U.S. Route 12 in Minnesota

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U.S. Highway 12 marker

U.S. Highway 12
U.S. 12 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MnDOT
Length192.798 mi[2] (310.278 km)
ExistedNovember 11, 1926[1]–present
Major junctions
West end US 12 at the South Dakota state line
East end I-94 / US 12 at the Wisconsin state line
CountiesBig Stone, Swift, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Wright, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington
Highway system
  • Minnesota Trunk Highways
MN 11MN 13

U.S. Highway 12 (US 12) is a 192.798-mile-long (310.278 km) U.S. Highway in west-central and east-central Minnesota, which travels from the South Dakota state line at Ortonville near Big Stone Lake and continues east to the St. Croix River at the Wisconsin state line. US 12 connects the cities of Ortonville, Benson, Willmar, Litchfield, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.

Route description[edit]

From the South Dakota state line at Ortonville, to Orono in the Twin Cities area, US 12 is mostly a rural two-lane highway with a 60-mile-per-hour (97 km/h) posted speed limit, with slower speed limits through towns and a four-lane surface arterial segment through the city of Willmar. From Orono to Wayzata, US 12 is a two-lane freeway/super-2 bypass around Long Lake. From western Wayzata to Interstate 394 (I-394) in Minnetonka, US 12 is a six-lane freeway. East of I-494, US 12 is invisibly concurrent with I-394 and I-94 through Minneapolis and Saint Paul to the Wisconsin state line at Hudson.

Legally, the Minnesota section of US 12 is defined as unmarked Constitutional / Legislative Routes 149, 26, and 10 in Minnesota Statutes §§ 161.115(80) and 161.114(2). US 12 is not marked with these legislative numbers along the actual highway.


US 12 was established on November 11, 1926.[1] In 1929, the only sections paved were between Litchfield and Willmar; and between Wayzata through the Twin Cities to Wisconsin.[3] The entire route was paved by 1940.[3]

From 2006 to 2008, the US 12 two-lane freeway bypass was constructed through Orono and Long Lake. The new bypass ties into the existing US 12 freeway at the western edge of Wayzata.

Major intersections[edit]

Big StoneGrant county lineOrtonvilleBig Stone City line0.0000.000 US 12 west (Main Street)Continuation into South Dakota
Big StoneOrtonville0.8211.321 MN 7 west (2nd Street SE) – BeardsleyWestern end of MN 7 concurrency
0.9501.529 MN 7 east (SE 2nd Street) – AppletonEastern end of MN 7 concurrency
1.3502.173 US 75 – Wheaton, Madison
SwiftShible Township21.09733.952 MN 119 south – Appleton
Moyer Township27.08843.594 US 59 (160th Avenue SW) – Morris, Appleton
Benson42.63368.611 MN 29 south (Church Street) – MontevideoWestern end of MN 29 concurrency
42.86068.976 MN 9 west (Atlantic Avenue) / MN 29 north (14th Street) – Morris, StarbuckEastern end of MN 29 concurrency; western end of MN 9 concurrency
42.93069.089 MN 9 east (13th Street) – New LondonEastern end of MN 9 concurrency
KandiyohiWillmar72.618116.867 MN 40 west – Milan
Kandiyohi Township75.696–
US 71 / MN 23 – Sauk Centre, St. Cloud, Olivia, Granite FallsInterchange
MeekerGrove City91.650147.496 MN 4 south – CosmosWestern end of MN 4 concurrency
Swede Grove Township92.261148.480 MN 4 north – PaynesvilleEastern end of MN 4 concurrency
Litchfield Township98.757158.934 MN 22 north – Eden ValleyWestern end of MN 22 concurrency
99.945160.846 MN 24 north – Kimball
Litchfield100.777162.185 MN 22 south – HutchinsonEastern end of MN 22 concurrency
Dassel Township111.360179.217 MN 15 – Kimball, Hutchinson
WrightMontrose132.095212.586 MN 25 south (Buffalo Avenue) – WatertownWestern end of MN 25 concurrency
Franklin Township134.152215.897 MN 25 north – BuffaloEastern end of MN 25 concurrency
HennepinOrono CSAH 6 / CSAH 112 (Wayzata Boulevard)Interchange; western end of freeway; former US 12 east / MN 110
Wayzata CSAH 112 – Long Lake, OronoWestbound exit and eastbound entrance; former US 12; western end of eastbound HOV/toll lane
CSAH 15 westWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
150.158241.656 CSAH 101 (Central Avenue)Former MN 101
CSAH 101 south / CSAH 15 east – WayzataWestbound exit and eastbound entrance; former US 12 west / MN 101 south
MinnetonkaCarlson Parkway / Linner RoadSigned as exit 1A
157.014252.690 I-494Western end of I-394 concurrency; signed as exits 1A (south) and 1B (north); I-494 exits 19A-B; western end of westbound HOV/toll lane
See I-394
Minneapolis165.654266.594 I-394 east – Downtown MinneapolisEastern end of I-394 concurrency; eastern end of HOV/toll lanes; eastbound exit and westbound entrance; US 12 east follows exit 8B
165.654266.594 I-94 westWestern end of I-94 concurrency; US 12 west follows exit 231A
Unmarked overlap with I-94 to Wisconsin state line
St. Croix River192.997310.599Interstate Bridge
I-94 east / US 12 east – MadisonContinuation east into Wisconsin
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ a b Weingroff, Richard F. (January 9, 2009). "From Names to Numbers: The Origins of the U.S. Numbered Highway System". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Statewide Trunk Logpoint Listing" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 14, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Riner, Steve. "Details of routes 1–25". The Unofficial Minnesota Highways Page. Self-published. Retrieved September 27, 2010.[self-published source]
U.S. Route 12
Previous state:
South Dakota
Minnesota Next state: