Iowa Highway 3

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Iowa Highway 3

American Veterans Memorial Highway
Iowa 3 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Iowa DOT
Length323.102 mi[1] (519.982 km)
Major junctions
West end SD 50 west of Westfield
Major intersections
East endNorthwest Arterial at Dubuque
CountryUnited States
Highway system
Iowa 2 Iowa 4

Iowa Highway 3 (Iowa 3) is a state highway that runs from east to west across the state of Iowa. It is the longest state highway in Iowa, at 323 miles (520 km) long. Iowa 3 begins at the South Dakota state line where it continues as South Dakota Highway 50 and ends at the Northwest Arterial at the Dubuque city limits. It is designated the American Veterans Memorial Highway for its entirety. It is located approximately halfway between Interstate 80 and Interstate 90.

Route description

Iowa 3 runs for 323 miles (520 km) across the northern third of the state, roughly midway between US 18 to the north and US 20 to the south. All of Iowa 3 east of Le Mars has been listed on the National Highway System,[2] a network of roads important to the country's economy, defense, and mobility.[3]

Iowa 3 begins at the Big Sioux River where it continues west into South Dakota as South Dakota Highway 50. Shortly after entering Iowa, the highway intersects Iowa 12. Iowa 3 traffic turns north onto Iowa 12 and the two highways travel together toward Akron. There, the two highways split as Iowa 3 heads east toward Le Mars where it meets U.S. Highway 75 (US 75) and its business route. The highway continues east toward Remsen and Marcus where it meets Iowa 140 and Iowa 143 in each respective town. At Cherokee, the highway intersects US 59 and skirts the northeastern edge of town. North of Aurelia, Iowa 3 meets Iowa 7. Northeast of Truesdale, Iowa 3 intersects US 71.[4]

Iowa 3 runs east of Humboldt.

Continuing east, Iowa 3 intersects Iowa 4 in Pocahontas. Between Pocahontas and Gilmore City, Iowa 3 meets Iowa 15. Iowa 3 intersects US 169 in Humboldt. East of Humboldt, Iowa 3 is overlapped briefly by Iowa 17 near Goldfield. Iowa 3 overlaps US 69 east of Clarion. Between Latimer and Coulter, Iowa 3 meets I-35 at a diamond interchange. East of that interchange in Hampton, Iowa 3 intersects US 65. At Allison, Iowa 3 is briefly overlapped by Iowa 14. Iowa 3 meets Iowa 188 south of Clarksville.[4]

Iowa 3 runs along Bremer Avenue in Waverly.

West of Waverly, Iowa 3 intersects US 218 / Iowa 27, the Avenue of the Saints highway, at an interchange. Through Waverly, Iowa 3 is overlapped by US 218 Business before that route turns south to rejoin US 218. Just north of Denver, Iowa 3 intersects US 63 at a diamond interchange. At Oelwein, Iowa 3 overlaps Iowa 150 before continuing east towards Iowa 187. From Strawberry Point to near Edgewood, Iowa 3 overlaps Iowa 13. East of Edgewood, Iowa 3 enters the Driftless Area, where the terrain changes markedly from gently rolling farmland to steep bluffs; the intersection with Iowa 38 is located on the edge of the Driftless Area. At Luxemburg, Iowa 3 meets US 52 and Iowa 136. The next 22 miles (35 km), from Luxemburg to Sageville, are particularly curvy because of the terrain. At the city limits between Sageville and Dubuque, Iowa 3 ends at the Northwest Arterial, which carried Iowa 32 prior to 2020.[4]


Original Iowa 3
Now known as Iowa Highway 2; that road was renumbered in 1939
Current Iowa 3 (as routed in 1920)
No. 12 – Westfield to Akron
No. 27 – Akron to Le Mars
No. 5 – Le Mars to near Aurelia
Gap between Aurelia and Pocahontas
No. 10 – Pocahontas to Strawberry Point
No. 13 – Strawberry Point to near Edgewood
Gap between Edgewood and Luxemburg
No. 20 – Luxemburg to Dubuque
Designated Iowa 3 on May 15, 1945
Extended to SD 50 in 1949
Overlapped by Iowa 5 until 1969
Rerouted through Dubuque due to reconstruction of US 61/US 151
Dubuque changes
SW Arterial constructed
US 52 rerouted
Iowa 3 ends at NW Arterial

This is the second state highway to be designated Iowa 3. The first Iowa 3 existed from 1920 to 1941, and was an east–west route across the southern part of Iowa, beginning at Fort Madison and ending at the western border of Iowa near Nebraska City, Nebraska. The current Iowa 3 route was designated in 1945.

Originally extending from Iowa 12 in Akron to Dubuque, Iowa 3 was co-signed with Iowa 5 from Akron to near Aurelia.[5] In 1949, Iowa 3 was extended along Iowa 12 from Akron to its current western end at the Big Sioux River.

Prior to the building of a four lane US 61 / US 151, the eastern end of Iowa 3 was at the intersection of Bluff Street and U.S. Route 20, Dodge Street.

Major intersections

Big Sioux River0.0000.000
SD 50 west – Vermillion
Continuation into South Dakota
South Dakota–Iowa state line
PlymouthWestfield Township1.4792.380
Iowa 12 south – Sioux City
Western end of Iowa 12 overlap
Iowa 12 north (Loess Hills Scenic Byway) – Hawarden
Eastern end of Iowa 12 overlap
Johnson Township17.61728.352 CR K22 – Sioux CityFormer Iowa 7
America Township26.06141.941

US 75 / US 75 Bus. begins – Alton, Sioux City
Western end of US 75 Business overlap
Le Mars27.61844.447

US 75 Bus. north (5th Avenue West)
Eastern end of US 75 Business overlap; former US 75

Iowa 140 south / CR L14 north – Kingsley

Iowa 143 north / CR L36 south to US 20 – Marcus
Cherokee Township60.44197.270 US 59 – Cherokee, Primghar
63.110101.566 CR C38 – CherokeeFormer Iowa 977
Afton Township66.481106.991
Iowa 7 east – Aurelia
Buena VistaScottLincoln
township line
81.508131.174 US 71 – Storm Lake, Spencer
Fairfield Township91.576147.377 CR N14 – Albert CityFormer Iowa 197
PocahontasPocahontas106.208170.925 Iowa 4 – Pomeroy, Mallard
township line

Iowa 15 north / CR N65 south – Rolfe, Manson
HumboldtHumboldt129.190207.911 US 169 – Fort Dodge, Algona
township line
138.203222.416 CR P66 – ThorFormer Iowa 302
county line
township line
Iowa 17 north – Renwick
Western end of Iowa 17 overlap
Iowa 17 south – Eagle Grove
Eastern end of Iowa 17 overlap
township line
US 69 south – Jewell
Western end of US 69 overlap
township line
US 69 north – Belmond
Eastern end of US 69 overlap
Rowan164.382264.547 CR R65Former Iowa 353
FranklinScott Township168.170270.643 CR S14 – Alexander, MeserveyFormer Iowa 107
172.284277.264 I-35 – Des Moines, MinneapolisI-35 exit 165
Marion Township176.674284.329 CR S25 – Coulter, LatimerFormer Iowa 263
Hampton182.279293.350 US 65 – Iowa Falls, Mason City
ButlerWest Point Township197.759318.262 CR T24 – BristowFormer Iowa 326
Iowa 14 north – Greene
Western end of Iowa 14 overlap
Iowa 14 south – Parkersburg
Eastern end of Iowa 14 overlap
Butler Township210.010337.978
Iowa 188 north – Clarksville
BremerWashington Township217.384349.846
US 218 / Iowa 27 – Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Charles City

US 218 Bus. north (20th Street West)
Western end of US 218 Business overlap

US 218 Bus. south (Easton Avenue)
Eastern end of US 218 Business overlap
Jefferson Township228.161367.190 US 63 – Denver, New Hampton
Maxfield Township233.693376.092Quarter Avenue – ReadlynFormer Iowa 241
FayetteJefferson Township249.711401.871
Iowa 150 north – Maynard
Western end of Iowa 150 overlap
Iowa 150 south – Independence
Eastern end of Iowa 150 overlap
Putnam Township266.048–
Iowa 187 – Arlington, LamontRoundabout; former Iowa 154
ClaytonStrawberry Point271.771437.373
Iowa 13 north – Elkader
Western end of Iowa 13 overlap
Cass Township273.414440.017 CR W68 – Backbone State ParkFormer Iowa 410
county line
LodomilloHoney Creek
township line
Iowa 13 south – Manchester
Eastern end of Iowa 13 overlap
DelawareElk Township284.102457.218
Iowa 38 south – Greeley
US 52 / Iowa 136 south (Andre Street) – Dyersville, Guttenberg
Former western end of US 52 overlap
CR C9Y (Sherrill Road) / Great River Road south
Western end of Great River Road overlap
321.436517.301 CR D10 (John Deere Road West)Former Iowa 386
SagevilleDubuque line322.922519.693 Northwest Arterial / CR Y35 (John Deere Road South)Former Iowa 32 and Iowa 386
Dubuque325.335523.576Rhomberg AvenueFormer US 61 / US 151
US 52 south / US 61 / US 151 / Great River Road
Former eastern end
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Closed/former
  •       Concurrency terminus


  1. ^ 2009 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa (PDF) (Report). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Iowa Department of Transportation (December 31, 2018). National Highway System: Iowa (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  3. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Iowa Department of Transportation (2009). State of Iowa Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Ames: Iowa Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
  5. ^ Road and Reference Atlas (Map) (1947 ed.). 1:1,077,120. Rand McNally & Company. 1947. pp. 42–43.
  6. ^ "Road Network (Portal)" (ESRI shapefile). Ames: Iowa Department of Transportation. April 9, 2021. Retrieved August 18, 2021.

External links