Interstate 35 in Minnesota
|Blue Star Memorial Highway|
34th Infantry (Red Bull) Division Highway
I-35 highlighted in red
|Defined by MS § 161.12(2)|
|Maintained by MnDOT|
|Length||220.46 mi (354.80 km)|
|History||Under construction: 1958–1992|
|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|
Interstate 35 (I-35) is a north–south Interstate Highway that stretches from Laredo, Texas, to Duluth, Minnesota. In the US state of Minnesota, I-35 enters from Iowa and heads north toward the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. South of the metropolitan area, I-35 splits into two branches; I-35E runs through St. Paul and I-35W through Minneapolis. These two branches rejoin north of the Twin Cities, and the highway continues north to Duluth, where it terminates at Minnesota Highway 61 (MN 61).
The highway was authorized in 1956 and the first segment opened in 1958. It reached Duluth in 1971 and the final segment to east Duluth opened in 1992.
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), but the route is not marked with those numbers. The I-35 legislative route designation and mileposts follow I-35E in the Twin Cities area.
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; access to US 65 there 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 toward 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 a cloverleaf interchange interchange with US 14. North of County 45, 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 store.
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. to the south MN 21 ends at MN 60; but 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).
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.
In Pine City and Hinckley, there are museums near I-35, the Pine City one at a refurbished fur trading post and interpretive center, and the Hinckley one commemorating the Great Hinckley Forest Fire that occurred in 1894. Motorists who take the I-35 Business Loop through Pine City can experience a quintessential All-American main street.
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 Bay 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.
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.
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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, which opened August 21, 1958.
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 after the construction of the Leif Erickson Tunnel. The section marked the final segment of the I-35 to be opened, and one of the last segments of the original Interstate Highway System.
|Minnesota–Iowa line||0.000||0.000||I-35 / Iowa 27 south – Des Moines||Continuation into Iowa|
|5.276||8.491||5||CSAH 13 – Twin Lakes, Glenville|
|8||I-35 Bus. north / US 65 – Albert Lea, Glenville|
|11.498||18.504||11||CSAH 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); I-90 exit 159|
|Clarks Grove||18.745||30.167||18||MN 251 east – Clarks Grove, Hollandale|
|Geneva Township||22.963||36.955||22||CSAH 35 – Hartland, Geneva|
|Steele||Summit Township||26.640||42.873||26||MN 30 – New Richland, Blooming Prairie|
|Somerset Township||32.817||52.814||32||CSAH 4 – Hope|
|Owatonna||39.981||64.343||40||US 14 / US 218 south – Waseca, Rochester, Austin||Former south end of US 14 concurrency|
|42.509||68.412||42||CSAH 45 / CSAH 2||Former north end of US 14 concurrency; signed as exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)|
|43||CSAH 34 (26th Street)|
|45||CSAH 9 – Clinton Falls|
|Medford||48.057||77.340||48||CSAH 12 / CSAH 23 – Medford|
|Rice||Faribault||55.590||89.463||55||I-35 Bus. / CSAH 48 / Lyndale Avenue – Faribault||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|56.918||91.601||56||MN 60 – Faribault, Waterville|
|59.107||95.123||59||I-35 Bus. / MN 21 – Faribault, Le Center|
|Forest Township||66.696||107.337||66||CSAH 1 – Montgomery, Dundas|
|Webster Township||69.679||112.137||69||MN 19 – Northfield, New Prague|
|Scott||New Market Township||76.841||123.664||76||CSAH 2 – Elko New Market|
|Dakota||Lakeville||81.842||131.712||81||CSAH 70 – Lakeville, Farmington|
|84.340||135.732||84||CSAH 60 (185th Street West)|
|85.509||137.613||85||CSAH 5 / CSAH 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|
I-35E north – St. Paul
|I-35 north splits into I-35W and I-35E; left exit 88A is for I-35W|
|See I-35W and I-35E|
|Anoka||Columbus||127.497||205.187||127|| I-35W south – Minneapolis|
I-35E south – St. Paul
|I-35 south splits into I-35W and I-35E; exit number is for I-35W|
|129.467||208.357||129||MN 97 / CSAH 23|
|Washington||Forest Lake||131.773||212.068||131||CSAH 2 to US 8 – Forest Lake|
|132.279||212.882||132||US 8 east – Taylors Falls||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|Chisago||Wyoming||135.721||218.422||135||US 61 south / CSAH 22 – Wyoming|
|Stacy||139.983||225.281||139||CSAH 19 – Stacy|
|Lent Township||143.762||231.363||143||CSAH 17|
|North Branch||147.928||238.067||147||MN 95 – Cambridge, North Branch|
|Harris||152.610||245.602||152||CSAH 10 – Harris|
|Rush City||159.994||257.485||159||CSAH 1 – Rush City|
|Pine||Rock Creek||165.707||266.680||165||MN 70 – Rock Creek, Grantsburg|
|Pine City||169.567||272.892||169||I-35 Bus. / CSAH 7 – Pine City|
|171.358||275.774||171||I-35 Bus. / CSAH 11|
|Mission Creek Township||175.350||282.198||175||CSAH 14 – Beroun|
|180.400||290.326||180||MN 23 west / CSAH 61 – Mora||South end of MN 23 concurrency|
|Hinckley||183.105||294.679||183||MN 48 east / CSAH 61 – Hinckley|
|Sandstone||191.382||307.999||191||MN 23 east / CSAH 61 – Sandstone||North end of MN 23 concurrency|
|Finlayson Township||195.615||314.812||195||MN 18 / MN 23 – Askov, Finlayson|
|Willow River||205.477||330.683||205||CSAH 43 – Bruno, Willow River|
|Windemere Township||209.889||337.784||209||CSAH 46 – Sturgeon Lake|
|Carlton||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||CSAH 6 – Barnum|
|Mahtowa Township||227.354||365.891||227||CSAH 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 / CSAH 45 north – Cloquet, Scanlon|
|Thomson Township||242.157||389.714||242||CSAH 1 – Thomson, Esko|
|St. Louis||Midway Township||246.351–|
|246||CSAH 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 concurrency; southbound exit and northbound entrance only|
|251A||Cody Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance only|
|252.054||405.642||251B||MN 23 (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 concurrency; south end of LSCT concurrency|
|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 (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||MN 61 north (London Road) / LSCT / 26th Avenue East – North Shore||Northern end of LSCT concurrency; northbound exit only; road continues as 26th Avenue East|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- "Todd Hale: 1958 Owatonna road construction had national flair". Owatonna People's Press. March 17, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- Gyure, Joseph. "Interstate 35 dramatically changed Waco 's face". wacohistoryproject.org. Waco Tribune-Herald. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- 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.[self-published source]
- "Ribbon cutting for interstate". Oshkosh Northwestern. October 26, 1992. p. 11. Retrieved June 20, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- Weingroff, Richard F. (January 2006). "The Year of The Interstate". Public Roads. Federal Highway Administration. 69 (4). Retrieved June 20, 2018.