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Interstate 694 Minnesota

 

Routing

Interstates 494 and 694 share the long Minneapolis-St. Paul beltway system: Interstate 494 is the southern half and Interstate 694 is the northern half. A portion of Interstate 694 merges with Interstate 94 so that the termini for both routes are at the same two locations. Interstates 494 and 694 share an exit number system, with Exit 1 located south of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport at 34th Avenue South in Bloomington.

Interstate 694 extends for 31 miles serving communities such as Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, New Brighton, and Maplewood. It shares a joint terminus at both ends with the southern counterpart Interstate 494. Interstates 94 and 694 are cosigned for eight miles from the western terminus to Exit 35BC at Brooklyn Center.

History

Interstate 694 first opened between Interstate 35E and Rice Street in 1961. Construction of the route followed until the completion of the junction with Interstate 94 and Minnesota 100 in 1982.1

Western Terminus - Interstate 94 and Interstate 694 - Maple Grove, Minnesota
Perspective from Interstate 494 north (inner belt)
Now traveling north on Interstate 494 (inner belt), this is the first sign advising of the pending interchange with Interstate 94 (and U.S. 52) and Interstate 694. The next exit is Exit 26, Junction Hennepin County Route 10/Bass Lake Road to Maple Grove. Shortly thereafter, northbound Interstate 494 will reach the exit for Junction Interstate 94/694 (two and one-quarter miles), which will mark the western terminus of Interstate 494. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Westbound Interstate 494 reaches Exit 26, Junction Hennepin County Route 10/Bass Lake Road to Maple Grove. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
On the Hennepin County Route 10 overpass, this overhead sign advises that Interstate 494 ends and that the next interchange is for Interstate 94 and Interstate 694 in one and one-quarter miles. U.S. 52 is not mentioned, which is consistent with Minnesota Department of Transportation signing practices for U.S. highways merged with Interstate highways for long durations. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Shortly thereafter, this sign allocates lanes for the connection from Interstate 494 north to Interstate 94. The left lane connects to Interstate 94 and U.S. 52 west to St. Cloud and Fargo, while the right lane connects to Interstate 94 and Interstate 694 east along the northern belt line. This interchange marks the western terminus of both Interstate 494 and Interstate 694, both of which act as the beltway for the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Note the final reassurance shield for Interstate 494 north in the first picture. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
A third lane emerges, adding capacity for transitioning to either Interstate 94 (and U.S. 52) west or to Interstate 94-694 (and U.S. 52) east. The middle lane now offers connections to both directions. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Massive power lines parallel Interstate 494 as it approaches the interchange with Interstate 94. These lines were likely installed after the freeway was built since they move around the interchange, unless the lines were relocated when the freeway was built. The upcoming interchange offers two lanes in each direction. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Westbound Interstate 494 ends at its junction with Interstate 94/694 (and U.S. 52). Exit right to continue along the inner belt route onto Interstate 694 east. Exit left to follow Interstate 94 and U.S. 52 northwest to St. Cloud and Fargo, North Dakota. Interstate 94 will continue west across North Dakota, ending at Interstate 90 near Billings, Montana. Much of the remaining route of Interstate 94 follows the former alignment of U.S. 10 in North Dakota and Montana. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Perspective from Interstate 94, Interstate 694, and U.S. 52 west (outer belt)
Now traveling west on Interstate 94-694/U.S. 52 west, this mileage sign provides the distance to the next three exits (all numbered based on Interstate 494-694's mileage): Exits 29B-A, Junction U.S. 169; Exit 28, Junction Hennepin County Route 61/Hemlock Lane; and Exit 27, Junction Interstate 94-494. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Westbound Interstate 94-694 and U.S. 52 reaches Exits 29B-A, Junction U.S. 169. This major north-south freeway leads north to Brooklyn Park and south to New Hope and Plymouth. The pull-through sign advises that Interstate 694 ends and that the interchange with Interstate 494 is 2.50 miles ahead. However, Interstate 694 is still signed on reassurance shields until prior to the ramp to Interstate 494 south. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
After the U.S. 169 interchange, westbound Interstate 94-694/U.S. 52 approaches Exit 28, Junction Hennepin County Route 61/Hemlock Lane. The right lane becomes exit only for Hemlock Lane, and the left three lanes continue west to Interstate 94 and Interstate 494. Note that Interstate 694 is omitted from this pull-through sign. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
This mileage sign provides the distance to Exit 28, Junction Hennepin County Route 61/Hemlock Lane; Exit 27, Junction Interstate 94/494; and Exit 215, Junction Hennepin County Route 109/Weaver Lake Road. All of these exits are from Interstate 94 west, not Interstate 494 south. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Westbound Interstate 94-694/U.S. 52 reaches Exit 28, Junction Hennepin County Route 61/Hemlock Lane. The pull-through sign advises of the split between Interstate 494 (left lanes) and Interstate 94 (right lanes). Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
After the Hennepin County Route 61/Hemlock Lane interchange, a final reassurance shield assembly that shows both Interstate 94 and Interstate 694 is posted on westbound Interstate 94-694 prior to the Interstate 494 interchange. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
The left two lanes connect to Interstate 494 south to Plymouth, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. The right two lanes continue on Interstate 94 and U.S. 52 northwest to St. Cloud and Fargo, North Dakota. Note that the section of Interstate 94 between Interstate 694 and Interstate 494 uses exit numbers based on the mileage of the Minneapolis belt route instead of based on Interstate 94. As a result, the exit number for this split is Exit 27, and the ramp to Interstate 94 west is signed as Exit 27 (rather than the ramp to Interstate 494 south being signed as Exit 27). Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Westbound Interstate 94/U.S. 52 and Interstate 494 split. This marks the western terminus of both Interstate 494 and Interstate 694. To follow along the Minneapolis-St. Paul belt route system, exit left to follow Interstate 494 south. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Perspective from Interstate 94 and U.S. 52 west
A massive power line passes through the middle of the Interstate 94-694/U.S. 52 and Interstate 494 interchange; this tower is located after the left exit to Interstate 49 south. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Traffic from Interstate 494 north merges onto Interstate 94/U.S. 52 west. Yellow caution signage advises of the forthcoming high-speed merge. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Interstate 94 again uses its own mileage-based exit numbers now that it has departed from the belt route system. The next exit after the Interstate 494 junction is Exit 215, Junction Hennepin County Route 109/Weaver Lake Road. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Perspective from Interstate 94 and U.S. 52 east
This mileage sign provides the distance to the next three exits along Interstate 94 and U.S. 52: Exit 216, Junction Interstate 494/694; Exit 28, Junction Hennepin County Route 16/Hemlock Lane; and Exits 27B-A, Junction U.S. 169 freeway. Note the absence of a U.S. 52 shield; U.S. 52 is barely signed (if at all) anywhere along its shared alignment with Interstate 94 in Minnesota. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Another sign bridge after the Hennepin County Route 109 interchange indicates the lane allocations for Interstate 94-694 east (left lanes) and Interstate 494 south (right lanes). Use Interstate 494 south to Plymouth, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. Follow Interstate 94 east to Minneapolis and St. Paul. The best bypass around the metropolitan area is via Interstate 694 east. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Now at the split, the left two lanes link to Interstate 94-694 east, while the right two lanes connect to Interstate 494. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Perspective from Interstate 94-694 and U.S. 52 west
The interchange between Interstate 94-694/U.S. 52 and Interstate 494 is a tri-level stack. The bottom level is Interstate 94-694/U.S. 52 east, and the mid-level is the connection from Interstate 494 north to Interstate 94/U.S. 52 west. The top level is the connection from Interstate 94-694/U.S. 52 west to Interstate 494 south. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
After the Interstate 494 interchange, this reassurance shield assembly is the first to include an Interstate 694 east shield as well as Interstate 94. For a state that does not like to sign more than one route on a road, it is somewhat odd that Interstate 694 is extended west to the Interstate 494 interchange. However, this dual signage offers a consistent designation for the northern and southern belt routes around Minneapolis-St. Paul. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/22/07).
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 94 and Interstate 694 - east of St. Paul, Minnesota
Perspective from Interstate 94 and U.S. 12 west
This sign advises westbound Interstate 94/U.S. 12 through traffic that Interstate 694 should be taken to avoid downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. Similar signs were recently posted on other Interstates, such as Interstate 35 northbound, advising Interstates 494 and 694 should be used to bypass the Twin Cities. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
This mileage sign is found on westbound Interstate 94/U.S. 12 prior to the Interstate 494-694 interchange. The eastern terminus of Interstate 494 and Interstate 694 is in 1.5 miles. Note how the Twin Cities area uses their mileage signs. They are posted overhead on the right side of the highway and use the control city (in this case, St. Paul) instead of the third exit from the point. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
The left three lanes continue west on Interstate 94 and U.S. 12; the right lane becomes exit only for Exit 249, Junction Interstate 494 south and Interstate 694 north. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Interstate 94/U.S. 12 west expands to five westbound lanes in anticipation of the cloverleaf interchange for Interstates 494 and 694. The right two lanes form the collector-distributor roadway. Note how traffic to Interstate 494 southbound is advised to be in the second lane from the right. This is due to the right lane being exit only for Interstate 694 north. Also note that U.S. 12 is omitted from Interstate 94 signage; U.S. 12 is silently merged along Interstates 94 and 394 in Minnesota. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Westbound Interstate 94 and U.S. 12 reach the offramp for Interstate 494 and Interstate 694. The first ramp connects to Interstate 694 north, which passes through Oakdale, then turns west to serve White Bear Lake, Maplewood, Shoreview, New Brighton, Fridley, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Maple Grove (western terminus at junction Interstate 494). The second ramp serves Interstate 494 south. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Now on the collector-distributor lanes, the first connecting ramp leads to Interstate 694 north to Oakdale. The second ramp serves Interstate 494 south to Woodbury, then west to South St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights, Bloomington, Richfield, Edina, and Eden Prairie. At Eden Prairie, the belt route turns north to pass through Minnetonka and Plymouth before ending in Maple Grove at the junction with Interstate 94-694 and U.S. 52. Photos taken by Chris Lokken (07/13/06) and Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
The interchange between Interstate 94 and Interstate 494-694 is a modified cloverleaf. Transitioning traffic from westbound Interstate 94/U.S. 12 to southbound Interstate 494 uses a loop ramp, while a more direct ramp facilitates the flow to northbound Interstate 694. According to Chris Lokken, "It seems as though the Twin Cities Metro Area is the capital of standard cloverleaf interchanges. A good portion of the freeway-to-freeway interchanges in the Twin Cities area are standard cloverleaves. Some have collector-distributor roadways as well, but others don't and they are usually tight interchanges as a result." Photos taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07 and 04/23/07).
Perspective from Interstate 94 and U.S. 12 east
Now traveling east on Interstate 94 and U.S. 12, the next three exits are Exits 246B-C, McKnight Road south and north; Exit 247, Junction Minnesota 120/Century Avenue; and Exit 249, Junction Interstate 494 south and Interstate 694 north. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
After the McKnight Road interchange, the first advance signage for the Interstate 494/694 interchange appears on Interstate 94 east at the Minnesota 120 (Century Avenue) interchange (Exit 247). Interstate 94 leaves Ramsey County (city of Maplewood) and enters Washington County (city of Woodbury). Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
The right lane of Interstate 94 and U.S. 12 east becomes exit only for Exit 249, Interstate 494 south and Interstate 694 north. This interchange is a modified cloverleaf, so the first ramp from the collector-distributor lane connects to Interstate 494 south, and the second ramp connects to Interstate 694 north. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
A pull-through sign advises that through traffic on Interstate 94 (and U.S. 12) east to Madison, Wisconsin, should use the left three lanes. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
Another sign advises of the lane allocation for the ramp to Exit 249, Interstate 494 south followed by Interstate 694 north. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
Eastbound Interstate 94 and U.S. 12 reaches Exit 249, Interstate 494 south and Interstate 694 north. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
Now on the collector-distributor lane, the first ramp connects to Interstate 494 south, and the second ramp connects to Interstate 694 north. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
Still on the collector-distributor lane, the second ramp loops onto Interstate 694 north. Through traffic may return to Interstate 94 and U.S. 12 east by continuing straight ahead. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Perspective from Interstate 494 north (outer belt)
The first mentioning of Interstate 94 along Interstate 494 east (signed as north at this point) is on this mileage sign 1.5 miles away from Interstate 494's eastern terminus/Interstate 694's westbound beginning. Note that U.S. 12 is once again omitted. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Amber Mason (01/08/07).
Traveling east on Interstate 494, the final exit is Exit 58C, Tamarack Road, which serves the city of Woodbury. The next interchange is the junction with Interstate 94 and Interstate 694 west (north). The control cities for Interstate 94 are St. Paul (west) and Madison (east). Note that Madison is used as the control point instead of Eau Claire. The capital of Wisconsin is a good 250+ mile drive east along Interstate 94, while Eau Claire is only about 80 miles east. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Amber Mason (01/08/07).
This sign proclaims the end of Interstate 494 and the beginning of Interstate 694 along Interstate 494 northbound. In the background is a sign bridge at the exit ramp to Interstate 94/U.S. 12 eastbound (the right sign). Also on the sign bridge is a 0.25-mile sign for the cloverleaf ramp to Interstate 94/U.S. 12 westbound to St. Paul and Minneapolis (the middle sign) and an Interstate 694 pull-through sign (the left sign...just has an Interstate 694 shield with no control cities or cardinal directions). Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Amber Mason (01/08/07).
Perspective from Interstate 694 north (outer belt)
After the sign indicating the end of Interstate 494 north, the first ramp of this cloverleaf interchange connects to Exit 58B, Junction Interstate 94/U.S. 12 east to Eau Claire and Madison, Wisconsin (not shown). The second ramp connects Interstate 694 north with Interstate 94/U.S. 12 west to St. Paul and Minneapolis. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
Perspective from Interstate 694 south (inner belt)
Now looking south (east) on Interstate 694, this mileage sign provides the distance to the final three exits: Exit 55, Junction Minnesota 5; Exit 57, Junction Washington County Route 10/Tenth Street in Oakdale; and Exits 58A-B, Junction Interstate 94 (and Interstate 494 and U.S. 12). Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
A few miles ahead (after the Minnesota 5 interchange), the final exit is Exit 57, Junction Washington County Route 10/Tenth Street in Oakdale. The interchange with Interstate 94 and Interstate 494 is located immediately thereafter in Woodbury. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
This final mileage sign on Interstate 694 south provides the distance to the final two exits (Exit 57, Junction Washington County Route 10/Tenth Street in Oakdale and Exits 58A-B, Junction Interstate 94, Interstate 494, and U.S. 12) as well as the first exit on southbound Interstate 494: Exit 58C, Tamarack Road. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Southbound (eastbound) Interstate 694 reaches Exit 57, Junction Washington County Route 10/Tenth Street in Oakdale. The next exit is the junction with Interstate 94 and the beginning of southbound (westbound) Interstate 494 as the continuation of the Twin Cities belt route. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Passing under the Washington County Route 10/Tenth Street bridge is an independent advance sign for Exits 58A-B, Junction Interstate 94/U.S. 12 east/west and Interstate 494 south. U.S. 12 (which follows Interstate 94 through St. Paul east to the Wisconsin State Line) is unsigned, which is typical for most Interstate/U.S. Highway overlaps in Minnesota. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
After the Washington County Route 10/Tenth Street interchange, this "END Interstate 694/BEGIN Interstate 494" sign is posted in Oakdale. The Interstate 94 and Interstate 494 interchange is visible beyond the overpass. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Southbound (eastbound) Interstate 694 reaches Exit 58A, Junction Interstate 94 and U.S. 12 west to St. Paul. The next exit on this cloverleaf interchange is Exit 58B, Junction Interstate 94 and U.S. 12 east to Eau Claire and Madison. Note the pull through sign for Interstate 494 (with no cardinal direction; it is signed south first then changes to west). Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Southbound (eastbound) Interstate 494-694 meets the ramp to Interstate 94 east to Madison. The first exit on southbound Interstate 494 is Exit 58C, Tamarack Road. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/23/07).
Perspective from Interstate 494 south
This is the first reassurance shield for Interstate 494 south, posted just past the Interstate 94/U.S. 12 interchange. Interstate 494 is signed north/south until near the interchange with US 10/61 near the Mississippi River bridge. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).
The first exit on Interstate 494 south is Exit 58C, Tamarack Road. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (04/21/07).

Sources:

  1. Twin Cities Interstate System (Adam Froehlig).
 
Mileage

State Minnesota
Mileage 22.62*
Cities St. Paul, Maplewood, Roseville, Fridley
Junctions Interstate 94/Interstate 494, Interstate 35W, Interstate 35E, Interstate 94/Interstate 494
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* - 0.65 miles on I-35E
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