Construction season is fast winding down for this year, but plans for future road construction and transit projects roll on.
This week we'll learn a bit more about the Minnesota Department of Transportation's plan to upgrade Hwy. 252 through Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park and Interstate 94 in north Minneapolis as the agency kicks off a series of virtual and in-person meetings.
MnDOT, along with local and federal project partners, is currently studying proposals to reduce congestion, improve safety and address reliability on Hwy. 252 between Hwy. 610 in Brooklyn Park and Interstate 694 in Brooklyn Center, and on I-94 from I-694 in Brooklyn Center to 4th Street in downtown Minneapolis. Both roads also are deteriorating and need to be repaired, MnDOT said.
As part of a potential rebuild of Hwy. 252 and adding an E-Z Pass lane on I-94, MnDOT is preparing a multiyear environmental impact statement that outlines the effects a construction project could have on the social, historical and natural environment. The study also will look at the impact the project could have on people, plants, animals, water, air, buildings and other structures.
Both Hwy. 252 and I-94 experience multiple hours of congestion, reduced vehicle speeds, increased delays, and poor travel time reliability throughout much of the day. Both also exceed the state's critical crash rate. Between 2016 and 2019, there were 1,512 crashes — an average of 378 crashes per year — on Hwy. 252 and 914 crashes with an average of 229 crashes per year on I-94, MnDOT data show.
Online meetings focusing on the Minneapolis portion of the project will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday; on Brooklyn Center from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, and on Brooklyn Park from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 12. An in-person open house will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at Monroe Elementary School's gymnasium, 901 Brookdale Drive in Brooklyn Park.
Redefine Hwy. 169
In Elk River, MnDOT will hold a live open house Oct. 11 at City Hall to showcase its "Redefine Hwy. 169" project and the impact it will have on traffic when work begins next spring.
The agency will close the 197th Avenue bridge over Hwy. 169 and build a new partial access interchange. Crews also will tackle the Hwy. 10/169/101 interchange and rebuild a bridge over Hwy. 10. The work is part of MnDOT's plan to upgrade Hwy. 169 where it splits from Hwy. 10 in Elk River into a freeway.
E Line update
Faster transit is planned for the Route 6 line running from Southdale Center in Edina through the Uptown area of Minneapolis, downtown Minneapolis and to the University of Minnesota. Metro Transit has released a draft corridor plan for the E Line, the next in the agency's growing network of rapid bus lines
The E Line will stop at some 34 locations along the route running primarily on France Avenue, Hennepin Avenue, 4th Street, and University Avenue. The plan will be used to finalize the route and design placement of stations and platforms.
Metro Transit will accept comments and feedback at metrotransit.org/e-line-project, by e-mail at ELine@metrotransit.org or by phone at 612-373-3333 through Oct. 30.
Metro Transit hopes to bring a final plan to the Metropolitan Council for approval in spring 2022. The E Line is scheduled to be built starting in 2024.
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