Interstate 694 Minnesota

Interstate 694 Minnesota
History
East End
West End

Overview

I-494 and Interstate 694 constitute the 72 mile long Minneapolis-St. Paul beltway system: I-494 is the southern portion and I-694 is the northern portion. The westernmost eight miles of I-694 overlap with Interstate 94 between Maple Grove and Brooklyn Center so that both branch routes end at the same location on either side of the metropolitan area. The two belt routes share an exit numbering system, with numbers counting upward in a clockwise direction from the Minnesota River at Bloomington.

Interstate 694 extends for 31 miles serving communities such as Brooklyn Park, Fridley, New Brighton, Shoreview, White Bear Lake and Maplewood. Providing a bypass for I-94 travelers from St. Cloud to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, I-694 also constitutes a commuter freeway across the northern Minneapolis and St. Paul suburbs. This formerly included a short overlap with Interstate 35E at Vadnais Heights.

History

Like I-494 to the south, Interstate 694 to the north of Minneapolis and St. Paul replaced portions of the original Twin Cities belt line route, Minnesota Trunk Highway 100. Prior to the Interstate system, MN 100 comprises a 360-degree loop encircling the metropolitan area along a series of two and four lane surface roads. Sections of the route were directly incorporated into the Interstate system, including I-494 across Bloomington and the Wakota Bridge spanning the Mississippi River. The section of I-694 between Brooklyn Center and then-U.S. 10 (CSAH 76) at Arden Hills also replaced MN 100 directly.

A short segment of I-694 opened to traffic in tandem with I-35E north from Maryland Avenue in St. Paul to Rice Street (former MN 49 / Exit 45) at the Little Canada and Vadnais Heights city line. The 1961-completed section was extended west to Arden Hills and the old junction of U.S. 10 and MN 100 the following year.

Construction lengthened I-694 west another mile to U.S. 8 (now Old Highway 8) in 1964. Openings in 1965 took I-694 west across the Mississippi River to the concurrent section with I-94 to Exit 31 with CSAH 81 (Bottineau Boulevard) at Brooklyn Center.1

Opening in 1969 was the section from I-94/494 north to MN 36 at Pine Springs and the stretch from I-494 at Maple Grove east to CSAH 81. Completion of the mainline followed from the overlap with I-35E to MN 36 in 1970. Upgrades to the interchange complex at MN 100 and I-94 in Brooklyn Park were completed in 1982 as Interstate 94 opened southward to Dowling Avenue (Exit 228).1

The “Unweave the Weave” project improved the 0.65-mile overlap with Interstate 35E at Vadnais Heights and Little Canada. Initial work on the $86 million project in 2004 constructed a new Edgerton Street bridge across I-35E/694. Major construction followed in 2006. I-35E was expanded then to six overall lanes on the 3.2 mile stretch between MN 36 and County Road E. Reconstruction of I-694 also brought the freeway to six lanes from CR 45 to U.S. 61. Where Interstate 35E previously utilized left exit ramps at each end of the common section with I-694, realignments were made to minimize weaving traffic patterns. Crews completed most work by late August 2008 with the installation of sound walls and the building of stormwater holding ponds. A median barrier was added by mid-October to wrap up the project.2

Route Information

  • East End – Oakdale, MN

  • West End – Maple Grove, MN

  • Mileage – 22.62*

  • Cities – St. Paul, Maplewood, Roseville, Fridley

  • JunctionsI-94 I-494 I-35W I-35E

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
* – 0.65 miles on I-35E
I-694 mileage does not include the overlap with I-94

Arden Hills, Shoreview, MN - 1962
Construction underway to extend I-694 west from Rice Street to U.S. 10 in 1962.

U.S. 10 was eventually realigned onto freeway overlaps with I-35E and I-694 from St. Paul northward to an expressway through Arden Hills. Origins of the newer alignment appeared in 1962 with the I-694 roadway separation and temporary ramps to Snelling Avenue.

Minneapolis-St-Paul, MN - 1968
Interstate 694 was complete from CSAH 81 (then U.S. 52) east to I-35E per the 1968-69 Minnesota Official Highway Map

U.S. 10 was realigned onto I-694 from I-35E to Arden Hills by 1969. The split with I-94 at Brooklyn Center defaulted traffic onto U.S. 169 south into Minneapolis. The route north from I-94 is now MN 252.

Further west, the I-694 North Central project reconstructed the freeway at the common section with U.S. 10 in the city of Arden Hills. Work beginning in Fall 2011 redesigned the interchange joining Interstate 694, U.S. 10 and Hamline Avenue. New roadways were added for I-694 to separate traffic from U.S. 10 while the old alignment was reconfigured into collector distributor roads for the U.S. 10 expressway leading north and Snelling Avenue south. Left exit ramps from Hamline and Snelling Avenues to I-694 were also eliminated. This work was completed in November 2013.3

East End I-94 I-494 US 12 – Oakdale, Minnesota

I-694 South at I-94 I-494 US 12

I-694 south at I-94/US 12 - Oakdale, MN

Passing under the Stillwater Boulevard overpass, I-694 advances south with four overall lanes to Exit 57 for CSAH 10 (10th Street N). The I-94 East Metro Interchange project underway from 2019 to Fall 2020 added an auxiliary lane along I-694 south from 10th Street N to the exchange with I-94/U.S. 12.4 06/15/15

I-694 south at I-94/US 12 - Oakdale, MN

I-694 travels between several subdivisions within the vicinity of the 15th Street N overpass. Located 1.25 miles ahead, Interstate 94 runs along the Oakdale and Woodbury city line. 06/15/15

I-694 south at I-94/US 12 - Oakdale, MN

I-694 advances 0.75 miles south from CSAH 10 (10th Street N) to the cloverleaf interchange (Exits 58A/B) with I-94. U.S. 12 follows I-94 west to I-394 and east to Hudson, Wisconsin. Typical for most Interstate/U.S. Highway overlaps in Minnesota, U.S. 12 is unsigned along the freeway. 06/15/15

I-694 south at I-94/US 12 - Oakdale, MN

An end sign for Interstate 694 ahead of the 4th Street N overpass. Business parks line both sides of the freeway on this stretch. 06/15/15

I-694 south at I-94/US 12 - Oakdale, MN

I-694 south transitions to Interstate 494 south as Exit 58A departs for I-94/U.S. 12 west to Downtown St. Paul. I-494 continues the belt line southwest to Woodbury, Newport and South St. Paul. 06/15/15

I-494 North at I-94 I-694 US 12

I-494 north at I-94/694-US 12 - Woodbury, MN

Interstate 494 meets Tamarack Road (Exit 58C) at the third Woodbury exit northbound leading to I-94/694. Madison, Wisconsin is the control point for I-94 east in lieu of Eau Claire. Photo by Chris Lokken, Amber Lokken and Mike Saldivar (07/23/13).

I-494 north at I-94/694-US 12 - Woodbury, MN

Interstate 494 north expands to four lanes leading into the exchange with I-94/U.S. 12 and I-694. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (07/17/12).

I-494 north at I-94/694-US 12 - Woodbury, MN

Interstate 694 takes over for the ending I-494 as Exit 58B part ways for I-94 east to Hudson, Menomonie and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (07/17/12).

I-94 US 12 West at I-494 I-694

I-94/US 12 west at I-494/694 - Woodbury, MN

Traveling west along the Lake Elmo and Woodbury city line, I-94/U.S. 12 advance 1.5 miles west to the cloverleaf interchange with I-494/694. 06/15/15

I-94/US 12 west at I-494/694 - Woodbury, MN

Traffic merges onto I-94 west from Inwood Street one mile from the c/d roadway (Exit 249) for the Twin Cities beltway. 06/15/15

I-94/US 12 west at I-494/694 - Woodbury, MN

A fifth westbound lane accompanies I-94/U.S. 12 west to Exit 249. I-694 constitutes the referenced bypass route for I-94 through traffic west to St. Cloud. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (07/12/12).

I-94/US 12 west at I-494/694 - Woodbury, MN

Traffic separates from the I-94 mainline west to St. Paul for Exit 249 and the beltway north to White Bear Lake and south to Newport. 06/15/15

I-94/US 12 west at I-494/694 - Woodbury, MN

Interstate 694 heads north to Oakdale while I-494 extends south to Woodbury, then west to South St. Paul, Bloomington, Edina and Eden Prairie. 06/15/15

I-94 US 12 East at I-494 I-694

I-94/US 12 east at I-494/694 - Maplewood, MN

I-94/U.S. 12 enter Washington County and the city of Woodbury at the exchange with MN 120 (Century Avenue), one mile from I-494/694. 04/21/07

I-94/US 12 east at I-494/694 - Maplewood, MN

A fourth eastbound lane accompanies I-94/U.S. 12 east from the Century Avenue entrance ramp to Exit 249 for I-494 south and I-694 north. 04/21/07

I-94/US 12 east at I-494/694 - Maplewood, MN

Interstate 694 runs north through the city of Oakdale to MN 36 at Pine Springs and then west to White Bear Lake. 04/21/07

I-94/US 12 east at I-494/694 - Maplewood, MN

Interstate 94 maintains six overall lanes alongside c/d roadways through the cloverleaf interchange (Exit 249) with I-494 and I-694. 04/21/07

I-94/US 12 east at I-494/694 - Maplewood, MN

Interstate 694 north heads toward the north St. Paul suburbs of White Bear Lake, Vadnais Heights and Shoreview. Connections with MN 36 also lead motorists east to Stillwater 04/23/07

West End I-94 I-494 US 52 – Maple Grove, Minnesota

I-94 I-694 US 52 West at I-494

I-94/694 west at I-494 - Maple Grove, MN

An end sign for I-694 west appears along I-94 at the cloverleaf interchange (Exits 29B/A) with U.S. 169. U.S. 169 comprises a major freeway leading north to Brooklyn Park and south to New Hope and Plymouth. 06/14/15

I-94/694 west at I-494 - Maple Grove, MN

An auxiliary lane joins I-94/694 west from U.S. 169 to Exit 28 with CSAH 61 (Hemlock Lane). Three lanes continue to the three wye interchange (Exit 27) with Interstate 494 south. 06/14/15

I-94/694 west at I-494 - Maple Grove, MN

Exit 28 leaves I-94/694 west for Hemlock Lane and a retail corridor spreading northwest to I-94 at Exit 215. Forthcoming Interstate 494 leads south from Maple Grove as a busy commuter freeway to Plymouth. 06/14/15

I-94/694 west at I-494 - Maple Grove, MN

The left two lanes connect with Interstate 494 south to Plymouth, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie while Exit 27 represents the mainline of I-94/U.S. 52 northwest to St. Cloud and Fargo, North Dakota. 06/14/15

I-94/694 west at I-494 - Maple Grove, MN

Interstate 694 west ends as I-494 south begins. This exchange marked the temporary end point of I-94 west from 1968 to 1973, when the freeway was completed to Albertville. 06/14/15

I-94 US 52 East at I-494 I-694

I-94/US 52 east at I-494/694 - Maple Grove, MN

I-94 angles southeast between residential areas along Fish Lake and the retail corridor along Elm Creek Boulevard to the three-wye interchange (Exit 216) with the Twin Cities belt line. 04/23/07

I-94/US 52 east at I-494/694 - Maple Grove, MN

South through Plymouth and Minnetonka, Interstate 494 provides a bypass route of Minneapolis to I-35W at Bloomington. The route reconvenes with I-94 at Oakdale (Exit 249). 04/23/07

I-494 North at I-94 I-694 US 52

I-494 north at I-94/694 - Maple Grove, MN

Similar to signage found along I-94/694 west, an end sign for I-494 north precedes the exchange joining the three routes at Maple Grove. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (07/16/11).

I-494 north at I-94/694 - Maple Grove, MN

Ramps at the north end of I-494 separate for I-94 west to Rogers and Albertville and I-94/694 east to Brooklyn Park and Fridley. This sign bridge was removed during 2014-16 construction expanding I-494 to seven overall lanes. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (07/16/11).

I-494 north at I-94/694 - Maple Grove, MN

Left Exit 27 departs beyond the E Fish Lake Road overpass for I-94/U.S. 52 west to Rogers, Albertville and Monticello. I-94/694 continue the beltline east toward Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis and New Brighton. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (07/16/11).

I-494 north at I-94/694 - Maple Grove, MN

I-94/U.S. 52 west leave the Twin Cities metro area for St. Cloud and Fargo, North Dakota. I-694 east takes over along the belt line through southeast Maple Grove. Photo by Chris and Amber Lokken (07/16/11).

Sources:

  1. Twin Cities Interstate System (Adam Froehlig).
  2. Unweave the Weave, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) project web site.
  3. I-694 North Central. http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/694expand/index.html Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) project web site.
  4. I-94 East Metro Interchange. Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) project web site.

Page updated November 18, 2020.