The first segment of Hwy. 610 was built in 1986 with a Mississippi River crossing connecting Hwy. 252 in Brooklyn Park with Hwy. 47 in Coon Rapids.
Now, more than 40 years later, Maple Grove is seeking to finish what's been dubbed the "North Crosstown" by adding missing connections at the Interstate 94 interchange and extending the heavily traveled road west to County Road 30.
On Wednesday, the city will hold live online open houses at 4, 5 and 6:30 p.m. to show off preliminary designs for the $53 million project officials hope to carry out in 2023.
The project will include a four-lane divided roadway to be known as Rush Creek Boulevard and running between I-94 and County Road 30. It will include new ramps allowing drivers to go from westbound Hwy. 610 to eastbound I-94 and from westbound I-94 to the westbound extension of Hwy. 610.
"This is a top transportation priority for Maple Grove," said city administrator Heidi Nelson.
While Maple Grove has long planned for extending Hwy. 610 by preserving right of way in the corridor, there is some urgency to move on it now, Nelson said.
For starters, new housing continues to spring up along nearby 105th Avenue, and Maple Grove Hospital has plans to expand its campus. More than 600 acres of mixed-use development is planned in the area.
"We continue to see substantial growth in northwest Maple Grove," Nelson said.
All that development could bring more traffic, making the two missing connections at Hwy. 610 and I-94 all the more necessary, Nelson said.
"Those movements are taking place at Maple Grove Parkway," she said. The ramps currently handle 30,000 trips a day, the third-highest on I-94 in the metro area, and "that is not sustainable. It's important to get the connections to 94 completed."
Funding is also an issue. To date, $31 million in federal, state and city money has been secured. But the city would lose a $7 million federal grant if it is not used by 2023, another reason to do the project now, Nelson said.
A bill pending at the Legislature would provide the remaining $22 million. The city plans to apply for a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant through the Federal Highway Administration that could provide up to $25 million.
My Ride adds destinations
Maple Grove's My Ride last week expanded its service area to include all of Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center and CROSS Services in Rogers.
In addition to Maple Grove, the on-demand shared ride service also takes passengers to Osseo, the Robbinsdale Transit Center, the Crystal Shopping Center, the Plymouth Transit Center on Hwy. 55 and the West Health campus in Plymouth, provided that riders begin or end their trips in Maple Grove.
The curb-to-curb service operates between 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. A reservation through the My Ride app or by calling 763-493-2200 is required.