Carmageddon runs until Aug. 23

The chokehold of traffic on Hwy. 169 that has caused severe slowdowns at multiple Minnesota River crossings will continue until Aug. 23, state officials say.

Traffic is down to a single lane in both directions as work is done on the highway and on the Bloomington Ferry Bridge from Bloomington to Shakopee.

A shift of traffic to the south side from the north was expected to be in place by the middle of this week. As part of that shift, these ramps to and from northbound 169 were to close:

• Pioneer Trail

• Old Shakopee Road

• Highway 101

• County Road 21

Maximum speeds are reduced to 50 mph in the construction zone.

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Weekend closures of I-35W coming up

Two weekend closures of Hwy. I-35W between Hwy. 13 and the 35W/35E split are coming up, one for each direction of the road, state officials said.

As of press time, the first was tentatively scheduled to begin on Friday.

Work on the section of I-35 between Elko New Market and the Burnsville split is underway, and drivers can expect off-peak lane closures as crews build crossovers and prepare for traffic switches.

A major switch is likely to start around Aug. 26, officials say, with traffic reduced to a single lane north of Hwy. 50 on weekends before Aug. 26.


Roadwork about more than roads

Upcoming road improvements in Prior Lake have to do with a lot more than just the roads themselves, officials say.

In a column on the city’s website, Mayor Ken Hedberg outlines major work coming up and stresses the environmental benefits.

Installation of streets and utilities in the city’s Welcome Avenue Industrial Park, he says, will help keep pollutants from reaching city wells.

“We’ve realized for a decade that the underground source of most of our city drinking water flows right under this area [referred to as our ‘wellhead’ area]. For all that time, we have known just how important it is to protect our wellhead and ensure that our water supply isn’t subject to potential contamination. This project will give us that wellhead protection.”

Another big project is the intersection and approaching roads at the north entrance to downtown and Lakefront Park.

“This intersection has seen terrible traffic congestion and an unacceptable level of accidents for many years,” the mayor writes. “Finally we’ll be able to fix these problems. In addition, this project will create a much more attractive and functional entrance to downtown from the north and east, and we’ll install another monument sign highlighting this.”


‘Eco tour’ for seniors scheduled next week

Burnsville residents age 62 and older are invited next week to take a peek at what the city is doing for the environment.

A free tour on Tuesday starts at City Hall with a presentation on work to maintain water quality. Then there’s a coach tour of these locations:

• The Shakopee tribe’s organics recycling facility, composting food and yard waste.

• The new Lions Playground at Cliff Fen Park.

• A nature walk at Sunset Pond Park, led by city staff.

• A picnic lunch at Terrace Oaks Park.

Lunch and coach bus transportation to all locations are included. Register by today by calling 952-895-4511.

The tour runs from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The program will start promptly at 8:35 a.m. and transportation will leave at 8:55 a.m. Tour is rain or shine. Wear walking shoes.


Charitable gambling improving parks

Contributions from the Burnsville Lions are helping with parks improvements in Savage, officials say.

A new steel roof on the Trost Park shelter is expected to require less maintenance and resist vandalism. The shelter is used for picnics in the summer and a warming house for skaters in winter. Part of a $12,500 donation from the Lions covered the cost.

Lions funds are also improving Hollywood Park near historic downtown Savage. This fall, there will be a new border around the playground area and more open space.