U.S. Route 2 in Minnesota

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U.S. Highway 2

     US 2
Route information
Defined by MS § 161.%section%
Maintained by MnDOT
Length264.07 mi[1] (424.98 km)
ExistedNovember 11, 1926[2]–present
GreatRiverRoad.svg Great River Road
Lake Superior Circle Tour.svg Lake Superior Circle Tour
Major junctions
West end US 2 at the North Dakota state line
Major intersections
East end US 2 at the Wisconsin state line
CountryUnited States
CountiesPolk, Clearwater, Beltrami, Hubbard, Cass, Itasca, Aitkin, St. Louis
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highway System
MN 1 MN 3

U.S. Highway 2 (US 2) is a United States Numbered 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 Rapids, and Duluth.

Of the 264 miles (425 km) of US 2 in Minnesota, 146 miles (235 km) have four lanes, mostly located in the northwest part of the state.

Route description

The MN 197 interchange; traffic wishing to continue into Bemidji via MN 197 can use the left two lanes. Likewise, traffic that wishes to stay on the freeway and bypass Bemidji can use the right two lanes.
US 71 and MN 197 interchange south of Bemidji at the end of the US 2 concurrency

US 2 enters the state from the west at the city of East Grand Forks, at the Red River. From the North Dakota state line to Crookston, US 2 is a four-lane divided highway built to expressway standards for 26 miles (42 km). Upon entering Crookston, US 2 follows the city streets of North Main, North Broadway, and East Robert streets.

Once US 2 leaves Crookston, it becomes a four-lane divided highway built to expressway standards for 83 miles (134 km). This expressway portion of US 2 in northwest Minnesota passes through the cities of Mentor, Erskine, Fosston, Bagley, and the west of Bemidji.

After the Minnesota State Highway 197 (MN 197) interchange, US 2 becomes a four-lane freeway for nine miles (14 km) as it bypasses Bemidji. US 71 joins the freeway after 1.5 miles (2.4 km) and runs concurrently with US 2 for 4.5 miles (7.2 km). The freeway crosses the Mississippi River after 115 miles (185 km).

The freeway ends at an at-grade junction with Animal Land Drive south of Bemidji. US 2 continues as a four-lane divided highway built to expressway standards for 12 miles (19 km) to Cass Lake. The portion of US 2 from Bemidji to Cass Lake is officially designated the Paul Bunyan Expressway.

After Cass Lake, US 2 continues east as a two-lane roadway for 40 miles (64 km) to Deer River. East of Deer River, US 2 is a four-lane divided highway for seven miles (11 km) until the city of Grand Rapids, where it has a junction with US 169. US 2 then heads southeasterly as a two-lane roadway for 59 miles (95 km) to the unincorporated area of Saginaw, where it has an interchange with MN 33. The route then continues east for two miles (3.2 km) to its intersection with MN 194 at Solway Township. US 2 then continues southeasterly for 12 miles (19 km) before entering the city of Proctor, where it is the main street through town. The route widens to a three-lane roadway as it approaches its intersection with Boundary Avenue (County Road 14 [CR 14]). The route enters the city limits of Duluth, where it has a junction with Interstate 35 (I-35), US 2 joins that route's freeway. US 2 runs concurrently with I-35 for two miles (3.2 km) in West Duluth, proceeding down Thompson Hill. US 2 then exits the I-35 freeway in West Duluth and crosses the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge over the Saint Louis Bay, entering the state of Wisconsin and the city of Superior. US 2 then follows Belknap Street in Superior.

Legally, the Minnesota section of US 2 is defined as Constitutional Route 8 and Legislative Route 106 in the Minnesota Statutes §§ 161.114(2) and 161.115(134). The route is not marked with those numbers.


US 2 in Minnesota was authorized on November 11, 1926.[2] It followed the route of old state Trunk Highway 8 in its entirety. At the time it was marked, it was paved along a short concurrency with US 75 north of Crookston and from its junction with then-Trunk Highway 11 (present-day US 53) through Duluth. The remainder was graveled or graded, except for a section west of Bagley which was simply a maintained dirt surface.[3]

The route in Minnesota was completely paved in 1939. The last segment to be completed was between then-State Highway 94 (now MN 194) at Solway Township and the community of Adolph.[4][5]

A few short (four-lane) divided highway segments of US 2 were constructed west of Bemidji during the 1960s. In the present day, from East Grand Forks to Cass Lake, this route is built to expressway standards and a posted 65-mile-per-hour (105 km/h) speed limit. The highway from Bemidji to Cass Lake was designated the Paul Bunyan Expressway in 1991. That designation originally extended down MN 371 to Little Falls, but that section was repealed in 2005.[6]

From Cass Lake to Duluth, there are only a couple of short four-lane divided highway segments, but the nonurban portions of this segment are a posted 60-mile-per-hour (97 km/h) speed limit.

Major intersections

Red River of the North0.0000.000
US 2 west (Gateway Drive NW) – Grand Forks
Continuation into North Dakota
North DakotaMinnesota state line
PolkEast Grand Forks0.8301.336
MN 220 north (Central Avenue NW) – Alvarado
Western end of MN 220 overlap

US 2 Bus. west – East Grand Forks Business District
Huntsville Township5.6259.053
MN 220 south – Climax
Eastern end of MN 220 overlap
Lowell Township23.48937.802
US 75 south – Moorhead
Western end of US 75 overlap
US 75 north – Warren
Eastern end of US 75 overlap
Fairfax Township28.93446.565
MN 9 south – Ada, Fertile
Grove Park-Tilden Township43.03869.263 MN 32 – Fertile, Red Lake Falls
Knute Township58.19793.659 US 59 – Mahnomen, Thief River FallsInterchange
ClearwaterBagley88.349142.184 MN 92 (Main Avenue) – Itasca State Park, Clearbrook
BeltramiEckles Township108.149174.049
MN 89 north – Red Lake, Roseau
Interchange; Southern terminus of MN 89
Bemidji Township110.758–

MN 197 south – Bemidji
Interchange; Northern terminus of MN 197

US 71 north – International Falls
Interchange; Eastern end of US 71 overlap
Bemidji Township115.349–
Mississippi River

US 71 south / MN 197 north – Park Rapids, Bemidji
Interchange; Western end of US 71 overlap; Southern terminus of MN 197
HubbardNo major intersections
CassCass Lake129.982209.186
MN 371 south – Walker
Mississippi River160.939–
ItascaBowstring Lake

CSAH 39 (Ball Club Lake Road) / Great River Road (National Route) north
Western end of Great River Road overlap

CSAH 18 (Schoolcraft Park Road) / Great River Road (National Route) south
Eastern end of Great River Road overlap
Morse Township168.032270.421
MN 46 north – Northome
Deer River169.051272.061
MN 6 north – Big Falls
Western end of MN 6 overlap
Deer Lake174.550280.911
MN 6 south – Remer
Eastern end of MN 6 overlap
Grand Rapids183.479295.281
MN 38 north – Bigfork, Effie
US 169 south – Aitkin
Western end of US 169 overlap
US 169 north – Hibbing
Eastern end of US 169 overlap
Swan River203.049326.776 MN 65 – McGregor, Nashwauk
AitkinNortheast Aitkin211.261339.992
MN 200 west – Hill City
St. LouisFloodwood220.754355.269
MN 73 north – Hibbing
Eastern end of MN 73 overlap
Floodwood Township221.028355.710
MN 73 south – Cromwell, Moose Lake
Western end of MN 73 overlap
Stoney Brook Township239.099–
Saint Louis River
Brevator Township244.837394.027 MN 33 – Cloquet, Canyon
Solway Township246.786397.164
MN 194 east – Hermantown
I-35 south – St. Paul, Minneapolis
Western end of I-35 overlap, exit 250
Cody StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only, exit 251A
261.966421.593 MN 23 (Grand Avenue)Southbound exit and northbound entrance, exit 251B
262.331422.181Central AvenueExit 252

I-35 north / LSCT north – Duluth
Eastern end of I-35 overlap, exit 253A
Saint Louis Bay264.089425.010Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge; MinnesotaWisconsin state line

US 2 east / LSCT – Superior
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 April 21, 2009.
  3. ^ Minnesota Highway Department; McGill-Warner (1927). Map of Trunk Highway System, State of Minnesota (Map). 1:760,320. St. Paul: Minnesota Highway Department. §§ A6-P11. OCLC 5673160, 80405240. Retrieved August 14, 2011 – via Minnesota Digital Library. (Showing road conditions as of June 1, 1927)
  4. ^ Minnesota Highway Department; McGill-Warner (1939). Map of Minnesota Trunk Highway System (Map). 1:760,320. St. Paul: Minnesota Highway Department. § O10. OCLC 5673160, 80405240. Retrieved November 22, 2010 – via Minnesota Digital Library. (Showing road conditions as of May 1, 1939)
  5. ^ Minnesota Department of Highways (1940). Official Road Map of Minnesota Showing the State Highway System and Main Secondary Roads (Map). Scale not given. St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Highways. § O10. OCLC 5673160, 80405240. Retrieved November 22, 2010 – via Minnesota Digital Library. (Showing road conditions as of May 1, 1940)
  6. ^ "Transportation Policy". Article 3, HF No. 140 of July 14, 2005. Minnesota Legislature. Retrieved October 30, 2020.

External links

U.S. Route 2
Previous state:
North Dakota
Minnesota Next state: