State highway engineers have offered some remedies for traffic headaches in St. Louis Park caused by Hwy. 100 reconstruction. But MnDOT said the city was repeatedly told about expected backups.
“It’s really important to know that we have been working with the city of St. Louis Park since long before this project was on the books,” said MnDOT spokeswoman Bobbie Dahlke.
Nonetheless, she said, MnDOT has offered to try some new approaches to handling the traffic issues caused by the closing of the Minnetonka Boulevard bridge over Hwy. 100. Earlier this week, City Manager Tom Harmening sent a letter to MnDOT, expressing concern over safety and traffic issues.
MnDOT’s proposed solutions, which include changing the detour to Louisiana Avenue and possibly closing the ramps onto Hwy. 7 at Wooddale Avenue; adjusting signal timing at Wooddale Avenue and W. 36th Street, and closing neighborhood streets to through traffic.
Dahlke said MnDOT still believes the city’s proposal — temporary traffic lights at key intersections and ramps — is unworkable. She also said she wanted to clear up a misconception about traffic jams caused by the project.
“People seem to think we’re taking traffic from Hwy. 100 and throwing it into the neighborhoods,” she said. “We are not taking 132,000 cars a day and putting them into St. Louis Park.” The traffic represents vehicles that would enter or exit Hwy. 100 at Minnetonka Boulevard, or cross the highway there.