Minnesota State Highway 100

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Trunk Highway 100 marker

Trunk Highway 100
MN 100 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MnDOT
Length16.178 mi[1] (26.036 km)
Existed1934–present
Major junctions
South end I-494 / MN 5 / CSAH 34 at Bloomington
  MN 62 at Edina

MN 7 / CSAH 25 at St. Louis Park
I-394 at Golden Valley
MN 55 at Golden Valley

CSAH 81 at Robbinsdale
North end I-694 at Brooklyn Center
Location
CountiesHennepin
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highways
MN 99MN 101

Minnesota State Highway 100 (MN 100) is a state highway in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota, which runs from its interchange with Interstate 494 (I-494) in Bloomington and continues north to its northern terminus at its interchange with I-694 in Brooklyn Center. The southern end of MN 100 continues in Bloomington as Normandale Boulevard (County Road 34, CR 34). At the north end, the main line of MN 100 merges with I-694 in Brooklyn Center. The route is 16 miles (26 km) in length.

Route description[edit]

MN 100 serves as a north–south arterial route in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities. The roadway serves the communities of Bloomington, Edina, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Crystal, Robbinsdale and Brooklyn Center. MN 100 is constructed to freeway standards. The route is located in Hennepin County.

History[edit]

Routing as a beltway[edit]

The route was authorized in 1934. MN 100 was originally meant as a beltway around the Twin Cities (presumably the reason for the round number) and actually achieved that status for about 20 years in the mid-20th century (although it wasn't a full freeway).

All of the current MN 100 was also in the original route. Starting from the current southern terminus, Old MN 100 was concurrent eastward with a pre-I-494 MN 5 past the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport to its intersection with MN 55. Old MN 100 then continued east concurrent with MN 55 over the Mendota Bridge, then along current MN 62 through Mendota Heights, then MN 100 went on Southview Boulevard into South St. Paul. Then old MN 100 followed Grand Avenue downhill, until it met old MN 56 on Concord Street. Then old MN 100 followed south on Concord Street into Inver Grove Heights, then east over the railroad bridge into Newport; and then turning north onto Century Avenue in Woodbury, which feeds into current MN 120 north of I-94 in Maplewood / Oakdale. Old MN 100 then turned west upon County Road F and north along White Bear Avenue to meet up with and concurrent westward with old MN 96 (the section of which is now County Rd 96 in Vadnais Heights and Shoreview). Old MN 100 then turned south briefly along U.S. Highway 8 (US 8, now a city maintained street in New Brighton), then old MN 100 carried on westward along the current routing of I-694 through New Brighton and Fridley to meet back at its present-day northern terminus at Brooklyn Center.

Due to traffic pattern changes over the years, it is no longer possible to directly follow the path of old MN 100. Small detours are necessary which involve the use of exits 40 and 60 of the present I-494/I-694 beltway.

Lilac Way[edit]

A historic view of Lilac Park with a rock garden and an ornamental pool. The inset shows one of the beehive grills.

The original construction of MN 100 started in 1935, as a New Deal project. The project was a cooperative venture between the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Minnesota Highway Department, and was the largest WPA project in the state. The demand for the highway came out of growing pains in the Twin Cities during the 1920s, when Minneapolis city streets were congested and suburban roads were poorly maintained dirt roads. The plan for a beltway around the Twin Cities incorporated existing roads, both paved and unpaved. A new section of highway, between MN 5 (now I-494 and MN 5) in Edina and then-US 52 (now CR 81) in Robbinsdale was needed to complete the beltway. As such, it was planned as a state-of-the-art highway, with two lanes in each direction separated by wide medians, bridges at major intersections and railroad crossings, and the first cloverleaf interchanges in Minnesota.

Carl Graeser, the highway engineer and Arthur R. Nichols, a landscape architect, teamed up to design the highway. A large number of WPA workers worked on the construction of the highway. Since the WPA was designed to keep a large number of workers busy, a lot of hand digging was done as opposed to using bulldozers. Cloverleaf interchanges were built at MN 7, US 12 (now I-394 and US 12) and MN 55 (Olson Highway).

The landscaping of the highway was meant to give the highway a parkway-like experience. As such, it was built with a wider right-of-way than the typical highway. The Golden Valley Garden Club supported efforts to plant lilacs along the highway and the Minneapolis Journal coined the name "Lilac Way". Eventually, 7,000 lilacs were planted. In addition, the builders built five wayside parks along the way. These parks were intended for picnicking and featured stone picnic tables, beehive barbecues, waterfalls and so on. These fixtures provided work for local stonemasons, as another part of the WPA project. The western leg was completed in 1940, but further construction on the beltway was halted with the United States' entry into World War II. An extension from then-US 52 (now CR 81) in Robbinsdale to US 10 (near present-day I-35W) in New Brighton was built with federal aid to provide access to industrial areas as an asset to the manufacture of "essential war materials".

A picnic area shown in a 1939 view of Lilac Park along MN 100

Graeser Park in Robbinsdale and the St. Louis Park Roadside Park (near the southeast corner of MN 100 and MN 7) are the only remaining roadside parks from the 1930s that are still mostly intact after widening of MN 100.

The beltline was not completed until 1950. At that point, demand from the baby boom led to rapid growth in the suburbs.

In 2009, restoration of the St. Louis Park Roadside Park was completed and the park renamed Lilac Park. As part of the restoration project, a beehive fireplace from the old Lilac Park to the north was transferred and restored. A new bicycle/walkway path constructed within the park connects the park to the Southwest LRT Trail.

Recent construction[edit]

Lilac Park beehive grill in its new location

Conversion of the remaining portion of the road into a freeway is complete. In 2004, construction was finished on the northern portion of MN 100 between I-394 and I-694, making MN 100 a freeway for its entire length.

The section between MN 7 and I-394 in St. Louis Park, the oldest part of the freeway, was reconstructed into a 6-lane freeway, completed in Nov. 2016.[2] MN 100 is now 6 lanes from just north of the I-494 interchange in Edina, to the interchange at Bottineau Boulevard (County Road 81) in Robbinsdale.

As part of these projects, 2 of the original 3 cloverleaf intersections were replaced. The cloverleaf at MN 55 in Golden Valley was changed and rebuilt in 2004 as a signalized single-point urban interchange (SPUI). The cloverleaf at MN 7/CR 25 was replaced with a folded diamond interchange. The remaining cloverleaf is at the I-394 interchange.

The original Lilac Park in St. Louis Park was also lost to this construction. Several of the park's WPA-built stone picnic tables and a beehive fireplace were saved and relocated to the remaining portion of St. Louis Park Roadside Park, which was then renamed Lilac Park.[3]

Exit list[edit]

The entire route is in Hennepin County. All exits are unnumbered.

Locationmi[1]kmDestinationsNotes
Bloomington0.000.00 I-494 / MN 5 – Minneapolis-St. Paul International AirportI-494 exit 7; southern terminus of MN 100.
Edina0.3590.578Industrial Boulevard, West 77th Street
1.1841.905West 70th Street
2.1153.404 MN 62
2.6014.186Benton AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
3.549–
3.879
5.712–
6.243
Eden Avenue, Vernon Avenue, West 50th Street
St. Louis Park4.9317.936 CR 3 (Excelsior Boulevard)
5.4568.781West 36th Street
5.8759.455 MN 7 west / CR 25 east
6.2089.991 CR 5 (Minnetonka Boulevard)
7.137–
7.183
11.486–
11.560
Barry Street, Cedar Lake Road, Westside DriveNorthbound exit signed Barry Street and Cedar Lake Road; southbound exit signed Westside Drive and Cedar Lake Road
Golden Valley7.78512.529 I-394 – MinneapolisI-394 exit 5.
8.32213.393 CR 40 (Glenwood Avenue)
8.90214.326 MN 55SPUI interchange; interchange reconstructed in 2003
9.90015.933 CR 66 (Duluth Street)
Crystal11.43518.40336th Avenue NorthConverted from an at-grade to an interchange in 2003; former MN 278
12.16219.573 CR 9 (42nd Avenue North)Interchange reconstructed in 2003
Robbinsdale12.544–
12.565
20.188–
20.221
CR 81Access from MN 100 north to CR 81 south and CR 81 north to MN 100 south is via CR 9; converted from an at-grade to an interchange in 2003
Brooklyn Center13.31721.432France AvenueConverted from an at-grade to an interchange in 2003
14.03422.586 CR 152 (Brooklyn Boulevard) / Xerxes Avenue
15.01824.169 CR 10 (57th Avenue North)
15.78525.403 To I-94 to I-694 westNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
16.17826.036 I-694 eastI-94/694/US 52 exit 35A; northbound exit and southbound entrance; northern terminus of MN 100. Road continues north as Humboldt Avenue.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Staff (September 9, 2009). "Metro Division Trunk Highway Log Point" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. pp. 168–72. Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  2. ^ Otarola, Miguel (2016). "Drivers and the west metro rejoice: At last, major construction on Hwy. 100 is over" (html). StarTribune.
  3. ^ http://www.deadpioneer.com/articles/MN100/stlouislilac/stlouislilac.html

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata