.286||17||33rd Avenue SW – Hawkeye Downs|
|107.176||172.483||18||Wilson Avenue SW|
To US 151 Bus. / Diagonal Drive / 5th Avenue SW – Downtown Cedar Rapids
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
US 151 Bus. (1st Avenue W) / 1st Street W – Veterans Memorial Stadium, Kingston Stadium
|No southbound entrance, northbound exit signed as exit 19C|
To US 151 Bus. / 1st Street East – Downtown Cedar Rapids
|Southbound exit and northbound entrance only|
|109.501||176.225||20B||7th Street E – U.S. Cellular Center|
|110.412||177.691||21||H Avenue, J Avenue|
|11.195||18.017||22||Coldstream–29th Street, Glass Road – 32nd Street|
|112.220||180.601||23||42nd Street||Southbound exit from exit 24|
|24||Iowa 100 (Collins Road) / Blairs Ferry Road||Signed as exits 24A (Iowa 100) and 24B (Blairs Ferry Road) northbound|
|Monroe Township||117.696||189.413||28||CR E34 – Toddville, Robins|
|Center Point||124.673||200.642||35||CR W36 – Center Point|
|132.374||213.035||43||Iowa 150 – Vinton, Independence|
|144.197||232.063||55||CR V65 – Jesup|
|Black Hawk||Fox Township||151.071||243.125||62||CR D38 – Gilbertville|
|Poyner Township||153.862||247.617||65||US 20 east – Dubuque||South end of US 20 overlap|
|Evansdale||157.206||252.999||68||Evansdale Drive – Elk Run Heights|
|159.474||256.649||70||River Forest Road|
|I-380 north / US 218 – Waterloo, La Porte City||North end of I-380 overlap;
northbound signed as exits 71A (north) and 71B (south);
southbound signed as exits 232A (south) and 232B (north)
|162.064||260.817||230||Iowa 21 (Hawkeye Road) – Dysart|
|165.104||265.709||227||US 63 (Sergeant Road) – Hudson|
|Hudson||167.164||269.024||225||US 20 west / Iowa 58 south – Cedar Falls||North end of US 20 overlap; south end of Iowa 58 overlap|
|Cedar Falls||170.862||274.976||—||University Avenue (Iowa 934)|
|—||18th Street, Waterloo Road|
|172.945||278.328||—||US 218 south / Iowa 57 west / Iowa 58 ends – Waterloo, Waterloo Regional Airport||North end of Iowa 58 overlap; south end of US 218 overlap.|
|174.597||280.987||189||Lone Tree Road|
US 218 Bus. (Iowa 116) – Waverly
|188.635||303.579||203||Iowa 3 – Waverly, Shell Rock|
US 218 Bus. – Waverly, Waverly Municipal Airport
|Plainfield||197.890||318.473||212||Iowa 188 – Plainfield|
|Chickasaw||Nashua||205.194||330.228||220||Iowa 346 east / CR B60 west – Nashua|
US 18 east / US 218 Bus. / CR T64 – Charles City, New Hampton
|South end of US 18 overlap|
|217.992||350.824||214||Iowa 14 – Charles City, Greene|
US 218 Bus. / CR B35 – Charles City
|Floyd||222.552||358.163||US 218 north – Floyd||North end of US 218 overlap|
|Rock Grove Township||237.250||381.817||195||CR S70 – Nora Springs|
|Cerro Gordo||Portland Township||242.387||390.084||190||CR S56 (California Avenue)|
US 18 Bus. / US 65 – Downtown Mason City, Rockwell
|Lake Township||249.449||401.449||183||CR S36 (Eisenhower Avenue)|
|I-35 south – Des Moines||South end of I-35 overlap|
|Clear Lake||256.349||412.554||193||I-35 Bus. north / CR B35 – Clear Lake, Mason City|
|257.219||413.954||194||US 18 west / I-35 Bus. south / Iowa 122 – Mason City, Clear Lake||North end of US 18 overlap|
|Lincoln Township||260.910||419.894||197||CR B20|
|Worth||Danville Township||266.831||429.423||203||Iowa 9 – Manly, Forest City|
|Brookfield Township||271.845||437.492||208||CR A38 – Joice, Kensett|
|Hartland Township||277.865||447.180||214||CR 105 – Lake Mills, Northwood||Former Iowa 105|
|Iowa–Minnesota state line; Iowa 27 ends|
|5.276||8.491||5||CR 13 – Twin Lakes, Glenville|
|8||I-35 Bus. north / US 65 – Albert Lea, Glenville|
|11.498||18.504||11||CR 46 – Albert Lea|
|12||I-35 Bus. south / US 65 south – Albert Lea||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Bancroft Township||13.247||21.319||13||I-90 – La Crosse, Sioux Falls||Signed as exits 13A (east) and 13B (west)|
|Clarks Grove||18.745||30.167||18||MN 251 east – Clarks Grove, Hollandale|
|Geneva Township||22.963||36.955||22||CR 35 – Hartland, Geneva|
|Steele||Summit Township||26.640||42.873||26||MN 30 – New Richland, Blooming Prairie|
|Somerset Township||32.817||52.814||32||CR 4 – Hope|
|Owatonna||39.981||64.343||40||US 14 east / US 218 south – Owatonna, Rochester, Austin||South end of US 14 overlap|
|42.509||68.412||42||US 14 west / CR 45 east – Waseca, Owatonna||North end of US 14 overlap; signed as exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)|
|43||CR 34 (26th Street)|
|45||CR 9 – Clinton Falls|
|Medford||48.057||77.340||48||CR 12 / CR 23 – Medford|
|Rice||Faribault||55.590||89.463||55||Faribault||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|56.918||91.601||56||MN 60 – Waterville, Faribault|
|59.107||95.123||59||MN 21 – Le Center, Faribault|
|Forest Township||66.696||107.337||66||CR 1 – Montgomery, Dundas|
|Webster Township||69.679||112.137||69||MN 19 – Northfield, New Prague|
|Scott||New Market Township||76.841||123.664||76||CR 2 – Elko New Market|
|Dakota||Lakeville||81.842||131.712||81||CR 70 – Farmington, Lakeville|
|84.340||135.732||84||CR 60 (185th Street West)|
|85.509||137.613||85||CR 5 / CR 50|
|Burnsville||87.824||141.339||87||Crystal Lake Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|88.268||142.054||88A||I-35W north – Minneapolis||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|I-35 ends / I-35E begins – St. Paul||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|92||MN 77 (Cedar Avenue) – Zoo|
|93.772||150.911||93||CR 32 (Cliff Road)|
|94.906||152.736||94||CR 30 (Diffley Road)|
|97.123||156.304||97A||CR 31 (Pilot Knob Road)|
|97.433||156.803||97B||CR 28 (Yankee Doodle Road)||Northbound exit is via exit 97A|
|98.559||158.615||98||CR 26 (Lone Oak Road)|
|99||I-494||Signed as exits 99A (east) and 99B (west)|
|101||MN 110||Signed as exits 101A (east) and 101B (west) southbound|
|102.590||165.103||102||MN 13 (Sibley Highway)|
|103A||Shepard Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|103B||MN 5 (West 7th Street)|
|104.464||168.119||104A||Randolph Avenue (CR 38)|
|104B||Ayd Mill Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|104C||Victoria Street||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|105.562||169.886||105||St. Clair Avenue||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|106A||Grand Avenue||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|106.980||172.168||106B||Kellogg Boulevard||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|107.450||172.924||106C||11th Street – State Capitol||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|107||I-94 / US 10 east / US 52 south / 10th Street, Wacouta Street – Minneapolis||Signed as exits 107A (east) and 107B (west)|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "2011 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa" (PDF). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
- Missouri Department of Transportation. Flex Map Viewer (Map). Cartography by MoDOT. https://www6.modot.mo.gov/hpmaps. Retrieved May 16, 2012.