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Author Topic: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934  (Read 619 times)

usends

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Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« on: January 14, 2021, 10:33:09 PM »

Full article with map clips
Some 1934 maps show US 59 in southeastern Minnesota; US 65 extending north of the Twin Cities; US 212 extending east of St. Paul to Stillwater; and/or US 218 extending northwest from the Twin Cities.  These were never signposted, but the errors can be traced back to a decision by MNDoT's precursor (Dept. of Highways) to prematurely publish them on their 1934 state highway map, a month or two before AASHO had a chance to review them (and they ended up not approving). 
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hockeyjohn

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2021, 09:45:14 AM »

Good article.
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texaskdog

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2021, 09:57:53 AM »

Love my 1934 map!
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froggie

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2021, 10:05:15 AM »

I've read rumors that US 65 was briefly signposted north of Minneapolis, though I don't recall where I read that.
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DandyDan

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2021, 03:20:36 AM »

Was it in this era when the old MN 212 was created as well? I recall that highway lasting into the 1980s.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2021, 02:52:25 PM »

The one proposal in the article that I found the most ridiculous was the proposal to renumber US 210 to US 208 (which I had already known from the defunct webpage US Highways 1-830). Since the highway wouldn't have connected with US 8, being well to the north of that corridor, a better proposed number for the corridor would have been US 261. Of course, 210 was never renumbered, and was later downgraded into a state highway (although I wouldn't have minded existing MN 210 west of Staples becoming an extension of US 210), not to mention US 61 no longer serves Carlton, so that is no longer an issue.
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froggie

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2021, 08:23:16 AM »

These were never signposted,

Stever Riner quotes a Minnesota Highway Department publication indicating that many of them were signposted.

Was it in this era when the old MN 212 was created as well? I recall that highway lasting into the 1980s.

Yes.

The one proposal in the article that I found the most ridiculous was the proposal to renumber US 210 to US 208 (which I had already known from the defunct webpage US Highways 1-830).

The aforementioned Stever Riner notes that, since the original plan no longer had US 210 connecting to US 10 (as old US 10N was expected to become US 218), Minnesota probably felt they had to renumber 210.  This also jives with rumors I've heard (but have not been able to verify) that some sort of US 8 reroute or extension was also being considered.  Or perhaps Minnesota thought that Wisconsin was going to do something (which also explains the aborted US 212 extension to the St. Croix River).
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usends

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2021, 01:34:42 PM »

...since the original plan no longer had US 210 connecting to US 10 (as old US 10N was expected to become US 218), Minnesota probably felt they had to renumber 210.  This also jives with rumors I've heard (but have not been able to verify) that some sort of US 8 reroute or extension was also being considered.  Or perhaps Minnesota thought that Wisconsin was going to do something (which also explains the aborted US 212 extension to the St. Croix River).

Thanks to AASHTO's route numbering archive, we now have access to historic documents which provide answers to the questions above.  There is no need to speculate anymore.  That's why I wrote the article.

Regarding whether or not MNDoT ever signposted these routes before AASHO rejected them: I can't say with 100% certainty, but the documents do provide a timeline and some other data that can inform our speculation: 
* MNDoT never officially proposed the southeastern US 59 to AASHO.
* The US 212 extension to Stillwater was first proposed in Nov. 1933.  AASHO's initial response was "probably, but we don't meet until next June".
* US 65 and US 218 extensions were first proposed in Jan. 1934.  AASHO's response was simply "we'll see in June".
* Based on those responses from AASHO, would it make sense for MNDoT to prematurely signpost?  No, but maybe they did anyway.
* Nowhere in MNDoT's correspondence do they say "by the way, we've already signposted these" (although, granted, they might not admit that).
* AASHO rejected the US 65 and US 218 proposals at their June 1934 meeting. 

Is it possible MNDoT signposted these routes for a few months before June, and left them up for a few months after?  Maybe, I guess.  US 212 would be the most likely candidate, since it apparently wasn't killed until late '34 / early '35.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2021, 10:08:14 PM »

But instead of renumbering 210, they could have just had the Motley-St. Cloud leg of 10N be 218 and then 210 extend west over the remaining 10N to Moorhead. It's all 90 years in the mirror, I know...
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froggie

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2021, 11:18:14 PM »

^^ Minor nitpick with both your article and your post:  standard parlance is to write it as MnDOT, not MNDoT.  Even MnDOT themselves uses a lowercase 'n' instead of a lowercase 'o' on their website.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2021, 01:02:08 AM »

What's interesting is the AASHTO trove is the first time I heard of 65 being extended all the way to US 71. Andrew Munsch has a great (but sadly no longer actively updated) site detailing some historical US routes in Minnesota, but he only knew of the extension to McGregor at US 210.
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usends

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2021, 09:38:38 AM »

What's interesting is the AASHTO trove is the first time I heard of 65 being extended all the way to US 71. Andrew Munsch has a great (but sadly no longer actively updated) site detailing some historical US routes in Minnesota, but he only knew of the extension to McGregor at US 210.

Yes, MNDoT's proposal was to extend 65 all the way up to 71, and I don't think there was ever a followup proposal cutting it back to 210.  However, somewhere to the south of Littlefork the road was not yet passable.  So on the 1934 map they decided to mark it as "US 65" only up to McGregor, and "TH 65" north of there (presumably with the intention of extending US 65 once the road was complete).  Of the two 1934 commercial maps I've seen, one showed US 65 to McGregor, and the other showed it all the way to Littlefork (despite also showing a gap in the road).
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froggie

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Re: Minnesota's rogue US routes of 1934
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2021, 10:12:33 AM »

Stever Riner's site notes another US 65 terminus not mentioned in Dale's article or the AASHO lit:  US 2 at Swan River.  I'm now curious where that came from.
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