Don't wait too long to satisfy that barbecue craving. Famous Dave's is among the businesses that will need to move next year to make way for the new interchange at Hwy. 13 and County Road 5 in Burnsville.
"The plan is to relocate. We're looking at some different areas," said Dave Von Rueden, owner of the barbecue restaurant.
So far, he's scouted locations in Savage and Cottage Grove. He hopes to stay in the south metro.
Dakota County is negotiating with property owners affected by the long-planned, $40 million interchange project and will help interested business owners find new sites.
Two of the other businesses that will be displaced by the interchange, Taco Bell and Valvoline Instant Oil Change, plan to close.
Two other buildings that will be wiped out by the new interchange are already vacant -- the former Little Saigon Restaurant and the old Sinclair gas station.
The county, city and the Minnesota Department of Transportation have long planned to transform the intersection, now controlled by stoplights, into an interchange as part of a larger effort to keep traffic moving on Hwy. 13.
Roadwork is expected to start in fall 2012, with the goal of having Hwy. 13 fully open to traffic again in about a year. Some additional work will continue into 2014.
The reconstruction of the intersection involves lowering Hwy. 13 and building a County Road 5 bridge over it. Some access points and driveways will be closed or restricted to right-turns only. That's expected to alleviate regular traffic jams and improve safety at a spot known for accidents.
From 2005 to 2007, there were 71 crashes at Hwy. 13 and County Road 5, at a rate of 1.32 crashes per million vehicle miles. The statewide average is 0.8 crashes per million vehicle miles.
Von Rueden said he's not sure exactly when Famous Dave's will move, but he'd like to open a new location before roadwork gums up traffic flow.
"I would rather move than be in the center of all kinds of construction," he said. "That would be a slow death, I would think."
The restaurant, the first franchise and first drive-through of the Famous Dave's chain, has been at the corner since 1998.
"It's been a good little restaurant," Von Rueden said. "It's going to be hard to find one similar."
Katie Humphrey • 952-746-3286