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Minnesota Transportation History: Highways-Freeways-Bridges

Minnesota transportation research guide - includes general transportation research links and resources as well as highway, freeway and bridge history resources.

Highways, Freeways & Bridges


The MnDOT Library has a rich collection of resources in a variety of formats to assist you in researching the history of transportation in Minnesota. The main collection has many historic documents and reports, as well as construction plans and environmental impact studies. You can search our catalog below and also simultaneously search for resources in the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies' collection, and other state agency libraries. We have also compiled some resources around the Web for your research.

Definitions

Controlled-access highway

"Controlled-access highway" means, in this chapter, every highway, street, or roadway in respect to which the right of access of the owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons has been acquired and to which the owners or occupants of abutting lands and other persons have no legal right of access to or from the same except at such points only and in such manner as may be determined by the public authority having jurisdiction over such highway, street or roadway.  Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 169.011.

County highways

Those roads which have heretofore been or which hereafter may be established, constructed, or improved under authority of the several county boards, including all roads lying within the county or on the line between counties established by judicial proceedings, except those roads established, constructed, or improved by the counties that have been maintained by the towns for a period of at least one year prior to July 1, 1957. All roads heretofore designated prior to July 1, 1957 as county-aid highways shall be county highways until abandoned or changed in accordance with law.  Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 169.02.

County state-aid highways

Includes all roads established in accordance with law as county state-aid highways.  Sometimes abbreviated as CSAH.  Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 169.02.

Expressway

A divided highway with partial control of access.  Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 169.02.

Freeway

A divided highway with full control of access. Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 169.02.

Interstate Highways

A system of controlled access freeways that were created by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956.  The interstate highway system forms part of the National Highway System.

State highways

Highways that are numbered by the state and maintained by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Sometimes called state roads or state routes.

Town roads

Those roads and cartways which have heretofore been or which hereafter may be established, constructed, or improved under the authority of the several town boards, roads established, constructed, or improved by counties that have been maintained by the towns for a period of at least one year prior to July 1, 1957.  Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 169.02.

Trunk highways

All roads established or to be established under the provisions of article 14, section 2 of the Constitution of the state of Minnesota.  Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 169.02.

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Qin Tang, Technical Services Librarian
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