U.S. Route 218
US 218 highlighted in red
|Length||321.734 mi (517.781 km)|
Iowa:274.995 mi (442.562 km)
Minnesota:46.739 mi (75.219 km)
|South end||US 136 at Keokuk, IA|
|North end||I-35 / US 14 at Owatonna, MN|
U.S. Highway 218 is an original United States Highway, created in 1926. Although technically a spur of U.S. Route 18, US 218 neither begins nor ends at US 18, but overlaps US 18 for 8 miles (13 km) near Charles City, Iowa. US 218 begins at U.S. Route 136 in downtown Keokuk and ends 319 miles (513 km) away at Interstate 35 and U.S. Route 14 at Owatonna, Minnesota. A large portion of US 218 in Iowa is part of the Avenue of the Saints, which connects St. Louis, Missouri, and Saint Paul, Minnesota.
US 218 begins in downtown Keokuk at an intersection with US 136 and US 61 Business at Main and 7th Streets. The highway heads north along Main Street with US 61 Business. As they exit Keokuk, the business route ends at an intersection with the mainline US 61, which bypasses the city. US 218 and US 61 head north concurrently for a few miles before US 218 exits to the northwest; US 61 follows the Mississippi River north towards Fort Madison. US 218 travels northwest for almost ten miles (16 km) along a two-lane road. As it approaches Donnellson, it meets up with and joins Iowa Highway 27 (Iowa 27), the Avenue of the Saints Highway.
The two highways head north on a four-lane expressway. In Donnellson, they meet Iowa 2 at a diamond interchange. Further north, and east of Houghton, they intersect Iowa 16 at an at-grade intersection. Prior to crossing the Skunk River, the roadway angles to the northeast and a freeway bypass of Mount Pleasant begins. From the east, the highways are joined by US 34 and Iowa 163. The four highways loop around the city's eastern side and begin traversing the northern side when US 34 and Iowa 163 split away to continue bypassing Mount Pleasant; US 218 and Iowa 27 continue north.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2008)
U.S. 218 enters the state at Lyle, in Mower County. It follows along the east side of the Iowa, Chicago, and Eastern Railroad line as it continues northward through farm fields. Southeast of Austin, U.S. 218 angles northeastward to bypass the city, its former route following County Road 45 into town.
U.S. 218 passes by the Austin Municipal Airport just before its interchange with Interstate 90. The highway runs concurrent with I-90 for nearly three miles through northern Austin. When U.S. 218 departs from the interstate and turns back north, it becomes a four-lane divided highway for a short distance. After its junction with State Highway 251, the highway angles north-northwestward again following the IC&E rail line, this time on the west side of the tracks.
The highway enters Dodge County for less than a mile, then reaches Steele County, Blooming Prairie, and an 8-block-long concurrency with State Highway 30. It continues north-northwest after leaving Blooming Prairie, traveling through predominantly agricultural scenery. It passes by Oak Glen Lake before going through the unincorporated community of Bixby.
After passing through the unincorporated community of Pratt, U.S. 218 meets U.S. 14 at a folded diamond interchange. 218 runs westward concurrent with 14, while its historic route through downtown Owatonna continues ahead as County Road 48. After an interchange with County Road 45 (former U.S. 65), 218 and 14 pass by Kaplan's Woods Park and reach Interstate 35, where U.S. 218 ends.
Legally, the Minnesota section of U.S. 218 is defined as Route 40 in Minnesota Statutes § 161.114(2).
In 1913, work on the road that is now U.S. 218 was begun. At this time it was called the Red Ball Route. It was called this because the original route was marked with poles which had red balls, six inches (150 mm) in diameter, mounted on each side. In 1920, the Minnesota portion of the route was designated as Constitutional Route 40, as part of the Babcock Amendment that established the Minnesota trunk highway system.
In Iowa, U.S. 218 was extended from its previous southern terminus, at its intersection with U.S. 30 in Benton County, in 1934 when U.S. Highway 161 was split and renamed. The former U.S. 161 had extended from Dubuque, through Cedar Rapids, to Keokuk. After the split, the section of former U.S. 161 from Dubuque to Cedar Rapids extended U.S. 151 south, and the section of U.S. 30 from the former terminus of U.S. 218 to its intersection with the former U.S. 161 in Cedar Rapids, along with the section of former U.S. 161 from Cedar Rapids to Keokuk, extended U.S. 218 south.
Highway 218 was featured in the Bellamy Brothers 1976 song "Highway 2-18 (Hang On To Your Dreams)". It was track A5 on their first album, Bellamy Brothers – Featuring "Let Your Love Flow".
The Iowa Department of Transportation has plans to rebuild the AOTS interchange with I-80 and I-380/US 218/Iowa 27 in Coralville. As the Eastern Iowa region has grown, traffic has increased, and the current arrangement of the interchange with its cloverleaf ramps has been deemed unsafe. The Iowa DOT proposes to rebuilt the interchange as a turbine interchange, which will eliminate weaving. The project is scheduled to begin in 2020.
US 136 west / US 61 Business south (7th Street) / US 136 east (Main Street)
|Southern end of US 61 Business overlap|
US 61 south / US 61 Business ends
|Southern end of US 61 overlap; northern end of US 61 Business|
|Montrose Township||9.132||14.697||US 61 north||Northern end of US 61 overlap|
Iowa 27 south – St. Louis
|Southern end of Iowa 27 overlap; exit 10 on Iowa 27/Ave. of the Saints|
|Donnellson||20.673||33.270||19||Iowa 2 – Donnellson, Fort Madison|
|Marion Township||30.760||49.503||Iowa 16|
|Henry||Mount Pleasant||41.663||67.050||40||255th Street – Mount Pleasant|
US 34 east / US 218 Business / Iowa 163 east – Mount Pleasant, Burlington
|Southern end of US 34 overlap; signed as exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)|
US 218 Business (Iowa 438) to US 34 west / Iowa 163 west – Mount Pleasant, Ottumwa
|Northern end of US 34 overlap; US 218 Business only signed southbound|
|Washington||Oregon Township||67.581||108.761||66||Iowa 92 – Washington, Columbus Junction||Also serves Ainsworth and Cotter|
|Riverside||81.072||130.473||80||Iowa 22 – Kalona, Lone Tree|
|West Lucas Township||89.708||144.371||89||Riverside Drive, Airport|
|Iowa City||91.318||146.962||91||Iowa 1 – Iowa City, Kalona|
|93.561||150.572||93||Melrose Avenue – University Heights|
|Coralville||96.934||156.000||0||I-80 / I-380 north – Davenport, Des Moines||Southern end of I-380; southbound exits signed 0A (eastbound) and 0B (westbound); exit numbers follow I-380; I-80 exits 239A-B|
|North Liberty||100.980||162.512||4||CR F28 – north Liberty|
|Shueyville||107.791||173.473||10||CR F12 – Swisher, Shueyville|
|Linn||Cedar Rapids||110.750||178.235||13||Wright Brothers Boulevard SW – Ely, The Eastern Iowa Airport|
I-380 north / US 30 east / US 151 north / Iowa 27 north
|Northern end of I-380 and Iowa 27 overlaps; southern end of US 30 and US 151 overlaps|
|113.596||182.815||252A||6th Street SW||Exit numbers follow US 30|
|115.780||186.330||250||Edgewood Road SW|
US 151 south / US 151 Business (Williams Boulevard SW)
|Northern end of US 151 overlap|
|246||Iowa 100 / 16th Avenue / 80th Street – Fairfax||Interchange under reconstruction to connect to Iowa 100|
|Benton||Eldorado Township||135.239||217.646||US 30 west||End of US 30 overlap|
|Vinton||148.199||238.503||Iowa 150 north|
|Monroe Township||158.602||255.245||Iowa 8 west|
I-380 south / US 20 / Iowa 27 – Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque
|Southern end of I-380 overlap; signed 71A (eastbound) and 71B (westbound); exit numbers follow I-380|
|180.535||290.543||72||San Marnan Drive||Access to Covenant Medical Center|
|181.116||291.478||I-380 ends||Northern end of I-380; exit numbers follow US 218|
|181A||US 63 north – Downtown Riverfront, Young Arena, Sullivan Brothers Convention Center||Signed as exit 180 southbound; no northbound entrance, access to Allen Hospital|
|183.425||295.194||181B||US 63 south to University Avenue||Signed as exit 181 southbound; no southbound entrance|
|182||Fletcher Avenue, Ansborough Avenue|
|187.228||301.314||185||Broadway Street, Airport|
Iowa 27 south / Iowa 57 west / Iowa 58 south – Cedar Falls, Hudson, UNI, UNI-Dome
|Southern end of IA 27 overlap|
|190.719||306.932||189||Lone Tree Road|
|Washington Township||193.565||311.513||192||CR C57 (W. Cedar–Wapsi Road)||Interchange opened October 2016|
|Bremer||Janesville||196.765||316.663||195||CR C50 – Janesville|
US 218 Business – Waverly
|Access to Waverly Health Center|
|204.757||329.524||203||Iowa 3 – Waverly, Shell Rock|
US 218 Business – Waverly Airport
|Plainfield||214.012||344.419||212||Iowa 188 – Plainfield|
|Chickasaw||Nashua||221.316||356.174||220||Iowa 346 / CR B60 – Nashua|
US 18 east / US 218 Business / CR T64 – Charles City, New Hampton
|Southern end of US 18 overlap; exit numbers follow US 18|
|234.114||376.770||214||Iowa 14 – Charles City, Greene|
US 218 Business / CR B35 – Charles City
US 18 west / Iowa 27 north
|Northern end of US 18 and IA 27 overlaps|
|Mitchell||Burr Oak Township||249.987||402.315||Iowa 9 east||Southern end of IA 9 overlap|
|Osage||253.985||408.749||Iowa 9 west||Northern end of IA 9 overlap|
|St. Ansgar||265.754||427.690||CR 105|
|Iowa–Minnesota state line|
|Minnesota||Mower||Austin||12.195||19.626||180B||I-90 east||East end of I-90 overlap|
|12.478||20.081||180A||Oakland Place||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance|
|13.071||21.036||179||11th Drive NE||Interchange|
|13.725||22.088||178B||CR 16 (6th Street NE)||Interchange|
|14.347||23.089||178A||CR 45 (4th Street NW)||Interchange|
|15.031||24.190||177||I-90 west||West end of I-90 overlap|
|Lansing Township||20.633||33.206||MN 251 west|
||No major junctions|
|Steele||Blooming Prairie||28.365||45.649||MN 30 east||Southern end of MN 30 overlap|
|29.459||47.410||MN 30 west||Northern end of MN 30 overlap|
|Owatonna Township||43.717||70.356||—||US 14 east||East end of US 14 overlap|
|45.539||73.288||—||CR 45||Former U.S. 65|
|46.739||75.219||—||I-35 / US 14 west||I-35 exit 40; west end of US 14 overlap.|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
Mount Pleasant business route
U.S. Highway 218 Business (US 218 Business) was designated along a former routing of US 218 through Mount Pleasant, the northernmost 0.7 miles (1.1 km) are officially known as Iowa 438. The routing was created as a result of construction of the Avenue of the Saints corridor through Iowa. The new Avenue of the Saints corridor took US 218 / IA 27 and US 34 around the eastern and northern edges of Mount Pleasant. The Iowa 438 section of US 218 Business serves as a connector from southbound US 218 / Iowa 27 to westbound US 34.
Waverly business route
|Length||6.6 mi (10.6 km)|
US 218 Business in Waverly was designated December 2, 1998, on the old segment of US 218 after it was routed around Waverly. The business route spans 6.6 miles (10.6 km). It intersects Iowa 3 in downtown Waverly and the two routes run concurrently for about 1 mile (1.6 km). South of Iowa 3, US 218 Business is officially known as Iowa Highway 116. US 218 Business begins at exit 198 of US 218 / IA 27 south of Waverly and ends at exit 205 of US 218 / IA 27.
Charles City business route
US 218 Business in Charles City was designated along the old alignment of US 218 in 2000 after the construction of the Avenue of the Saints corridor created a bypass around Charles City. Upon its designation, the route was officially known by two Iowa state highways – Iowa Highway 337 and Iowa Highway 162. Iowa 337 was turned over to local jurisdictions in 2001 and Iowa 162 was turned over in 2006 after US 18 was relocated through Charles City.
|Browse numbered routes|
|← Iowa 415||Iowa 438||Iowa 922 →|
|← Iowa 110||Iowa 116||Iowa 117 →|
- "United States Numbered Highways". AASHTO. 1989. Archived from the original on February 4, 2007. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
- General Highway Map of Mower County, Minnesota (PDF) (Map). Minnesota Department of Transportation. 2010. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
- Minnesota Codified Laws
- 1965 Official Road Map of Minnesota (Map). Minnesota Department of Highways. 1965. § J20-K21. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- 1966 Official Road Map of Minnesota (Map). Minnesota Department of Highways. 1966. § J20-K21. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- Kalk, Jordee. "Construction timeline for I-380/80 Interchange". Cedar Rapids, IA: KCRG-TV.
- "2009 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa" (PDF). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2009. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
- "Trunk Highway Log Point Listing – Construction District 6" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. August 23, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 4, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- Iowa Department of Transportation (2010). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- Google. "U.S. Route 218" (Map). Google Maps. Google.
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