Old Highway 28 at Westport
Old Highway 28 at Westport
Historic Context: Original road constructed by the Department of Highways as Trunk Highway 28 between Sauk Centre and Glenwood, 1923-1924.
Length:. 2.8 miles over-all.
Constructed: Graded between 1923 and 1924. First paved in 1931.
Bypassed: In 1971 by completion of the current alignment of Highway 28.
Located On (east-to-west):
- Old Hwy 28 in Westport (city street)
- 120th Ave - between Old Hwy 28 and ~630 feet south of TH 28.
- On an unnamed road west from 130th Ave at Westport Lake.
Status: 2 intact sections: The main segment through Westport is 1.4 miles long. The other short segment at Westport Lake is only about 0.15 miles long. The surviving portions appear to have not been rebuilt.
Access: Main section: East end via Co Rd 33, a short distance north of TH 28. West end at the west jct with Co Rd 33 directly from TH 28.
Westport Lake section: Via 130th Ave, a short distance south from TH 28.
Visited and Photographed: July, 2011; Sep 2011, February 2012.
Looking east on the old highway on its way into Westport.
Highway 28's old alignment at Westport was built in 1923/24 by the Department of Highways as part of the first modern highway between Sauk Centre and Glenwood. The road was designed to pass directly through the middle of town, and about a half mile west make two sharp curves to realign it a half mile to the south to pass by the north shore of Westport Lake on its way to Villard and Glenwood. The old road remained in use until the modern highway was completed in 1971, which was designed to pass along Westport's southern edge and eliminate the sharp curves on the old alignment via a much more direct and gradual shift.
The east end of the old alignment is no longer obvious today, as all sign of it has been obliterated east of 110th Ave (Co Rd 33). The surviving section starts just a bit north of the modern highway, signed by Westport as "Old Hwy 28".
After passing through Westport, Old Highway 28 , makes a very sharp curve to the south onto what is now 120th Avenue about a half mile west of town. Believe it or not, this curve would have been seen as an improvement at the time, as the original road here had just been a simple T-intersection (which also survives).
120th Avenue continues south, crossing modern highway 28 and becoming County Road 33. The longest surviving portion ends just south of the modern highway. There is no sign remaining of the former curve to the west here, and the old connection between 120th and 130th Avenues has been removed and recultivated.
The old road emerges again west of 130th Avenue and just to the south of modern highway 28. Here the old road has been left behind presumably to access a small parking area overlooking Westport Lake that was added during the construction of modern Highway 28 in 1971. The old road dead-ends at the parking area, and the curve onto the modern right-of-way has been removed.
Photos - generally ordered from east to west.
Culvert on Old Highway 28 on the east side of Westport, possibly original from the construction of the road in 1923 (photo looking north).
Looking east from Westport towards the east end of the old highway at Co Rd 33.
Looking west into town from the same location. Note the decaying cafe sign on the left.
More photos of the old cafe sign on the east side of Westport...
Street sign in "downtown" Westport at the intersection of Old Hwy 28 and Livingston.
Looking west from Livingston Street. Note the curve in the road.
The old "Westport" sign on the west side of town shows a population of 87, which was the count given by the 1960(!) census. This means that this is likely the sign that was in use when this road was still in use as a trunk highway. The 2010 census gave a population of 67.
Another visit in February, 2012 revealed that the old sign had been stripped and covered with a new name plate.
View of the curve on Old Hwy 28 (on the left) at 120th Avenue. The gravel road on the right would have served as the original highway before 1924.
The 10 Mile Tavern, on Old Hwy 28 on the west end of town. The building was constructed in 1940 as a schoolhouse by the WPA. Today, the 10 Mile serves up awesome food and brews.
Alternate view from September, 2011 with classic car goodness.
The other surviving portion at Westport Lake, looking west from 130th Avenue.
Dead-end on the old highway. The pavement has been widened here to serve as a parking area.
Looking back to the east on the old highway at Westport Lake.
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- Construction Project Log Records: Control Section 6104
- Construction Plan: State Project 28-23, approved 11-9-1921.
- Construction Plan: State Project 28-25, approved 3-27-1924.
- Construction Plan: State Project 6104-05, approved 11-3-1970.