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Interstate 29

 

Opened in August 1954, the Paseo Bridge carries Interstate 29-35 over the Missouri River north of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The bridge is slated to be replaced with a new cable stay bridge by 2011. The new span will be fully Interstate standard, unlike the Paseo Bridge. A cable suspension bridge, the Paseo Bridge is one of the few cable suspension spans in this part of the country. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).

Routing

Interstate 29 is an Upper Midwest Interstate following the Missouri River through the eastern Dakotas. The highway links Kansas City with Omaha/Council Bluffs, Sioux City, and Fargo, en route to Canada and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Historically speaking, Interstate 29 was originally intended to be two separate segments of the Interstate Highway System. The first segment, carrying the Interstate 29 number, followed the current freeway between Kansas City and Sioux Falls. The second segment, which was originally planned as Interstate 31, was to travel from Fargo, North Dakota north to the Canadian border. A revision of the Interstate system occurred soon thereafter, linking the two segments. Interstate 31 was eliminated in favor of Interstate 29.1

Ironically, when Interstate 49 is extended to Kansas City, some may advocate for making the entire corridor one number. If so, Interstate 49 may well supplant Interstate 29 ... or vice versa!

Planned Improvements

The section of Interstate 29 and Interstate 35 in Kansas City, Missouri, from the Central Business District (CBD) Loop (Interstate 70) north to Missouri 210/Armour Road is planned for upgrading to as many as eight to ten lanes. This project would include a replacement or additional parallel span for the Paseo Bridge over the Missouri River. An environmental impact statement for this project was released in April 2006.5

In Kansas City, the Paseo suspension bridge over the Missouri River in being replaced by a six-lane cable stay bridge (upgradable to eight lanes with pedestrian/bicycle lane), with construction beginning on April 21, 2008. The new bridge is expected to open in 2011 at a cost of $245 million, of which $195 million is Missouri Amendment 3 funds and $50 million is federal SAFETEA-LU funds. For more information, see Interstate 29/35 Connections Project. The new bridge is to be called the Christopher S. Bond Bridge.

Both South Dakota and North Dakota are in the process of two projects to expand and improve Interstate 29. In Sioux Falls, a $33 million make over of Interstate 29 finished September of 2003. This road work entailed the reconstruction of two substandard interchanges within the city:

  • Exit 83/South Dakota 38 - the left-hand off and on-ramps from Interstate 29 southbound to South Dakota 38 were removed. A new cloverleaf ramp and right-hand on-ramp were built in place of the former.
  • Exit 82/Benson Road - a Single Point Urban Interchange was constructed at Benson Road. This new junction is situated between South Dakota 38 and the Russell/Maple Street interchange (Exit 81).
  • Exit 81/Russell/Maple Street - the junction was improved with the installation of two cloverleaf ramps.

These projects are a part of an overall improvement plan of Interstate 29 between Madison Street/Exit 73 and Interstate 90. The overall goal is to replace the aging road surface, replace substandard ramps, and widen the freeway. This project is the largest single road related project completed in the state.2

Further north at the city of Fargo, North Dakota, a second major project is occuring along Interstate 29. Underway currently is bridgework at the Interstate 94 interchange to coincide with the addition of a third northbound lane. Also in the vicinity are Main Avenue interchange improvements, resulting in the construction of new loop ramps and replacement of the current Main Avenue overpass. This work is slated for 2004. Between 2005 and 2007 widening of Interstate 29 will take place and expand the existing roadway from four to six lanes from Main Avenue to 19th Avenue North.3

History

In Iowa, Interstate 29 opened according to the following schedule (from south to north):4

  • Missouri State Line north to County Route J-64: August 31, 1973
  • County Route J-64 to Iowa 2: December 15, 1972
  • Iowa 2 to County Route J-18: December 1, 1972
  • County Route J-18 to U.S. 34: December 10, 1971
  • U.S. 34 to Iowa 370: December 4, 1971
  • Iowa 370 to Iowa 192: December 22, 1969
  • Iowa 192 to I-80 West/23rd Avenue: November 1, 1970
  • I-80 West/23rd Avenue to 9th Avenue: November 10, 1971
  • 9th Avenue to Iowa 192: October 25, 1968
  • Iowa 192 to U.S. 30: November 26, 1958
  • U.S. 30 to Iowa 175: December 7, 1967
  • Iowa 175 to Iowa 141: October 26, 1961
  • Iowa 141 to Business U.S. 75: November 28, 1959
  • Business U.S. 75 to U.S. 20-77: July 15, 1960
  • U.S. 20-77 to South Dakota State Line: October 1, 1958

The final section of Interstate 29 to be completed in North Dakota was the portion from Drayton to Pembina in 1977. With this completion, North Dakota became the first state to complete all sections of its Interstate system.6

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - Interstate 70 - Kansas City, Missouri
Perspective from Interstate 29-35/U.S. 71 south
Traveling south on Interstate 29-35 and U.S. 71 after the Paseo Bridge, overhead signs no longer advise of the continuation of Interstate 29. Instead, Interstate 35 south and Interstate 70 west traffic are advised to use the right lane, while traffic connecting to Interstate 70 east should use the left lane. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Interstate 29 exit mileage actually begins after Interstate 29 35 split, but the official southern terminus is at Interstate 70, six miles south of that split. This photo looks at the Interstate 29 ends signage posted at that junction. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Stay in the left two lanes for Exit 4A, The Paseo south to Junction U.S. 24 east. The right two lanes continue south as Interstate 35 and U.S. 71 toward the junction with Interstate 70. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Downtown Kansas City comes into view after Exit 4A. The next exit is Exit 3, Junction Interstate 70/U.S. 24-40 east and U.S. 71 south. Continuing south, the first exit on the Central Business District Loop is Exit 2F, which serves Oak Street, Grand Avenue, and Walnut Street. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
The official southern terminus, which is located at the northeastern corner of the Central Business District (CBD) Loop. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Southbound Interstate 35 merges with Interstate 70 west via the right lane, while the left lane merges directly onto Interstate 70/U.S. 40 east and U.S. 71 south. This marks the southern terminus of Interstate 29. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Perspective from Interstate 35 north
We begin our journey on northbound Interstate 35 after it meets Interstate 670. Now on the western leg of the Central Business District (CBD) Loop, the first exit on northbound Interstate 35 is Exit 2V, 14th Street, followed by Exit 2W, 12th Street. The pull through sign says Interstate 70 west, even though Interstate 35 is still traveling alone on this stretch of freeway. Note that there is no indication yet of Interstate 29. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Northbound Interstate 35 reaches Exit 2W, 12th Street. The left lane connects to Interstate 70/U.S. 24-40 west and U.S. 169 south. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Continuing north, Interstate 35 will shortly merge onto Interstate 70/U.S. 24-40 eastbound. Prior to doing so, there are two exits: Exit 2X, Junction Interstate 70/U.S. 24-40 west and U.S. 169 south and Exit 2Y, Junction U.S. 169/Broadway north. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Northbound Interstate 35 reaches Exit 2X, Junction Interstate 70/U.S. 24-40 west and U.S. 169 south (left exit). The next exit is Exit 2Y, Junction U.S. 169/Broadway north. The pull through sign now correctly shows both Interstate 35 north and Interstate 70 east. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Northbound Interstate 35 reaches Exit 2Y, Junction U.S. 169/Broadway north Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
After the ramp to U.S. 169 north (Exit 2Y), Interstate 35 north merges onto Interstate 70 east. At this point, the mainline of Interstate 35 north has only one lane. Note that the next exit is Exit 2D, Main Street, which is closed during the afternoon commute hours. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Perspective from Interstate 35 north/Interstate 70 east
A myriad of exits face Interstate 35 north/70 east/U.S. 24/40 eastbound travelers through downtown Kansas City. This photo is taken as Exit 2D/Main Street, one-half mile to the west of the split with Interstate 35 and the northbound beginning of Interstate 29. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
This mileage sign provides the distance to Exit 2E, Junction Missouri 9; Exit 2F, Junction Interstate 29-35 north; and Exit 2G, Junction U.S. 24 and 11th Street. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Four guide signs line up along eastbound Interstate 70 for the pending split with Interstate 35 and U.S. 24. Exit 2E for Missouri 9 North/Oak Street departs to the right. U.S. 71 enters Interstate 70 eastbound as Interstate 35 leaves. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Interstate 35 north and Interstate 70 eastbound part ways at Exit 2G. The northward ramp also is the beginning of Interstate 29 northbound. Traffic not continuing on Interstate 70/U.S. 40 east also has the option to continue east onto U.S. 24 via Exit 2H. Interstate 70/U.S. 40 eastbound turn southward for a short distance to the eastern terminus of Interstate 670 before turning back to the east. U.S. 71 tags along with the paired routes to the Interstate 670 interchange. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Onward to Interstate 29 northbound. This photo shows the roadway partition between Exit 2G/Interstate 29/35/U.S. 71 north and Exit 2H/U.S. 24 east. Interstate 29 is routed southward with Interstate 35 to Interstate 70 for route continuity. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Perspective from Interstate 70/U.S. 40 east and U.S. 71 north
A myriad of shields is displayed on this button copy overhead of Interstate 70/U.S. 40 westbound and U.S. 71 northbound as it nears the southern terminus of Interstate 29/Exit 2G. U.S. 40 continues with Interstate 70 onto Interstate 35 south/U.S. 24 west. Missing from this sign is the continuation of Interstate 70 and U.S. 24-40 west; that corner of the sign seems to have fallen off. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Here is the former button copy version of the sign shown in the previous photobox. This button copy sign was in place back in 1982. Interstate 29 begins along the Interstate 35 freeway. Thus the exit numbering scheme of Interstate 29 does not begin until it splits from Interstate 35 at Exit 8B. Photo taken by Michael Summa (1982).
Westbound Interstate 70/U.S. 40 west and U.S. 71 north reach Exit 2H, Junction U.S. 24 east and Missouri 9 north, Admiral Boulevard. The next exit is Exit 2G, Junction Interstate 29-35 and U.S. 71 north to St. Joseph. After this interchange, Interstate 35 south briefly merges with Interstate 70 west, along with U.S. 24-40. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Westbound Interstate 70/U.S. 24-40 west and U.S. 71 north split here. Use the right two lanes to continue along U.S. 71 north as well as Interstate 29-35 to St. Joseph and Des Moines. Use the left two lanes to follow Interstate 70 west along with Interstate 35 south and U.S. 24-40 west to Kansas City, Kansas, and Topeka. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Immediately thereafter, U.S. 24 west departs at Exit 2H. Interstate 29-35 and U.S. 71 north depart from here, joining traffic from Interstate 70 westbound. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Perspective from Interstate 29-35 and U.S. 71 north
Interstate 29 and U.S. 71 north have two lanes for their initial section as they leave the Central Business District (CBD) Loop, then merge with Interstate 35 northbound traffic. After passing through a series of overpasses and underpasses and one interchange (with Front Street, Exit 4B), the freeway prepares to cross the Missouri River. The next exit is Exit 5A, Bedford Street. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Northbound Interstate 29-35 and U.S. 71 approach Exit 4B, Front Street. In addition, the Paseo suspension bridge that carries the freeway over the Missouri River comes into view. This bridge, known as the Paseo Bridge, was built as part of a master plan to upgrade both the U.S. 71 and 69 corridors into freeways leading into downtown Kansas City, was conceptualized in 1949 as part of a City Plan Commission study. It was constructed in 1951-1952, and the Paseo Bridge was dedicated in August 1954 as a toll facility.5 The tolls were retired once the bonds were paid off. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Neither the viaduct that carries the freeway over Front Street nor the suspension bridge are built to Interstate standards. There is virtually no shoulder on either side of the freeway. Plans call for this entire section of freeway to be reconstructed to modern standards. For more information, visit Environmental Impact Statement for Paseo Bridge (issued April 3, 2006) and Summary of I-29/35 Corridor Study. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
After the Front Street interchange (Exit 4B), northbound Interstate 29-35 and U.S. 71 cross the Missouri River on the Paseo Bridge, a suspension bridge. Options to upgrade the capacity of the Paseo Bridge include adding a companion span for either northbound or southbound traffic, building an entirely new span nearby for both directions, or building two parallel bridges, one for each direction. It is not clear whether the latter two options would require demolition of the cable suspension bridge. The next exit is Exit 5A, Bedford Street. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
A few miles north of the Paseo Bridge and after the Missouri 210 interchange, Interstate 29 and Interstate 35 split at Exit 8B. At that point, Interstate 29 and U.S. 71 finally separate from Interstate 35, and Interstate 29 starts on its own toward St. Joseph, Council Bluffs/Omaha, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and Fargo. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Northbound Interstate 29-35 and U.S. 71 reach Exit 8A, Parvin Road. The left two lanes connect to northbound Interstate 29 and U.S. 71, while the right two lanes connect to northbound Interstate 35. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Interstate 29/U.S. 71 north and Interstate 35 north divide at this split in Kansas City. Use Interstate 29 north to the international airport. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Perspective from Interstate 29 and U.S. 71 north
This is the first standalone signage for Interstate 29 after departing from Interstate 35, as the freeway reaches Exit 1A, Davidson Road. Note that the exit numbers do not carry forward from the section of alignment shared by Interstate 29 and Interstate 35. Photo taken by AARoads (10/17/04).
Perspective from U.S. 71 north (south of Interstate 70)
This diagrammatical sign is found on northbound U.S. 71 as it approaches downtown Kansas City. At first, U.S. 71 intersects Interstate 70 and Interstate 670; after merging with Interstate 70 briefly, U.S. 71 meets Interstate 29. This shows how the southern terminus of Interstate 29 is signed from the U.S. 71 freeway, which was completed in 2001. Photo taken by Eduardo Delgadillo (05/02).
Northern Terminus - International Border - Pembina, North Dakota
Perspective from Interstate 29/U.S. 81 north
Northbound Interstate 29 and U.S. 81 approaching the Canada-United States International Border, one mile. All vehicles must pass through Canadian Inspections prior to entry. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (07/06/02).
Historical site exit signage along northbound Interstate 29 approaching the International Border. The international border is located near Pembina, North Dakota. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (07/06/02).
The customs facilities for northbound Interstate 29 are visible on the horizon in this picture. The freeway will enter these customs areas, with inspections by Canadian officials for northbound travelers. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (07/06/02).
This sign indicates that trucks should remain in the right lane, and cars should use the left lane as they approach the border inspection area. The inspections and customs requirements vary for different kinds of vehicles. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (07/06/02).
Interstate 29 (and U.S. 81) comes to an end as it enters the inspection station. Since northbound traffic is defaulted into the Canadian Customs, there is a left turn to reach the United States customs, which serves southbound travelers. Note the 25 miles-per-hour speed limit here. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (07/06/02).
There is no end Interstate 29 shield present. The line of cars and trucks waiting to enter the Canadian customs station is visible here. North of customs, the roadway connects with Manitoba 75 (a continuation of U.S. 75, which crosses into Manitoba from Minnesota a few miles east of here). Photo taken by Rich Piehl (07/06/02).
Cars are required to use the left lane and trucks the right lane. Photo taken by Rich Piehl (07/06/02).
As is common at border crossings, this sign shows the last U-turn to return to the United States. After this last chance, traffic is required to enter Canada before returning to the United States. The 49th Parallel marker is the official demarcation between the United States and Canada. Photos taken by Rich Piehl (07/06/02) and last photo taken by Jim Teresco.
Perspective from Manitoba 75 south
Now traveling south on Manitoba 75, this overhead sign at Junction Manitoba Secondary 243 is the first appearance of an Interstate 29 shield, a short distance north of the international border. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (05/10/07).
Manitoba 75 technically splits off just before customs. It goes a short distance to Emerson, connects to Manitoba Secondary 200, and then ends, although it used to continue south as U.S. 75. It doesn't reach the border now that the U.S. and Canada have closed that border station. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (05/10/07).
Perspective from Manitoba 75 north
Traveling south on Manitoba 75 (which is disconnected from U.S. 75 since the U.S. border crossing is closed) from Emerson, a Junction Manitoba 29 shield assembly is posted. This is the only standalone shield assembly for Manitoba 29. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (05/10/07).
Shortly thereafter, motorists can turn right (north) to follow Manitoba 75 north to Winnipeg (the highway is four-lane divided all the way) or turn left (south) on Manitoba 29 to the United States. Manitoba 29 is signed here as To Interstate 29. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (05/10/07).
Perspective from Interstate 29/U.S. 81 south
After crossing the international border and passing through the customs station, Manitoba 29 transitions directly onto Interstate 29 and U.S. 81. This is the first reassurance shield assembly for southbound Interstate 29 and U.S. 81. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (05/10/07).
In Manitoba, Manitoba 75 is known as Pembina Highway. Here the road enters Pembina County with the next exit being for the small town of Pembina. Interstate 29 continues south, with U.S. 81 splitting at Exit 203 and rejoining Interstate 29 north of Grand Forks. The control city for southbound Interstate 29 in North Dakota is Grand Forks, followed by Fargo. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (05/10/07).
Perspective from North Dakota 59 east
Eastbound North Dakota 59 meets Interstate 29 and U.S. 81 at this interchange, which is the final U.S. interchange before Interstate 29 and U.S. 81 jointly enter Canada (changing into Manitoba 29). Since U.S. 75 no longer crosses into Canada, it might make sense to have U.S. 75 extended west to this interchange, thus allowing a connection to the main port of entry to Canada. Currently, North Dakota 59 east becomes Minnesota 171 east, which intersects with U.S. 75. "Winnipeg" is the northbound Interstate 29 control city north of Grand Forks. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (05/10/07).

Sources:

  1. Summers, Stephen. "Interstate system route numbering." Defunct Interstate History Page.
  2. 29 Russell. South Dakota Department of Transportation.
  3. I-29 Fargo: Project Details. ND Department of Transportation.
  4. Iowa Interstate - 50th Anniversary (web site no longer online)
  5. Environmental Impact Statement for Paseo Bridge Replacement Project - April 2006
  6. Sprynczynatyk Attends Kick-Off Celebration for 50th Anniversary of the Interstate Highway System, January 23, 2006, North Dakota DOT Communications

Page Updated August 17, 2008.

 
Mileage

State Missouri
Mileage 130.72*
Cities Kansas City, St. Joseph
Junctions Interstate 70, Interstate 35, Interstate 635, Interstate 435, Interstate 435, Interstate 229, Interstate 229
State Iowa
Mileage 154.75#
Cities Council Bluffs, Sioux City
Junctions Interstate 80, Interstate 80, Interstate 480, Interstate 680, Interstate 680, Interstate 129
State South Dakota
Mileage 252.50
Cities Vermillion, Sioux Falls, Brookings, Waterton
Junctions Interstate 229, Interstate 90
State North Dakota
Mileage 217.54
Cities Wahpeton, Fargo, Grand Forks
Junctions Interstate 94
TOTAL 755.51
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* - 5.50 miles on I-35, # - 3.00 miles on I-80
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