Interstate 35 in Minnesota
Interstate 35 highlighted in red
|Defined by MS § 161.12(2)|
|Maintained by Mn/DOT|
|Length:||220.46 mi (354.80 km)|
|South end:||I-35 towards Des Moines, IA|
|North end:||I-35E / I-35W at Burnsville|
|South end:||I-35E / I-35W at Columbus|
|North end:||MN 61 at Duluth|
|Counties:||Freeborn, Steele, Rice, Scott, Dakota, Anoka, Washington, Chisago, Pine, Carlton, St. Louis|
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 35 (I-35) is a highway in southeast, east-central, and northeast Minnesota. The route runs north–south from the Iowa state line through the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul; where it splits into Interstates 35E and 35W; and ends in the city of Duluth at its junction with Minnesota State Highway 61. Not including the mileage on I-35E or I-35W, I-35 is 220 miles (350 km) in length.
Route description 
I-35 enters the state from Iowa near Albert Lea. It heads roughly due north towards the Twin Cities, where it splits into I-35E and I-35W. The two halves of I-35 rejoin north of the Twin Cities. From there, I-35 travels north-northeast; south of Duluth, it becomes more northeasterly. The route ends near the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth. The entire route is officially designated the Red Bull Highway, named after the 34th Infantry (Red Bull) Division. Legally, Interstate 35 is defined as Routes 390, 395, and 396 in the Minnesota Statutes § 161.12(2); however, the route is not marked with those numbers. The I-35 legislative route designation and mileposts follow I-35E in the Twin Cities area.
Southern segment 
I-35 enters the state in Freeborn County south of Albert Lea. The first mile northbound contains a rest area and Minnesota welcome center. Shortly after the first exit, for Freeborn County Highway 5 (County 5), there is a sweeping S curve to the northwest and back to the north. The exit for County 13 marks the last exit before Albert Lea. Up to here, the interstate roughly marked the halfway point between U.S. Route 65 (US 65) and US 69. Both US Highways end in Albert Lea.
In Albert Lea, it curves to the northeast and meets US 65, which passes beneath the interstate. US 65 picks up Interstate 35 Business (I-35 Bus.), which follows the US Highway through the city. It then crosses Albert Lea Lake of a pair of one-quarter-mile-long (0.40 km) bridges. It straightens back to the north to meet County 46, which follows the former route of US 16. Shortly after that interchange, it intersects the national northern end of US 65; however, there access to US 65 is limited to the southbound lanes of I-35 and traffic from US 65 can only access the northbound lanes of I-35. At the northeastern edge of Albert Lea, there is an interchange with I-90, which directs traffic to La Crosse, Wisconsin, or Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
I-35 continues north through the rolling hills of southern Minnesota. At Clarks Grove, it intersects State Highway 251 (MN 251). Between there and the County 35 exit to Geneva, it passes to the west of Geneva Lake. Just east of Ellendale is an interchange with MN 30. Exit 32, County 4 to Hope, is the last interchange before Owatonna. On the southern edge of Owatonna is an interchange with US 14. As of June 2012[update], the interchange was being rebuilt as a full cloverleaf interchange; previously, it was a trumpet interchange. US 218 begins just east of the interchange along US 14. Currently, US 14 overlaps I-35 for two miles (3.2 km) before exiting to the west. The northern US 14 exit also serves County 45 to the east. North of US 14, the County 34 exit serves northern Owatonna and provides access to the Owatonna Degner Regional Airport. The County 9 exit serves Clinton Falls and a Cabela's.
Further north, I-35 meets County 12 and County 23 in Medford. Along County 23, which serves as a western frontage road to I-35, lies an outlet mall. Now in Rice County, the interstate approaches Faribault. Exit 55 only serves exiting northbound traffic and entering southbound traffic. MN 60 is the main east–west street through Faribault, and MN 21 provides access to Fairbault from the north of town. MN 21 ends at MN 60; however the road continues south and reconnects to I-35 at exit 55.
North of Faribault, the interstate heads due north before the two directions are briefly separated when they enter a corridor of trees. The route straightens out again and intersects County 1 and MN 19 at diamond interchanges spaced three miles (4.8 km) apart. It briefly enters Scott County where it meets County 2 near Elko New Market. It then enters Dakota County and the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.
In southwestern Lakeville, there is a folded diamond interchange with County 70. Right before a partial cloverleaf interchange with County 60, the interstate crosses Marion Lake. Shortly after an interchange with County 5 and County 50 there is a park and ride complex on the northbound side of the interstate. An entrance and exit ramp provide access to the interstate while two entrances from Kendrick Avenue, a frontage road, provide non-interstate access to the complex. After the County 46 interchange, the interstate enters Burnsville. A half diamond interchange, with only northbound exit and southbound entrance ramps, immediately precedes the split. I-35 splits into I-35W and I-35E (signed for Minneapolis and Saint Paul, respectively).
Northern segment 
Interstates 35W and 35E join again at Columbus, near Forest Lake. The route then continues as Interstate 35. In contrast to the rolling terrain of I-35 south of the Twin Cities area, this region is quite flat. This is the Anoka Sand Plain, an area that was formed by outwash under the last glaciers that lay over this area as they melted. This is an extensive region that continues north for another twenty miles (32 km). The urban sprawl of the northern Twin Cities continues along I-35 to North Branch.
I-35 climbs Thompson Hill as it approaches the city of Duluth. As the highway enters the city limits at Boundary Avenue, the Saint Louis River and Lake Superior are in view. I-35 then descends Thompson Hill into Duluth, with numerous exits. The freeway has an interchange with I-535 / U.S. 53, known locally as the "Can of Worms". The junction features a pair of left exits from I-35, a stoplight, and lane drops over the I-35 bridge. Map and aerial photo
I-35 then proceeds to downtown Duluth. After multiple exits, I-35 leaves the downtown area and follows the Lake Superior shoreline for two miles (3 km) to its national northern terminus at its junction with Highway 61 and 26th Avenue East. At this junction where Interstate 35 ends, Highway 61 begins its route northeast along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
Interstate 35 in Minnesota was authorized as part of the primary interstate network in 1956. It was mostly constructed in the 1960s. The route in Minnesota replaced portions of old U.S. Highway 61 and old U.S. Highway 65.
I-35 was generally constructed along former routes of U.S. 65 south of the Twin Cities and U.S. 61 north of the Twin Cities.
The first section to be constructed (the first Interstate Highway opened in Minnesota) was about 10 miles (16 km) north of Owatonna, immediately west of present day Steele County Road 45 and Rice County Road 45.
Three lanes each way have been constructed on I-35 between the I-35E / I-35W split at Columbus to U.S. Highway 8 at Forest Lake. Three lanes have also been constructed on I-35 northbound at Thompson Hill, right before entering the city of Duluth. Additionally, three lanes have been constructed on I-35 southbound in Duluth at Thompson Hill between Central Avenue and U.S. Highway 2-westbound. Three lanes in each direction have also been constructed on I-35 in Duluth between the Can of Worms interchange (I-535 / U.S. 53) and the Mesaba Avenue interchange.
The last section of Interstate 35 in Minnesota to be constructed was around downtown Duluth. The I-35 extension to Lake Avenue in Duluth was open to traffic in October 1987. The temporary I-35 extension to 10th Avenue East in Duluth was open to traffic in November 1989. The I-35 extension to its present day junction with 26th Avenue East and Highway 61 in Duluth was open to traffic in October 1992.
Exit list 
||Hartland Township||I-35 south / Iowa 27 begins||Continuation into Iowa|
||0.000||0.000||Iowa–Minnesota state line|
|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|
||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|
||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|
||New Market Township||76.841||123.664||76||CR 2 – Elko New Market|
||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 north – St. Paul||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|See I-35W and I-35E|
||Columbus||127.497||205.187||I-35 begins / I-35E south – St. Paul||Southbound exit and northbound entrance only|
|127||I-35W south – Minneapolis||Southbound exit and northbound entrance only|
|129.467||208.357||129||MN 97 / CR 23|
||Forest Lake||131.773||212.068||131||CR 2 – Forest Lake|
|132.279||212.882||132||US 8 east – Taylors Falls||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
||Wyoming||135.721||218.422||135||US 61 south / CR 22 – Wyoming|
|Stacy||139.983||225.281||139||CR 19 – Stacy|
|Lent Township||143.762||231.363||143||CR 17|
|North Branch||147.928||238.067||147||MN 95 – Cambridge, North Branch|
|Harris||152.610||245.602||152||CR 10 – Harris|
|Rush City||159.994||257.485||159||CR 1 – Rush City|
||Rock Creek||165.707||266.680||165||MN 70 – Rock Creek, Grantsburg|
|Pine City||169.567||272.892||169||CR 7 – Pine City|
|Mission Creek Township||175.350||282.198||175||CR 14 – Beroun|
|180.400||290.326||180||MN 23 west / CR 61 – Mora||South end of MN 23 overlap|
|Hinckley||183.105||294.679||183||MN 48 east / CR 61 – Hinckley|
|Sandstone||191.382||307.999||191||MN 23 east / CR 61 – Sandstone||North end of MN 23 overlap|
|Finlayson Township||195.615||314.812||195||MN 18 / MN 23 – Askov, Finlayson|
|Willow River||205.477||330.683||205||CR 43 – Bruno, Willow River|
|Windemere Township||209.889||337.784||209||CR 46 – Sturgeon Lake|
||Moose Lake||214.694||345.517||214||MN 73 – Moose Lake|
|Moose Lake Township||216.080||347.747||216||MN 27 – Moose Lake||Southbound exit and northbound entrance only|
|Barnum||220.637||355.081||220||CR 6 – Barnum|
|Mahtowa Township||227.354||365.891||227||CR 4 – Mahtowa, Wrenshall|
|Twin Lakes Township||235.487||378.980||235||MN 210 – Carlton, Cromwell|
|Cloquet||237.227||381.780||237||MN 33 – Cloquet, Iron Range|
|Scanlon||239.204||384.962||239||MN 45 south / CR 45 north – Cloquet, Scanlon|
|Thomson Township||242.157||389.714||242||CR 1 – Thomson, Esko|
|246||CR 13 (Midway Road)|
|Proctor||249.627||401.736||249||Boundary Avenue, Skyline Parkway|
|Duluth||250.667||403.409||250||US 2 west – Grand Rapids, Proctor||South end of US 2 overlap; southbound exit and northbound entrance only|
|251A||Cody Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|252.054||405.642||251B||MN 23 south (Grand Avenue)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|253.173||407.442||253A||US 2 east / LSCT east (Bong Bridge) – Wisconsin||North end of US 2 overlap|
|253.701||408.292||253B||40th Avenue West|
|254.845||410.133||254||27th Avenue West|
|255.395||411.018||255||I-535 south / US 53 (21st Avenue West) – Wisconsin||Signed as exits 255A (north) and 255B (south)|
|256A||MN 194 west (Mesaba Avenue) / Superior Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|256B||5th Avenue West, Lake Avenue|
|259.062||416.920||258||21st Avenue East||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|259.606||417.795||259||MN 61 / LSCT – North Shore||Northbound exit only; northern end of LSCT concurrency|
|259.639||417.848||LSCT (London Road) / 26th Avenue East||At-grade intersection|
- Federal Highway Administration, Route Log and Finder List: Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002
- Riner, Steve. "Details of routes 26-50". The Unofficial Minnesota Highways Page. Self-published.[unreliable source]