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Interstate 194 North Dakota

 

Routing

Interstate 194 is a short spur from Interstate 94 south into downtown Mandan, just west of Bismarck, the state capital. It connects with North Dakota 810, the Bismarck Expressway. The Bismarck Expressway stays south of downtown Bismarck, then loops northeast back to Interstate 94 as a surface street.

History

The Bismarck Expressway opened to traffic in 1985.

Status

Interstate 194 is unsigned, thus making it a secret route. However, it is shown on the 2005 North Dakota Official State Map as Business Spur I-194. According to Mandan resident Jessy Scholl, "As for I-194, it is an unsigned route with ND 810 missing as well, but I consider I-194 to be about a five mile route itself from east of Mandan at the Twin City Dr. intersection all the way to Washington Street in Bismarck. ... The reconstruction I told you about will affect I-194, and this may be the last full year to see the quirk that is the westbound Exit 156 exit lane which is a left exit, but it quickly curbs into a tight 25 MPH curb in order to meet the eastbound lanes of I-194 which itself is a left entrance. (Regarding the 2005 North Dakota Official State Map) I just want you to know that the I-194 'Business Loop/Spur' is simply a misprint on the map. The entire I-94 Business Loop extends all the way from Exit 147 in west Mandan to Exit 161 in East Bismarck and is one of the longest Business Loops in the country and is the longest within an urban area. I realize that the longest is a I-76 Business Loop in Colorado which should be renamed as a Colorado state highway. With that said I think both I-194 and Business 94 in Bismarck/Mandan deserve to be documented."1

This is Jessy Scholl's unofficial Exit List for Interstate 194 and North Dakota 810 from Mandan to Bismarck:

  • Mile 0.0: Western Terminus at Twin City Drive and E. Main Street in Mandan.
  • Mile 1 (approximate), Interstate 94 Exit 155: Eastbound Entrance to Interstate 194 from Interstate 94, a left exit. (Westbound: Exit only to Mandan; Exit listed as North Dakota 6, Main Street, Mandan)
  • Mile 1.7, Interstate 94 Exit 156: East Mandan/West Bismarck (Interstate 194 Spurs into south Bismarck while Interstate 94 cuts through North Bismarck. The North Dakota State Capital appears between Exits 157-59.)
  • Mile 2.5-2.7, Interstate 194 Exit 2: Business Loop I-94, Memorial Highway to Mandan and Main Avenue to Bismarck (Believe it or Not, this is a full service interchange)
  • Mile 3.4-3.5, North Dakota 810/Interstate 194 Exit 3: McKenzie Drive (in Mandan, an average diamond interchange)
  • Mile 5.2-5.3: Eastern Terminus of freeway at Washington Street in Bismarck (This is one of the busiest intersections in the area)

Southern Terminus - Business Loop I-94 and North Dakota 810 - Mandan, North Dakota
Perspective from Interstate 194 south
This is the first guide sign on southbound Interstate 194 for the junction with Business Loop I-94, which serves as the southern terminus of the short Interstate highway. North Dakota 810, which is also unsigned, picks up from here as an expressway. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison and David Morrison (05/11/07).
Facing south, this is the exit for the actual business loop. The business loop goes east across the Missouri River into Bismarck on a bridge from the U.S. 10 era; in 2007, construction on a replacement was visible. According to an exhibit at the state museum, U.S. 10 was the first road completely paved across the state, in 1938. Interstate 94 would begin to supplant it only 20 years later. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison and David Morrison (05/11/07).
Perspective from Interstate 194 north
This is the first overhead guide sign on northbound Interstate 194 after the McKenzie Drive interchange. At the time, the northbound exit to Main Avenue was closed. There were no markers indicating any change from North Dakota 810 to Interstate 194; it is truly a secret interstate. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison and David Morrison (05/11/07).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 94 - Mandan, North Dakota
Perspective from Interstate 194 north
The final exit on northbound Interstate 194 is the junction with Interstate 94 east to Bismarck and Fargo and west to Mandan and Billings. Mandan is used as the westbound control city despite the use of Billings as seen on U.S. 83 to the east. West of here, it's all Billings. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison and David Morrison (05/11/07).
Northbound Interstate 194 comes to an end at the junction with Interstate 94. The right lane departs for eastbound Interstate 94, while the left two lanes depart to Interstate 94 west to Billings. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison and David Morrison (05/11/07).
Perspective from Interstate 94 east
Now traveling east on Interstate 94, this is the first guide for the interchange with unsigned Interstate 194. Technically, this sign should read "Interstate 194 south to Business Loop I-94," because the actual signed business loop runs parallel to Interstate 194 on Memorial Highway. The guide sign in the background directs motorists to "Bismarck Airport/University of Mary." Photo taken by Jeff Morrison and David Morrison (05/11/07).
Eastbound Interstate 94 reaches Exit 156, Junction Interstate 194 south to Business Loop I-94 and Mandan. The exit ramp carries two southbound lanes, while the left two lanes continue along Interstate 94 east to Fargo. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison and David Morrison (05/11/07).
Perspective from Interstate 94 west
Westbound Interstate 94 approaches Exit 156, which is signed for West Bismarck and East Mandan. No Business Loop I-94 is signed here; instead, it is signed (again erroneously) at the next guide sign for Exit 155. Note that this is a left exit. The pull-through sign with features FHWA Highway Gothic Font Series E wide numbers and the state name. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison and David Morrison (05/11/07).
Perspective from Interstate 194 south
Currently no photos are available. If you have one to share, feel free to email us.

Sources:

  1. Personal Email from Jessy Scholl, "RE: RE: RE: Local Interstates and the Bismarck Expressway," dated July 29, 2005.

Page Updated January 9, 2010.

 
Mileage

State North Dakota
Mileage 1.20
Cities Bismarck, Mandan
Junctions Interstate 94
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
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