|Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography|
Minnesota State Line Signs
A Photo Tour Of Minnesota
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.