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Minnesota's Capitol Highway

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Molandfreak:
The legislation describing the route of the Capitol Highway in Minnesota uses a convoluted routing that makes no sense. The two or three websites that mention the designation don't give very helpful information about its actual route, and just say "it followed highway 56." But only the northernmost part of it, as well as most of the route south of Kenyon, followed 56. Full text of the statute

As far as I can tell, this is a modern-day equivalent of the highway being described in the statute: Google maps

The only difference being that I assume it followed the old county 83 bridge in Randolph rather than the one used by highway 56 today. The map published by MN/DOT seems to show the highway following county 47, MN 3, and MN 19 over to 56, but I believe this is wrong for a couple of reasons:


--- Quote ---thence southeasterly and southerly to a point at or near the southeast corner of section 35, township 113, range 19
--- End quote ---
Nothing about this seems to point to the highway using other state highways for a bit, and county 47/MN 3 travel southwest at this point.


--- Quote ---thence southerly traversing in part the line between Rice and Goodhue Counties, to Trunk Highway No. 21
--- End quote ---
This suggests that the highway followed Goodhue Avenue from highway 19 to highway 21 (now highway 60) near Kenyon.

Regardless, what was the point of this highway and why was it deliberately designed to follow these minor roads (Blaine Avenue is blocked off and little more than dirt tracks within UMore Park) when highway 56 was right there? Couldn't they have just said it follows MN 56 the whole way, or maybe included the Robert Street detour in the legislation so that it would go behind the capitol? And why are the route descriptions so inconsistent: In Dakota County, no county-maintained roads are mentioned by name or number, but in Mower County, CSAH 19 and CSAH 12 are mentioned.

froggie:
The Capitol Highway designation was created in 1959.  This is before Dakota County did a drastic renumbering of its county routes.  I suspect its county routes were also unsigned prior to that renumbering...if so, it may explain why the statute doesn't include Dakota County route numbers.

As for the routing, it's a hot mess to put it bluntly.

TheHighwayMan394:
The part of this that caught my eye was where it deviates from MN 56 between just north of I-90 and Rose Creek where it rejoins the MN 56 routing (appears to be modern Mower CSAH 19 and CSAH 46). I wondered if that was an old alignment of 56, but the 1958 map shows 56 as being on the route it follows today.

Molandfreak:

--- Quote from: TheHighwayMan394 on December 01, 2021, 01:31:42 AM ---The part of this that caught my eye was where it deviates from MN 56 between just north of I-90 and Rose Creek where it rejoins the MN 56 routing (appears to be modern Mower CSAH 19 and CSAH 46). I wondered if that was an old alignment of 56, but the 1958 map shows 56 as being on the route it follows today.

--- End quote ---
It looks like the original text of the legislation says that the highway deviates from 56 via trunk highway 9 (which was US 16) and "Mower county state aid road A" so it must have been revised after the modern CSAH system was implemented. I don't know why they didn't just revise it to say it follows trunk highway 56 to Le Roy, though.

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