U.S. Route 2 in Minnesota

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 2 in Minnesota. For the entire route, see U.S. Route 2.

U.S. Highway 2 marker

U.S. Highway 2
U.S. 2 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MnDOT
Length: 264.07 mi[2] (424.98 km)
Existed: November 11, 1926[1] – present
Major junctions
West end: US 2 at the North Dakota state line

MN 220 at East Grand Forks
US 75 at Crookston
US 59 at Erskine
MN 92 at Bagley
US 71 at Bemidji
MN 371 at Cass Lake
US 169 at Grand Rapids
MN 33 at Saginaw
MN 194 at Solway Township

I-35 at Duluth
East end: US 2 at the Wisconsin state line
Counties: Polk, Clearwater, Beltrami, Hubbard, Cass. Itasca, Aitkin, St. Louis
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highways
MN 1 MN 3

U.S. Highway 2 (US 2) is a highway in northwest and northeast Minnesota, which runs from the Red River at East Grand Forks and continues east to Duluth, where the route crosses the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge over the Saint Louis Bay. The route connects the cities of East Grand Forks, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, and Duluth.

Of the 266 miles (428 km) of U.S. 2 in Minnesota, 146 miles (235 km) have four lanes, mostly located in the northwest part of the state.

Route description[edit]

US 2 enters the state from the west at the city of East Grand Forks, at the Red River. From the North Dakota state line to Cass Lake, US 2 is a four lane divided highway for 146 miles (235 km). This expressway portion of US 2 in northwest Minnesota passes through the cities of East Grand Forks, Crookston, Erskine, Fosston, Bagley, Bemidji, and Cass Lake.

The portion of US 2 from Bemidji to Cass Lake is officially designated the Paul Bunyan Expressway.

After Cass Lake, US 2 continues east as a two lane roadway for 40 miles to Deer River.

East of Deer River, US 2 is a four lane divided highway for seven miles (11 km) until the city of Grand Rapids, where it has a junction with US 169.

US 2 then heads southeast as a two lane roadway for 59 miles (95 km) to the unincorporated area of Saginaw, where it has an interchange with State Highway 33 (MN 33). The route then continues east for two miles to its intersection with MN 194 at Solway Township.

US 2 then continues southeast for 12 miles (19 km) before entering the city of Proctor, where it is the main street through town. The route widens to a three-lane roadway as it approaches its intersection with Boundary Avenue (County Road 14).

The route enters the city limits of Duluth, where it has a junction with Interstate 35 (I-35), US 2 joins that route's freeway. US 2 is concurrent with I-35 for two miles (3.2 km) in West Duluth, proceeding down Thompson Hill.

US 2 then exits the I-35 freeway in West Duluth and crosses the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge over the Saint Louis Bay, entering the state of Wisconsin and the city of Superior. US 2 then follows Belknap Street in Superior.

Legally, the Minnesota section of US 2 is defined as Constitutional Route 8 and Legislative Route 106 in the Minnesota Statutes §§ 161.114(2) and 161.115(134). The route is not marked with those numbers.


U.S. Highway 2 in Minnesota was authorized on November 11, 1926.[1] It followed the route of old state Trunk Highway 8 in its entirety. At the time it was marked, it was paved along a short concurrency with U.S. Route 75 north of Crookston and from its junction with then-Trunk Highway 11 (present-day U.S. 53) through Duluth. The remainder was graveled or graded, except for a section west of Bagley which was simply a maintained dirt surface.[3]

The route in Minnesota was completely paved in 1939. The last segment to be completed was between then-State Highway 94 (now Highway 194) at Solway Township and the community of Adolph.[4][5]

A few short (four-lane) divided highway segments of US 2 were constructed west of Bemidji during the 1960s.

In the present day, from East Grand Forks to Cass Lake, this route is built to expressway standards and a posted 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) speed limit. From Cass Lake to Duluth, there are only a couple of short four-lane divided highway segments, but the non-urban portions of this segment are posted 60 mph (97 km/h) speed limit.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile[2] km Destinations Notes
Red River of the North 0.000 0.000 US 2 continues into North Dakota
Polk East Grand Forks 0.830 1.336 MN 220 north – Alvarado West end of MN 220 concurrency
4.393 7.070
US 2 Bus. west
Huntsville Township 5.625 9.053 MN 220 south – Climax East end of MN 220 concurrency
Lowell Township 23.489 37.802 US 75 north – Warren West end of US 75 concurrency
24.365 39.212 US 75 south – Moorhead East end of US 75 concurrency
Fairfax Township 28.934 46.565 MN 9 south – Ada
Grove Park-Tilden Township 43.038 69.263 MN 32 – Fertile, Red Lake Falls
Knute Township 58.197 93.659 US 59 – Mahnomen, Thief River Falls
Clearwater Bagley 88.349 142.184 MN 92 – Zerkel, Clearbrook
Beltrami Eckles Township 108.149 174.049 MN 89 north – Red Lake
Bemidji Township 110.758–
MN 197 south – Bemidji
Bemidji 111.905–
US 71 north – International Falls North end of US 71 concurrency
Bemidji Township 115.349–
Mississippi River
116.905 188.140 US 71 south / MN 197 north – Park Rapids, Bemidji South end of US 71 concurrency
No major junctions
Cass Cass Lake 129.982 209.186 MN 371 south – Walker
Mississippi River 160.939–
Itasca Morse Township 168.032 270.421 MN 46 north – Northome
Deer River 169.051 272.061 MN 6 north – Big Falls West end of MN 6 concurrency
Deer Lake 174.550 280.911 MN 6 south – Remer East end of MN 6 concurrency
Grand Rapids 183.479 295.281 MN 38 north – Bigfork, Effie
183.698 295.633 US 169 south – Aitkin West end of US 169 concurrency
184.130 296.329 US 169 north – Hibbing East end of US 169 concurrency
Swan River 203.049 326.776 MN 65 – McGregor, Nashwauk
Aitkin Northeast Aitkin 211.261 339.992 MN 200 west – Hill City
St. Louis Floodwood 220.754 355.269 MN 73 north – Hibbing North end of MN 73 concurrency
Floodwood Township 221.028 355.710 MN 73 south – Cromwell, Moose Lake South end of MN 73 concurrency
Stoney Brook Township 239.099–
Saint Louis River
Brevator Township 244.837 394.027 MN 33 – Cloquet, Canyon
Solway Township 246.786 397.164 MN 194 east – Hermantown
Duluth 260.579 419.361 I-35 south – St. Paul, Minneapolis West end of I-35 concurrency
MN 23 west (Grand Ave.)
263.085 423.394 I-35 north / LSCT north – Duluth East end of I-35 concurrency
Saint Louis Bay 264.089 425.010 Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge
US 2 continues into Wisconsin
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Weingroff, Richard F. (January 9, 2009). "From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved April 21, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Statewide Trunk Logpoint Listing" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ Minnesota Highway Department (June 1, 1927). Map of Trunk Highway System, State of Minnesota (Map). Cartography by McGill-Warner Co.. Section A6-P11. http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/mdt&CISOPTR=219&DMSCALE=50&DMWIDTH=800&DMHEIGHT=800&DMX=0&DMY=1440&DMMODE=viewer&DMTEXT=&REC=8&DMTHUMB=1&DMROTATE=0. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Minnesota Highway Department (May 1, 1939). 1939 Map of Minnesota Trunk Highway System (Map). Section O10. http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/mdt&CISOPTR=255&REC=20. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  5. ^ Minnesota Highway Department (January 1, 1940). 1940 Map of Minnesota Trunk Highway System (Map). Section O10. http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/mdt&CISOPTR=252&REC=1. Retrieved November 22, 2010.

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

U.S. Route 2
Previous state:
North Dakota
Minnesota Next state: