US 52 is a US Highway in the US state of North Dakota. The road forms an east-west link that runs southeast through the north and east of the state, from the Canada border at Portal, through Minot and Jamestown, to the Minnesota border at Fargo. The section from Jamestown to the Minnesota border is double -numbered with Interstate 94. The road is 581 kilometers long.
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At the village of Portal, Saskatchewan Route 39 from Regina crosses the United States border, then enters North Dakota, becoming US 52. US 52 heads south first, then turns east, before turning south again after 20 kilometers. The road here changes slowly to the east and runs along the River Des Lacs to the south-east. One comes through a valley which is about 60 meters deeper than the surroundings, and the road runs for 100 kilometers to the town of Minot. A little before Minot the road merges with US 2 coming from Williston, after which a double numbering of about 20 kilometers follows. The road runs along the south side of the town of Minot, crossing US 83grade-separated. US 83 is a 2×2 trunk road to the capital Bismarck in the south. Shortly thereafter, US 52 exits from US 2 and heads southeast in one lane in each direction for a 275-mile route to Jamestown. The valley of the Des Lacs gives way to barren plains. One does not come here over a few hundred kilometers through larger towns. The road then heads to Carrington, where US 52 merges with US 281 from the north of the state. Both roads are then double-numbered until Jamestown, 70 kilometers south. The road runs one lane in each direction across the vast plains, and has 2×2 lanes from Buchanan. One then reaches Jamestown, one of the larger towns in North Dakota with 15,000 inhabitants. Here the US 281 continues towards AberdeenSouth Dakota, and US 52 then merges with Interstate 94 for the rest of the 150 miles through North Dakota.
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US 52 was created in 1926. The route did not enter North Dakota until 1935 when it was extended from Moorhead, Minnesota to Portal on the border with Canada. It is North Dakota’s only through-going diagonal route. The section between Jamestown and Fargo has been replaced by the construction of Interstate 94 in North Dakota. The first part of this opened as early as 1958 between Jamestown and Valley City. In 1960, the eastern section opened in the Fargo region.
Although the US 52 is certainly an important road between Minot and Jamestown, the road has often not been developed to a high standard, especially because of the low traffic intensities. Only between Buchanan and Jamestown is a stretch of approximately 15 kilometers widened to a divided highway with 2×2 lanes.
In fact, US 52 is the shortest route for long-haul traffic from the eastern and central United States to cities in Western Canada. Only Vancouver can be reached faster via I-90, but almost all destinations between Regina/Saskatoon and inland British Columbia are most quickly reached by taking US 52 from Jamestown to the border with Canada.
About 1,400 vehicles cross the border into Canada every day, and the road has the same number of vehicles heading towards Minot. Between Minot and Jamestown there are generally between 1,000 and 2,000 vehicles per day, making US 52 a very quiet main road. The double-numbering with I-94 is obviously a bit busier, increasing from 8,000 to 15,000 vehicles for Fargo, and 61,500 vehicles on the Minnesota border.