Interstate 29 or I -29 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of North Dakota. The highway runs through the far east of the state, from Hankinson on the South Dakota border in the south to Pembina on the border with Canada in the north. The route is 350 kilometers long.
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I-29 at Oxbow, south of Fargo.
I-29 in Fargo.
I-29 between Fargo and Grand Forks.
South of Hankinson, Interstate 29 in South Dakota enters the state of North Dakota from Sioux Falls and heads north across the flat prairies, nearly treeless meadows that define the view of the entire route of I-29 in North Dakota. I-29 then heads 100 miles north to Fargo, the largest city on the route. From Wahpeton, I-29 runs fairly close to the Red River, which forms the border with the state of Minnesota. Large portions of I-29 are close to the Minnesota border.
I-29 passes through the Fargo metropolitan area for approximately 12 miles. The highway has 2×2 lanes at first, then 2×3 lanes around the interchange with Interstate 94. This is North Dakota’s one and only highway interchange and is a cloverleaf with a flyover. In Fargo one also crosses the US 10. North of Fargo, I-29 immediately narrows back to 2×2 lanes.
This is followed by a 120-kilometer rural stretch to Grand Forks. This portion of I-29 is slightly further from the Red River and the Minnesota border. The landscape remains monotonous, with endless meadows. Grand Forks is the last major town on the I-29 route. It crosses US 2 and I-29 leads north of Grand Forks closer to the Red River again. North of Grand Forks, there is another 75-mile stretch across the prairies to the Canadian border at the village of Pembina. After the border, Highway 75 in Manitoba continues to Winnipeg, which is nearly 100 kilometers away.
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After the creation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956, highway construction in North Dakota began. The first section of I-29 in the state opened in 1959 between Drayton and the Canadian border over 55 kilometers. In about 1965 a long section opened between Manvel and Drayton, which was then partially numbered State Route 44. The section from Fargo to Manvel opened about 1973, based on maps of the neighboring state of Minnesota. About 1974, a stretch opened south of Fargo, from Oxbow to the north. In 1977, the last link of I-29 opened, completing the Interstate Highway system in North Dakota.
Earlier plans from the mid-1950s provided the number I-31 for the current highway. This was the part from Fargo to the Canadian border at Pembina. At the time, no highway was planned south of Fargo. However, in 1958 it was decided to build the route as I-29. The entire route has been completed as Interstate 29.
Circa 1997, a direct flyover opened in Fargo at the interchange with I-94, serving north-east traffic. Not long after, I-29 was partially widened through Fargo to 2×3 lanes from US 10 to I-94, and by 2006 extended further north to 19th Avenue.
The portion north of Grand Forks is a short distance from the Red River, also known as the “Red River of the North,” to distinguish it from the Red River in the southern United States. This river flows north to Canada, it is the only river in the United States that flows into Hudson Bay. The Red River overflows every spring from melting snow. Periodically, these are severe floods, especially when ice dams form.
The Red River is a slow-flowing and meandering river, and the surrounding land has virtually no elevation changes, so the river often widens for miles in the spring, with flooding west of I-29. Parts of I-29 are flooded almost every year and the highway has to be closed, especially north of Grand Forks this is a frequent problem. Traffic is then usually diverted via US 81. Due to the low traffic volumes, the problems are often limited.
Every day, 4,400 vehicles drive on the South Dakota border, increasing slowly to 8,500 vehicles south of Fargo, then rapidly increasing to 25,000 vehicles in south Fargo and up to 53,000 vehicles north of I-94. Between Fargo and Grand Forks, there are typically 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles, peaking at 17,000 vehicles in Grand Forks. North of Grand Forks, the intensities gradually decrease to 2,800 vehicles on the border with Canada.
|Exit 1||exit 62||2×2|
|exit 62||Exit 67||2×3||Fargo|
|Exit 67||Exit 215||2×2|