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Minnesota State Highway 3

Minnesota State Highway 3 (MN 3) is a 43.749-mile-long (70.407 km) state highway in Minnesota, which runs from its intersection with MN 21 in Faribault and continues north to its northern terminus at an interchange with MN 62 in Inver Grove Heights. In 2019 Minnesota 3 was extended northbound to Minnesota 5.

Trunk Highway 3 marker

Trunk Highway 3
MN 3 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MnDOT
Length43.749 mi[1] (70.407 km)
Major junctions
South end MN 21 at Faribault
  MN 19 / MN 246 at Northfield

MN 50 at Farmington
CSAH 42 at Rosemount
MN 149 at Inver Grove Heights
MN 55 at Inver Grove Heights
I-494 at Inver Grove Heights

MN 62 at Inver Grove Heights
North end MN 5 at Saint Paul
CountiesRice, Dakota, Ramsey
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highways
US 2MN 4

Route descriptionEdit

MN 3 serves as a north-south route between Inver Grove Heights, Eagan, Rosemount, Farmington, Northfield, and Faribault.

MN 3 travels through open fields just outside of Northfield, and it begins to slope outward as the city is left. Between Farmington and Rosemount, MN 3 is flat and mostly straight through several farm fields. Between Rosemount and Eagan, however, the road is more curvy. MN 3 follows a rail line at this point, and the road is heavily wooded with many sharp turns. Once in Eagan, MN 3 travels through a valley and then continues to a junction with MN 55 in Inver Grove Heights. It continues northbound to its interchange with I-494, and then continues north through rolling, wooded hills over a mostly straight path until its meeting at MN 62. In 2018-19, the Minnesota Department of Transportation quietly changed the designation of unsigned MN 952A to MN 3, effectively extending the route north through West Saint Paul along Robert Street into downtown Saint Paul.

Legally, MN 3 is defined as legislative routes 1, 115, and 334 in the Minnesota Statutes. The route is not marked with those numbers.


MN 3 was established in 1963, from the southern portion of former MN 218. This route was originally numbered 65 as part of old U.S. Highway 65 (US 65) from 1927 to 1934. It was built between Faribault and MN 149 in Inver Grove Heights and was paved as early as 1929.[2]

The route was renumbered 218 in 1934 as part of old US 218 from 1934 to 1935, which was eventually redesignated MN 218 from 1935 to 1963. The route was renumbered MN 3 in 1963.[2]

MN 3 follows a roadway from Faribault to Inver Grove Heights that previously extended north through West St. Paul, downtown Saint Paul, and ended at the State Capitol. This section is still under state maintenance as unmarked MN 952.

The route was once part of the Jefferson Highway, an automobile highway stretching through the central U.S. until the late 1920s. MN 3 is still part of unmarked Constitutional Route 1.

From the late 1970s to 1994, MN 3 was previously routed on the Lafayette Freeway through South St. Paul / West St. Paul to downtown Saint Paul. Nearby US 52 was routed on a stretch of Robert Street during this period of time. The Lafayette Freeway was completely constructed in 1994, US 52 was then rerouted along that route and MN 3 was shortened to its current northern terminus at its junction with MN 62 in Inver Grove Heights.[2] Recently MnDOT has indicated it considers the stretch of Robert Street from downtown St. Paul through West St. Paul to be Highway 3, and has recently signed the road in West St. Paul with Minnesota Highway 3 shields and reflects the roadway as MN-3 on their project web pages.[3]

Major intersectionsEdit

RiceFaribault0.0000.000  MN 21 (Lyndale Avenue)
Northfield12.29919.793  MN 246 east (Woodley Street)
12.76620.545  MN 19 west (5th Street)South end of MN 19 overlap
13.03620.979  MN 19 east (2nd Street)North end of MN 19 overlap
DakotaFarmington25.35740.808  MN 50 east (Ash Street)
Inver Grove Heights38.33261.689  MN 149 north (Jefferson Trail)
  MN 55 (Courthouse Boulevard)Interchange
Inver Grove HeightsSunfish Lake line43.375–
  I-494 westInterchange
  MN 62 (Crosstown Highway)Previously MN 110; interchange access to I-494 east
RamseySaint Paul  MN 5 (7th Street)
       To I-94 / I-35E / US 10 / US 12 / US 52 / CSAH 34Previously the terminus of unmarked MN 952A; roadway continues as CSAH 34 to University Avenue
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b "Statewide Logpoint Listing" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 14, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Riner, Steve. "Details of routes 1–25". The Unofficial Minnesota Highways Page. Self-published. Retrieved November 28, 2010.[self-published source]
  3. ^ "Hwy 3/Robert St. Project - MnDOT".

External linksEdit