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Chris Geelhart
Last Update: 7/11/2006
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You are at: Northern Plains Highways > North Dakota Highways > ND61-100
US-85 near the Little Missouri River in 1963

The cover of the 1963 state highway map showed the path of US-83 near the Little Missouri River in McKenzie County.

Current assignment Decommissioned 1950 or earlier Decommissioned 1951 to 1975 Decommissioned since 1975
Name Details

Old ND-61

Alignment: Montana border east of Sidney, MT, to Cathmere (7 miles east of the border)

History and Notes: Designated before 1940, but decommissioned by 1950. This road was made part of ND-68 when the latter was created between 1950 and 1963.

Old ND-62

Alignment: ND-9 west of Wimbledon to Spiritwood (US-10/US-52)

History and Notes: Designated before 1940. This route was decommissioned sometime between 1950 and 1963, and is currently Stutsman and Barnes CR's 62.

Old ND-63

Alignment: Ypsilanti to ND-13 south of Grand Rapids

History and Notes: Designated by 1939, but apparently decommissioned by 1950. This is currently Stutsman and LaMoure CR 63.


Alignment: Binford (ND-1) to ND-45 north of Cooperstown

Distance: 9 miles

History and Notes: Alignment in place by 1939.


Alignment: ND-3 south of Dunseith to Minnesota border (MN-11) at Drayton

Distance: 144 miles

Intersecting Interstates: I-29 at Drayton

Multiplexing: Shared alignment with US-281 for 1 mile either side of Arndt; with ND-32 for 2 miles between Mountain and Edinburg; with US-81 for 2 miles south of St. Thomas

History and Notes: This route was originally (pre-1940) designated as ND-29. The designation was changed sometime between 1955 and 1963, presumably to avoid conflict with the planned (and intersecting) I-29. The segment west from Rolette is 1 mile north of the old alignment.


Alignment: ND-21 west of New England to Scranton (US-12)

Distance: 27 miles

History and Notes: Designated between 1950 and 1963.


Alignment: Montana border (MT-23) near Sidney, MT to US-85 south of Alexander

Distance: 28 miles

History and Notes: Designated sometime between 1950 and 1965. Parts of this alignment were previously ND-16 and ND-61.

Old ND-69

Alignment: Canadian border north of Hansboro to US-281/ND-5 east of Rolla

History and Notes: Part of this route was along the original US-281 alignment. ND-69 designation was implemented in the mid or late 1960's. Designation changed to ND-4 in 1997.


Alignment: ND-23 east of Watford City to ND-22 north of Mandaree

Distance: 12 miles

History and Notes: Road constructed sometime between 1965 and 1975.


Meridian Hwy
Meridian Highway

Alignment: Manitoba border (MB-75) at Pembina to South Dakota border (US-81) south of Hankinson

Distance: 246 miles

Freeway: Entire route (co-sign with I-29), except from Joliette to Manvel, and through Grand Forks and Fargo

NHS: Entire route

Intersecting Interstates: I-29 at Joliette and Manvel; I-94 at Fargo

Multiplexing: Shared alignment with I-29 from the Canadian border to near Joliette, and from Manvel to the South Dakota border (except through Grand Forks and Fargo)

Port of Entry: Pembina (24 hours); Pembina Municipal Airport; Grand Forks International Airport; Hector International Airport (Fargo)

History and Notes: Previously known as the "Meridian Highway", US-81 was an original 1926 highway. The original alignment was generally along I-29, except for the segment from Wahpeton to the South Dakota border, which followed the current ND-127. This southern segment was realigned in the late 1970's after completion of I-29 in the area.

North Dakota native Ryan Fisher provided me with the following information about US-81:

U.S. 81--"Old 81" in N.D. parlance... Remains almost completely unbroken border-to-border...a real treat for the "roadgeek." Just a small stretch from north of Grand Forks to Manvel was dismantled and replaced with I-29. Unfortunately, U.S. 81's former alignment from the N.D. 5 to Pembina has been all but left to ruin. Thank Pembina County (my birthplace) for that.

In Grand Forks prior to the 1950s, U.S. 81's alignment followed the "Mill Road", passing by the State Mill and Elevator (ahhh, prairie socialism at its zenith!) and continued on into Grand Forks. I'm pretty sure (don't quote me on this) that it followed Belmont Road out of town until South Washington Street was upgraded to four lanes.

Parts of Old 81 have been interrupted in the Fargo area. When the 19th Avenue North railroad underpass was built, 81 lost its smooth curve eastward onto 19th Avenue immediately south of the airport. When 81 became 19th Avenue, it was taken down from grade to street level, which was a bad move, in my opinion. The combination of flat, windswept ground and a curb-and-gutter street in the middle of nowhere make 19th pretty treacherous in the winter.

81 was also routed into one way streets through much of Fargo in the 70s. There used to be a smooth curve southward from 19th onto University Drive as 81 made its final approach into Fargo. When the one ways were established, a regular intersection was put into place at 19th and University, but until the Fargodome was built, evergreen trees still marked the path of the old curve.

As for the one ways, University Drive is southbound, and 10th Street is northbound. This continues to 13th Avenue South, where the twain meet and continue along the historic route.

81's concrete panel surfacing has been sloppily overlaid with asphalt in past twenty years. Cass County has the last remaining stretches of this surfacing north and south of Fargo. South of Fargo, much of it has been eaten up by the new University Drive, which extends at street level not quite all the way to 52nd Avenue South. I still relish the sections of concrete panel that remain; its rhythmic "clup, clup, clup, clup" remind me of many a childhood automotive excursion.

Attractions Along the Way: Pembina State Museum (Pembina); North Dakota Museum of Art (Grand Forks); Dakota Science Center (Grand Forks); KVLY-TV tower, North America's tallest structure (Blanchard); Bonanzaville USA (Fargo); Roger Maris Baseball Museum (Fargo); Plains Art Museum (Fargo); Childrens Museum at Yunker Farm (Fargo); Fargo Air Museum (Fargo); Bagg Bonanza Farm (Mooreton)

Follow US-81 Across: South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas

Links: Dale Sanderson's END US-81 Page


Alignment: Manitoba border (MB-83) north of Westhope to South Dakota border (US-83) south of Hague

Distance: 265 miles

Freeway: Bismarck to Sterling (co-sign with I-94)

NHS: Entire route

Multi-lane Segments: Renville/Ward County border to Bismarck

Intersecting Interstates: I-94 at Bismarck and Sterling

Multiplexing: Shared alignment with ND-5 from Renville to 6 miles south of Westhope; with ND-200 from Riverdale Junction to Underwood; with I-94 from Bismarck to Sterling; with ND-13 through Linton

Port of Entry: North of Westhope (8am-9pm); Minot (air traffic only)

Spurs and Alternates: Business US-83 around the west side of Minot; Spur US-83 through Bismarck

Lewis and Clark Trail: ND-37 intersection east of Garrison to ND-1804 intersection northwest of Wilton; Linton to ND-11

History and Notes: 1926 highway plan only had US-83 existing south of US-10 (I-94). Route was extended north before 1931.

Ed Wilson reports about US-83 in the Minot area, from a road trip in August 2000:

US 83 splits into "Business" and "By-Pass" north of Minot. Business 83 is not bannered thru town. Also there are Business US 2 and 52, with erratic bannering. Reassurance markers at the junction downtown are not bannered eastbound. Westbound there are no reassurance markers, but several blocks west, bannered shields.

Attractions Along the Way: State Fairgrounds (Minot); Fort Mandan (Washburn); Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (Washburn); North Dakota Heritage Center (Bismarck); State Capitol (Bismarck); Lawrence Welk Boyhood Home (Strasburg)

Follow US-83 Across: South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas

Links: Dale Sanderson's END US-83 Page


CanAm Highway
CanAm Highway

Alignment: Saskatchewan border (SK-35) north of Fortuna to South Dakota border (US-85) south of Bowman

Distance: 275 miles

NHS: Entire route

Intersecting Interstates: I-94 at Belfield

Multi-lane Segments: 19 mile stretch west and north of Williston (co-sign with US-2)

Port of Entry: North of Fortuna (9am-10pm)

Multiplexing: Shared alignment with ND-5 from 1 mile west of Fortuna to 7 miles east of Fortuna; with US-2 from 13 miles north of Williston to 5 miles west of Williston; with ND-200 from 2 miles north of Alexander to 5 miles southeast of Grassy Butte; with US-12 through Bowman

History and Notes: Originally known as the "Canam Highway".

Attractions Along the Way: Theodore Roosevelt National Park (north unit -- south of Watford City; south unit -- west of Belfield); White Butte, highest point in North Dakota (south of Amidon); Pioneer Trails Regional Museum (Bowman)

Follow US-85 Across: South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas

Links: Dale Sanderson's END US-85 Page


Alignment: ND-5 to Lignite

Distance: 1 mile


Exit Listings

Alignment: Montana border (I-94) at Beach to Minnesota border (I-94) at Fargo

Distance: 352 miles

NHS: Entire route

Freeway: Entire route

Spurs and Alternates: I-194 (unmarked) in Mandan; Business I-94 through Dickinson, Mandan, Bismarck, Jamestown, Valley City, and Fargo

Multiplexing: Shared alignment with US-83 from Bismarck to Sterling; with US-52 from Jamestown to the Minnesota border; with ND-1 from 2 miles southeast of Sanborn to 3 miles west of Valley City

History and Notes: I-94 was mostly built along or on top of the old US-10 alignment. The state highway map from 1963 showed I-94 complete from near Glen Ullin to New Salem, and from Dawson to the Minnesota border. Most of the remaining portion was completed by 1969, except for the Bismarck to Dawson section, which was completed by 1975. The I-94/US-10 co-sign was eliminated in the 1980's.

Attractions Along the Way: Chateau de Mores (Medora); Theodore Roosevelt National Park, south unit (Medora); North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame (Medora); Chimney Park (Medora); Dakota Dinosaur Museum (Dickinson); Assumption Abbey (Richardson); North Dakota Heritage Center (Bismarck); State Capitol (Bismarck); Camp Hancock (Bismarck); Menoken Indian Village Historic Site (Menoken); Camp Banks State Historic Site (Driscoll); Frontier Village and National Buffalo Museum (Jamestown); Fort Seward (Jamestown); Bonanzaville USA (Fargo); Roger Maris Baseball Museum (Fargo); Plains Art Museum (Fargo); Childrens Museum at Yunker Farm (Fargo); Fargo Air Museum (Fargo)

Follow I-94 Across: Montana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan

Links: AARoads' I-94 Page


Alignment: Segment 1: I-94 exit 24 to I-94 exit 27 (Medora);
Segment 2: I-94 exit 59 to I-94 exit 64 (Dickinson);
Segment 3: I-94 exit 147 in Mandan to I-94 exit 161 in Bismarck;
Segment 4: I-94 exit 255 to I-94 exit 260 (Jamestown);
Segment 5: I-94 exit 290 to I-94 exit 294 (Valley City);
Segment 6: I-94 exit 343 to Minnesota state line (US-10) at Moorhead, MN

Multiplexing: Shared alignment with unmarked ND-810 (Bismarck Expressway, north-south segment) in Bismarck; with portions of US-52 and US-281 in Jamestown; and with US-10 through Fargo.

History and Notes: These business loops were all portions of the former US-10, which preceded I-94 across the state. Only the Fargo segment is still actively part of US-10.

The Liberty Memorial Bridge across the Missouri River in Bismarck/Mandan is being reconstructed. According to an NDDOT press release, the first Memorial Bridge was built in 1922 as the final coast-to-coast link of US-10, and was the first Missouri River bridge designed for automobile traffic. It was dedicated to honor North Dakotans who fought in World War I. The new bridge will carry on the tradition of honoring veterans, with the new design incorporating five overlook areas honoring the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Traffic is expected to be shifted to the new 2,300 feet long, four-lane bridge at the end of 2007, with project completion to be in 2008.


Alignment: ND-41 south of Velva to US-52 southeast of Velva

Distance: 2 miles