Politics and Freeways: Building the Twin Cities Interstate System


Patricia Cavanaugh

October 2006

Report no. CURA 06-01


Economics, Planning

The Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) co-sponsored a research project designed to provide a history of major transportation decisions over the past fifty years, primarily in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Region. A major part of the research involved in-depth interviews with those who worked in and with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, as well as transportation officials in other governmental units, citizens, and elected representatives. Research at relevant archives grounded the information from the interviews with specific dates, events, and participants. The results have been integrated with maps, reports, and other recent research projects to provide an historical context and potential lessons for our current transportation development processes. This provides a detailed history of the creation of the Twin Cities highway system. The interviews provide important perspectives on the impacts of federal, state and local governments, the effects of government actions on the public, and the influence of specific events, interest groups and individuals in the public policy arena.

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