Historic U.S. 61: Alger Avenue, Rush City
Alger Avenue, Rush City
Located In: Rush City, Chisago County.
Length: 0.90 miles
Also Marked As:
Mississippi Valley Hwy
Alger Avenue at Rush City was once part of the early gravel highway between the Twin Cities and Duluth. It was only marked as U.S. 61 for less than a year before it was replaced by the first paved highway, constructed one block to the west.
Records show that Alger Avenue was graded in 1918 and graveled in 1920 as part of Federal Aid Project No. 2. This project improved the entire length of the old road in Chisago County.
Alger Avenue was bypassed in 1927 by the construction of the first paved highway through Rush City, part of a larger project that stretched between Wyoming (23 miles to the south) and Rock Creek (5 miles to the north). Right-of-way maps show that the Department of Highways originally wanted to run the pavement directly down Alger Avenue. However, the alignment was revised to move the highway one block to the west, requiring the construction of a sharp curve at either end of Rush City. This was probably done to take advantage of an existing 30-foot concrete bridge over Rush Creek (No. 2581, constructed in 1916, still in use by County Road 30 today) instead of a wooden bridge used by the old road (now gone).
Alger Avenue has since been repaved as a city street. The old wood bridge over Rush Creek is long gone. It was later replaced by a pedestrian crossing. Both surviving sections run through residential neighborhoods.
Photos - taken in October, 2009.
The south end of Alger Avenue (right), where it connects with County Road 30 (old 61). On the left is a service drive constructed on top of the paved road that bypassed Alger Avenue in 1927.
Another view to the north on Alger Avenue, south of Rush Creek.
Looking back to the south from 4th Street towards the old Rush Creek crossing. Note the steep grade and the old stone retaining wall on the left.
The current pedestrian crossing and Rush Creek, looking east from County Road 30.