Historic U.S. 61: Original Alignment Through Winona
Original Alignment Through Winona
Located In: City of Winona, Winona County
Length: 3.67 miles
Also Marked As:
U.S. 61's original route through the city of Winona was along Broadway (6th Street) and Mankato Avenue. Although this route did not pass directly through Winona's downtown, it was still bypassed very early on in favor of a route that passed even further to the south around the center of the city.
According to construction records, Broadway and Mankato Street had both been paved with brick before the creation of the trunk highway system in 1921. Originally, Broadway ended at Villa Street. Traffic on future U.S. 61 used Villa to connect to 5th Street, which continued northwest out of town. In 1926, the original concrete highway to Minnesota City was completed as an extension of Broadway through what had previously been a golf course, bypassing the Villa/5th Street jog. The Broadway extension was paved with concrete, 18 feet wide.
U.S. 61's second alignment around Winona via Junction Street, Gilmore Avenue, and Sarnia Street was completed in 1929. The new alignment moved traffic away from the residential areas along Broadway and bypassed two at-grade railroad crossings.
Inset 1 - Old Concrete at Junction St and Broadway
Today, Broadway and Mankato Avenue are busier than average residential streets, lined with homes, an unusual number of churches, a few neighborhood businesses, and the St. Mary's University St. Teresa campus. The old pavements are long gone, with the exception of a surviving piece of concrete at the west end of Broadway at Junction Street (no longer in use, see inset 1, right). This piece of the original pavement became the north ramp of a "wye" intersection after it was bypassed. The intersection featured a large center island with concrete curbs and extensive plantings. The intersection was eventually simplified into a simple four-way design at some point after U.S. 61 was moved onto its current alignment in 1957.
Historic Junction: 1926-1929
The intersection of Villa Street and Broadway was the site of the original junction of U.S. 61 with U.S. 14 and old State Highway 7 from 1926 until 1929. This was also both U.S. 14's and Route 7's original eastern terminus.