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Minnesota State Highway 23

Minnesota State Highway 23

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Minnesota State Highway 23 (MN 23) is a state highway
State highway
State highway, state road or state route can refer to one of three related concepts, two of them related to a state or provincial government in a country that is divided into states or provinces :#A...

 that stretches from southwest to northeast Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

. At 343.723 miles (553.2 km) in length, it is the second longest state route in Minnesota, after MN 1
Minnesota State Highway 1
Minnesota State Highway 1 is a highway in northwest and northeast Minnesota, which runs from North Dakota Highway 54 at the North Dakota state line and continues east to its eastern terminus at its intersection with Minnesota Highway 61 at the unincorporated town of Illgen City in Beaver Bay...

.

This route, signed east–west, runs roughly diagonally across Minnesota from southwest to northeast. It indirectly connects Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

 to Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Sioux Falls is the county seat of Minnehaha County, and also extends into Lincoln County to the south...

, and passes through the cities of St. Cloud
St. Cloud, Minnesota
St. Cloud is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest population center in the state's central region. The population was 65,842 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Stearns County...

, Willmar
Willmar, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,351 people, 7,302 households, and 4,461 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.9 people per square mile . There were 7,789 housing units at an average density of 657.8 per square mile...

, and Marshall
Marshall, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,735 people, 4,914 households, and 2,914 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,537.0 people per square mile . There were 5,182 housing units at an average density of 625.4 per square mile...

.

MN 23 runs north from its interchange
Interchange (road)
In the field of road transport, an interchange is a road junction that typically uses grade separation, and one or more ramps, to permit traffic on at least one highway to pass through the junction without directly crossing any other traffic stream. It differs from a standard intersection, at which...

 with Interstate 90
Interstate 90 in Minnesota
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 90 traverses the southern side of the state, parallel to the Minnesota-Iowa state line. The route connects the cities of Worthington, Albert Lea, and Austin. The cities of Rochester and Winona are also in close proximity to I-90, with Winona about 10...

 (I-90), 13 miles (20.9 km) east of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and then continues north and east across Minnesota to its terminus at its interchange with I-35
Interstate 35 in Minnesota
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 35 is a highway in southeast, east-central, and northeast Minnesota. The route runs north–south from the Iowa state line through the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul; where it splits into Interstates 35E and 35W; and ends in the city of...

 in Duluth.

Route description


MN 23 directly serves Pipestone
Pipestone, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,280 people, 1,900 households, and 1,138 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,090.8 people per square mile . There were 2,097 housing units at an average density of 534.4 per square mile...

, Marshall
Marshall, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,735 people, 4,914 households, and 2,914 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,537.0 people per square mile . There were 5,182 housing units at an average density of 625.4 per square mile...

, Granite Falls
Granite Falls, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,070 people, 1,344 households, and 806 families residing in the city. The population density was 890.5 people per square mile . There were 1,472 housing units at an average density of 427.0 per square mile...

, Willmar
Willmar, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,351 people, 7,302 households, and 4,461 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.9 people per square mile . There were 7,789 housing units at an average density of 657.8 per square mile...

, Paynesville
Paynesville, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,267 people, 934 households, and 594 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,715.2 people per square mile . There were 984 housing units at an average density of 744.5 per square mile...

, Cold Spring
Cold Spring, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,975 people, 1,116 households, and 785 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,431.1 people per square mile . There were 1,145 housing units at an average density of 550.8 per square mile...

, St. Cloud
St. Cloud, Minnesota
St. Cloud is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest population center in the state's central region. The population was 65,842 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Stearns County...

, Hinckley
Hinckley, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,291 people, 551 households, and 332 families residing in the city. The population density was 454.3 people per square mile . There were 614 housing units at an average density of 216.0 per square mile...

, Sandstone
Sandstone, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,549 people, 580 households, and 359 families residing in the city. The population density was 292.5 people per square mile . There were 634 housing units at an average density of 119.7 per square mile...

, and Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

.

Portions of MN 23 that have been upgraded to a four-lane expressway
Limited-access road
A limited-access road known by various terms worldwide, including limited-access highway, dual-carriageway and expressway, is a highway or arterial road for high-speed traffic which has many or most characteristics of a controlled-access highway , including limited or no access to adjacent...

 include approximately 9 miles (14.5 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
Concurrency (road)
A concurrency, overlap, or coincidence in a road network is an instance of one physical road bearing two or more different highway, motorway, or other route numbers...

 with U.S. Highway 71
U.S. Route 71
U.S. Route 71 is a north–south United States highway. This original 1926 route has remained largely unchanged by encroaching Interstate highways. Currently, the highway's northern terminus is in International Falls, Minnesota at the Canadian border, at the southern end of the Fort...

 (US 71), which includes a freeway bypass of the city. MN  23 crosses the Minnesota River
Minnesota River
The Minnesota River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 332 miles long, in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It drains a watershed of nearly , in Minnesota and about in South Dakota and Iowa....

 at Granite Falls
Granite Falls, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,070 people, 1,344 households, and 806 families residing in the city. The population density was 890.5 people per square mile . There were 1,472 housing units at an average density of 427.0 per square mile...

, and the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 in St. Cloud
St. Cloud, Minnesota
St. Cloud is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest population center in the state's central region. The population was 65,842 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Stearns County...

, over the Granite City Crossing
Granite City Crossing
The Granite City Crossing is a bridge that spans the Mississippi River in the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota. It was built to replace the DeSoto Bridge in the same location. Construction began in the fall of 2008, after the demolition of the De Soto Bridge was completed...

 bridge.

Running over surface streets in certain towns, Highway 23 is also known as:
  • Division Street in St. Cloud
    St. Cloud, Minnesota
    St. Cloud is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest population center in the state's central region. The population was 65,842 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Stearns County...

  • Grand Avenue in Duluth
    Duluth, Minnesota
    Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

    ; the section of Grand Avenue that is marked MN 23 is from 59th Avenue West and I-35
    Interstate 35 in Minnesota
    In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 35 is a highway in southeast, east-central, and northeast Minnesota. The route runs north–south from the Iowa state line through the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul; where it splits into Interstates 35E and 35W; and ends in the city of...

     (in West Duluth
    West Duluth
    West Duluth refers to an official neighborhood district in the west-central part of Duluth, Minnesota, United States.Grand Avenue, Central Avenue, Cody Street, and Interstate Highway 35 are four of the main arterial routes in the community.-Neighborhoods:...

    ) 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
    Split Rock Creek State Park
    Split Rock Creek State Park is a state park of Minnesota, USA, located in Ihlen, or just south of Pipestone, Minnesota.The Works Progress Administration built a dam in 1938 to create a lake, which provided an opportunity for water recreation in an area of the state with few natural lakes. The dam...

     in Pipestone County
    Pipestone County, Minnesota
    As of the census of 2000, there were 9,895 people, 4,069 households, and 2,726 families residing in the county. The population density was 21 people per square mile . There were 4,434 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile...

     at Ihlen
    Ihlen, Minnesota
    As of the census of 2000, there were 107 people, 43 households, and 27 families residing in the city. The population density was 276.1 people per square mile . There were 44 housing units at an average density of 113.6 per square mile...

  • Pipestone National Monument
    Pipestone National Monument
    Pipestone National Monument is located in southwestern Minnesota, just north of the city of Pipestone, Minnesota. It is located along the highways of U.S. Route 75, Minnesota State Highway 23 and Minnesota State Highway 30....

  • Camden State Park
    Camden State Park
    Camden State Park is a state park on the Redwood River in southwestern Minnesota near Marshall. It is used for picnics, camping, hiking, and other outdoor recreation....

     in Lyon County
    Lyon County, Minnesota
    As of the census of 2000, there were 25,425 people, 9,715 households, and 6,334 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 people per square mile . There were 10,298 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile...

     on the banks of the Redwood River
    Redwood River
    The Redwood River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 127 miles long, in southwestern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 705 square miles in an agricultural region...

  • Banning State Park
    Banning State Park
    Banning State Park is a Minnesota state park stretched along of the Kettle River near Sandstone, Minnesota in Pine County. The centerpiece of the park is of churning rapids, some up to Class IV. The daring kayakers and canoeists who shoot Blueberry Slide, Mother's Delight, Dragon's Tooth,...

     in Pine County
    Pine County, Minnesota
    As of the census of 2000, there were 26,530 people, 9,939 households, and 6,917 families residing in the county. The population density was 19 people per square mile . There were 15,353 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile...

     on the banks of the Kettle River
    Kettle River (Minnesota)
    The Kettle is a tributary of the St. Croix River, about 80 mi long, in eastern Minnesota in the United States. Via the St. Croix River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River. The river's English name is due to the large number of large rounded holes in the sandstone in and around...


Evergreen Memorial Scenic Drive


About 50 miles (80.5 km) of MN 23 that travel through Pine
Pine County, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,530 people, 9,939 households, and 6,917 families residing in the county. The population density was 19 people per square mile . There were 15,353 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile...

, Carlton
Carlton County, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 31,671 people, 12,064 households, and 8,408 families residing in the county. The population density was 37 people per square mile . There were 13,721 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile...

, and Saint Louis
St. Louis County, Minnesota
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2010, the population was 200,226. Its county seat is Duluth. It is the largest county by total area in Minnesota, and the second largest in the United States east of the Mississippi River; in land area alone, after Aroostook...

 counties is officially designated the Veterans Evergreen Memorial Scenic Drive. This portion is between I-35
Interstate 35 in Minnesota
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 35 is a highway in southeast, east-central, and northeast Minnesota. The route runs north–south from the Iowa state line through the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul; where it splits into Interstates 35E and 35W; and ends in the city of...

 near Askov
Askov, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 368 people, 165 households, and 92 families residing in the city. The population density was 288.3 people per square mile . There were 181 housing units at an average density of 141.8 per square mile...

 and the Gary-New Duluth neighborhood of Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

, near State Highway 39
Minnesota State Highway 39
Minnesota State Highway 39 is a short highway in northeast Minnesota, which runs from its intersection with State Highway 23 in Duluth and continues east to its eastern terminus at the Wisconsin state line , where it becomes Wisconsin Highway 105 upon entering the village of Oliver, Wisconsin.The...

. The scenic roadway offers views of Banning State Park, the Saint Louis River
Saint Louis River
The St. Louis River is a river in the U.S. states of Minnesota and Wisconsin that flows into Lake Superior. The largest U.S. river to flow into the lake, it is 179 miles in length and starts near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. The river's watershed is in area...

 valley, and nearby Jay Cooke State Park
Jay Cooke State Park
Jay Cooke State Park is a Minnesota state park located about ten miles southwest of Duluth, just outside the small town of Thomson. Jay Cooke is situated on the St...

.

The 2005 Minnesota Legislature officially designated the MN 23 Bridge over the Saint Louis River
Saint Louis River
The St. Louis River is a river in the U.S. states of Minnesota and Wisconsin that flows into Lake Superior. The largest U.S. river to flow into the lake, it is 179 miles in length and starts near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. The river's watershed is in area...

 at Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

 (Fond du Lac
Fond du Lac (Duluth)
Fond du Lac is a neighborhood in Duluth, Minnesota, United States.Evergreen Memorial Highway serves as a main arterial route in the community.-History:...

 neighborhood) as the Biauswah Bridge. On June 28, 2008, this bridge was dedicated as such in honor of Native American Veterans.

A Minnesota Highway 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
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

, MN 23 crosses the Saint Louis River
Saint Louis River
The St. Louis River is a river in the U.S. states of Minnesota and Wisconsin that flows into Lake Superior. The largest U.S. river to flow into the lake, it is 179 miles in length and starts near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. The river's watershed is in area...

 into Douglas County, Wisconsin, for half a mile (0.8 km) 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
Minnesota State Highway 210
Minnesota State Highway 210 is a highway in west-central, central, and northeast Minnesota, which runs from North Dakota Highway 210 at the North Dakota state line , and continues east to its eastern terminus at its intersection with State Highway 23 in Duluth near the Saint Louis River.The route...

 and Jay Cooke State Park
Jay Cooke State Park
Jay Cooke State Park is a Minnesota state park located about ten miles southwest of Duluth, just outside the small town of Thomson. Jay Cooke is situated on the St...

.

History


MN 23 was authorized between Hinckley
Hinckley, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,291 people, 551 households, and 332 families residing in the city. The population density was 454.3 people per square mile . There were 614 housing units at an average density of 216.0 per square mile...

 and Marshall
Marshall, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,735 people, 4,914 households, and 2,914 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,537.0 people per square mile . There were 5,182 housing units at an average density of 625.4 per square mile...

 in 1920; the remainder of the Highway was authorized in 1933. 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
Willmar, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,351 people, 7,302 households, and 4,461 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.9 people per square mile . There were 7,789 housing units at an average density of 657.8 per square mile...

 was originally designated MN 17 until 1940. The MN 23 designation originally extended west from New London
New London, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,066 people, 415 households, and 261 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,103.4 people per square mile . There were 439 housing units at an average density of 454.4 per square mile...

 to Benson
Benson, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,376 people, 1,451 households, and 880 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,360.5 people per square mile . There were 1,566 housing units at an average density of 631.1 per square mile...

 along the modern MN 9
Minnesota State Highway 9
Minnesota State Highway 9 is a highway in west-central and northwest Minnesota, which runs from its intersection with State Highway 23 in New London and continues west and then north to its northern terminus at its intersection with U.S. Highway 2 in Fairfax Township near Crookston.This highway has...

; which was also MN 17 from around 1940 to the 1960s. MN 23 originally ran through Sandstone
Sandstone, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,549 people, 580 households, and 359 families residing in the city. The population density was 292.5 people per square mile . There were 634 housing units at an average density of 119.7 per square mile...

 proper to just west of Askov
Askov, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 368 people, 165 households, and 92 families residing in the city. The population density was 288.3 people per square mile . There were 181 housing units at an average density of 141.8 per square mile...

 along the route that later became MN 123
Minnesota State Highway 123
Minnesota State Highway 123 is a highway in east-central Minnesota, which runs from its first intersection with State Highway 23 at Sandstone and continues east and then north to its northern terminus at its second intersection with State Highway 23 near Askov...

; this was redesignated 1946.

From 1934 to 1963, the northern terminus for MN 23 was its junction with old US  61
U.S. Route 61
U.S. Route 61 is the official designation for a United States highway that runs from New Orleans, Louisiana, to the city of Wyoming, Minnesota. The highway generally follows the course of the Mississippi River, and is designated the Great River Road for much of its route. As of 2004, the highway's...

 and US 2
U.S. Route 2 in Minnesota
U.S. Highway 2 is a highway in northwest and northeast Minnesota, which runs from the Red River at East Grand Forks and continues east to Duluth, where the route crosses the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge over the Saint Louis Bay. The route connects the cities of East Grand Forks, Bemidji, Grand...

 in West Duluth
West Duluth
West Duluth refers to an official neighborhood district in the west-central part of Duluth, Minnesota, United States.Grand Avenue, Central Avenue, Cody Street, and Interstate Highway 35 are four of the main arterial routes in the community.-Neighborhoods:...

. 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
Interstate 35 in Minnesota
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 35 is a highway in southeast, east-central, and northeast Minnesota. The route runs north–south from the Iowa state line through the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul; where it splits into Interstates 35E and 35W; and ends in the city of...

 at Grand Avenue in Duluth.

After completion of the I-35
Interstate 35 in Minnesota
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 35 is a highway in southeast, east-central, and northeast Minnesota. The route runs north–south from the Iowa state line through the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul; where it splits into Interstates 35E and 35W; and ends in the city of...

 freeway, the state maintained MN 23 through Hinckley
Hinckley, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,291 people, 551 households, and 332 families residing in the city. The population density was 454.3 people per square mile . There were 614 housing units at an average density of 216.0 per square mile...

 and Sandstone; now MN 23 is concurrent
Concurrency (road)
A concurrency, overlap, or coincidence in a road network is an instance of one physical road bearing two or more different highway, motorway, or other route numbers...

 with I-35 from Hinckley to Sandstone.

The four-lane US 71 / MN 23 bypass
Bypass (road)
A bypass is a road or highway that avoids or "bypasses" a built-up area, town, or village, to let through traffic flow without interference from local traffic, to reduce congestion in the built-up area, and to improve road safety....

 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 MN 23 expressway from Spicer
Spicer, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,126 people residing in the city. The population density was 1,038.4 people per square mile . There were 605 housing units at an average density of 557.9 per square mile...

 to New London
New London, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,066 people, 415 households, and 261 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,103.4 people per square mile . There were 439 housing units at an average density of 454.4 per square mile...

, and the expressway from Richmond
Richmond, Minnesota
Richmond is a city in Stearns County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,422 at the 2010 census. Richmond is part of the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

 to Waite Park
Waite Park, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,568 people, 2,967 households, and 1,536 families residing in the city. The population density was 841.0 people per square mile . There were 3,065 housing units at an average density of 392.5 per square mile...

 (St. Cloud
St. Cloud, Minnesota
St. Cloud is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest population center in the state's central region. The population was 65,842 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Stearns County...

), were both completed by 2005.

The DeSoto Bridge
DeSoto Bridge
DeSoto Bridge was a trussed deck-arch bridge that spanned the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It was built in 1958 by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The bridge was painted black, which is typical for railroad bridges but unusual for a highway 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
Granite City Crossing
The Granite City Crossing is a bridge that spans the Mississippi River in the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota. It was built to replace the DeSoto Bridge in the same location. Construction began in the fall of 2008, after the demolition of the De Soto Bridge was completed...

, completed October 29, 2009.

Future


Mn/DOT 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
Interstate 90 in Minnesota
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 90 traverses the southern side of the state, parallel to the Minnesota-Iowa state line. The route connects the cities of Worthington, Albert Lea, and Austin. The cities of Rochester and Winona are also in close proximity to I-90, with Winona about 10...

 in the southwest corner of Minnesota northeastward to its interchange with I-35
Interstate 35 in Minnesota
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 35 is a highway in southeast, east-central, and northeast Minnesota. The route runs north–south from the Iowa state line through the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul; where it splits into Interstates 35E and 35W; and ends in the city of...

 near Hinckley
Hinckley, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,291 people, 551 households, and 332 families residing in the city. The population density was 454.3 people per square mile . There were 614 housing units at an average density of 216.0 per square mile...

, 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
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

, 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
New London, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,066 people, 415 households, and 261 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,103.4 people per square mile . There were 439 housing units at an average density of 454.4 per square mile...

, and from Richmond
Richmond, Minnesota
Richmond is a city in Stearns County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,422 at the 2010 census. Richmond is part of the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

 to its interchange with I-94
Interstate 94 in Minnesota
In the U.S. state of Minnesota, Interstate 94 runs east–west through the central portion of the state. The route connects the cities of Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Alexandria, St...

 near St. Cloud. In addition, a new bypass around Paynesville
Paynesville, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,267 people, 934 households, and 594 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,715.2 people per square mile . There were 984 housing units at an average density of 744.5 per square mile...

 is currently being constructed.

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 to expand MN 23 (to four lanes) from St. Cloud eastward to Foley
Foley, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,154 people, 756 households, and 499 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,148.6 people per square mile . There were 793 housing units at an average density of 422.8 per square mile...

 is set to begin July 1, 2011, with a projected completion date sometime in late 2012. This project will expand an 8 miles (12.9 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.

Major intersections





See also




External links