Just What Strange Thing is a ‘CSAH’ Here in Minnesota?
Ever since I moved to Minnesota over 11 years ago, figuring out what a 'CSAH' had me more than a little confused.
Even though I've been a fully naturalized Minnesotan for over a decade, this had me stumped. After seeing it several places on several different construction signs, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the 'CSAH,' is an abbreviation for.
You know, a CSAH-- as in the 'CSAH 22' (also known as West Circle Drive in Rochester) or 'CSAH 4' (also known as Valley High Road Northwest, also in Rochester). I knew those abbreviations are referring to Olmsted County Roads 22 and 4, but other than that, what 'CSAH' meant on the sign had me puzzled.
Back in my home state of Wisconsin, county roads are designated as letters, not numbers, though are often referred to by several different names. For instance, I used to live on Chippewa County Highway K, but you'd also see it mentioned as 'County ROAD K,' or the even more strange, 'County TRUNK K.'
But none of those fit the abbreviation of 'CSAH' I've noticed here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Thanks to the MnDOT website, I finally found the answer: 'CSAH' stands for 'County State Aid Highway.' And here's how MnDOT defines what it is:
A CSAH is a specialized form of county road that is part of the state aid system. County State Aid routes are eligible for funding from the County State Aid Highway Fund.
Ah, so that's what has to do with -- who pays for the road's maintenance. Which makes sense, I guess, although it still seems a little confusing. I mean, other than our state and county highway departments, do you and I really need to know that Olmsted County Road 22 is a County State Aid Highway? Wouldn't simply putting 'Co Rd 22' on the construction sign (even though it technically also is a 'CSAH') be more consistent?
Of course, there's the very real possibility I'm overthinking these things. At least I've figured out another uniquely-Minnesota aspect of life, though. And speaking of uniquely Minnesota things (much like a CSAH) keep scrolling to check out 12 way-cool adventures every Minnesotan should try at least once in their life!
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