Cedar Ave Freeway

The "Cedar Ave Freeway" was a long-proposed freeway that would have followed along Cedar Ave in south Minneapolis and Richfield, and extend south as an expressway to I-35E..  Some plans, specifically a bridge over Lake Nokomis and an interchange at Minnehaha Parkway, existed as early as 1947.  Little else is known or remains of the proposal for much of this freeway, as only the Richfield section (I-494 to now-MN 62) was built.  It showed up on the JOINT Program's transportation study (the precursor to the Metropolitan Council) map, and on a 1968 Metropolitan Council map, but that is it.  The JOINT Program's map, a December 1964 "Interim Thoroughfare Plan", showed proposed interchanges in Minneapolis at Minnehaha Parkway, 42nd St, 35/36th St, and Lake St, but aside from that and the 1947 plans for Minnehaha Parkway and Lake Nokomis, nothing else was further drawn out in Minneapolis.

The only section of the original Cedar Ave freeway to actually see pavement was the Richfield section, from I-494 to just north of then-CSAH 62 (now MN 62).  The Minneapolis section, from about 57th St north, was cancelled in 1970.  Interestingly, the little bit of Cedar Ave freeway that was built has been extended south over the years, starting with the Minnesota River bridge in the early 1980s, and extending south in phases during hte 1980s.  The freeway ends in Apple Valley at about 137th Street, where Cedar Ave/CSAH 23 (MN 77 ends at now-CSAH 38) becomes a surface arterial.  The last stoplights on the designated freeway section were removed in the early 1990s.

Here is a map, created by Chris Bessert (thanks Chris!), which shows what the Cedar Ave freeway, if built, would look like in today's world.

Although originally designated MN 36, the MN 36 designation was dropped from Cedar Ave in 1980, replaced by MN 77 south of then-CSAH 62/now-MN 62.  I have given it a MN 77 designation on this map and on my "fictional exit list" for continuity.

Here is a link to the "fictional exit list" I've created, following the original proposal.



Last updated 11/26/00