U.S. Route 61 in Minnesota

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U.S. Highway 61

     US 61
Route information
Defined by MS § 161.%section%
Maintained by MnDOT
Length164.93 mi[1] (265.43 km)
ExistedNovember 26, 1926[2]–present
GreatRiverRoad.svg Great River Road
Major junctions
South end US 61 / US 14 / WIS 16 at La Crescent
Major intersections
North end I-35 at Wyoming
CountryUnited States
CountiesHouston, Winona, Wabasha, Goodhue, Dakota, Washington, Ramsey, Chisago
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highway System
MN 60 MN 61

U.S. Highway 61 (US 61) is a U.S. Highway in southeast and east-central Minnesota, which runs from the River Bridge over the Mississippi River at La Crescent and continues north to its northern terminus at its junction with Interstate 35 (I-35) at the city of Wyoming.

US 61 in Minnesota is 165 miles (266 km) in length. The highway connects the cities of La Crescent, Winona, Wabasha, Lake City, Red Wing, Hastings, Cottage Grove, Saint Paul, Forest Lake, and Wyoming.

Route description

US 61 enters the state of Minnesota at the city of La Crescent on the River Bridge over the Mississippi River between the cities of La Crosse and La Crescent. US 61 runs concurrently with US 14 and State Highway 16 (MN 16) as it enters the state. The four-lane divided highway continues north through La Crescent. US 61 follows the Mississippi River through southeast Minnesota; through the cities of Winona, Wabasha, Lake City, and Red Wing.

US 61 is a two-lane roadway between Wabasha and Red Wing. US 61 crosses the Mississippi River at Hastings over the new Hastings Bridge and joins US 10 at Cottage Grove. US 61 and US 10 run concurrently as a freeway between Cottage Grove and the city of Saint Paul. Within the city of Saint Paul, US 61 follows I-94 for a short distance, and then follows Mounds Boulevard, East 7th Street, and Arcade Street through the east side of St. Paul.

US 61 then proceeds north to Maplewood, where it becomes a four-lane highway named Maplewood Drive to White Bear Lake. Between I-694 and the central business district of White Bear Lake, the road serves one of the Twin Cities region's major car dealership areas. After leaving White Bear Lake, US 61 is a two-lane roadway again to Forest Lake and then to its northern terminus at the city of Wyoming. US 61 closely parallels I-35E and I-35 from Saint Paul to Wyoming.

Approximately 120 miles (190 km) of US 61 from La Crescent to Cottage Grove in southeast Minnesota is officially designated the Disabled American Veterans Highway. Legally, the Minnesota section of US 61 is defined as unmarked legislative routes 3, 104, 102 and 1 in the Minnesota Statutes. US 61 is not marked with these legislative numbers along the actual highway.


US 61 in Minnesota is an original U.S. Highway, established on November 26, 1926.[2] It originally extended north to the Canadian border at Grand Portage, but it was cut back to its present terminus in 1991. The portion between Duluth and Grand Portage is now MN 61. Segments of the old alignment that parallel MN 61 and I-35 have been designated County Road 61 (CR 61).

In 1929, the only unpaved portions were from Hastings to Wabasha and from Winona to the state line. It was completely paved by 1940.[3]

The expressway sections south of Wabasha were built in the 1960s and the 1970s. The four lane divided highway section between Red Wing and MN 316 near Miesville was completed in 1997. The freeway section of US 61 between Cottage Grove and I-494 at Newport was completed in 2007.[3]

The US 61 Hastings High Bridge received considerable attention from increased bridge inspections in 2008 following the August 1, 2007, I-35W Bridge collapse in nearby Minneapolis. The Hastings High Bridge, a steel arch structure built in 1951, is structurally deficient and shows considerable deterioration. It is also a notorious traffic bottleneck because it has only one lane each way and dumps southbound US 61 traffic into downtown Hastings. Starting in October 2010, the Hastings bridge will be replaced, with the projected completion in 2013.[4]

Major intersections

Mississippi River0.0000.000

US 14 east / US 61 south / WIS 16 east / Alt. I-90 east – La Crosse
Wisconsin state line
La Crosse West Channel Bridge
HoustonLa Crescent1.7122.755

MN 16 west (Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway) / Great River Road south / CSAH 6 west to MN 26 – Hokah, Rushford
North end of MN 16 overlap; south end of Great River Road overlap
WinonaDresbach Township4.0746.556276
I-90 east – La Crosse, Tomah, Madison
North end of I-90 Alt. overlap; south end of I-90 overlap
Dresbach6.63610.680273BDresbachNo northbound entrance; signed as exit 273B&A northbound
7.08711.405273ADresbachSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
I-90 west – Albert Lea
North end of I-90 overlap
8.92514.3639 CR 12 / CR 101 – DakotaSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; I-90 exit 271 (northbound)
Richmond Township17.43828.064
CSAH 7 / Great River Road Spur – Pickwick
Winona25.68841.341 MN 43 – Rushford, Wisconsin, Minnesota State College Southeast Technical
CSAH 44 / Great River Road Spur – Winona State University, MN Marine Art Museum
US 14 west / Pelzer Street – Rochester, St. Marys University
North end of US 14 overlap
Rollingstone Township46.11874.220
MN 248 west – Rollingstone, Altura, Minnesota City
MN 74 south – Whitewater State Park, St. Charles
Greenfield Township53.97986.871
MN 42 south / CSAH 18 – Plainview
MN 60 (Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway) to Great River Road (Wisconsin Route) – Zumbro Falls, Wabasha, Wisconsin, National Eagle Center
Lake City74.005119.100
US 63 south (Lyon Avenue / Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway) – Zumbro Falls, Rochester
South end of US 63 overlap
GoodhueRed Wing88.957–

MN 292 / Great River Road Spur
Both ends of MN 292 loop

US 63 north / MN 58 south (Plum Street) – Minnesota State College Southeast Technical, Wisconsin
North end of US 63 overlap
MN 19 west – Cannon Falls
97.701157.235 CSAH 18 (Prairie Island Boulevard) – Prairie Island Indian Community, Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Lock and Dam No. 3
Welch Township101.142162.772 CSAH 7 (Welch Village Road) – Welch, Welch Village

MN 316 north / Great River Road north – Hastings
North end of Great River Road overlap
DakotaDouglas Township107.588173.146

MN 50 west to MN 20 – Hampton, Cannon Falls

MN 316 south / Great River Road south
South end of Great River Road overlap
Great River Road Spur (21st Street)
116.310187.18318th Street EastFormer MN 291 east
MN 55 west

CSAH 42 west (2nd Street) / Great River Road (National Route) north
Interchange; south end of Great River Road (National Route) overlap (US 61 south of here is an alternate route of the Great River Road)
Mississippi River117.458–
Hastings Bridge
WashingtonDenmark Township119.120191.705

US 10 east / Great River Road (National Route) south / I-94 Alt. east – Prescott
North end of Great River Road overlap; south end of I-94 Alt. / US 10 overlap
Cottage Grove119.966193.067
MN 95 north (Manning Avenue) – Stillwater
CSAH 19 / CR 19A (Innovation Road)Interchange; south end of freeway
Jamaica AvenueInterchange
125.952202.700Grange Boulevard / 80th StreetInterchange
St. Paul Park127.730–
127 CSAH 22 (70th Street) / Summit AvenueInterchange
129Glen RoadInterchange

I-494 / Great River Road (National Route) south
Interchange; I-494 exits 63A&B; south end of Great River Road overlap
RamseySt. Paul130.665210.285130BMaxwell Avenue / Bailey RoadInterchange; north end of freeway

Great River Road (National Route) north (Warner Road / County 36)
north end of Great River Road overlap
I-94 east (US 12) / East 3rd Street
North end of I-94 Alt. overlap; south end of I-94 / US 12 overlap; US 61 south follows exit 244; no access from US 61 south to 3rd Street or 3rd Street to US 61 north

I-94 west / US 10 west (US 12) / Kellogg Boulevard / Mounds Boulevard
North end of I-94 / US 10 / US 12 overlap; US 61 north follows exit 243
MN 5 west (7th Street)
South end of MN 5 overlap
MN 5 east (East 7th Street)
North end of MN 5 overlap
MN 36 – StillwaterInterchange
Vadnais Heights143.461–
I-694Interchange; I-694 exit 48
Vadnais HeightsGem Lake line144.467232.497 CSAH 15 (County E)Former MN 244 north
White Bear Lake146.726236.133
CSAH 96 west
Former MN 96 west
MN 96 east – Stillwater
WashingtonForest Lake159.295256.360
MN 97 west – Lino Lakes, Twin Cities
South end of MN 97 overlap
MN 97 east
North end of MN 97 overlap
US 8 – Taylors FallsInterchange
ChisagoWyoming164.858265.313 CSAH 22 (Wyoming Trail)Former MN 98 east; south end of CR 22 overlap

CSAH 30 north (Forest Boulevard) / Old US 61
Former US 61 north
I-35 / CSAH 22 west – St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth
Interchange; north end of CR 22 overlap; I-35 exit 135
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

Further reading

  • Johnson, Nathan (2021). Highway 61 Through Minnesota. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781467106931.


  1. ^ "Trunk Highway Log Point Listing - Construction District 5" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. November 6, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  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 October 24, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Riner, Steve. "Details of routes 51–75". The Unofficial Minnesota Highways Page. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  4. ^ "Hastings Bridge Project Home". Minnesota Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  5. ^ "Statewide Trunk Logpoint Listing" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. August 20, 2010. Retrieved October 24, 2010.

External links

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