Legislative route (Minnesota)

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This sign, at a rest area on Interstate 35 just north of the Iowa border, describes the process that went into creating Minnesota's highway system.

In the U.S. state of Minnesota, a legislative route is a highway number defined by the Minnesota State Legislature. The routes from 1 to 70 are constitutional routes, defined as part of the Babcock Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution, passed November 2, 1920. All of them were listed in the constitution until a 1974 rewrite. Though they are now listed separately in §161.114 of the Minnesota Statutes, the definitions are legally considered to be part of the constitution, and cannot be altered or removed without an amendment. Legislative routes with numbers greater than 70 can be added or deleted by the legislature.

Until 1933 Constitutional Routes corresponded exactly to the number marked on the highways, but this is no longer necessarily the case. In fact it's common for CR highways to be composed of several different trunk highways. When the U.S. Highway system was created in 1926, many of these roads were made up of one or more U.S. highways. Today, they now use a mix of Minnesota state highways, U.S. highways, and Interstate highways.

Constitutional Route 1 is currently one of the most complex routes, composed of:

However, the route can be considered to be superseded along almost its entire length by Interstate 35 (and I-35E) and Minnesota State Highway 61. By contrast, Constitutional Route 58 still has the same marked number and extent that it did in 1920.

There is some ambiguity in how literally the Minnesota Department of Transportation must interpret the constitutional routes. In some cases, the routes no longer directly serve communities they were once designated for, but are routed along nearby highways instead.

List of routes[edit]

Constitutional Routes 1-70[edit]

Legislative Routes 71-211[edit]

Legislative Routes 212-396[edit]

Routes 380 to 385 were defined in and after 1975, and "may be added by order of the commissioner of transportation to the trunk highway system"; only 383, 384, and 385 have been added, and 385 no longer exists.

Routes 390 to 396 were defined in and after the 1950s as portions of the Interstate Highway System "to take advantage of federal aid made available by the United States to the state of Minnesota for highway purposes".

Interstate 394 is not a separate legislative route, instead being parts of Route 10 and Route 107, which carried U.S. Highway 12 along the same alignment before I-394 was built.

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