Minnesota's trunk highway system, which comprises of the state, U.S., and Interstate highways designated by the state and maintained by MnDOT, is Constitutionally limited to 12,000 miles. Current mileage on the state highway system is 11,932.5 miles as of June, 2002. Being this close to the Constitutional cap does not allow for much flexibility for MnDOT to shift routes around or add new routes to respond to present needs.
While each MnDOT district has a list of routes it no longer deems necessary and could be decommissioned or reduced in length (called jurisdictional transfers or "turnbacks"), it lacks the funding to adequately address needs along the proposed turnback routes. The route to be turned back must be brought up to a minimally acceptable standard, memorandums of understanding must be passed between MnDOT and the jurisdiction taking over responsibility for the route (usually the city or county the route travels through), and the route must be Legislatively removed from the state highway system. This combined with the lack of funding for any agreed-upon upgrades makes for a slow turnback process.
That said, there are still a number of routes that could be turned back to the cities or counties. These include routes that are low-traffic nor not connecting major highways or centers. Generally accepted practice is to maintain arterials and major rural collectors on the state highway system, while minor collectors and local roads are better left under the jurisdiction of local authorities. At the same time, new traffic demands along some roadways make it justifiable from a system standpoint for MnDOT to assume control of those roadways.
The following is a works-in-progress listing of those routes or segments of routes that I think should be turned back, plus the mileage saved from such a turnback (which could then be reused in the future to keep the trunk highway system under the 12,000 mile cap), as well as new routes or routes that could conceivably be extended.
Route Turnback Suggestions
|Route||Location||Mileage saved||Suggested renumbering/relabeling|
|MN 262||I-90 to Grenada||2.054||Martin CSAH 53|
|MN 263||I-90 to Ceylon||11.233||Martin CSAH 27 and Martin CSAH 8|
|MN 264||I-90 to Round Lake||7.394||Nobles CSAH 1 and Nobles CSAH 4|
|MN 266||Wilmont to I-90||13.863||Nobles CSAH 16 and Nobles CSAH 25|
|MN 267||MN 30 to Iona||5.36||Murray CSAH 31|
|MN 268||US 75 to Edgerton||6.184||Pipestone CSAH 9 (route already in process of turnback)|
|MN 270||Hills to US 75||7.663||Rock CSAH 13|
New/Extended Route Suggestions
Will be part of a future update.
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Page last modified 15 September, 2005