Key decisions are being made on the proposed addition of a third lane on Interstate 35W between Roseville and Lino Lakes.

Arden Hills will hold a public hearing on Monday leading to the required municipal consent for the project, which if approved would take more than four years. City officials also will advise on construction staging.

The cost of the concrete lane would be about $208 million, with construction beginning in 2019.

The timetable coincides with the creation of a mega-development along the route: Rice Creek Commons, the urban village planned at the former Army ammunition plant in Arden Hills.

A MnPass lane would be added in each direction between County Road C in Roseville and Sunset Avenue, north of Lexington Avenue, in Lino Lakes. The new lane would be in the middle of the existing roadway.

Five bridges would need to be replaced as part of the work, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

David Peterson

Arden Hills

Indoor ski training facility seeks space

The Alpine Factory, an indoor ski and snowboard training facility, is seeking to locate in Arden Hills.

The proposal came before the Arden Hills City Council informally last week because it presents unusual features regarding conventional zoning rules.

The firm bills its proposed facility as the “first of its kind in Minnesota and one of a handful” in the United States.

It would be located at the Red Fox Business Center, 1235 Red Fox Road, in the southeast quadrant of the Interstate 694-Snelling Avenue interchange.

Alpine Factory expects to draw clients from throughout the metro area. It stresses that there would be “minimal disruption to other tenants,” with up to 12 people including staff, and peak times in the evenings and weekends.

David Peterson

St. Paul

County gets grant to heal I-94 divisions

Ramsey County is one of four jurisdictions in the nation to win a competitive grant aimed at re-connecting communities that highways have divided.

Public workshops took place last week to explore what might be done to heal divisions caused by the 1960s construction of Interstate 94 through the predominantly black Rondo neighborhood and others nearby.

The competition was called the Every Place Counts Design Challenge. Other winners included Nashville, Philadelphia and Spokane, Wash.

Winners will get strategic and technical assistance from experts, including advice on winning additional financial assistance.

State Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle, in a written statement, called it a way to “begin rethinking I-94 in a way that re-connects people and neighborhoods to new and historic opportunities.”

David Peterson


County to collect, destroy prescription drugs

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s Public Health and Environment division will host a voluntary prescription drug “Take Back” event on July 30 in Newport.

The agencies will collect expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Newport Center, 1644 Hastings Av. The service is free and anonymous, and collected drugs will be destroyed.

Many people are not aware that medicine left in homes is highly susceptible to misuse and theft, said Sheriff Bill Hutton.

Prescription drug abuse in the United States is increasing as are accidental poisonings, he said.

It’s a health and safety hazard to flush unused medicines or throw them into the trash, Hutton said.

Kevin Giles

Oak Park Heights

Final bridge segments cast at west end yard

Crews have completed the final bridge segments at the on-site casting yard at the west end of the St. Croix River bridge project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

Additional segments are still being cast at the Grey Cloud Island casting yard near Cottage Grove and floated by barge to the bridge site.

Since 2014, about 330 precast segments were constructed at the Oak Park Heights site.

The contractor anticipates completing that work by early August, officials said.

Segments are lifted into place by cranes and linked to form approach ramps and the main driving surface for the four-lane bridge, expected to open in 2017.

Kevin Giles