The Minnesota Department of Transportation is conducting a study to determine what improvements might be necessary along Hwy. 13 through Burnsville and Savage.
To that end, the department is inviting residents, business owners and other stakeholders to get involved and learn about the study during an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Savage City Hall, 6000 McColl Drive.
There is no official program, but MnDOT staff will be there to talk about the study, answer questions, take ideas from the public and let people know how they can get involved in the project.
MnDot is working in conjunction with Scott and Dakota counties and the cities of Burnsville and Savage on a year-long study to identify the performance of Hwy. 13, between Nicollet Avenue and Hwy. 101.
It aims to improve safety, and support local economic and community development along the east-west thoroughfare, which connects to major north-south routes, including Cedar Avenue, 35W and 169.
The study, to be completed in the spring, will look at a variety of ways to address safety and mobility needs of vehicular traffic,heavy truck traffic, transit, bicyclisits and pedestrians, along with costs and opportunities for collaboration.
The report also will summarize current conditions, needs and goals, environmental concerns and implementation of considerations.
According to MnDOT, 18,400 to 57,000 vehicles use Hwy.13 in the study area. That includes 640 to 4,500 commercial vehicles along with buses serving three park and ride lots, and freight trucks accessing terminals on the Minnesota River.
The study comes in the wake of several improvements that have been completed or are on the drawing board. Those include:
A reconfigured interchange at Hwy. 13 and 101 allowing for continuous east- and west-bound movement, a wider road and access to the highway from local roads has been eliminated or restricted.
Construction of a new interchange at County Road 5 is on the calendar for 2013. It calls for an overpass and reconstruction of frontage roads, acceleration and deceleration lanes, retiming traffic signals, noise walls, bike and pedestrian sidewalks and trails.
Other plans call for installing traffic signals and upgrading frontage roads at Dakota and Chowen avenues to provide a continuous east-west alternative for local traffic.