Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Historic Roadside Properties

on Minnesota Highways

Current projects

Lake City and Reads Landing Maintenance and Repairs (2020)

Project scope:
Lake City: This project will include restoration of the stone overlook and stone walls adjacent to TH 61, repair of flagstone paving areas and some sidewalk replacements. , repair of interpretive elements at Lake City

Reads Landing: Work will include the rehabilitation of the brick and stone overlook, plaque repairs and restoring a stone retaining wall on the upland side of the overlook.

Construction Update: May 12, 2020. The project was awarded and the preconstruction meeting will take place on May 18, 2020. The construction schedule has not been confirmed yet. Traffic lane diversions (lane shifts) will be in place for work at Reads Landing. Shoulder closures may also be needed at Lake City.

Whipholt Roadside Parking Area (2020)

Whitefish Creek Bridge Rehabilitation (Bridge 3355)

Eligible for listing on the National register of Historic Places
Whipholt RPA
Original Construction: 1941, resumed and completed 1951
Designed by: Arthur Nichols, Attributed
Constructed by: WPA and Minn. Dept. of Highways

Project scope: This project, located on a sandy beach on the south shore of Leech Lake,  will restore the stone overlook wall, improve interpretive elements and signage, repave the access road and parking area (within the existing paved area limits) and add plantings , picnic tables and a portable toilet screen. The site is within the Leech Lake Reservation along TH 200 just to the east of the Town of Whipholt.

Construction Update: May 12, 2020. The project was awarded and the preconstruction meeting will take place on May 27, 2020. The construction schedule has not been confirmed yet. The project will include two phases. In the main phase, the overlook and picnic area work will take place. In the 2nd phase, the existing pavement will be replaced and a new storm drain added. While most of the work will allow the boat launch to be kept open, re-paving will cause temporary closure of the access road and the boat launch. The repaving and closure will be kept as short as possible.

Gooseberry Falls Concourse Rehabilitation (2019)

Gooseberry Falls Concourse Rehabilitation
Gooseberry Falls Concourse Rehabilitation

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places under: Gooseberry Falls State Park CCC/Rustic Style Historic Resources, an Historic District, as a contributing feature in 1989
Original Construction: 1936-40
Designed by: Edward W. Barber
Constructed by: Civilian Conservation Corps

Project scope: The Gooseberry Falls Concourse Rehabilitation completed safety and accessibility improvements to the historic concourse and bridge overlook and repointed the historic concourse structure (repointing is the replacement of the mortar between the stones). The concourse plaza and overlook plaza has been reconfigured. The project also repaired some trails near the concourse and relocated the bridge monument to the north side of the river. This project was designed to meet the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.

Construction update: May 12, 2020. Construction is complete. All trails are open. There will be some smaller repairs or corrective work during the summer of 2020, but any impacts to visitors will be temporary, and trail detours will be posted if needed.

Before and after photo gallery

Pine-Hickory Lakes Roadside Parking Area (2019)

Pine-Hickory Lakes Roadside Parking Area

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Pine-Hickory (PDF) (link to inventory form)
Original Construction: 1938
Designed by: Arthur Nichols, Consulting Landscape Architect
Constructed by: National Youth Administration (NYA)

Project scope: The Pine Hickory RPA Rehabilitation will restore several historic stone features, repave the parking area and make accessibility improvements to the picnic area and portable toilets. A degraded paved trail will be re-paved, while other trails will remain turf, or soft surface. A new fishing pier will be installed by the picnic table. This project has been designed to meet the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation. The roadside parking area on Little Pine Lake will be closed during construction. The gravel access and boat launch on Hickory Lake will remain open and is not being worked on. Construction is planned for summer 2019.

Construction update: Nov. 1, 2019. Construction is complete. There may be some smaller repairs or corrective work at the site but this work should not impact visitor use of the site. Read more about the site on this link to the new interpretive sign:

Whitefish Creek Bridge Rehabilitation (Bridge 3355)

Whitefish Creek Bridge Rehabilitation (Bridge 3355)

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Original Construction: 1939
Designed by: Arthur Nichols, Consulting Landscape Architect and National Park Service
Constructed by: Civilian Conservation Corps

Project scope: The Whitefish Creek Bridge will be rehabilitated. Historic stone will be repaired and repointed, including bridge abutments, walks and guardrail stone wall. The bridge deck and approach lanes will be reconstructed and an integral Wyoming guardrail will be installed. This project has been designed to meet the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation. Construction is planned for summer 2019.

Construction update: Nov. 1, 2019. Construction is complete. Inspections will be completed in summer of 2020 and 2021. This may require minor repairs while it is under warranty. If any traffic changes are needed they will be of short duration and during weekdays.

Recent projects

Recent projects are completed, but still under contractor warranty. These projects may still have short duration warranty work and small repairs completed.

Graceville Marker Rehabilitation

Pine-Hickory Lakes Roadside Parking Area

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Original Construction: 1940
Designed by: Arthur Nichols, Consulting Landscape Architect
Constructed by:
Work Projects Administration (WPA)

Garrison Pedestrian Underpass (2018-2019)

Pine-Hickory Lakes Roadside Parking Area

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Original Construction: 1938
Designed by: Arthur Nichols, Consulting Landscape Architect and National Park Service
Constructed by: Civilian Conservation Corps

Construction update: May 12, 2020. This bridge is completed.

Preconstruction photo of the inside face of the East wall of the bridge. Notice the cracked mortar cap, different colors of mortar, vegetation growing in mortar joints in wall and at base of wall in flagstone pavers at the base of the wall. June 2018. Preconstruction photo of the stone wall and arch on the west face of the bridge prior to work beginning in June 2018. The corrugated steel arch and interior of the stone walls are exposed after excavating all of the fill material. The inside face of the stone will be repaired and the steel will have reinforcement added to correct corrosion during its 80 year life. September 2018 . Work underway removing labelled stones and removing old mortar. Stones will be stored on pallets until they are ready for reinstallation. July 2018.

Kenney Lake Overlook Rehabilitation

Listed on MnDOT Historic Roadside Development Structures
Kenney Lake Overlook (PDF)
Original Construction: 1939
Designed by: Arthur Nichols, Consulting Landscape Architect and National Park Service
Constructed by: Civilian Conservation Corps

Future projects

New Ulm Spring Roadside Parking Area Rehabilitation

Photo of stone wall at New Ulm Spring-May 2010.

Not Eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (Previously eligible. Goal of project will be to bring it back to eligible status)
Original Construction: 1938-39
Designed by: Arthur R. Nichols
Constructed by: National Youth Administration, a federal New Deal work relief program during the depression.

Photo of hillside at New Ulm Spring site.

Project Planning Information: This project will be an historic rehabilitation of the New Ulm Spring Roadside Parking Area (Class IV Rest Area), which is part of the Historic Roadside Property Program. In the late 1990s, the site was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Properties, but in a 2014 reevaluation, was determined not eligible. The loss of eligibility was mainly for reasons of deterioration since the previous review. This project goal is to re-establish the eligibility of the site. All work will follow the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation or Restoration.

Work is expected to include: repairing the stone wall, walk, parking area and a right in/right out access. Repairing trails and picnic areas up the slope and restoring water are to be determined with more investigation. Interpretation, and improving ADA accessibility will be included.
Vegetation management including removal of invasive shrubs such as buckthorn and invasive perennial plants such as garlic mustard.

Work will be in coordination with the improvement plans for TH 14, with access lanes for right in/right access from the westbound direction (as described in the TH 14 EIS ROD). Re-establishing a curb island between the highway and drive areas (if possible), installation of safety guardrails (if needed), and new drive lane, parking and walkways. There are no anticipated traffic impacts.

Granite Falls Overlook Rehabilitation

Granite Falls Overlook

Eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places
Original Construction: 1938
Designed by: Arthur R. Nichols
Constructed by: Minnesota Department of Highways Staff and federal relief program workers.

Project Planning Information: Granite Falls Overlook Rehabilitation will repoint the stone overlook, restore benches, repair walkways, overlook plaza surfacing and stone curb, plant new trees, and interpretation. All work will follow the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.

TH 301 at St. Cloud State Reformatory Retaining Wall Rehabilitation

Wall A from East, fall 2019

Contributing feature within a Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Original Construction: 1930s
Designed by: Unknown
Constructed by: St Cloud Reformatory Workers

Wall B with dislodged cap stones, summer 2019

Project Planning Information: This wall retains TH 301 adjacent to the visitor’s entrance, and retains adjacent ground in another segment. Walls of similar design follow visitor entry road and the road to the yard entrance.

The walls will be rebuilt using the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation or Restoration. Protection of the wall may include new curbing or guardrails. New storm water drainage will also be designed. There may be temporary traffic impacts to the trunk highway as well as to various entrances.

Temporary repairs were made to Wall A east of the prison entrance in fall of 2019 to ensure the road was stabilized in this area. These temporary measures will be removed when the full restoration is completed. 

How do we select projects for rehabilitation?

New projects are selected via an established project ranking process, which is outlined in the project selection page or to policy and to Capital Highway Investment Plan (CHIP) and State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

Projects to repair vandalism or vehicle damage are worked into the rehabilitation program as soon as possible.