I-194 on the Bismarck-Mandan inset of the 2007 North Dakota Official Highway Map.
Although never signed in the field, I-194 appeared as a full Interstate on the 1982 North Dakota Official Highway Map. It was omitted by the 2002 edition, but reappeared by 2007 as a business route. The 2015-16 map again showed I-194 with a tricolor shield, but with non-Interstate line work.
Interstate 194 represents the northern half of a 3.5 mile freeway linking I-94 with the capital city of Bismarck at Washington Street via east Mandan. The Interstate portion of the route ends 1.072 miles south of I-94 at the interchange with Business Loop I-94 (Memorial Highway). The remainder of the freeway southeast across the Missouri River is a part of unsigned North Dakota Highway 810.
Bismarck Expressway transitions to an arterial route at Washington Street. The expressway loops across the south side of Bismarck, serving a retail corridor anchored by Kirkwood Mall and an industrial area north of Bismarck Airport (BIS). The ND 810 portion of the route concludes 5.741 miles east of I-194 at 5th Avenue NE. Business Loop I-94 turns north onto the expressway from there on the final 1.658 mile return to Interstate 94 at the Centennial Park area. All mileage figures cited here were obtained from the 2020 Route and Mileage Map prepared by the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT).
Interstate 194 was the lone Urban Interstate Route approved by the North Dakota State Highway Department in 1958. The route was specified in letter to the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) dated July 14, 1958 as
a Spur connecting Interstate Highway Number 94 with the present U.S. Highway Number 10, at the Missouri River Bridge, west of Biscmarck.
AASHO approved the route on November 10, 1958.
Interstate 194 was constructed at the same time I-94 was built from Mandan eastward through Bismarck. This included the Grant Marsh Bridge spanning the Missouri River, which was dedicated on December 9, 1965.1 I-194 consisted of just the spur southeast to Memorial Highway and Main Avenue, the former alignment of U.S. 10 between the sister cities.