MN 252:


Segment Type of Highway Designated IRC?
I-94/I-694 to 73rd Ave N 6-lane Expressway NO
73rd Ave N to MN 610 4-lane Expressway NO

Detailed Description:
Just under 4.5 miles long, MN 252 is an expressway in the northern Minneapolis suburbs, connecting I-94 and I-694 with the MN 610 freeway.  It begins as an offshoot of I-94 in Brooklyn Center, at the interchange where I-94 goes from a north-south alignment to an east-west alignment cosigned with I-694.  The southernmost mile is 6 lanes, with the remainder as 4 lanes.  Besides the interchanges on each end, the only access to MN 252 is via 6 at-grade intersections, all signalized.

MN 252 had its beginnings in the mid-70s, with what was then a proposal to replace the then-West River Road alignment of US 169 with a new facility crossing the river into Coon Rapids.  This resulted in corridor and environmental studies for the "North Crosstown", which eventually became MN 610.  Part of this proposal involved building a mostly-new-alignment expressway connecting the "North Crosstown" with I-94 and I-694.

In the early 1980s, when I-94 was completed through north Minneapolis, US 169 was removed from its Lyndale Ave/W. River Rd alignment onto MN 100 and then-US 52.  The segment of W. River Rd which used to be US 169 then became MN 252, and was a 2-lane road along the west bank of the Mississippi through what was then still mostly-undeveloped land between I-94/694 and the river crossing between Champlain and Anoka.  This changed in the mid-80s, when construction on the new expressway began.  Construction on the expressway was coordinated with construction on the new MN 610 Mississippi River crossing, and when opened in 1986, the new MN 252 expressway transitioned seamlessly into the new MN 610 crossing into Coon Rapids.  At that time, MN 252 turned into MN 610 at a signalized intersection at 93rd Ave N.

The last part of the new expressway to be completed was the present-day interchange at MN 252 and MN 610.  This was built when MN 610 was extended west to US 169 in 2000.

Junction Log:

Junction Type of Access Highway Type at Junction Location
I-94/I-694 (south end of 252) Partial-directional/cloverleaf interchange Freeway Brooklyn Center
66th Ave N Traffic signal Freeway to Expressway Brooklyn Center
70th Ave N Traffic signal Expressway Brooklyn Center
73rd Ave N Traffic signal Expressway Brooklyn Center
Enter Brooklyn Park, Leave Brooklyn Center at 73rd Ave N
Brookdale Dr N Traffic signal Expressway Brooklyn Park
Humboldt Ave N/81st Ave N Traffic signal Expressway Brooklyn Park
CSAH 109/85th Ave N Traffic signal Expressway to Freeway Brooklyn Park
MN 610 (north end of 252) 3-way directional interchange Freeway Brooklyn Park

Future Improvements:
MN 252 shows up in both MnDOT and the Metropolitan Council (Twin Cities-area MPO) long-range transportation plans as an expansion corridor.  Earlier long-range plans called for expanding the whole corridor to 6 lanes, rather than the current mix of 4 and 6 lanes.  Recent transportation plan updates call instead for upgrading MN 252 to a freeway facility.

Where new interchanges would go along MN 252 is unclear, but one likely location is at CSAH 109/85th Ave N.  This intersection is a recognized bottleneck and has been the scene of a number of accidents since its opening, including a fatal accident where a girl riding a bicycle across the intersection was struck and killed.  That particular accident prompted the recent construction of a pedestrian overpass over MN 252.

Related Links:

  • MN 252 page (Froggie)

  • MN 252 caption (Steve Riner)


Adam Froehlig (Froggie) is the author for the MN 252 page, with assistance from Monte Castleman.

Last Updated: 2/23/05

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