What more can be done to improve a key section of Hwy. 13 in Savage and Burnsville -- roughly two miles on either side of Interstate Hwy. 35W -- will be the focus of a new study starting this fall.
The stretch of Hwy. 13 from Hwy. 101 in Savage to Nicollet Avenue in Burnsville was studied 10 years ago. But because key improvements recommended in the first study have been finished or soon will be, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Scott and Dakota counties and Savage and Burnsville are taking a new look at what can be done next to improve the traffic flow and safety of the busy stretch, said Molly McCartney, manager of the study for MnDOT.
As recommended 10 years ago, the intersection of Hwy. 13 and County Road 5 west of I-35W will be rebuilt as an interchange starting next spring. Farther west, a new intersection of Hwy. 101 and Hwy. 13 opened this summer. And work at the intersection of Hwy. 13 with Clinton Avenue in Savage is expected to be finished in November.
With those projects in place, the new study will examine remaining problems including what can be done about slow-moving trucks coming and going from the Minnesota River ports, McCartney said. "We will be looking at how to do low-cost, high-benefit improvements."
There are no plans to widen the highway, but the study will look at the possibility of adding frontage roads parallel to the highway and limiting direct access to Hwy. 13, McCartney said.
Dakota County is specifically interested in what can be done to accommodate transit and trails, said Scott Peters, the county's senior transportation planner.
"One of the big things that has come up [since the last study] is the Heart of Burnsville reconstruction on Hwy. 13," Peters said. "That is a more dense development with more pedestrian opportunities. One issue is how do you get people across Hwy. 13 from the Heart of the City to the Burnsville Transit Station."
The study will be finished in the spring and will begin with an invitation to the public to learn about and comment on what will be included in the study. The first public open house is from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 8 at Savage City Hall. A second open house will be scheduled in the spring.
For more details on the project, see www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy13study.