From 2001 through 2008 a major update to Victory Drive in Mankato was undertaken. The project had a personal impact since the home in which I grew up now sits along North Victory Drive between Thompson Ravine Road and Highway 14.

Photo by Rick Pepper - May 16, 2008 looking South onto what will become Arrow Ace Hardware.
Photo by Rick Pepper – May 16, 2008 looking South onto what will become Arrow Ace Hardware.

These photos chronicle the final phase of the over $25 million project. In the future, I’ll work backwards to describe the first two phases which included the removal of the housing subdivision known as Ivy Lane, completed in 2001, and the building of the Victory Drive bridge, completed in 2004.

The final phase completed an extension of Victory Drive from the intersection with Madison Avenue at the entrance to the Madison East Mall joining it with County Road 3, via the bridge, completed in 2004, over Thompson Ravine. Several options were presented for the precise routing of Victory Drive involving varying degrees of modification to the Madison East Mall property. Here are the changes that were decided upon:

Map of the original and renovated routes of Victory Drive in Mankato
Map of the original and renovated routes of Victory Drive in Mankato
  1. The northwestern corners of both the Belle Mar Mall structure and parking lot had to be “trimmed” at an angle in order to accommodate Victory Drive.
  2. The former Mankato Clinic, which in later years was occupied by Rasmussen College, had to be razed as the new roadway would almost completely cover the area occupied by the building. A lone, mature, Cottonwood remains as the only reminder of the original occupants.
  3. It was necessary to trim the southeast corner of the Madison East parking lot at an angle.

Some new commercial spaces were created by the project. The land that is now home to Hardee’s was occupied by the old roadway, as was the land now covered by a strip mall housing Marco’s Pizza, Family Video, and an Edward Jones office.

Photo by Rick Pepper - May 16, 2008 Looking northeast across the former Victory Drive/Madison Ave. intersection
Photo by Rick Pepper – May 16, 2008 Looking northeast across the former Victory Drive/Madison Ave. intersection
Photo by Rick Pepper - May 31, 2008 Looking north/northwest onto Victory Drive towards Madison East
Photo by Rick Pepper – May 31, 2008 Looking north/northwest onto Victory Drive towards Madison East
Photo by Rick Pepper - May 31, 2008 Looking north onto Victory Drive towards Madison East
Photo by Rick Pepper – May 31, 2008 Looking north onto Victory Drive towards Madison East
Photo by Rick Pepper - May 31, 2008 Looking south onto Victory Drive from Madison East parking lot
Photo by Rick Pepper – May 31, 2008 Looking south onto Victory Drive from Madison East parking lot
Photo by Rick Pepper - May 31, 2008 Looking southeast across the Victory Drive/Madison Ave. intersection - note position of McDonald's in relation to the intersection
Photo by Rick Pepper – May 31, 2008 Looking southeast across the Victory Drive/Madison Ave. intersection – note position of McDonald’s in relation to the intersection
Photo by Rick Pepper - May 31, 2008 Looking east/northeast across the Victory Drive/Madison Ave. intersection - note position of McDonald's in relation to the intersection
Photo by Rick Pepper – May 31, 2008 Looking east/northeast across the Victory Drive/Madison Ave. intersection – note position of McDonald’s in relation to the intersection
Photo by Rick Pepper - June 4, 2008 Looking north along Holly Lane south of Madison Ave.
Photo by Rick Pepper – June 4, 2008 Looking north along Holly Lane south of Madison Ave.
Photo by Rick Pepper - June 4, 2008 Looking southwest across the Holly Lane/Madison Ave. intersection from Flying Penguin (Galleria East) parking lot
Photo by Rick Pepper – June 4, 2008 Looking southwest across the Holly Lane/Madison Ave. intersection from Flying Penguin (Galleria East) parking lot
Photo by Rick Pepper - June 6, 2008 Looking southeast across the Holly Lane/Madison Ave. intersection from Madison East parking lot - which is being “cropped” to allow for the bend in Victory Drive
Photo by Rick Pepper – June 6, 2008 Looking southeast across the Holly Lane/Madison Ave. intersection from Madison East parking lot – which is being “cropped” to allow for the bend in Victory Drive
Photo by Rick Pepper - June 6, 2008 Looking north towards McDonald's from Belle Mar Mall parking lot - parking lot is being “cropped” to allow for the bend in Victory Drive
Photo by Rick Pepper – June 6, 2008 Looking north towards McDonald’s from Belle Mar Mall parking lot – parking lot is being “cropped” to allow for the bend in Victory Drive
Photo by Rick Pepper - June 6, 2008 looking north/northeast along Holly Lane from Madison Ave
Photo by Rick Pepper – June 6, 2008 looking north/northeast along Holly Lane from Madison Ave
Photo by Rick Pepper - June 6, 2008 Looking southeast across Madison Ave. from Madison East parking lot
Photo by Rick Pepper – June 6, 2008 Looking southeast across Madison Ave. from Madison East parking lot
Photo by Rick Pepper - June 6, 2008 Looking southwest from McDonald’s parking lot - Belle Mar Mall is along the far left of the image. Note removed parking lot where Victory will bend to the east
Photo by Rick Pepper – June 6, 2008 Looking southwest from McDonald’s parking lot – Belle Mar Mall is along the far left of the image. Note removed parking lot where Victory will bend to the east
Photo by Rick Pepper - September 28, 2008 Looking north along Victory Drive from roughly Fair St., note new concrete lanes on right while traffic is routed along the (old) south-bound lanes.
Photo by Rick Pepper – September 28, 2008 Looking north along Victory Drive from roughly Fair St., note new concrete lanes on right while traffic is routed along the (old) south-bound lanes.
Photo by Rick Pepper - October 18, 2008 Looking northeast across Victory Drive at Extension St., former south-bound lanes being removed, note new concrete lanes in distance
Photo by Rick Pepper – October 18, 2008 Looking northeast across Victory Drive at Extension St., former south-bound lanes being removed, note new concrete lanes in distance
Rick Pepper
A life-long Mankato native Rick's current distraction of choice is photography. He especially enjoys event photography - capturing life's moments - and gets plenty of practice at his children's sporting events. He enjoys other media including live sound production and recording. He serves as a sound tech at his church.