Interstate 35 or I -35 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Iowa. The highway runs north-south across the state, from Lamoni on the Missouri border through the state capital Des Moines to Northwood on the Minnesota border. The highway is 351 kilometers long.
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Just south of Lamoni, Interstate 35 in Missouri enters the state of Iowa. US 69 runs parallel to the highway. The landscape in this part of Iowa is slightly hilly, with small forests and meadows. The highway runs due north, and the rest of the road network isn’t as tightly gridded here as in other parts of the state. At Osceola one crosses US 34, which runs from Creston in the west to Ottumwa in the east, both small towns with a regional function. The highway has 2×2 lanes, and is quite quiet, due to the lack of larger towns in the area. From time to time there are exits to small villages and intersecting secondary roads. After about 100 kilometers you reach the capital Des Moines.
I-35 at Des Moines.
I-35 here forms the bypass of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, and has a population of 199,000 and an agglomeration of 600,000 inhabitants. The region is growing rapidly. The first interchange follows on the southwest side of the city, with State Route 5, the city’s southern and eastern bypass. You will then enter the urban area with 2×2 lanes. The first suburb is West Des Moines, which has a population of 52,000. Then you come to a cloverleaf, where Interstate 80 merges with I-35, which comes from Omaha. Interstate 235 also begins here, which runs through downtown Des Moines. I-35 and I-80 are provisionally double-numbered here and form the northern bypass. The highway then has 2×3 lanes, and you soon cross US 6, which runs parallel to I-80. I-35/I-80 then turns east, passing the northern suburb of Urbandale.
One then crosses the River Des Moines, a medium-sized river. At the northeast end of Des Moines, you come to an interchange where I-80 continues straight toward Davenport and Chicago, while I-35 turns north toward Minneapolis. From the south, I-235 ends here again. One then passes with 2×3 lanes along the last suburb, Ankeny. After this, the road narrows to 2×2 lanes, continuing north through the countryside.
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I-35 in Northern Iowa.
Here, too, US 69 runs parallel to the highway, passing through a somewhat flatter area. In winter, dangerous driving conditions can already occur here, with snow storms. At the height of the town of Ames you cross the US 30, which has been expanded here as a highway. US 30 runs from Denison in the west to Marshalltown and the larger city of Cedar Rapids in the east. The road network here is built in a grid pattern of 1 by 1 mile. The landscape here is a lot more barren than southern Iowa. Near the village of Williams one crosses US 20, a highway from the larger towns of Sioux City and Fort Dodge in the west to Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Dubuque in the east, all larger towns of importance.
I-35 has many long straights, and driving can be quite monotonous. At Mason City, a somewhat larger town in the north, you cross the US 18, which has also been developed as a highway here. US 18 runs from Spencer in the west to Charles City and Prairie du Chien in the east, all small towns in northern Iowa and Wisconsin. Just past Northwood, one crosses the Minnesota border, and Interstate 35 continues in Minnesota to Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Construction began expeditiously from the creation of the Interstate Highway system initially. The first section opened in 1958 in western Des Moines and by 1960 was a fairly long stretch from Osceola to where the interchange with I-35/I-80 is in eastern Des Moines. The urban route had already been completed. After that, construction was halted for half a decade, as priority was given to the construction of Interstate 80.
In 1966, the first section opened north of Des Moines to Ames, which was extended to Webster City in 1968. The southernmost section between the Missouri border and Osceola was completed in 1970, and the northernmost section between Clear Lake and the Minnesota border followed in late 1972. Then there was a fairly long missing link between Webster City and Clear Lake of almost 80 kilometers. This section was finally opened in November 1975, completing I-35 through Iowa.
Only around Des Moines, portions of I-35 have been widened. The first section to be widened was I-35/80 on the west side of Des Moines, which was believed to have been widened to 2×3 lanes as early as the 1980s. Between the late 1990s and 2002, I-35/80 was widened to 2×3 lanes along the north side of Des Moines. In the period 2002-2004, I-35 was widened to 2×3 lanes from Des Moines to Ankeny. In 2013, I-35 in southwest Des Moines was widened to 2×3 lanes between IA-5 and I-80. Later in 2014, I-35 was widened to 2×3 lanes further south into Warren County, beyond the built-up area of Des Moines.
|Exit 65||Exit 126 (I-80)||18 km||21-09-1958|
|Exit 56||Exit 65||14 km||05-10-1958|
|Exit 126 (I-80)||Exit 131 (I-80)||8 km||09-11-1958|
|Exit 36||Exit 56||32 km||26-11-1958|
|Exit 131 (I-80)||Exit 136 (I-80)||8 km||26-11-1958|
|Exit 33||Exit 36||5 km||30-08-1960|
|Exit 136 (I-80)||Exit 138 (I-80)||3 km||17-11-1960|
|Exit 87||Exit 111||38 km||11-11-1965|
|Exit 111||Exit 142||50 km||06-12-1967|
|Exit 12||Exit 33||34 km||17-12-1969|
|Exit 0||Exit 12||19 km||02-12-1970|
|Exit 192||Exit 203||21 km||07-08-1971|
|Exit 203||Exit 218||24 km||12-12-1972|
|Exit 142||Exit 192||80 km||14-11-1975|
The I-35/I-80/I-235 interchange on the east side of Des Moines.
|Missouri state line||12.200|
|Exit 12 Decatur City||13.200|
|Exit 22 Van Wert||14.000|
|Exit 33 Osceola||16.100|
|Exit 56 Martensdale||22.600|
|Exit 68 IA-5||48.000|
|Exit 70 Des Moines||64.200|
|Exit 72 (west)||93.900|
|Exit 124 Des Moines||111.000|
|Exit 125 Des Moines||108.700|
|Exit 127 Des Moines (IA-141)||88.000|
|Exit 135 Des Moines (IA-415)||87.000|
|Exit 88 (east)||73.100|
|Exit 92 Ankeny||50.500|
|Exit 102 Huxley||41.300|
|Exit 111 Ames||31.100|
|Exit 124 Story City||24.600|
|Exit 165 Coulter||14.700|
|Exit 194 Clear Lake||18.700|
|Exit 203 Hanlontown||18.400|
|Minnesota state line||17.600|
|Exit 0||Exit 56||2×2|
|Exit 56||Exit 92||2×3||Monks|
|Exit 92||Exit 214||2×2|