Minnesota State Highway 23
|Maintained by MnDOT|
|Length||343.723 mi (553.169 km)|
|Southwest end||I-90 near Beaver Creek|
|Northeast end||I-35 / US 2 at Duluth|
|Counties||Rock, Pipestone, Lincoln, Lyon, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Renville, Kandiyohi, Stearns, Benton, Mille Lacs, Kanabec, Pine, Carlton, Douglas (WI), St. Louis|
Minnesota State Highway 23 (MN 23) is a state highway that stretches from southwestern to northeastern Minnesota. At 343.723 miles (553.169 km) in length, it is the second longest state route in Minnesota, after MN 1.
This route, signed east–west, runs roughly diagonally across Minnesota from southwest to northeast. It indirectly connects Duluth to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and passes through the cities of St. Cloud, Willmar, and Marshall.
MN 23 runs north from its interchange with Interstate 90 (I-90), 13 miles (21 km) east of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and then continues north and east across Minnesota to its terminus at its interchange with I-35 in Duluth.
Portions of MN 23 that have been upgraded to a four-lane expressway include approximately 9 miles (14 km) in the Marshall area in addition to longer stretches between Willmar and New London, and between Richmond and Waite Park (St. Cloud). For a majority of the Willmar area, Highway 23 runs concurrently with U.S. Highway 71 (US 71), which includes a freeway bypass of the city. MN 23 crosses the Minnesota River at Granite Falls, and the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, over the Granite City Crossing bridge.
Running over surface streets in certain towns, Highway 23 is also known as:
- Division Street in St. Cloud
- 4th Street in downtown Milaca
- Forest Avenue East in Mora, between MN 65 and Oslin Road
- Grand Avenue in Duluth; the section of Grand Avenue that is marked MN 23 is from 59th Avenue West and I-35 (in West Duluth) to Idaho Street (in the Morgan Park neighborhood)
- Commonwealth Avenue in the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood of the city of Duluth
- Evergreen Memorial Highway in the Fond du Lac neighborhood of the city of Duluth
Parks and monuments
The highway serves:
- Split Rock Creek State Park in Pipestone County at Ihlen
- Pipestone National Monument
- Camden State Park in Lyon County on the banks of the Redwood River
- Banning State Park in Pine County on the banks of the Kettle River
Evergreen Memorial Scenic Drive
About 50 miles (80 km) of MN 23 that travel through Pine, Carlton, and Saint Louis counties is officially designated the Veterans Evergreen Memorial Scenic Drive. This portion is between I-35 near Askov and the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood of Duluth, near State Highway 39. The scenic roadway offers views of Banning State Park, the Saint Louis River valley, and nearby Jay Cooke State Park.
The 2005 Minnesota Legislature officially designated the MN 23 Bridge over the Saint Louis River at Duluth (Fond du Lac neighborhood) as the Biauswah Bridge. On June 28, 2008, this bridge was dedicated as such in honor of American Indian veterans.
Segment in Wisconsin
MN 23 has the rare distinction of being a state highway that passes through another state. At 133rd Avenue West, along the southern edge of Duluth, MN 23 crosses the Saint Louis River into Douglas County, Wisconsin, in the Town of Superior, for one-half mile (800 m) before re-entering Minnesota. On some maps, this section is designated "WISC-23", despite there being another Highway 23 in southern Wisconsin. There is no signage, however, along the highway that indicates the brief route across state lines. Nearby is the junction between MN 23 and MN 210 and Jay Cooke State Park.
MN 23 was authorized November 2, 1920 from Paynesville to Mission Creek, south of Hinckley. By 1933, the highway was paved between Roscoe and Cold Spring and from St. Cloud to Mission Creek. It was extended west to Benson and east to Duluth in 1934. Various sections of the highway were paved from the 1930s through the 1950s; the entire length was paved by 1961.
The section of present-day MN 23 from its southern terminus to Marshall was originally designated MN 39 until 1940. The section between Marshall and Willmar was originally designated MN 17 until 1940. The MN 23 designation originally extended west from New London to Benson along the modern MN 9; which was also MN 17 from around 1940 to the 1960s. MN 23 originally ran through Sandstone proper to just west of Askov along the route that later became MN 123; this was redesignated c. 1946.
From 1934 to 1963, the northern terminus for MN 23 was its junction with old US 61 and US 2 in West Duluth. From 1963 to 1997, MN 23 continued farther into Duluth proper as a business route using several local arteries including Michigan Street, West 1st Street, East 2nd Street, East 3rd Street, and East Superior Street. The former northern terminus for MN 23 during this time period was at the intersection of US 61 (now MN 61) and 60th Avenue East in Duluth. In 1997, the official northern terminus changed to its junction with I-35 at Grand Avenue in Duluth.
The four-lane US 71 / MN 23 bypass of Willmar was proposed in the 1960s. However a financial crisis in the early 1980s led to the northbound lanes being unpaved, and the bypass had been scaled down to a two-lane facility by the time it opened in 1985. Construction in 2001 completed the bypass to its original four-lane design.
The DeSoto Bridge across the Mississippi River in St. Cloud was closed on March 20, 2008, after bent gusset plates were found in an inspection; similar to gusset plates that caused the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis to collapse on August 1, 2007. The DeSoto Bridge was demolished in October 2008; with a new replacement bridge, the Granite City Crossing, completed October 29, 2009.
MnDOT has designated MN 23 as a medium-priority Interregional Corridor along the majority of its length. As such, there are long-range plans to expand significant portions of the highway from two to four lanes. The ultimate vision for MN 23 is a four-lane expressway running from its interchange with I-90 in the southwest corner of Minnesota northeastward to its interchange with I-35 near Hinckley, although severe funding shortages are currently limiting expansion to certain segments.
Currently, the section of highway that has the highest overall priority for expansion is the corridor between Willmar and St. Cloud. This is due in part to the corridor carrying a heavy volume of traffic (higher than what a standard two-lane highway is designed to safely carry), plus a subsequently higher-than-average accident rate. In addition, southwest Minnesota lacks four-lane access to both the Twin Cities (Minneapolis – Saint Paul) and the Interstate Highway System, and a MN 23 expressway from Willmar (which is the largest municipality in southwest Minnesota) to St. Cloud would greatly alleviate both these issues.
Originally, there were only two short stretches of four-lane along this segment of MN 23: its route through St. Cloud (also known as Division Street) on the northern end, and its concurrency with US 71 in the Willmar area on the southern end. However, additional portions of this segment have been expanded to four lanes in the last decade—most notably, from its concurrency with US 71 to New London, and from Richmond to its interchange with I-94/US 52 near St. Cloud. In addition, a new bypass around Paynesville is now open.
The Paynesville Bypass project began on April 26, 2010. The project consists of constructing a four-lane bypass around Paynesville, running from Kandiyohi County Road 6 to Stearns County Road 123. The three-year project is expected to be completed in August 2012. The length of the new bypass is 7.7 miles (12.4 km). The project includes grading, construction of eight bridges, surfacing and lighting. The 2010 cost of the bypass is $32.2 million.
Another project expanded MN 23 (to four lanes) from St. Cloud eastward to Foley, which began July 1, 2011, and finished sometime in late 2012. This project expanded an 8-mile (13 km) segment of the highway. While this section is technically part of the St. Cloud – I-35 portion of the corridor (and thus has less overall priority), the increase in traffic along this particular stretch still necessitates and warrants expansion, as there have been major safety and mobility issues the last couple decades due to growth in the St. Cloud area.
|Minnesota||Rock||Beaver Creek Township||1.297||2.087||I-90 / CSAH 17 – Sioux Falls, Luverne||Interchange; exit 1 on I-90|
|Pipestone||Jasper||18.686||30.072||MN 269 west – State Line||Eastern terminus of MN 269|
|Pipestone||29.707||47.809||MN 30 west – Madison, SD||Western end of MN 30 concurrency|
|29.933||48.172||US 75 south / MN 30 east – Luverne, Slayton||Eastern end of MN 30 concurrency; southern end of US 75 concurrency|
|30.550||49.165||US 75 north – Lake Benton||Northern end of US 75 concurrency|
|Lyon||Florence||52.549||84.569||US 14 – Tyler, Balaton||US 14 crosses bridge over railroad and MN 23; road just to the north connects the highways|
|Coon Creek Township||59.413||95.616||MN 91 south – Lake Wilson|
|Marshall||73.679||118.575||US 59 – Slayton, Marshall|
|75.057||120.793||MN 19 / MN 68 – Redwood Falls, Marshall|
|Yellow Medicine||Minnesota Falls Township||100.984||162.518||MN 274 south – Wood Lake|
|Granite Falls||103.151||166.005||MN 67 east – Echo||Western end of MN 67 concurrency|
|103.364||166.348||US 212 west / MN 67 west – Montevideo||Western end of US 212 concurrency; eastern end of MN 67 concurrency|
|Chippewa||Granite Falls Township||111.569||179.553||US 212 east – Olivia||Eastern end of US 212 concurrency|
|Stoneham Township||125.066||201.274||MN 7 – Cosmos, Montevideo|
|Kandiyohi||Willmar Township||141.483||227.695||CSAH 15 / CSAH 5||Interchange planned for this intersection during the 2008–14 time frame|
US 71 south / US 71 Bus. north / MN 23 Bus. east (1st Street) – Willmar, Olivia
|Interchange; western end of US 71 concurrency|
|141.501||227.724||CSAH 23 (Willmar Avenue)||Interchange|
|US 12 – Willmar, Litchfield||Interchange|
|Civic Center Drive||Interchange|
US 71 Bus. south / MN 23 Bus. west
|Interchange; westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|Dovre Township||152.420||245.296||US 71 north – Sauk Centre||Interchange; eastbound exit and westbound entrance; eastern end of US 71 concurrency|
|Green Lake Township||153.253||246.637||CSAH 9 to US 71 north||Interchange|
|New London||160.927||258.987||MN 9 west – New London||Eastern terminus of MN 9|
|MN 4 / MN 55 – Belgrade, Paynesville||Interchange|
|Richmond||186.069||299.449||MN 22 south||Northern terminus of MN 22|
|St. Joseph Township||199.420||320.935||I-94 / US 52 – Alexandria, Minneapolis, Saint Paul||Interchange; exit 164 on I-94|
|St. Cloud||204.150||328.548||MN 15 south / CSAH 75 east||Southern end of MN 15/CR 75 concurrency|
|204.401||328.952||MN 15 north / CSAH 75 west||Northern end of MN 15/CR 75 concurrency|
|Benton||207.860||334.518||US 10 – Little Falls, Saint Paul||Interchange|
|Minden Township||212.403||341.829||MN 95 east – Princeton||Western terminus of MN 95|
|Gilmanton Township||220.925||355.544||MN 25 – Pierz|
|US 169 – Princeton, Onamia||Interchange|
|Kanabec||Ogilvie||247.418||398.181||MN 47 north – Isle||Western end of MN 47 concurrency|
|248.481||399.891||MN 47 south – Anoka||Eastern end of MN 47 concurrency|
|Mora||254.577||409.702||MN 65 south – Cambridge||Southern end of MN 65 concurrency|
|256.180||412.282||MN 65 north – McGregor||Northern end of MN 65 concurrency|
|Pine||Brook Park Township||266.615||429.075||MN 107 – Braham||Northern terminus of MN 107|
|Mission Creek Township||273.737||440.537||I-35 south / CSAH 61 – Minneapolis, Saint Paul||Interchange; southern end of I-35 concurrency; exit 180 on I-35|
|Hinckley||272.459||438.480||MN 48 east / CSAH 61 – Hinckley||Western terminus of MN 48|
|Sandstone||285.237||459.044||I-35 north / CSAH 61 south – Duluth||Interchange; northern end of I-35 concurrency; southern end of CSAH 61 concurrency; exit 191 on I-35|
|285.641||459.695||MN 123 east||Western terminus of MN 123|
|Finlayson Township||289.708||466.240||MN 18 west / CSAH 61 north – Rutledge, Finlayson||Eastern terminus of MN 18; northern end of CSAH 61 concurrency|
|290.190||467.016||I-35 – Duluth, Saint Paul, Minneapolis||Exit 195 on I-35; interchange.|
|293.017||471.565||MN 123 west – Sandstone||Northern terminus of MN 123|
||No major junctions|
||No major junctions|
|Minnesota||St. Louis||Duluth||335.948||540.656||MN 210 west – Jay Cooke State Park, Carlton||Eastern terminus of MN 210|
|338.725||545.125||MN 39 east – Superior, WI||Western terminus of MN 39|
|345.020||555.256||I-35 / US 2||Interchange; exit 251B southbound on I-35; access to northbound I-35 only|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- "Trunk Highway Log Point Listing" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. September 6, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 14, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Chapter 6-H.F.No. 140". Minnesota Session Laws - 2005, 1st Special Session. Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes. July 14, 2005. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Douglas County
- Minnesota State Legislature (2010). "§ 161.114, Constitutional Trunk Highways". Minnesota Statutes. Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
- 1933 Map of Trunk Highway System, State of Minnesota (Map). Cartography by McGill-Warner Co. Minnesota Highway Department. April 1, 1933. § G-16 through M-14. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- 1934 Map of Trunk Highway System, State of Minnesota (Map). Cartography by McGill-Warner Co. Minnesota Highway Department. May 1, 1934. § E-16 through O-11. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
- Korsgaard, Kay. "Willmar bypass opens". MnDOT Newsline. Minnesota Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- District 8 Staff (November 19, 2001). "Willmar Bypass Opens with Silver Ribbon Cutting" (Press release). Minnesota Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on January 4, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
- "Highway 23 Paynesville Bypass project". Minnesota Department of Transportation. April 26, 2010. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2011.