I-35W in Minneapolis, MN
Interstate 35W (I-35W) is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Minnesota, passing through downtown Minneapolis. It is one of two through routes for I-35 through the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the other being I-35E through downtown Saint Paul.
Traveling north, I-35 splits at Burnsville, and the I-35W route runs north for 41 miles (66,000 m), carrying its own separate sequence of exit numbers. It runs through the city of Minneapolis before rejoining with I-35E to reform I-35 in Columbus near Forest Lake. I-35W supplanted sections of old U.S. Highway 8 (US 8) northeast of Minneapolis and old US 65 south of Minneapolis that have since been removed from the United States Numbered Highway System.
During the early years of the Interstate Highway System, branching Interstates with directional suffixes such as N, S, E, and W were common nationwide. On every other Interstate nationwide, these directional suffixes have been phased out by redesignating the suffixed route numbers with a loop or spur route number designation. In the case of I-35 in the Twin Cities area, since neither branch is clearly the main route and both branches return to a unified Interstate beyond the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, officials at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) have allowed the suffixes of E and W in Minnesota to remain in the present day. I-35 also splits into I-35E and I-35W in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, for similar reasons as the I-35 split in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area.