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Here's what Minneapolis looked like when Interstate 35 was dirt

Lotta dirt!

Lotta dirt! Hennepin History Museum via Old Minneapolis

Before things become things, they often revert back to sweet, sweet dirt. Such was the case with Interstate 35, the longitudinal highway that connects Duluth and Laredo, Texas, with 1,570 miles of asphalt.

Ike Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act in 1956, sparking construction of the U.S. Interstate System. In the early 1960s, ground broke for what would become the Minneapolis portion of I-35W.

Which brings us back to dirt.

We urge you to enjoy the above photo of that construction, showcasing a large swath of south Minneapolis. Notice how today's sound walls, asphalt, lane lines, and median dividers don't exist at all. But our old friend dirt? Well, he's made himself quite at home. (Real talk: Similar to the creation of Interstate 94 in St. Paul, the land clearing process for I-35W disrupted and displaced minority neighborhoods.)

The image comes courtesy of the Hennepin History Museum's "Auto Show" exhibit, which runs now through August 20. H/T to Ben Brausen and the Facebook page Old Minneapolis

For contrast, here's a similar image from Star Tribune photographer Renee Jones Schneider that was captured in 2013 -- where's the dirt?!