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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography

Minnesota State Line Signs

A Photo Tour Of Minnesota
State Line Signs On The 150th
Anniversary Of Statehood

In April of 2008, the state of Minnesota changed all of its steel state lines signs. This prompted me to dig out photos of older Minnesota state line and welcome signs from my collection. New signs will be added to this collection as I find them in my travels.

MN State Line Sign
This welcome sign was once proudly displayed above the main entrance to the parking ramp at the Minneapolis/Saint Paul airport. The sign was displayed as early as 1985 when I first visited the MSP airport, and it remained in place through the mid-1990s. It was taken down when the front of the parking ramp was removed to build the underground transit center and widen the roadway on the departure level. There is now an electronic sign on the exit roadway welcoming travelers to Minnesota.

MN State Line Sign
The Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission bought and paid MN-DOT to erect 67 signs heralding Minnesota's 150th anniversary of statehood. The signs were in place for the anniversary festivities in mid-May. They will remain in place until early 2009. At that time, the signs will be offered for adoption for a fee of $500 each. The larger state entry points have monuments to welcome visitors to the state. In places were monuments did not exist, the state erects steel signs. Those steel state line signs were removed and replaced with these 150th anniversary signs.

MN State Line Sign
The two two photos (above and below) show two different generations of state line monuments at major entry points. The wooden sign on the left is located near Sioux Falls on I-90. It uses block lettering, a wooden structure, and a sandstone base. The monument on the right, an example of the newest state line monuments, is located at Hudson on I-94. It is made of stone, uses script lettering, features the Mississippi River, and has river gravel rock as a base.
MN State Line Sign

MN State Line Sign
The photo above is a newly erected state line monument. It is located on MN-60 on the border with Iowa. Iowa has recently upgraded IA-60 to a 4-lane freeway. The combination of highways US-169, MN-60, US-59, IA-60, and US-75 make a contiguous route between Minneapolis and Sioux City that is mostly 4-lane expressway and freeway.

MN State Line Sign
Smaller state entry points use these older and smaller cut-rock sandstone monuments. The monument on the left is an older monument that is located on MN-243 near Osceola. The monument on the right is very new, and is located on MN-70 near Grantsburg. The older monument has an outline of the state in blue with yellow lettering. The newer monument has the entire state in blue with yellow lettering.
MN State Line Sign

MN State Line Sign
Some very old and low volume entry points use a simple wooden monument that displays the welcome sign. This type of sign is increasingly rare since they are being replaced with steel signs. The sign is the same layout as the older monument above, but it adds the 10,000 lakes moniker. The green steel sign was used in locations where it was not possible to erect a wooden sign. In this case, the sign is mounted on a bridge over the Red River in Grand Forks.
MN State Line Sign

MN State Line Sign
In recent years, MN-DOT has started to use steel signs for the lower volume state entry points. The sign on the left is the newer blue and yellow sign, while the sign on the right is the older green and white sign. The green and white signs are mostly gone, while the blue and yellow versions were removed in April 2008 to install the 150th anniversary signs. The two sign styles use the same graphics and lettering, just different colors.
MN State Line Sign

MN State Line Sign
The sign above is an even simpler version of the state line sign. The example, located on the US-2 Bong Bridge between Duluth and Superior, marks the point where you cross over the state line when crossing the Twin Ports Harbor. There is an official stone marker sign at the Duluth end of the bridge, but this green guide sign marks the specific location of the state line.

MN State Line Sign
Minnesota is divided into 5 tourism regions. These regions have formed marketing organizations to help promote their part of the state as a brand. The Northeast Region has adopted the the slogan ‘The Wild North’ and has posted this trademarked brand name on highway signs throughout the region.

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