U.S. Route 12 in Minnesota

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U.S. Highway 12

     US 12
Route information
Defined by MS § 161.%section%
Maintained by MnDOT
Length192.798 mi[1] (310.278 km)
ExistedNovember 11, 1926[2]–present
Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway
Major junctions
West end US 12 at the South Dakota state line
Major intersections
East end I-94 / US 12 at the Wisconsin state line
CountryUnited States
CountiesBig Stone, Swift, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Wright, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highway System
MN 11 MN 13

U.S. Highway 12 (US 12) is a 192.798-mile-long (310.278 km) United States Numbered Highway in west- and east-central Minnesota, which travels from the South Dakota state line at Ortonville near Big Stone Lake and continues east to the St. Croix River at the Wisconsin state line. US 12 connects the cities of Ortonville, Benson, Willmar, Litchfield, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.

Route description

From the South Dakota state line at Ortonville, to Orono in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, US 12 is mostly a rural two-lane highway with a 60-mile-per-hour (97 km/h) posted speed limit, with slower speed limits through towns and a four-lane surface arterial segment through the city of Willmar. From Orono to Wayzata, US 12 is a two-lane freeway/super two bypass around Long Lake. From western Wayzata to Interstate 394 (I-394) in Minnetonka, US 12 is a six-lane freeway, with a posted speed limit of 65 mph (105 km/h). East of I-494 in Minnetonka, US 12 is invisibly concurrent with I-394 and I-94 through Minneapolis and Saint Paul to the Wisconsin state line at Hudson.

Legally, the Minnesota section of US 12 is defined as unmarked Constitutional / Legislative Routes 149, 26, and 10 in Minnesota Statutes §§ 161.115(80) and 161.114(2). US 12 is not marked with these legislative numbers along the actual highway.


US 12 was established on November 11, 1926.[2] In 1929, the only sections paved were between Litchfield and Willmar and between Wayzata through Minneapolis–Saint Paul to Wisconsin.[3] The entire route was paved by 1940.[3] Beginning in the 1950s, older sections of US 12 that ran through city centers were replaced with bypasses.[4]

From 2006 to 2008, the US 12 two-lane freeway bypass was constructed through Orono and Long Lake. The new bypass ties into the existing US 12 freeway at the western edge of Wayzata.

Major intersections

Big StoneGrant county lineOrtonvilleBig Stone City line0.0000.000
US 12 west (Main Street) – Big Stone City, Milbank
Continuation into South Dakota
Big StoneOrtonville0.8211.321
MN 7 west (2nd Street SE) / Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway – Browns Valley
Western end of MN 7 concurrency
MN 7 east (SE 2nd Street) – Appleton
Eastern end of MN 7 concurrency
1.3502.173 US 75 / Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway – Wheaton, Madison
SwiftShible Township21.09733.952
MN 119 south – Appleton
Moyer Township27.08843.594 US 59 – Morris, Appleton
MN 29 south (Church Street) – Montevideo
Western end of MN 29 concurrency

MN 9 west (Atlantic Avenue) / MN 29 north (14th Street) – Morris, Starbuck
Eastern end of MN 29 concurrency; western end of MN 9 concurrency
MN 9 east (13th Street) – New London
Eastern end of MN 9 concurrency
KandiyohiMamre Township64.292103.468 CSAH 7 – SunburgFormer MN 104
CSAH 5 (30th Street) to MN 40
72.606116.848Industrial DriveFormer MN 40; closed in 2009; access now via CSAH 5

To US 71 Bus. / MN 23 Bus. / Glacial Ridge Trail
Kandiyohi Township75.696–
US 71 / MN 23 – Sauk Centre, St. Cloud, Olivia, Granite FallsInterchange
MeekerGrove City91.650147.496
MN 4 south – Cosmos
Western end of MN 4 concurrency
Swede Grove Township92.261148.480
MN 4 north – Paynesville
Eastern end of MN 4 concurrency
Litchfield Township98.757158.934
MN 22 north – Eden Valley
Western end of MN 22 concurrency
MN 24 north – Kimball
MN 22 south – Hutchinson
Eastern end of MN 22 concurrency
Dassel Township111.360179.217 MN 15 – Kimball, Hutchinson
MN 25 south (Buffalo Avenue) – Watertown
Western end of MN 25 concurrency
Franklin Township134.152215.897
MN 25 north – Buffalo
Eastern end of MN 25 concurrency
HennepinOrono148.655239.237 CSAH 6 / CSAH 112 (Wayzata Boulevard)Interchange; western end of freeway; former US 12 east / MN 110 south; also access to Long Lake, Orono
Wayzata152 CSAH 112 – Long Lake, OronoWestbound exit and eastbound entrance; former US 12; western end of eastbound HOV/toll lane
CSAH 15 west
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance
150.158241.656154 CSAH 101 (Central Avenue)Former MN 101

CSAH 101 south / CSAH 15 east – Wayzata
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; former US 12 west / MN 101 south
Minnetonka1ACarlson Parkway / Linner Road
157.014252.6901A-B I-494Western end of I-394 concurrency; signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north); I-494 exits 19A-B; western end of westbound HOV/toll lane
See I-394
I-394 east – Downtown Minneapolis
Eastern end of I-394 concurrency; eastern end of HOV/toll lanes; eastbound exit and westbound entrance; I-394 exit 8B

I-94 west / US 52 north
Western end of I-94 concurrency; I-94 exit 231A
Unmarked overlap with I-94 to Wisconsin state line
St. Croix River192.997310.599Interstate Bridge

I-94 east / US 12 east – Madison
Continuation into Wisconsin
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b "Statewide Trunk Logpoint Listing" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 14, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Weingroff, Richard F. (January 9, 2009). "From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Riner, Steve. "Details of routes 1–25". The Unofficial Minnesota Highways Page. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
  4. ^ Middleton, Rand (October 18, 2020). "Highway 12 an original U.S. route holding strong as it approaches 100". Brainerd Dispatch. Forum News Service. Retrieved December 8, 2021.

External links

U.S. Route 12
Previous state:
South Dakota
Minnesota Next state: