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Avenue of the Saints

The Avenue of the Saints is a 563-mile-long (906 km) highway in the Midwestern United States that connects St. Louis, Missouri and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Avenue of the Saints logo.svg

Avenue of the Saints
High Priority Corridor 2
Avenue of the Saints highlighted in red
Route information
Length563 mi (906 km)
Major junctions
South end I-64 / US 40 / US 61 / US 67 in Frontenac, Missouri
North end I-94 at St. Paul, Minnesota
Highway system
High-Priority Corridors
Iowa 26Iowa 27Iowa 28
Route 25Route 27Route 28

Route descriptionEdit


The southern end of the Avenue of the Saints is at exit 28A of Interstate 64 (I‑64) /U.S. Route 40 (US 40), which is also the southern end of its concurrency with US 61. The Avenue of the Saints heads west, to Chesterfield, crossing I‑270. Here, the Avenue of the Saints turns northwest, crosses the Missouri River via the Daniel Boone Bridge. In Wentzville, the route interchanges with I‑70. The western end of I‑64 and the northern end of the concurrency with US 40 is here. The Avenue of the Saints continues north as just US 61, intersects with the western end of I‑72 in Hannibal, reaches the northern terminus of its concurrency with US 61, then crosses the Des Moines River into Iowa.

The Avenue of the Saints is co-signed with Missouri Route 27 to the Iowa state line.


In Iowa, the Avenue of the Saints is a 282-mile-long (454 km)[1] highway, which begins in Lee County where Missouri Route 27 crosses the Des Moines River, and ends at the Minnesota state line in Worth County, concurrent with Interstate 35Interstate 35. Construction of the Avenue of the Saints corridor in Iowa was completed on May 23, 2006.

The route runs north from the Missouri state line as just Iowa Highway 27 for about ten miles (16 km), then is co-signed with US 218 until just south of Cedar Rapids, crossing I‑80 in Iowa City. This is also the location of the southern end of its concurrency with I‑380, and this concurrency terminates in Waterloo. Near Floyd, US 218 splits off, just after the route starts a concurrency with US 18, running west to its intersection with I‑35, where the route turns north again and runs into Minnesota.

In 2001, the Iowa Department of Transportation designated the Avenue of the Saints as Iowa 27. Prior to its creation, motorists wanting to travel the Avenue through Iowa had to follow a lengthy list of directions: (heading north from Missouri) Iowa 394, US 218, I‑380, US 20, Iowa 58, US 218 (again), US 18 and I‑35.

As with many rural expressways in Iowa, the Avenue of the Saints has exit numbers in that state. The exit numbers correspond to the underlying U.S. Highway or Interstate Highway – US 218, I‑380, US 20, US 18 and I‑35. The section along Iowa 58 in Cedar Falls has no exit numbers, and the separate section south of Donnellson has one numbered exit—the northbound one to US 218 south—based on Iowa 27's mileage.


In Minnesota, the Avenue of the Saints is officially routed along I‑35 and I‑35E for the entirety of its length in that state, but is not marked anywhere within the state. The route runs straight north, crosses I‑90 in Albert Lea, and runs to its northern end in St. Paul, shortly after crossing the Mississippi River via the Lexington Bridge.


The Avenue of the Saints was the concept of businessman Ernest Hayes of Mount Pleasant, Iowa who in the 1980s envisioned a four-lane highway between St. Paul and St. Louis.[2] It was named by Gary Smith, who at the time was Executive Director of the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission. Smith and Hayes convened a group of area business and political leaders, who organized an effort to convince the Iowa Department of Transportation to study the idea, which they did in 1988. Several politicians endorsed the idea, including then-mayor Tom Vilsack of Mount Pleasant, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Congressmen David Nagle and Fred Grandy of Iowa and Dick Gephardt of Missouri.

By the end of 1989, four possible routes for the Avenue of the Saints were under consideration by the Federal Highway Administration. Two of the rejected routes would have followed US 52 and US 63 from St. Paul through Rochester, Minnesota, to Waterloo, Iowa. The third rejected route would have followed US 61 from St. Paul through La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Dubuque, Iowa to Davenport, Iowa and US 67 from Davenport, crossing the Mississippi River through western Illinois to Alton, Illinois and crossing the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to St. Louis.

In 1990 the FHWA chose its route for the Avenue of the Saints: the signed highway would follow the existing Interstate 35 from St. Paul to a point south of Clear Lake, Iowa; U.S. Route 18 to Charles City, Iowa; U.S. Route 218 to Cedar Falls, Iowa; U.S. Route 20 and Iowa Highway 58 around Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa; Interstate 380 from Waterloo through Cedar Rapids to Interstate 80 near Coralville, Iowa and Iowa City, Iowa; U.S. Route 218 to Donnellson, Iowa; Iowa Highway 394 and Route B to Wayland, Missouri; and Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 61 from Wayland to St. Louis.

The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 made the Avenue of the Saints an official "high-priority corridor," and signs were put along the route by the end of the year. At that time the only four-lane segments were I‑35, I‑380, and I‑64; US 20 around Waterloo; US 218 from I‑80 to Iowa 22 near Riverside, Iowa; and two segments of US 61 in Missouri (from La Grange to New London and from Bowling Green to St. Louis). As a cost-saving measure, the government decided to build the Avenue of the Saints to expressway standards—with intersections at rural roads—rather than to full freeway standards. Freeway segments would be built around cities that needed to be bypassed.

After the routing was approved, both Iowa and Missouri began constructing new four-lane segments. Iowa opened bypasses around Waverly (1998), Mason City (1999), Charles City (2000), Mount Pleasant (2001), and Donnellson (2004). A four-lane link between I‑35 and I‑380 was completed with the opening of a segment near Nashua in November 2003. Missouri completed four-lane segments from New London to Bowling Green in November 2000, and from Canton to La Grange in 2003.

In 2001, the Iowa Department of Transportation gave the Avenue of the Saints its own highway number: Highway 27 (Iowa 27). The number was added as an additional number to the existing routes; however, after the Donnellson bypass opened in 2004, Iowa Highway 394 was decommissioned and Iowa 27 is now a stand-alone highway south of the split with US 218. A new four-lane bridge across the Des Moines River was opened at the end of 2004, replacing an existing toll bridge operated by the Wayland Special Road District. A new four-lane road between the bridge and US 61 south of Wayland, Missouri opened on the same day; it was numbered by Missouri as Route 27 to match Iowa's number for the Avenue of the Saints.

In June 2005, a four-lane segment from the end of the Mount Pleasant bypass to the junction with Iowa Highway 16 east of Houghton was opened to four lanes of traffic. The segment of Iowa 27 between the split with US 218 and the Des Moines River bridge opened to four lanes on August 25, 2005.[citation needed] The last remaining segment in Iowa was opened to traffic on May 23, 2006.[3]

On July 25, 2008, the final nine miles (14 km) of highway between the Lewis—Clark county line and Wayland, Missouri, was open to four-lane traffic. A ceremony was held at the intersection of US 61 and Route 27 to commemorate the completion of the four-lane highway in Missouri. The Avenue of the Saints is now complete from St. Paul to suburban St. Louis.

Future constructionEdit

Ongoing construction projects and future proposals along the Avenue of the Saints include:

  • The upgrading of US 61 to interstate standards from I‑70 in Wentzville to Route 47 in Troy, Missouri. In 2007, an interchange was installed at Route C in Moscow Mills, Missouri. Proposals include installing interchanges at Route U in Moscow Mills and South Lincoln Drive just south of Troy.
  • Missouri Department of Transportation has published initial maps for the Hannibal Expressway, a bypass around Hannibal, Missouri.[4] According to the maps, the Hannibal Expressway would depart from US 61 south of Hannibal, travel in a northwesterly direction toward the Rocket Junction where it would intersect with US 36/I‑72 and US 24 West. The Hannibal Expressway would then travel along the current US 24 East alignment and re-connect with US 61 four miles (6.4 km) north of the Rocket Junction. The "Hannibal Expressway" project is unfunded. There are seven stoplights along US 61 in Hannibal: Red Devil Road/Warren Barrett Drive, Market Street (Business 61), Highway MM (Business 36), West Ely Road, I‑72/US 36, Stardust Drrive/Pirate Pride, and Route 168.
  • The Iowa Department of Transportation has plans to rebuild the Avenue of the Saints interchange with I‑80 and I‑380/US 218/Iowa 27 in Coralville. As the Eastern Iowa region has grown, traffic has increased, and the current arrangement of the interchange with its cloverleaf ramps has been deemed unsafe. The Iowa Department of Transportation proposes to rebuilt the interchange as a turbine interchange, which will eliminate weaving. The project is scheduled to begin in 2020.[5]

Exits/major intersectionsEdit

MissouriSt. LouisFrontenac   I-64 east / US 40 eastContinuation east beyond interchange; southern end of I‑64 and US 40 concurrencies
0.0000.00028A   US 61 south / US 67 (Lindbergh Boulevard)Southern terminus of the Avenue of the Saints; southern end of US 61 concurrency
0.5220.84027Spoede Road
Town and Country2.0603.31526Ballas Road
25  I-270 – Tulsa, Chicago, Memphis
4.0816.56824Mason Road
5.0368.10523Maryville Centre RoadNo eastbound exit
5.7199.20422  Route 141 (Woods Mill Road)
Chesterfield6.83611.00121Timberlake Manor Parkway
7.95112.79620Chesterfield ParkwayWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
8.42713.56219B  Route 340 (Olive Boulevard, Clarkson Road)
9.04714.56019AChesterfield Parkway
11.11917.89417Boone's Crossing
11.91319.17216Long RoadWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
13.61821.91614Spirit of Saint Louis BoulevardWestbound exit and eastbound entrance only
14.51223.355Chesterfield Airport RoadEastbound exit and westbound entrance only
Missouri River15.80325.432Daniel Boone Bridge
St. CharlesWeldon Spring16.33826.29311Research Park CircleNo westbound entrance
17.53428.21810  Route 94 – St. CharlesWestbound exit via Exit 9
O'Fallon18.27329.4089  Route K
21.99835.4026  Route DD (WingHaven Boulevard)
24.03438.6794  Route N
Lake St. Louis25.22940.6022Lake St. Louis Boulevard
Wentzville26.83443.1851CProspect Road
28.26745.4911A-B    I-64 ends / I-70 / US 40 west – Kansas City, St. CharlesNorthern end of I‑64 and US 40 concurrencies; I‑70 exits 210A-B; cloverleaf interchange
28.66246.127Pitman AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
29.50547.484  Route A (Wentzville Parkway)
31.82551.217  Route P (Peine Road) – Flint Hill
LincolnMoscow Mills37.02359.583  Route U (Crossroads Boulevard)
39.70963.905  Route C
Troy42.55768.489Old Cap au Gris RoadNorthbound exit and entrance only
43.22169.557  Route 47 – Winfield
PikeEolia61.09998.329   Route D / Route FF
Bowling Green72.799117.159  
   US 61 Bus. / Route 161 – Ashley
75.100120.862  US 54 – Louisiana, Mexico
   US 61 Bus. / Route UU – Bowling Green
Frankford86.668139.479    Route B / Route C / Route ZZ
RallsNew London93.648150.712  
   US 61 Bus. / Route 19 – Center
  US 61 Bus.
   US 36 Bus. east / Route MM
Southern end of US 36 Bus. concurrency
     I-72 east / US 36 / Route 110 / US 36 Bus. ends – Downtown Hannibal, Monroe City, Springfield
Northern end of US 36 Bus. concurrency; I‑72 begins at interchange
105.126169.184   Route 168 west / Route W
Barkley111.689179.746  US 24 west – Monroe CitySouthern end of US 24 concurrency
  US 61 Bus.
   US 61 Bus. / Route 168
123.855199.325  Route 6 west – Edina, Taylor
  US 24 east – Quincy, IllinoisNorthern end of US 24 concurrency
LewisLa Grange130.588210.161 
   US 61 Bus. / Route B – La Grange, Wakonda State Park
   US 61 Bus. / Route C
   US 61 Bus. / Route P
139.205224.029   Route 16 to Route 81 – Canton, Monticello
  US 61 Bus.
Clark155.658250.507   US 61 north / Route 27 begins – KeokukNorthern end of US 61 concurrency; southern end of Route 27 concurrency
Wayland158.397254.915  US 136 – Kahoka
Missouri-Iowa line;
Des Moines River
Missouri Route 27 becomes Iowa Highway 27
IowaLeeCharleston Township10.39516.72910
  US 218 south – KeokukSouthern end of US 218 concurrency; exit numbers follow US 218
Donnellson12.32219.83019  Iowa 2 – Donnellson, Fort Madison
Marion Township22.40936.064  Iowa 16
HenryMount Pleasant33.31253.61040255th Street, Old Thresher's Grounds
     US 34 east / Iowa 163 east / US 34 Business / US 218 Business – Mount Pleasant, Burlington
Southern end of US 34 and Iowa 163 concurrencies; signed as Exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)
38.87262.55845   US 34 west / Iowa 163 west – OttumwaNorthern end of US 34 and Iowa 163 concurrencies; northbound exit and southbound entrance only
    US 218 Business (Iowa 438) to US 34 west to Iowa 163 west – Ottumwa
Southbound exit and northbound entrance only
Olds37.09659.700  Iowa 78 – Olds, Winfield, WaylandAt-grade intersection
WashingtonOregon Township59.23095.32166  Iowa 92 – Washington, Columbus JunctionAlso provides access to Ainsworth and Cotter
62.609100.75970  CR G36
Riverside72.721117.03380  Iowa 22 – Kalona, Lone Tree
JohnsonLiberty Township77.448124.64085Hills
West Lucas Township81.622131.35889   CR F50 (Riverside Drive) – Iowa City Municipal Airport
Iowa City83.232133.94991  Iowa 1 – Kalona
85.475137.55993  CR F46 (Melrose Avenue) – University Heights
Coralville88.847142.9850   I-80 / I-380 begins – Iowa City, Davenport, Des MoinesSouthern end of I‑380 concurrency; exit numbers follow the mileage of I‑380; signed as Exits 0A (eastbound) and 0B (westbound); no exit numbers northbound
North Liberty92.893149.4974  CR F28
Jefferson Township99.705160.46010  CR F12 – Swisher, Shueyville
LinnCedar Rapids102.663165.22013Ely, The Eastern Iowa Airport
105.176169.26416    US 30 / US 151 / US 218 north – Mt. Vernon, TamaNorthern end of US 218 concurrency; northbound exits signed 16A (east) and 16B (west)
106.432171.2861733rd Avenue SW – Hawkeye Downs
107.176172.48318Wilson Avenue SW
  To US 151 Business / Diagonal Drive / 5th Avenue SW – Downtown Cedar Rapids
Northbound exit and southbound entrance only
  US 151 Business (1st Avenue W) / 1st Street W – Veterans Memorial Stadium, Kingston Stadium
No southbound entrance, northbound exit signed as Exit 19C
  To US 151 Business / 1st Street East – Downtown Cedar Rapids
Southbound exit and northbound entrance only
109.501176.22520B  7th Street E – U.S. Cellular CenterAccess to Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke's Hospital
110.412177.69121H Avenue, J Avenue
11.19518.01722Coldstream–29th Street, Glass Road – 32nd Street
112.220180.6012342nd StreetSouthbound exit from Exit 24
24  Iowa 100 (Collins Road) / Blairs Ferry RoadSigned as Exits 24A (Iowa 100) and 24B (Blairs Ferry Road) northbound
Hiawatha114.119183.65725Boyson Road
Monroe Township117.696189.41328  CR E34 – Toddville, Robins
Center Point124.673200.64235  CR W36
132.374213.03543  Iowa 150 – Vinton, Independence
BuchananJefferson Township138.803223.38249Brandon
144.197232.06355  CR V65 – Jesup
Black HawkFox Township151.071243.12562  CR D38 – Gilbertville
Poyner Township153.862247.61765  US 20 east – DubuqueSouthern end of US 20 concurency
155.298249.92866Raymond, Gilbertville
Evansdale157.206252.99968Evansdale Drive – Elk Run Heights
159.474256.64970River Forest Road
   I-380 north / US 218 – Waterloo, La Porte CityNorthern end of I‑380 concurrency;
northbound signed as Exits 71A (north) and 71B (south);
southbound signed as Exits 232A (south) and 232B (north)
162.064260.817230  Iowa 21 (Hawkeye Road) – Dysart
163.572263.244229Ansborough Avenue
165.104265.709227  US 63 (Sergeant Road) – Hudson
Hudson167.164269.024225   US 20 west / Iowa 58 south – Cedar FallsNorthern end of US 20 concurrency; southern end of Iowa 58 concurrency
Cedar Falls167.568269.675Ridgeway AvenueAt-grade intersection; future interchange
168.569271.286Viking RoadAt-grade intersection; future single point urban interchange
169.715273.130Greenhill RoadAt-grade intersection; future interchange
170.862274.976University Avenue (to Iowa 934)
  18th Street, Waterloo RoadAccess to Sartori Memorial Hospital
172.945278.328     US 218 south / Iowa 57 west / Iowa 58 ends – Waterloo, Waterloo Regional AirportNorthern end of Iowa 58 concurrency; southern end of US 218 concurrency
174.597280.987189Lone Tree Road
   US 218 Business (Iowa 116) – Waverly
Access to Waverly Health Center
188.635303.579203  Iowa 3 – Waverly, Shell Rock
   US 218 Business – Waverly Municipal Airport
Plainfield197.890318.473212  Iowa 188
ChickasawNashua205.194330.228220   Iowa 346 east / CR B60 west
FloydCharles City214.416345.069218     
    US 18 east / US 218 Business / CR T64 – New Hampton
Southern end of US 18 concurrency
217.992350.824214  Iowa 14 – Greene
   US 218 Business / CR B35
Floyd222.552358.163  US 218 northNorthern end of US 218 concurrency
Rock Grove Township237.250381.817195  CR S70 – Nora Springs
Cerro GordoPortland Township242.387390.084190  CR S56 (California Avenue)
Mason City246.439396.605186  
   US 18 Business / US 65 – Downtown Mason City, Rockwell
Lake Township249.449401.449183   CR S36 (Eisenhower Avenue)
  I-35 south – Des MoinesSouthern end of I‑35 concurrency
Clear Lake256.349412.554193   I-35 Business Loop north / CR B35 – Mason City
257.219413.954194     US 18 west / I-35 Business Loop south / Iowa 122 – Mason City, Clear LakeNorthern end of US 18 concurrency, access to Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa
Lincoln Township260.910419.894197  CR B20
WorthDanville Township266.831429.423203  Iowa 9 – Manly, Forest City
Brookfield Township271.845437.492208  CR A38 – Joice, Kensett
Hartland Township277.865447.180214  CR 105 – Lake Mills, NorthwoodFormer Iowa 105
Iowa-Minnesota line281.689
Iowa Highway 27 ends; northern end of Iowa 27 concurrency
MinnesotaFreebornFreeman Township2.492–
2  CR 5
5.2768.4915  CR 13 – Twin Lakes, Glenville
Albert Lea7.987–
8   I-35 Bus. north / US 65 – Glenville
11.49818.50411  CR 46
12   I-35 Bus. south / US 65 southSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Bancroft Township13.24721.31913  I-90 – La Crosse, Sioux FallsSigned as Exits 13A (east) and 13B (west)
Clarks Grove18.74530.16718  MN 251 east – Hollandale
Geneva Township22.96336.95522  CR 35 – Hartland, Geneva
SteeleSummit Township26.64042.87326  MN 30 – New Richland, Blooming Prairie
Somerset Township32.81752.81432  CR 4 – Hope
Owatonna39.98164.34340   US 14 east / US 218 south – Owatonna, Rochester, AustinSouthern end of US 14 concurrency
41.76667.21641Bridge Street
42.50968.41242   US 14 west / CR 45 east – WasecaNorthern end of US 14 concurrency; signed as Exits 42A (east) and 42B (west)
43  CR 34 (26th Street)
45  CR 9 – Clinton Falls
Medford48.05777.34048   CR 12 / CR 23
RiceFaribault55.59089.46355FaribaultNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
56.91891.60156  MN 60 – Waterville
59.10795.12359  MN 21 – Le Center
Forest Township66.696107.33766  CR 1 – Montgomery, Dundas
Webster Township69.679112.13769  MN 19 – Northfield, New Prague
ScottNew Market Township76.841123.66476  CR 2 – Elko New Market
DakotaLakeville81.842131.71281  CR 70 – Farmington
84.340135.73284  CR 60 (185th Street West)
85.509137.61385   CR 5 / CR 50
86.636139.42786  CR 46
Burnsville87.824141.33987Crystal Lake RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
88.268142.05488A  I-35W north – MinneapolisNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
   I-35 ends / I-35E begins – St. PaulNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only; Northern end of I‑35 concurrency and southern end of I‑35E concurrency
88B  CR 42
Apple Valley90.615–
90  CR 11
92  MN 77 (Cedar Avenue) – Zoo
93.772150.91193  CR 32 (Cliff Road)
94.906152.73694  CR 30 (Diffley Road)
97.123156.30497A  CR 31 (Pilot Knob Road)
97.433156.80397B  CR 28 (Yankee Doodle Road)Northbound exit is via Exit 97A
98.559158.61598  CR 26 (Lone Oak Road)
Mendota Heights99.667–
99  I-494Signed as Exits 99A (east) and 99B (west)
101  MN 110Signed as Exits 101A (east) and 101B (west) southbound
102.590165.103102  MN 13 (Sibley Highway)
Mississippi River102.630–
Lexington Bridge
RamseySaint Paul103.346–
103AShepard RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
103B  MN 5 (West 7th Street)
104.464168.119104ARandolph Avenue (CR 38)
104BAyd Mill RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
104CVictoria StreetSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
105.562169.886105St. Clair AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
106AGrand AvenueNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
106.980172.168106BKellogg BoulevardNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
107.450172.924106C11th Street – State CapitolNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
107    I-94 / US 10 east / US 52 south / 10th Street, Wacouta Street – MinneapolisSigned as Exits 107A (east) and 107B (west)
  I-35E northContinuation north beyond interchange; northern end of I‑35E concurrency
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c 2009 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa (PDF) (Report). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  2. ^ Petroski, William (April 30, 1990). "Saints highway marketing idea proves popular". Des Moines Register. p. A2. Retrieved May 24, 2018 – via  
  3. ^ Buehner, Kristin (June 9, 2006). "Communities will celebrate opening Iowa portion of Avenue of the Saints". Globe Gazette. Mason City, Iowa. p. A3. Retrieved May 24, 2018 – via  
  4. ^ Staff. "Hannibal Bypass Maps". Missouri Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  5. ^ Kalk, Jordee. "Construction timeline for I-380/80 Interchange". KCRG-TV9.
  6. ^ a b Missouri Department of Transportation (May 16, 2012). MoDOT HPMAPS (Map). Missouri Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 16, 2012.

External linksEdit