Avenue of the Saints

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Avenue of the Saints

High Priority Corridor 2
Avenue of the Saints highlighted in red
Route information
Length563 mi (906 km)
Major junctions
South end I-64 / US 40 / US 61 / US 67 in Frontenac, Missouri
Major intersections
North end I-94 at St. Paul, Minnesota
CountryUnited States
Highway system
Iowa 26Iowa 27 Iowa 28
Route 25Route 27 Route 28

The Avenue of the Saints is a 563-mile-long (906 km) highway in the Midwestern United States that connects St. Louis, Missouri and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Route description


The southern end of the Avenue of the Saints is at exit 28A of Interstate 64 (I‑64) /U.S. Route 40 (US 40), which is also the southern end of its concurrency with US 61. The Avenue of the Saints heads west, to Chesterfield, crossing I-270. Here, the Avenue of the Saints turns northwest, crosses the Missouri River via the Daniel Boone Bridge. In Wentzville, the route interchanges with I-70. The western end of I‑64 and the northern end of the concurrency with US 40 is here. The Avenue of the Saints continues north as just US 61, intersects with the western end of I-72 in Hannibal, reaches the northern terminus of its concurrency with US 61, then crosses the Des Moines River into Iowa.

The Avenue of the Saints is co-signed with Missouri Route 27 to the Iowa state line.


In Iowa, the Avenue of the Saints is a 282-mile-long (454 km)[1] highway, which begins in Lee County where Missouri Route 27 crosses the Des Moines River, and ends at the Minnesota state line in Worth County, concurrent with Interstate 35. Construction of the Avenue of the Saints corridor in Iowa was completed on May 23, 2006.

The route runs north from the Missouri state line as just Iowa Highway 27 for about ten miles (16 km), then is co-signed with US 218 until just south of Cedar Rapids, crossing I-80 in Iowa City. This is also the location of the southern end of its concurrency with I‑380, and this concurrency terminates in Waterloo. Near Floyd, US 218 splits off, just after the route starts a concurrency with US 18, running west to its intersection with I-35, where the route turns north again and runs into Minnesota.

In 2001, the Iowa Department of Transportation designated the Avenue of the Saints as Iowa 27. Prior to its creation, motorists wanting to travel the Avenue through Iowa had to follow a lengthy list of directions: (heading north from Missouri) Iowa 394, US 218, I‑380, US 20, Iowa 58, US 218 (again), US 18 and I‑35.

As with many rural expressways in Iowa, the Avenue of the Saints has exit numbers in that state. The exit numbers correspond to the underlying U.S. Highway or Interstate Highway – US 218, I-380, US 20, US 18 and I‑35. The section along Iowa 58 in Cedar Falls has no exit numbers, and the separate section south of Donnellson has one numbered exit—the northbound one to US 218 south—based on Iowa 27's mileage.


In Minnesota, the Avenue of the Saints is officially routed along I-35 and I-35E for the entirety of its length in that state, but is not marked anywhere within the state. The route runs straight north, crosses I-90 in Albert Lea, and runs to its northern end in St. Paul, shortly after crossing the Mississippi River via the Lexington Bridge.


The Avenue of the Saints was the concept of businessman Ernest Hayes of Mount Pleasant, Iowa who in the 1980s envisioned a four-lane highway between St. Paul and St. Louis.[2] It was named by Gary Smith, who at the time was Executive Director of the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission. Smith and Hayes convened a group of area business and political leaders, who organized an effort to convince the Iowa Department of Transportation to study the idea, which they did in 1988. Several politicians endorsed the idea, including then-mayor Tom Vilsack of Mount Pleasant, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Congressmen David Nagle and Fred Grandy of Iowa and Dick Gephardt of Missouri.

By the end of 1989, four possible routes for the Avenue of the Saints were under consideration by the Federal Highway Administration. Two of the rejected routes would have followed US 52 and US 63 from St. Paul through Rochester, Minnesota, to Waterloo, Iowa. The third rejected route would have followed US 61 from St. Paul through La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Dubuque, Iowa to Davenport, Iowa and US 67 from Davenport, crossing the Mississippi River through western Illinois to Alton, Illinois and crossing the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to St. Louis.

In 1990 the FHWA chose its route for the Avenue of the Saints: the signed highway would follow the existing Interstate 35 from St. Paul to a point south of Clear Lake, Iowa; U.S. Route 18 to Charles City, Iowa; U.S. Route 218 to Cedar Falls, Iowa; U.S. Route 20 and Iowa Highway 58 around Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa; Interstate 380 from Waterloo through Cedar Rapids to Interstate 80 near Coralville, Iowa and Iowa City, Iowa; U.S. Route 218 to Donnellson, Iowa; Iowa Highway 394 and Route B to Wayland, Missouri; and Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 61 from Wayland to St. Louis.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 made the Avenue of the Saints an official "high-priority corridor," and signs were put along the route by the end of the year. At that time the only four-lane segments were I‑35, I‑380, and I‑64; US 20 around Waterloo; US 218 from I‑80 to Iowa 22 near Riverside, Iowa; and two segments of US 61 in Missouri (from La Grange to New London and from Bowling Green to St. Louis). As a cost-saving measure, the government decided to build the Avenue of the Saints to expressway standards—with intersections at rural roads—rather than to full freeway standards. Freeway segments would be built around cities that needed to be bypassed.

After the routing was approved, both Iowa and Missouri began constructing new four-lane segments. Iowa opened bypasses around Waverly (1998), Mason City (1999), Charles City (2000), Mount Pleasant (2001), and Donnellson (2004). A four-lane link between I‑35 and I‑380 was completed with the opening of a segment near Nashua in November 2003. Missouri completed four-lane segments from New London to Bowling Green in November 2000, and from Canton to La Grange in 2003.

In 2001, the Iowa Department of Transportation gave the Avenue of the Saints its own highway number: Highway 27 (Iowa 27). The number was added as an additional number to the existing routes; however, after the Donnellson bypass opened in 2004, Iowa Highway 394 was decommissioned and Iowa 27 is now a stand-alone highway south of the split with US 218. A new four-lane bridge across the Des Moines River was opened at the end of 2004, replacing an existing toll bridge operated by the Wayland Special Road District. A new four-lane road between the bridge and US 61 south of Wayland, Missouri opened on the same day; it was numbered by Missouri as Route 27 to match Iowa's number for the Avenue of the Saints.

In June 2005, a four-lane segment from the end of the Mount Pleasant bypass to the junction with Iowa Highway 16 east of Houghton was opened to four lanes of traffic. The segment of Iowa 27 between the split with US 218 and the Des Moines River bridge opened to four lanes on August 25, 2005. The last remaining segment in Iowa was opened to traffic on May 23, 2006.[3]

On July 25, 2008, the final nine miles (14 km) of highway between the Lewis—Clark county line and Wayland, Missouri, was open to four-lane traffic. A ceremony was held at the intersection of US 61 and Route 27 to commemorate the completion of the four-lane highway in Missouri. The Avenue of the Saints is now complete from St. Paul to suburban St. Louis.

Future construction

Ongoing construction projects and future proposals along the Avenue of the Saints include:

  • The upgrading of US 61 to interstate standards from I‑70 in Wentzville to Route 47 in Troy, Missouri. In 2007, an interchange was installed at Route C in Moscow Mills, Missouri. Proposals include installing interchanges at Route U in Moscow Mills and South Lincoln Drive just south of Troy.
  • Missouri Department of Transportation has published initial maps for the Hannibal Expressway, a bypass around Hannibal, Missouri.[4] According to the maps, the Hannibal Expressway would depart from US 61 south of Hannibal, travel in a northwesterly direction toward the Rocket Junction where it would intersect with US 36/I-72 and US 24 West. The Hannibal Expressway would then travel along the current US 24 East alignment and re-connect with US 61 four miles (6.4 km) north of the Rocket Junction. The "Hannibal Expressway" project is unfunded. There are seven stoplights along US 61 in Hannibal: Red Devil Road/Warren Barrett Drive, Market Street (Business 61), Highway MM (Business 36), West Ely Road, I‑72/US 36, Stardust Drrive/Pirate Pride, and Route 168.

Exit list

MissouriSt. LouisFrontenac0.0000.000

I-64 east / US 40 east
Continuation east beyond interchange; southern end of I-64 and US 40 overlaps
US 61 south / US 67 (Lindbergh Boulevard)
Southern terminus of the Avenue of the Saints; southern end of US 61 overlap
0.5220.84027Spoede Road
Town and Country2.0603.31526Ballas Road
25 I-270 – Tulsa, Chicago, Memphis
4.0816.56824Mason Road
5.0368.10523Maryville Centre RoadNo eastbound exit
5.7199.20422 Route 141 (Woods Mill Road)
Chesterfield6.83611.00121Timberlake Manor Parkway
7.95112.79620Chesterfield ParkwayWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
8.42713.56219B Route 340 (Olive Boulevard, Clarkson Road)
9.04714.56019AChesterfield Parkway
11.11917.89417Boone's Crossing
11.91319.17216Long RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
13.61821.91614Spirit of Saint Louis BoulevardWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
14.51223.355Chesterfield Airport RoadEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
Missouri River15.80325.432Daniel Boone Bridge
St. CharlesWeldon Spring16.33826.29311Research Park CircleNo westbound entrance
17.53428.21810 Route 94 – St. CharlesWestbound exit via Exit 9
O'Fallon18.27329.4089 Route K
21.99835.4026 Route DD (WingHaven Boulevard)
24.03438.6794 Route N
Lake St. Louis25.22940.6022Lake St. Louis Boulevard
Wentzville26.83443.1851CProspect Road

I-64 ends / I-70 / US 40 west – Kansas City, St. Louis
Northern end of I-64 and US 40 overlaps; I-70 exits 210A-B; cloverleaf interchange
28.66246.127Pitman AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
29.50547.484 Route A (Wentzville Parkway)
31.82551.217 Route P (Peine Road) – Flint Hill
LincolnMoscow Mills37.02359.583 Route U (Crossroads Boulevard)
39.70963.905 Route C
Troy42.55768.489Old Cap au Gris RoadNorthbound exit and entrance only
43.22169.557 Route 47 – Winfield
PikeEolia61.09998.329 Route D / Route FF
Bowling Green72.799117.159
US 61 Bus. / Route 161 – Ashley
75.100120.862 US 54 – Louisiana, Mexico
US 61 Bus. / Route UU – Bowling Green
Frankford86.668139.479 Route B / Route C / Route ZZ
RallsNew London93.648150.712
US 61 Bus. / Route 19 – Center
US 61 Bus.
US 36 Bus. / Route MM
Southern end of US 36 Bus. overlap

I-72 east / US 36 / Route 110 (CKC) / US 36 Bus. ends / Great River Road south – Monroe City, St. Joseph, Springfield
Northern end of US 36 Bus. overlap; southern end of Great River Road overlap; I-72 begins at interchange. Access to Downtown Hannibal, Mark Twain Historic District, and Hannibal Regional Hospital.
Route 168 / Route W / Great River Road north
Northern end of Great River Road overlap
Barkley111.689179.746 US 24 – Monroe CitySouthern end of US 24 overlap
US 61 Bus. – Palmyra

US 61 Bus. / Route 168 / Great River Road south – Palmyra
Southern end of Great River Road overlap
Route 6 west – Edina, Taylor

US 24 east – Quincy, Illinois
Northern end of US 24 overlap
LewisLa Grange130.588210.161

US 61 Bus. / Route B / Great River Road north – La Grange
Access to Wakonda State Park; northern end of Great River Road overlap
US 61 Bus. / Route C – La Grange
US 61 Bus. / Route P – Canton
Access to Culver-Stockton College
Route 16 to Route 81 – Canton, Monticello
Access to Lewis County Port

US 61 Bus. / Route B / Great River Road south
Southern end of Great River Road overlap

US 61 north / Great River Road north / Route 27 begins – Keokuk
Northern end of US 61 and Great River Road overlap; southern end of Route 27 overlap
Wayland158.397254.915 US 136 – Kahoka
Des Moines River165.784

Route 27 ends / Iowa 27 begins; Missouri–Iowa state line
IowaLeeCharleston Township10.39516.72910

US 218 south – Keokuk
Southern end of US 218 overlap; exit numbers follow US 218
Donnellson12.32219.83019 Iowa 2 – Donnellson, Fort Madison
Marion Township22.40936.064 Iowa 16
HenryMount Pleasant33.31253.61040255th Street, Old Thresher's Grounds

US 34 east / Iowa 163 east / US 34 Bus. / US 218 Bus. – Mount Pleasant, Burlington
Southern end of US 34 and Iowa 163 overlaps; signed as Exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)

US 34 west / Iowa 163 west – Ottumwa
Northern end of US 34 and Iowa 163 overlaps; northbound exit and southbound entrance only

US 218 Bus. (Iowa 438) to US 34 west / Iowa 163 west – Ottumwa
Southbound exit and northbound entrance only
Olds37.09659.700 Iowa 78 – Olds, Winfield, WaylandAt-grade intersection
WashingtonOregon Township59.23095.32166 Iowa 92 – Washington, Columbus JunctionAlso provides access to Ainsworth and Cotter
62.609100.75970 CR G36
Riverside72.721117.03380 Iowa 22 – Kalona, Lone Tree
JohnsonLiberty Township77.448124.64085Hills
West Lucas Township81.622131.35889 CR F50 (Riverside Drive) – Iowa City Municipal Airport
Iowa City83.232133.94991 Iowa 1 – Kalona
85.475137.55993 CR F46 (Melrose Avenue) – University Heights

I-80 / I-380 begins – Iowa City, Davenport, Des Moines
Southern end of I-380 overlap; northbound exit numbers follow the mileage of US-218 and are signed as 97A (eastbound) and 97B (westbound); southbound exit numbers follow the mileage of I-380 and are signed as 0B (westbound) and 0A (eastbound)
CoralvilleNorth Liberty line90.887146.2682Forevergreen Road
North Liberty92.893149.4974 CR F28
Jefferson Township99.705160.46010 CR F12 – Swisher, Shueyville
LinnCedar Rapids102.663165.22013Ely, The Eastern Iowa Airport
US 30 / US 151 / US 218 north – Mt. Vernon, Tama
Northern end of US 218 overlap; northbound exits signed 16A (east) and 16B (west)
106.432171.2861733rd Avenue SW – Hawkeye Downs
107.176172.48318Wilson Avenue SW

To US 151 Bus. / Diagonal Drive / 5th Avenue SW – Downtown Cedar Rapids
Northbound exit and southbound entrance only
US 151 Bus. (1st Avenue W) / 1st Street W – Veterans Memorial Stadium, Kingston Stadium
No southbound entrance, northbound exit signed as Exit 19C

To US 151 Bus. / 1st Street East – Downtown Cedar Rapids
Southbound exit and northbound entrance only
109.501176.22520B 7th Street E – U.S. Cellular CenterAccess to Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke's Hospital
110.412177.69121H Avenue, J Avenue
11.19518.01722Coldstream–29th Street, Glass Road – 32nd Street
112.220180.6012342nd StreetSouthbound exit from Exit 24
24 Iowa 100 (Collins Road) / Blairs Ferry RoadSigned as Exits 24A (Iowa 100) and 24B (Blairs Ferry Road) northbound
Hiawatha114.119183.65725Boyson Road
Monroe Township117.696189.41328 CR E34 – Toddville, Robins
Center Point124.673200.64235 CR W36
132.374213.03543 Iowa 150 – Vinton, Independence
BuchananJefferson Township138.803223.38249Brandon
144.197232.06355 CR V65 – Jesup
Black HawkFox Township151.071243.12562 CR D38 – Gilbertville
Poyner Township153.862247.61765
US 20 east – Dubuque
Southern end of US 20 concurency
155.298249.92866Raymond, Gilbertville
Evansdale157.206252.99968Evansdale Drive – Elk Run Heights
159.474256.64970River Forest Road

I-380 north / US 218 – Waterloo, La Porte City
Northern end of I-380 overlap;
northbound signed as Exits 71A (north) and 71B (south);
southbound signed as Exits 232A (south) and 232B (north)
162.064260.817230 Iowa 21 (Hawkeye Road) – Dysart
163.572263.244229Ansborough Avenue
165.104265.709227 US 63 (Sergeant Road) – Hudson

US 20 west / Iowa 58 south – Cedar Falls
Northern end of US 20 overlap; southern end of Iowa 58 overlap
Cedar Falls167.568269.675Ridgeway AvenueAt-grade intersection; future interchange
168.569271.286181Viking RoadFormer at-grade intersection; intersection rebuilt into single point urban interchange
169.715273.130Greenhill RoadAt-grade intersection; future interchange
170.862274.976183University Avenue (to Iowa 934)
184 18th Street, Waterloo RoadAccess to Sartori Memorial Hospital

US 218 south / Iowa 57 west / Iowa 58 ends – Waterloo, Waterloo Regional Airport
Northern end of Iowa 58 overlap; southern end of US 218 overlap
174.597280.987189Lone Tree Road
US 218 Bus. (Iowa 116) – Waverly
Access to Waverly Health Center
188.635303.579203 Iowa 3 – Waverly, Shell Rock
US 218 Bus. – Waverly Municipal Airport
Plainfield197.890318.473212 Iowa 188

Iowa 346 east / CR B60 west
FloydCharles City214.416345.069218

US 18 east / US 218 Bus. / CR T64 – New Hampton
Southern end of US 18 overlap
217.992350.824214 Iowa 14 – Greene
US 218 Bus. / CR B35
US 218 north / CR T44 – Floyd
Northern end of US 218 overlap
Rock Grove Township237.250381.817195 CR S70 – Nora Springs
Cerro GordoPortland Township242.387390.084190 CR S56 (California Avenue)
Mason City246.439396.605186
US 18 Bus. / US 65 – Downtown Mason City, Rockwell
Lake Township249.449401.449183 CR S36 (Eisenhower Avenue)

I-35 south – Des Moines
Southern end of I-35 overlap
Clear Lake256.349412.554193
I-35 Business Loop north / CR B35 – Mason City

US 18 west / I-35 Business Loop south / Iowa 122 – Mason City, Clear Lake
Northern end of US 18 overlap, access to Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa
Lincoln Township260.910419.894197 CR B20
WorthDanville Township266.831429.423203 Iowa 9 – Manly, Forest City
Brookfield Township271.845437.492208 CR A38 – Joice, Kensett
Hartland Township277.865447.180214 CR 105 – Lake Mills, NorthwoodFormer Iowa 105

Iowa 27 ends; Iowa–Minnesota state line; northern end of Iowa 27 overlap
MinnesotaFreebornFreeman Township2.492–
2 CR 5
5.2768.4915 CR 13 – Twin Lakes, Glenville
Albert Lea7.987–
I-35 BL north / US 65 – Glenville
11.49818.50411 CR 46

I-35 BL south / US 65 south
Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Bancroft Township13.24721.31913 I-90 – La Crosse, Sioux FallsSigned as Exits 13A (east) and 13B (west)
Clarks Grove18.74530.16718
MN 251 east – Hollandale
Geneva Township22.96336.95522 CR 35 – Hartland, Geneva
SteeleSummit Township26.64042.87326 MN 30 – New Richland, Blooming Prairie
Somerset Township32.81752.81432 CR 4 – Hope
US 14 / US 218 south – Waseca, Rochester, Austin
Former southern end of US 14 overlap
41.76667.21641Bridge Street
42.50968.41242 CSAH 45 / CSAH 2Signed as Exits 42A (east) and 42B (west); former northern end of US 14 overlap
43 CSAH 34 (26th Street)
45 CSAH 9 – Clinton Falls
Medford48.05777.34048 CSAH 12 / CSAH 23 – Medford
RiceFaribault55.59089.46355 I-35 BL / CSAH 48 / Lyndale Avenue – FaribaultNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
56.91891.60156 MN 60 – Faribault, Waterville
59.10795.12359 I-35 BL / MN 21 – Faribault, Le Center
Forest Township66.696107.33766 CSAH 1 – Montgomery, Dundas
Webster Township69.679112.13769 MN 19 – Northfield, New Prague
ScottNew Market Township76.841123.66476 CR 2 – Elko New Market
DakotaLakeville81.842131.71281 CSAH 70 – Farmington
84.340135.73284 CSAH 60 (185th Street West)
85.509137.61385 CSAH 5 / CSAH 50
85.953138.328Kenrick Avenue Park and Ride stationBuses only; northbound exit and entrance
86.636139.42786 CSAH 46
Burnsville87.824141.33987Crystal Lake RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
I-35W north – Minneapolis
Northbound exit and southbound entrance only

I-35 ends / I-35E begins – St. Paul
Northbound exit and southbound entrance only; Northern end of I-35 overlap and southern end of I-35E overlap
88B CSAH 42
Apple Valley90.615–
90 CSAH 11
92 MN 77 (Cedar Avenue) – Zoo
93.772150.91193 CSAH 32 (Cliff Road)
94.906152.73694 CSAH 30 (Diffley Road)
97.123156.30497A CSAH 31 (Pilot Knob Road)
97.433156.80397B CSAH 28 (Yankee Doodle Road)Northbound exit is via Exit 97A
98.559158.61598 CSAH 26 (Lone Oak Road)
Mendota Heights99.667–
99 I-494Signed as Exits 99A (east) and 99B (west)
101 MN 62Signed as Exits 101A (east) and 101B (west) southbound; formerly MN 110
MN 13 (Sibley Highway) / Great River Road (National Route)
Southern end of Great River Road overlap
Mississippi River102.630–
Lexington Bridge
RamseySaint Paul103.346–
Shepard Road / Great River Road (National Route)
Northbound exit and southbound entrance; northern end of Great River Road overlap
103B MN 5 (West 7th Street)
104.464168.119104ARandolph Avenue (CR 38)
104BAyd Mill RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
104CVictoria StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
105.562169.886105St. Clair AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
106AGrand AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
106.980172.168106BKellogg BoulevardNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
107.450172.924106C11th Street – State CapitolNorthbound exit and southbound entrance

I-94 / US 10 east / US 52 south / 10th Street, Wacouta Street, US 12 – Minneapolis
Signed as Exits 107A (east) and 107B (west)

I-35E north / US 10 west
Continuation north beyond interchange; northern end of I-35E overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c 2009 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa (PDF) (Report). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  2. ^ Petroski, William (April 30, 1990). "Saints highway marketing idea proves popular". Des Moines Register. p. A2. Retrieved May 24, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Buehner, Kristin (June 9, 2006). "Communities will celebrate opening Iowa portion of Avenue of the Saints". Globe Gazette. Mason City, Iowa. p. A3. Retrieved May 24, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ Staff. "Hannibal Bypass Maps". Missouri Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Missouri Department of Transportation (May 16, 2012). MoDOT HPMAPS (Map). Missouri Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 16, 2012.

External links