U.S. Route 218

U.S. Highway 218 is a spur of U.S. Highway 18. It is one of the original United States Highways of 1926. The highway's northern terminus is in Owatonna, Minnesota at Interstate 35. Its southern terminus is Keokuk, Iowa at U.S. Highway 136, approximately 319 miles (513 km) to the south. Prior to 1938, its southern terminus was at U.S. Highway 30 in southern Benton County, Iowa.

Route description

Major cities


U.S. 218 is part of the Avenue of the Saints between Floyd and Cedar Falls, and again between Cedar Rapids and a point south of Donnellson. North of Mount Pleasant, the parts of US 218 that follow the Avenue have been completely upgraded to four lanes, with either at-grade intersections or controlled access. When 218 is part of the Avenue of the Saints, it is co-signed with Iowa Highway 27.


In Mower County, Minnesota, US 218 passes through Lyle, Austin, and Lansing Township. While in Austin, U.S. 218 overlaps with Interstate 90. In Steele County, US 218 passes through Blooming Prairie, Bixby, Pratt, and Owatonna.

Legally, the Minnesota section of U.S. 218 is defined as Route 40 in Minnesota Statutes § 161.114(2).


In 1913, work on the road that is now U.S. 218 was begun. At this time it was called the Red Ball Route. It was called this because the original route was marked with poles which had red balls, six inches in diameter, mounted on each side. In 1920, the Minnesota portion of the route was designated as Constitutional Route 40, as part of the Babcock Amendment that established the Minnesota trunk highway system.

In Iowa, U.S. 218 was extended from its previous southern terminus, at its intersection with U.S. 30 in Benton County, in 1934 when U.S. Route 161 was split and renamed. The former U.S. 161 had extended from Dubuque, through Cedar Rapids, to Keokuk. After the split, the section of former U.S. 161 from Dubuque to Cedar Rapids extended U.S. 151 south, and the section of U.S. 30 from the former terminus of U.S. 218 to its intersection with the former U.S. 161 in Cedar Rapids, along with the section of former U.S. 161 from Cedar Rapids to Keokuk, extended U.S. 218 south.

See also

Bannered routes

Related routes


  • "Mill on the Willow: A History of Mower County, Minnesota" by various authors. Library of Congress No. 84-062356
  • Riner, Steve Minnesota's Constitutional Routes. The Unofficial Minnesota Highways Page. Retrieved on 2006-06-01..

External links

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