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Regional Boards => Midwest - Great Lakes => Topic started by: Mdcastle on April 18, 2012, 07:54:36 PM

Title: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on April 18, 2012, 07:54:36 PM
Traffic signals:
1) The new Mn/DOT signals are going away from the green base, yellow pole, grey arm and light pole design in favor what looks like an unpainted metalic finish for the entire assembly, one of the new ones is at MN 77 and Shakopee Road. It kind of looks like unbrushed aluminum, but I would think that would be too expensive for signal poles.

2.) I also spotted a new Minneapolis style, at Franklin and East River Road. It looks like the heads are designed to be LED from the begining, they're too thin to hold an incandescent lamp, and the back looks to be a heatsink.

3.) Flashing Yellow Arrows are starting to spread, all the lights between US 212 and MN 5 on County 4 have been converted, Minnesota exclusively uses [a four lens assembly] for FYAs.

Speed limit on US 212 from the drop from 65 east of County 4 to just west of US 169 has been raised from 55 to 60.

There's somewhat of a spat about a garden variety overpass replacement. The Xerxes Ave "truck eating bridge" is going to be replaced in order to build a westbound auxillary lane between I-35W and MN 100. The original plan was to allow space in the I-494 median for future transit use, but realizing now that will be decades, if ever, the proposed Xerxes bridge will not accomodate that. Richfield is mad because they paid for extra ROW for the Penn project to accomodate that, and wants to be paid back. If they want to play nasty they could withold municipal consent and send it to binding arbitration.

In "how many people does it take not to change a light bulb" there was an ancient mercury fixture at 90th and 35W. I contacted Mn/DOT twice, The City of Bloomington twice, and XCEL Energy (which maintains city owned lighting) twice. In the end it turns out it was replaced by a pole across the road and missed getting removed, so it is now gone.

I'm seeing more and more rectanguler 3 digit rectangular sign blanks for state routes in the metro. I contacted Mn/DOT asking if it was a new standard, and they said "no, but we sometimes use on for certain digits that are hard to fit on a square blank like a '6'". However I've seen them for all numbers, including ones like 101 which they should have no trouble fitting, and unanswered is how they managed to fit them in the past since the present design dates from the 1960s. It does seem to vary, generally the rectangular ones are newer, but I saw a faded rectangular 101 in the middle of some new square 101s.


Also, a while ago I asked if there were any plans to change the design, and I was told officially no, but some of the engineer types would like to drop the gold and use white instead, since the gold tends to fade badly to the point they're almost white anyway. I think the blue and gold are beautiful on a green sign (and thus form the unofficial state colors) but they don't stay that way.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 18, 2012, 08:18:14 PM
it was replaced by a pole across the road and missed getting removed, so it is now gone.

could you please clarify this?  if it was not removed, why is it gone?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: adt1982 on April 18, 2012, 10:24:34 PM
I believe what he meant was that there were many of these lights.  They were replaced by new poles on the opposite side of the road.  This pole was not removed right after the new poles were installed, but it has since been removed.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on April 18, 2012, 10:45:49 PM
I believe what he meant was that there were many of these lights.  They were replaced by new poles on the opposite side of the road.  This pole was not removed right after the new poles were installed, but it has since been removed.

gotcha, thanks!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: twinsfan87 on April 18, 2012, 11:26:58 PM
3.) Flashing Yellow Arrows are starting to spread, all the lights between US 212 and MN 5 on County 4 have been converted, Minnesota exclusively uses their standard 5 lens vertical head used for protected/permissive installations for FYAs.

I'm confused... why would they use a 5-section head for FYAs? I haven't been out to Eden Prairie for a while, so I'm not sure what they're doing out there, but the FYAs I've seen by MnDOT and Hennepin County are the standard 4-head vertical FYA signals.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on April 18, 2012, 11:41:00 PM
Yes, that's right, it was replaced by a new sodium light across the street but they didn't remove the old one at the time. I hate to be the one causing abandoned infrastructure to be lost, but we're talking about a single 1960?s streetlight, not a camelback truss bridge. I was hoping it was still meant to be in use and they'd relamp it, but apparently that's not the case.

I caused some highway signs to be removed too, US 169 used to be signed between Virginia and the "Ely Cutoff" even though it officially ends at 9th St N in Virginia (where US 169 used to meet US 53 before US 169 was rerouted). I informed Mn/DOT of the error, but they simply took down the US 169 shields without putting up any MN 169 ones.

FYAs- actually they may have been 4 lens arrays. I'll have to check when I get out there again, I wasn't close to them. Now that I think of it I also noted some FYAs on MN 22 in Mankato when I was down there two weeks ago.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on May 02, 2012, 09:54:04 PM
Two familiar companies are bidding for work in the Stillwater Bridge. URS Consultants, which was the consultanting firm which reviewed the I-35W bridge just before it collapsed, and also was a consultant on the Sabo bridge, where cable anchors catastrophically failed. Governor Dayton is not amused and is considering an executive order not allowing them to have any more state contracts.

Also bidding for a contract to review the Stillwater design is Jacobs engineering, sucessor company to the original I-35W designers. URS has settled litigation without admitting fault; I'm not sure of the status of litigation concerning Jacobs.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on May 05, 2012, 06:38:34 PM
Two familiar companies are bidding for work in the Stillwater Bridge. URS Consultants, which was the consultanting firm which reviewed the I-35W bridge just before it collapsed, and also was a consultant on the Sabo bridge, where cable anchors catastrophically failed. Governor Dayton is not amused and is considering an executive order not allowing them to have any more state contracts.

Also bidding for a contract to review the Stillwater design is Jacobs engineering, sucessor company to the original I-35W designers. URS has settled litigation without admitting fault; I'm not sure of the status of litigation concerning Jacobs.
The guy who was the State Bridge Engineer when I worked for MnDOT in the late 1980s went to work for URS after he retired from the state. I believe he was on the project team that consulted for MnDOT on the I-35W downtown Mississippi River bridge before it collapsed.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Milepost61 on May 06, 2012, 09:54:42 PM
What's the work being bid for the Stillwater bridge? Is it final design or something else?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Milepost61 on May 06, 2012, 09:58:32 PM
Traffic signals:
1) The new Mn/DOT signals are going away from the green base, yellow pole, grey arm and light pole design in favor what looks like an unpainted metalic finish for the entire assembly, one of the new ones is at MN 77 and Shakopee Road. It kind of looks like unbrushed aluminum, but I would think that would be too expensive for signal poles.
Probably just galvanized steel. Very utilitarian look but lasts a long time. Painted steel can start to rust after not too long if the powder coating process isn't done well.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on May 07, 2012, 09:43:02 PM
Yes, I looked at some of the minutes of the Mn/DOT signal comittee and galvanized steel is the new standard. (For some reason I thought galvanized steel couldn't be left exposed.) Mn/DOTs position is a galvanized finish is a suitable finish, and if local agencies want it painted now they have to pay 100% of that cost. Like all kinds of other exposed metal, say cars, traffic signals rust badly up here after a few years. I found out something else neat, in Eden Prairie there's a mast-arm mounted doghouse signal that operates split phase at peak periods, and permissive with a FYA at non-peak periods, Mn/DOT got pmission from the feds to use it and it's the first in the country, although Mn/DOT intends to expand coverage.

Bridge Contracts: there are three out right now. 1)Test shafts, awarded to Bolander and Sons for $3.5 million, 2)Final design, which URS is among the bidders, 3)Peer review of final design, of which Jacobs is a bidder.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on May 13, 2012, 03:04:03 PM
A contractor goofed and put up some "US 35W" shields for the MN 13 construction. Unfortunately they were fixed by the time I got back with my camera.

Post Merge: May 15, 2012, 05:48:42 AM
Of note from my weekend trip:

Overhead signs along MN 60 and US 169 are being replaced with reflective signs and the lighting is being shut off

Not much activity along MN 60 expressway conversion southeast of Worthington. A lot of traffic was using the "old detour" even though they aren't supposed to. The "old" detour had a dynamic "your speed" signs, and they uprooted and left the signs at the entrances to the old detour rather than removing them. I'm thinking they might restore that as the detour route now that the frost damage has been fixed. The two lane sections are among the selected two-lane roads signed at 60mph.

Business MN 60 through St. James is now signed with standard Mn/DOT business signs.

When entering the two lanes sections of MN 60 (to be converted to 4 lanes in an upcoming pork barrell project) they want to make sure you're aware, of note the advance signs read "4 lanes end" not the usual "Expressway Ends", there is a flashing outlined two way traffic sign, and a dynamic speed readout sign.

A lot of the MN markers are nice and fresh.
Title: Upcoming new interchanges in Minnesota
Post by: froggie on May 18, 2012, 11:09:49 AM
An earlier comment of mdcaste's got me to thinking just what new interchanges are planned in Minnesota.  Below is a list of all the interchanges (including interchange reconstructions) that are funded and scheduled.  While many more interchanges are proposed, I did not include those that are unfunded (and thus not scheduled).

MN 7/Louisiana Ave in St. Louis Park - a diamond interchange with roundabouts will be built this year.  This comes on the heels of the interchange built at Wooddale Ave recently.
US 10/Benton CSAH 2 in Rice - Planned for 2013, this is best described as an elongated diamond, and would replace the existing signal that is a notable bottleneck during summer weekends.
US 10/Otter Tail CSAH 34 near Pelham - a diamond interchange is being built this year.  This is on the existing Pelham bypass.
MN 13/Old MN 101 in Savage - A weird 3-way interchange is already under construction and will be completed this year.
MN 13/Dakota CSAH 5 in Burnsville - A partial folded-diamond (with a WB off-ramp loop) is planned for 2012-13.  This is just west of I-35W.
US 14/Nicollet CSAH 41 near Mankato - Long proposed and finally funded to begin this year, this will extend the existing freeway around Mankato west to CSAH 6 and build a partial folded-diamond interchange with roundabouts at CSAH 41.
US 14/Blue Earth CSAH 12 - At the other end of the Mankato freeway, a folded-diamond with the off-ramps as loops will be built at an extended CSAH 12.
US 14/Waseca to Owatonna - Construction on the new US 14 freeway between Waseca and Owatonna will be completed this year.  It includes interchanges at MN 13 (already half-open), Steele CSAH 18, a relocated Steele CSAH 7, and a full cloverleaf at I-35.
MN 15/Stearns CR 120 in St. Cloud - Minnesota's second diverging diamond interchange will be built in 2012-13.
MN 15/33rd St in St. Cloud - This is a locally driven project that will build a new interchange in 2014 on the existing MN 15 freeway on the south side of St. Cloud.  I couldn't find anything on the preferred design, although the alternatives considered were all some sort of folded-diamond or partial folding diamond.
MN 23/Paynesville Bypass - To be completed this year, the Paynesville Bypass will include 3 interchanges:  a folded-diamond at a relocated Cemetery Rd, a diamond at MN 55/4, and a half-interchange at the east end of the bypass.  The bypass proper will not be full freeway as there will be at-grade intersections in between.
MN 23/MN 95 to Foley - Though not an interchange project, I thought it was of note that 4-lane widening of MN 23 between MN 95 and Foley will be completed this year.
I-35E/Cayuga Bridge in St. Paul - The long-proposed plan to replace the Cayuga Bridge on I-35E just north of downtown St. Paul will take place starting in 2013.  The plan eliminates the 3/4 interchange at Pennsylvania Ave and builds a new full interchange (a folded-diamond to the north) at Cayuga St.  Also included in the plan will be MnPASS lanes on I-35E.
I-35W/4th St in Minneapolis - Construction will begin this year on a new on-ramp from 4th St to northbound I-35W near downtown Minneapolis.
MN 36/English St in Maplewood - One of two MN 36 interchanges Monte mentioned previously, a diamond interchange will be built on MN 36 at English St in Maplewood in 2014.  Along with the closure of access at Hazlewood St, this project will effectively extend the MN 36 freeway to MN 120.
MN 36/Hilton Trl in Pine Springs - The other interchange Monte mentioned, to be built next year.  It'll be a tight diamond with roundabouts at the ramp junctions.
MN 36/Stillwater Bridge - Now that Congress and the President have approved an exception to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (as mentioned in another thread (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5160.msg139105#msg139105)), construction is expected to begin on a new Stillwater Bridge next year.  The project includes a full diamond interchange at MN 95 (instead of the half-interchange existing today) and a full diamond possibly with roundabouts at CTH E on the Wisconsin side.
US 52/Goodhue CSAH 24 in Cannon Falls - A diamond interchange with roundabouts will be built starting next year.  This long-awaited project will eliminate the last two traffic signals on US 52 between St. Paul and Rochester.
US 52/Elk Run (near Oronoco) - To be completed this year, this is the state's first diverging diamond interchange, being built at a relocated Olmsted CSAH 12 about halfway between Oronoco and Pine Island.  Along with planned frontage road improvements, this effectively extends the US 52 Rochester freeway segment to the Olmsted/Goodhue County line (but not all the way to/through Pine Island).
US 52/Dakota CSAH 47 in Hampton - To be built this year, this will be a folded-diamond to the north, but some existing access points in Hampton will remain and so this won't make a full freeway through Hampton.
US 52/Dakota CSAH 86 near Cannon Falls - Planned for 2013, this isn't an interchange project per-se, but I found it of interest.  MnDOT plans to build what they're calling a "Reduced Conflict Intersection".  Effectively a 3/4 intersection with U-turns, it'll close the through and left-turn movements from CSAH 86, but left turns from US 52 will remain, and U-turns will be built in the US 52 median on either side.  It's very similar to the intersection improvements Maryland has done on US 15 north of Frederick and US 301 on the Eastern Shore, or the "Superstreet" concept of NCDOT.
I-94/Albertville - Already under construction, this project modifies the I-94 interchanges in Albertville.  The CSAH 37 interchange will be rebuilt as a partial-folded diamond (with a WB on-ramp loop), effectively a full diamond interchange at CSAH 19, and C/D roads between the two interchanges.
MN 100/St Louis Park - The long-awaited full reconstruction of MN 100 in St. Louis Park will begin in 2015.  The plan includes reconstructing the interchanges at MN 7 (into a 5-ramp par-clo) and CSAH 5/Minnetonka Blvd (into a tight diamond).
MN 101/Hennepin CSAH 144 in Rogers - Planned for 2014, this project will effectively complete a freeway on northbound MN 101 between Rogers and Elk River (signals will remain for southbound MN 101 near I-94).  Three alternatives are being considered:  a diverging diamond, a SPUI, or a tight diamond.
US 169/Scot CSAH 69 in Shakopee - Planned for 2013, this will be a partial folded-diamond with a NB off-ramp loop.  It'll basically extend the Shakopee bypass freeway one interchange west.
US 169/I-494 in Bloomington - Planned for completion this year, this major interchange reconstruction will be a 6-ramp partial-directional interchange.  No direct ramps for EB 494 to NB 169 or SB 169 to WB 494 (most of these movements are assumed to be done using US 212).
US 169/Hennepin CSAH 30 in Osseo/Brooklyn Park - This one had been on the schedule for 2014, though that might change.  It's planned as a half-interchange to the south with 2 loops, and will effectively extend the US 169 freeway north through the MN 610 interchange.
US 212/MN 284 in Cologne - Another "Reduced Conflict Intersection" will be built here this year.
I-694/US 10/MN 51 - This major and long-needed interchange construction begins this year.  It effectively separates the ramps to US 10 and MN 51 onto C/D roads to allow for unimpeded I-694 through lanes.  Curiously, it includes 2 loop ramps on northbound MN 51:  to WB 694 and to WB 10 (via the westbound C/D road).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: twinsfan87 on May 18, 2012, 12:40:07 PM
An update regarding the MN 101/CSAH 144 interchange: The preferred alternative is now a diverging diamond.

Thanks for that summary! I didn't know about many of those outstate interchanges.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: flowmotion on May 19, 2012, 04:57:59 AM
Thanks for the list Froggie -- MnDOT has some informative project pages that come right up on Google.

I will miss that old-school I-694/MN 51 interchange though.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Coelacanth on May 21, 2012, 05:34:46 PM
I will miss that old-school I-694/MN 51 interchange though.

You should be missing it now. It's already effectively gone.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 02, 2012, 11:35:34 PM
I've notice Mn/DOT added two traffic lights on MN 7 at MN 100, and now is taking them out at Louisiana and Woodale. And on MN 13 taking out a light at 101 and adding one at Quentin. I drive 13 several times a week because it's between my house and my parents house and Valleyfair, and the single lane for adding the light at Quentin really ties things up to the point I use the Ferry Bridge if it's rush hour. I told my sister what they were doing and she's like "gotta keep the workers busy somehow I guess".
[/rant]

Anyway, a few notes:
Two more business route signage variations on the big green signs on the Willmar bypass. A white 71 shield with business in the top part of the shield, and "Business 71" spelled out. The cutout shields are faded but still there, as is the other nonstandard set. The "294" shields have finally been removed from the big green signs now that the route is  years defunct, they didn't replace the signs, there's a non-faded patch where they used to be.

Paynesville bypass is almost done. The concrete on the bypass is finished and they're doing the asphalt tie-in to the old road on the south end. I was stopped taking pictures at one of the side road crossings and an old couple pulled over and asked if I needed any help. Another guy saw me in Wilmar and asked "what I saw down there". I said I was "taking pictures" as a non-sequitor and left.

The old Sauk Rapids bridge they saved the abutment on the Sauk Rapids side and it's an overlook now, the old road grade has ornamental lumineires and trees and stuff along the trails.

MN 361 is gone from the new highway maps. A vending machine at the St. Cloud rest stop said basically "get rid of your dollar coins here". I remember in 2008 Six Flags Great Adventure had lockers that only took dollar coins, with a vending machine nearby to change bills for coins. My thought was they try to force a politically correct coin that we don't want on us and it gets reduced to the level of a Chuck-E-Cheese token.

Concrete paving was going down on the westbound US 10 lanes between Clear Lake and Big Lake. I remember this stretch as being especially bad. A few FYAs and LED luminaires in Big Lake.

Apparently people don't know what a double white lines means, so the built a concrete wall between the mainline I-94 and traffic coming from the southbound to eastbound loop of 101. I'm happy most of the lights are gone of 101 because it was always aggravating getting behind underpowered vehicles pulling boats coming to or from the north woods.

MN 23 is stripped down to bare earth east of MN 95.

I've decided I like the new bare galvanized signals. They're not as nice as the all black painted ones D1 likes to use, but the green-yellow-silver the rest of the state used looks ugly to me now even before they fade and rust. I guess someone from Iowa DOT, which has used galvanazed for years took a job with Mn/DOT and was influential in the change. Mn/DOT buys most of their lights and signal poles from a company called Millerbend Mfg in Winsted, so they had to switch production to galvanized steel for signals.


Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 10, 2012, 02:42:31 PM
They're getting ready to open the new eastbound mainline bridge over MN 13 at the junction with County 101. The paving is done and the barricades are being removed, MN 13 is closed and they're paving the junction with the eastbound ramps.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Stephane Dumas on June 23, 2012, 03:38:55 PM
A bit off-topic, Google maps updated their satellite imagery showing a more recent picture of the US-169/I-494 interchange reconstruction. http://goo.gl/maps/M9EJ
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: on_wisconsin on June 28, 2012, 11:50:10 PM
Just digging around the MnDOT site and came across something interesting, they offer free monthly web seminars called Traffic Topics. Including very road geeky subjects such as last months "What's New in the 2011 AASHTO Green Book".
Check it out: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/topics/index.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on June 29, 2012, 11:55:46 AM

MN 23 is stripped down to bare earth east of MN 95.


Why doesn't Minnesota just build the new lanes, then move the traffic over to them while they rebuild the old ones? I got caught in this detour last week. Pain inthe butt to go south on MN25 from Foley, then west on MN95 to 23.

rte66man
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 30, 2012, 09:24:35 AM
I have no idea, and that's the way they (still) have listed on their web site. My only thought is that maybe with last year's government shutdown it got delayed and they needed to change the staging in order to get it done this year. I snooped around the area last week and there's no paving anyway, nor does it look like they're anywhere close.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 01, 2012, 09:32:51 AM
I suspect Monte's right and this is a result of last year's shutdown.  Even with the inconvenience to the traveling public, this saves MnDOT money vice stretching construction out for another season.  Remember that with Minnesota's winter climate, construction season is shorter than in most other states.

In the past, they have built new lanes and moved traffic to them while rebuilding the old lanes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on July 01, 2012, 05:16:55 PM
At least you were warned well in advance. If you are westbound, the detour notices start at Milaca.

rte66man
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on July 24, 2012, 11:20:36 PM
The Taco Bell at MN 13 and Dakota County 5 is closed in preperation for the new interchange. This was an unusual design since it was a converted Zantigos.  Famous Dave's is still open, as are the other businesses that will be taken. Work is winding up at MN 13 and County 101, they just need to build the permanent signal now, also the confirmation signs in the area incorrectly use a black on white tab meant for US markers.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 25, 2012, 09:10:35 AM
According to a recent MnDOT news release, the MN 23 Paynesville bypass was supposed to have opened up this past Friday (the 20th).  Haven't had an opportunity (being now in Africa waiting on a ship) to verify this.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on July 25, 2012, 07:09:48 PM
Also, it should be noted that the lane configuation has changed in the new interchange. Southbound US 169 to MN 13 and Eastbound County 101 come together and each keeps a lane, US 169 northbound to MN 13 now narrows from two lanes to 1, and then forms the left lane when it combines with the ramp form SB 169/WB 101. The three lanes continue to the ramp to MN 13, than the right lane exits off. This means that the heavy US 169 south to MN 13 south movement keeps and stays in it's own lane, prior to this their was a regular backup in the afternoons.

Going the other direction the mainline is also three lanes with the ramp from MN 13 north becoming the new left lane. Although this introduces a weave and functionally a left exit/entrance I haven't seen it be a problem in practice.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 04, 2012, 04:33:24 PM
The gene pool improves: A man tried to drive a U-Haul onto the Mall of America parking ramp. He struck a telltale and ignored it and continued on, where he stuck a beam which fell down on top of him. Two other people in the truck had only minor injuries.

I live a couple of miles away but I hate the place and rarely go there... The theming has been watered down considerably over the years, and most of the unique stores have been replaced by generic chains and a lot of the trees are gone from the amusement park.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on September 02, 2012, 05:09:51 PM
The new US 14 west of Owatonna is now open:
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/newsrels/12/H14/8-29owatonna.html
http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x620789811/Highway-14-Waseca-bypass-opens
http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=44.0899&lon=-93.348&zoom=12&layers=M
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on September 07, 2012, 10:04:03 AM
This is the big weekend. Today the Hastings Bridge arch is going to be moved onto barges, on Sunday it will be lifted into place. Webcams:
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/hastingsbridge/webcam2.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: on_wisconsin on October 23, 2012, 06:04:41 PM
This is the big weekend. Today the Hastings Bridge arch is going to be moved onto barges, on Sunday it will be lifted into place. Webcams:
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/hastingsbridge/webcam2.html

Here is a recent photo capped from the webcam:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v704/packerfan386/hastingsbr1_zps4e84e14f.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Milepost61 on October 27, 2012, 12:05:24 AM
Is that red color its final color? If so kudos for going different. Not too many red bridges over the mighty Miss.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on October 27, 2012, 04:31:36 PM
Yes it is. The original concept art had the whole thing grey/silver and and in an informal poll the majority of the residents wanted blue arches, but the terracotta red is kind of the unofficial color of the city, reflecting the red brick of the historic downtown area. The streelights in the town also were terra-cotta, but as they get knocked down they're being replaced by unpainted galvanized. (The ties are going to be grey and the cables will be silver. It looks like they'res some red on the bottom, but those are rusted concrete forms.)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Coelacanth on October 30, 2012, 11:32:48 AM
In somewhat related news, the new Lowry Avenue bridge in Minneapolis opened to traffic on Saturday.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 01, 2013, 09:35:42 PM
Now that all the litigation involving the I-35W bridge has settled, there's no reason to keep the remnants and they will be scrapped as soon as the winter weather ends. There's been discussion about donating some pieces to the survivors or the local engineering school, St. Thomas wants a piece for a  shelf or something to hod the rings for the graduation ceremony, but MN/DOT is concerned about lead paint and "doesn't want pieces to end up on eBay or Craigslist"

They were somewhat evasive about where the peices are located, but I tracked them down; the smaller pieces were housed indoors in a building specially built at the Oakdale Truck Station, the larger pieces originally sat in a park adjacent to the bridge, raising the ire of the Minneapolis Park Board, until the litigants agreed they could be cut into truckable sections and were moved to a disused gravel pit off I-94  near Lakeland. What's left is the structural steel of the main span; all the concrete and the steel of the approach span, of no forensic value, were recycled immediately. You can see the pieces without climbing the fence, but you do have to trespass a short ways on the driveway off a fairly heavily used road. In another thread I posted a picture and a link to Google Earth where the girders are clearly visable.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 01, 2013, 08:51:34 PM
The second and third permanent doghouse signals are coming to Minnesota. The first was the first use of a FYA at a split phase intersection in the country (now it can go between split phase and permissive phasing depending on time of day) and the first use of a bimodal arrow in Minnesota, the second and third are to replace the signals at the 90th  and I-35W ramps. In both cases the situation is left turn lane shared with through traffic.

In all cases they go
         R
<-Y           Y
<-FY/G      G
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: twinsfan87 on March 01, 2013, 09:55:05 PM
There's actually another one in operation at US 61/Buffalo St in White Bear Township. They just installed it when they did the repaving job on US 61 last year.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on March 01, 2013, 10:02:06 PM
But was that one mast arm or span wire?  The latter are usually cheap/temporary installations within the state.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: twinsfan87 on March 01, 2013, 10:06:18 PM
The two in operation are definitely permanent. The first intersection (in Eden Prairie at Valley View Rd and Prairie Center Drive) has them installed on Hennepin County's typical mast arms, and the intersection in White Beat Township has them installed on MnDOT's new unpainted truss mast arms. I would guess the ones in Bloomington that Mdcastle mentioned will be similarly permanent.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 02, 2013, 11:03:58 AM
Yes, the 90th street signals will be typical galvanized mast arms.

Since FYA are required for most new installations with dedicated left turn lanes, and a 3 light FYA/YA/RA isn't to my knowleged an approved configuration in Minnesota (so it looked odd to me when I saw it on the east coast), I wonder how they'ed do an installation for permissive only. Probably install a 4 light and not use the green arrow section. There'd be some merit to that approach as it keeps things consistant for drivers (although if more doghouses go up this would change), and if traffic grew to require a protected phase in the future they could implement it with just a programming change.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Coelacanth on April 15, 2013, 05:45:15 PM
I thought this was interesting. Never seen a press release for a turnback before.

Hwy 258 is officially Brown County Road 16
MnDOT transfers ownership to county effective today – April 15

 

MANKATO, Minn. – The ownership of Highway 258 to Comfrey has officially transferred from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to Brown County, effective April 15, 2013.

 

Highway 258 from the south Brown County Line (County Road 17) in Comfrey to Highway 14 is now Brown County State Aid Highway 16.  Turnback funds totaling $5.2 million are provided to Brown County to restore the 10.8 miles of roadway to an acceptable condition.

 

Motorists will see the highway identification signs change yet this week.

 

Highway 258 is one of several 200 series roadways that MnDOT is working to transfer to a proper level of government. Other roadways have been identified in a statewide jurisdictional realignment study.  For example, lower volume roadways, which are important at the county level, have a difficult time competing for funds with high volume highways in the state department and vice versa, a county road that is serving as a principal artery of the transportation system may be realigned to a state roadway.

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 16, 2013, 09:39:29 PM
There's precedent...the 1988 "highway swap" in Hennepin County generated considerable news.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on May 15, 2013, 05:25:54 PM
Notes 5-15:

Lino Lakes: There is a new partial-cloverleaf interchange on I-35E, exit 223. Last time I was here, this was under construction.

Hinckley (I): There are cutout signs designating "Old U.S. 61" along county road 61. The signs themselves do not have the original "Minnesota US 61," rather, they are signed "HWY US 61."

Hinckley (II): The county 61 spur is no longer signed, except at the traffic lights on I-35 and the road to the casino.

Hinckley (III): County 62 is now signed with the standard pentagon shield. I assume that all other roads in Pine County are signed with the white square.

Arden Hills: On I-35W, there is a detour for highway 10, which they are rebuilding the interchange for. The detour, interestingly enough, is signed with cutout shields.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on May 27, 2013, 09:26:59 PM
I was in Canada over an extended Memorial Day weekend and it was my first time through the border at International Falls/Fort Frances.  What a clusterfuck of a border crossing!
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=48.60657,-93.40136&z=16&t=S (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=48.60657,-93.40136&z=16&t=S)

All of the customs buildings are mixed in with a sprawling paper mill that spans the river and a dam. There are pipes and conveyers overhead and all these railroad tracks crisscrossing the road.  One has to be cognizant of not stopping on those railroads (especially with a boat!) and figure out which building you're supposed to drive towards.  Going both ways, there was a locomotive tooling around the paper mill complex and needing to get across the road.  It was confusing as hell and the mill makes it noisy and foul smelling.  It's totally unflattering of the two cities as well.  At least the border agents can fart at work without anyone noticing.

It's a toll bridge (NB only) so there's another puzzle piece.  The route to the border on city streets takes one through a lot of 90 degree turns.  Even a trained roadgeek might find himself a tiny bit flustered.  Also there's very little room at the duty-free pick up spot. Two vehicles with trailers will obstruct traffic.  And this is northwest Ontario; a place with a lot of lakes that have a lot of fish.  There are lots of trailers going over the border here.

I whole heartedly endorse the creation of a new border crossing somewhere up there.  Anywhere that's not in the middle of goddamn factory/railroad yard is fine with me.  If some Congressman has to sneak an earmark into the "War Orphan Baby Kissing Bill" and the project goes over budget and the contractor is caught bribing somebody and they have to punch a bald eagle in the face repeatedly with a poo-covered Bible to get it done,  I am okay with it.  Anyone who would call it pork should have to navigate that maze at least once before they say anything.

Whew, that was good to go off about that.  I hope it was enjoyable.

More on topic, the 4 lane expansion of US 53 up to Cook looks to be in its first full year.  Lots of grubbing and earth moving over that 10ish mile stretch.  Must be at least a 2014 completion date.

Was surprised to see a traffic signal in little ol' Orr.

Driving through Virginia is very informative in the context of the ongoing debate in Wisconsin about a proposed iron mine between Mellen and Hurley.  I drove past the site on WI 77 a couple weeks ago.  I think I've made up my mind about that subject.

US 53 is in pretty rough shape in The Range. Very dated interchanges up there (except where 169 heads off to Ely).

Coming down the hill in Duluth is absolutely gorgeous.  Haven't gone that way since before the hill climb was rebuilt a number of years ago.  Not only is it a great view in all the usual ways, but you pretty much have an aerial view of the antiquated 35/535 interchange.  That junction sucks but it looks cool from up the hill.  There was even an outbound ship heading for the Blatnik Bridge at the time.  They matched the feel of the I-35 tunnels and canyons on US 53.

Since it was Memorial Day, the Fuzz was out in full force the entire trip back (both MN & WI).  Lotsa cops; lotsa dumbasses jamming on the brakes even though they were doing the speed limit.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on May 27, 2013, 09:43:34 PM
I was in Canada over an extended Memorial Day weekend and it was my first time through the border at International Falls/Fort Frances.  What a clusterfuck of a border crossing!
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=48.60657,-93.40136&z=16&t=S (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=48.60657,-93.40136&z=16&t=S)

All of the customs buildings are mixed in with a sprawling paper mill that spans the river and a dam. There are pipes and conveyers overhead and all these railroad tracks crisscrossing the road.  One has to be cognizant of not stopping on those railroads (especially with a boat!) and figure out which building you're supposed to drive towards.  Going both ways, there was a locomotive tooling around the paper mill complex and needing to get across the road.  It was confusing as hell and the mill makes it noisy and foul smelling.  It's totally unflattering of the two cities as well.  At least the border agents can fart at work without anyone noticing.

* * *
IIRC, the bridge is owned by Boise Cascade. They have operations on both sides.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 28, 2013, 02:47:19 AM
Quote
US 53 is in pretty rough shape in The Range. Very dated interchanges up there (except where 169 heads off to Ely).

In part because the interchange at MN 169 was only built within the past 10 years.  Was an at-grade junction where the 4-lane ended on US 53 before then.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: on_wisconsin on June 04, 2013, 11:27:32 PM
The first lanes of the new Hastings Bridge opened today (6/4)!
Here is a shakycam drive across from YouTube:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Coelacanth on June 05, 2013, 03:15:24 PM
I received an email from MN/DOT today with the pithy title:

How to plan your summer around Hwy 169 construction

This would be funny if I didn't, in fact, have to plan my summer around Hwy 169 construction
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on June 06, 2013, 10:12:28 AM
I received an email from MN/DOT today with the pithy title:

How to plan your summer around Hwy 169 construction

This would be funny if I didn't, in fact, have to plan my summer around Hwy 169 construction

Anything major in the email?  Headed up that way later this year.

rte66man
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 07, 2013, 06:25:11 AM
Looking at MnDOT's current construction projects (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/current.html), looks like plenty along 169, though probably the biggest-impact one (resurfacing between Milaca and Onamia) is supposed to be done soon, provided they haven't been delayed due to the weird weather this spring.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on June 07, 2013, 08:52:47 AM
Froggie, thanks for the link.

The project that would affect me the most is this one in central Mora:

Hwys 23, 65 Ann River bridge to north Hwy 23/65 junction in Mora

Description: Resurface 3 miles of road, repair median, repair underground utilities, install accessible pedestrian ramps and signals (ADA compliant), improve drainage
Construction Dates: Aug-Sept 2013
Traffic Impacts: Lane closures with flaggers, detour

rte66man
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Coelacanth on June 07, 2013, 09:59:01 AM
The email was specific to the metro-area projects.

Specifically, the reduction to a single lane at the under-construction interchange with CSAH 30 in Maple Grove (Osseo? Champlin? whatever). And, more importantly for me, the month-plus-long repair work on the bridges between TH 62 and TH 7. 169 will be one lane each direction throughout that entire stretch, with some exits being closed for part of the work.

The big killer will be the closure of the ramp from Bren Rd to NB169. I would guess that ramp is the beginning of the afternoon commute for almost half of the several thousand people who work here, including me.

The recommended detour is to take SB 169 and use the loops to/from EB 62 to get on NB 169. Good thing EB 62 has almost no traffic during the afternoon rush....oh wait.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 08, 2013, 01:14:18 AM
Quote
Specifically, the reduction to a single lane at the under-construction interchange with CSAH 30 in Maple Grove (Osseo? Champlin? whatever).

Brooklyn Park.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 16, 2013, 11:05:09 PM
(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3692/9062154467_ddf514c81b_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/9062154467/)
IMG_2834 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/9062154467/) by North Star Highways (http://www.flickr.com/people/26956281@N02/), on Flickr
The first Minnesota doghouse and first Minnesota bimodal arrow.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 17, 2013, 02:06:00 AM
Given the location (yes, it's sad that I know exactly where that is), that'd have to be a city installation.  My question is why they'd have FYA in a case with both a dedicated left and a shared left-thru lane.  IIRC the MnDOT manual, that scenario requires a protected left or split-phase, not a permitted left.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Stephane Dumas on June 17, 2013, 07:00:41 PM
Some folks on Openstreetmap posted the plans of a Y-interchange near Marion, south of Rochester near the current junction of US-52 and I-90.
http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=43.977778&mlon=-92.387222&zoom=12&layers=M

Is it really in MN DOT plans or if it's a fantasy of one guy at Openstreetmap?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: twinsfan87 on June 17, 2013, 08:04:10 PM
I was just at a MnDOT signal coordination training class a few weeks ago and was talking to a guy in the MnDOT traffic department (Jerry Kotzomacher). He mentioned that MnDOT's new policy that is likely to be put into the next manual updates is that all new and retro-fit signals on the trunk highway system will be required to use 4-section FYA heads (for exclusive left turn lanes) or doghouse bimodal signals (for shared left turn lanes). Apparently MnDOT likes what they've seen from their test installations of the bimodal doghouse signals.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 19, 2013, 01:02:26 AM
Quote
Some folks on Openstreetmap posted the plans of a Y-interchange near Marion, south of Rochester near the current junction of US-52 and I-90.
http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=43.977778&mlon=-92.387222&zoom=12&layers=M

Is it really in MN DOT plans or if it's a fantasy of one guy at Openstreetmap?

I've never seen any actual plans for the 52/90 interchange...I'm not sure they even exist.  My guess is it's either some guy's fantasy or it came from a non-transportation-based source.  I doubt MnDOT would go with such a configuration, however, given 52's importance to the south.

Quote
He mentioned that MnDOT's new policy that is likely to be put into the next manual updates is that all new and retro-fit signals on the trunk highway system will be required to use 4-section FYA heads (for exclusive left turn lanes) or doghouse bimodal signals (for shared left turn lanes). Apparently MnDOT likes what they've seen from their test installations of the bimodal doghouse signals.

Part of me is sad to see this, given that I see Minnesota's standard 5-lens vertical as iconic to the state.  It'd be like Wisconsin or New Mexico getting rid of their horizontal overhead signals...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on June 19, 2013, 01:23:25 AM
All I could find for 90/52 is a full cloverleaf on http://capx2020.com/Regulatory/State/Minnesota/route-permit-app-HRL/Appendix_D_Hwy52.pdf page 170.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 20, 2013, 10:49:09 PM
I agree 5 light vertical heads with the ugly but distinct green-yellow-silver masts remind me of Minnesota. Also davit poles are something not a lot of states use, I felt like I was at home when on a trip through the northeast I drove through Rhode Island.

Also of note, the first large scale installation of LEDs on a trunk highway was just completed on Crosstown between Cedar and Hiawatha.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 20, 2013, 11:52:01 PM
Can someone screencapture that 90/52 cloverleaf graphic and either E-mail it or post it here?  Can't get to the PDF.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on June 20, 2013, 11:57:21 PM
It's just a cloverleaf with the east-side ramps pretty much where the current ramps are, and C/D roads on I-94.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Big John on June 21, 2013, 01:00:21 PM

Part of me is sad to see this, given that I see Minnesota's standard 5-lens vertical as iconic to the state.  It'd be like Wisconsin or New Mexico getting rid of their horizontal overhead signals...
  Hate to break the news that Wisconsin is currently doing away with the horizontal signal.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on June 21, 2013, 01:41:05 PM
Hey, why is there a stoplight on I-35 and US-53 in Duluth?  Always wondered that.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 21, 2013, 01:47:42 PM
Hey, why is there a stoplight on I-35 and US-53 in Duluth?  Always wondered that.

there is?  I don't remember one.  which ramp?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on June 21, 2013, 02:05:57 PM
trying to remember, i know its I-35 northbound, I believe right onto 53.  You could be able to see it on googlemaps, which doesn't let me paste though it seems to for y'all.

Yes I just looked, that is where it is.  There is a stoplight.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 21, 2013, 03:01:31 PM
found it.  I've never done those ramps.  is that a SPUI?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: twinsfan87 on June 21, 2013, 03:22:25 PM
It's a two-phase signal between the I-35 NB ramp to US 53 NB and the US 53 SB ramp to I-35 NB/I-535/US 53 SB. My best guess is that it's there because the vertical and horizontal constraints at the interchange due to the surrounding land (railroads next to the NB lanes of I-35, industrial/commercial buildings just to the west of the interchange, US 53 on a viaduct west of the interchange, interchanges close-by on I-35 and US 53) and the lack of sufficient volume to warrant an expensive flyover ramp.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 23, 2013, 10:07:40 AM
I was just at a MnDOT signal coordination training class a few weeks ago and was talking to a guy in the MnDOT traffic department (Jerry Kotzomacher). He mentioned that MnDOT's new policy that is likely to be put into the next manual updates is that all new and retro-fit signals on the trunk highway system will be required to use 4-section FYA heads (for exclusive left turn lanes) or doghouse bimodal signals (for shared left turn lanes). Apparently MnDOT likes what they've seen from their test installations of the bimodal doghouse signals.

What about permissive only? Use a 4-section and put a dummy arrow into the bottom section? Under the latest Minnesota MUTCD a 3-section FYA is allowed, but looks like they're going to pull this before the first one is installed. I do see the logic in that you could convert it to to protected/permissive in the future with just  a programming change, and plastic signals aren't that expensive even when bought new.

Outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul which normally use their own standards on trunk highways, is there a permissive only turn lane on the trunk highway system?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: twinsfan87 on June 23, 2013, 10:31:23 PM
Permissive-only turn lanes would be installed with a 4-section FYA signal but operated without the protected phase. Like you said, it would just take a matter of a programming change rather than a physical installation of a new arrow section if the traffic volumes or safety problems necessitated it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Biddco on June 24, 2013, 08:38:45 PM
Notes 5-15:

.

Hinckley (I): There are cutout signs designating "Old U.S. 61" along county road 61. The signs themselves do not have the original "Minnesota US 61," rather, they are signed "HWY US 61."

Saw the same thing at the crossing of Minnesota TH 70 and Pine County Road 61 outside of Rock Creek. I'm very interested to see if there are more signs along the old 61 Route
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 25, 2013, 04:24:38 AM
Any photos of such signs?  I'm sure Jake would be interested...as am I.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 25, 2013, 01:00:57 PM
Any photos of such signs?  I'm sure Jake would be interested...as am I.

I have seen a sign pair that has an OLD banner on top of a HWY/US 61 cutout shield.  photos of any other styles would be greatly appreciated!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 25, 2013, 09:46:50 PM
Since my "Great American Road Trips" to western Illinois have ended at 22 as of last year, I can probably get up north this summer if someone else doesn't.

Cheap plastic 5 light + high winds = fail
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/995672_10151672311319875_770039581_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 26, 2013, 04:34:14 AM
Judging from the mast arm, I'd guess a city installation?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 26, 2013, 08:37:56 AM
Yes, Lake St and Thomas Ave.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on July 02, 2013, 06:58:53 PM
I didn't realize that US 52's treated as a north-south highway by MNDOT; the exit numbers through Rochester indicate that.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on July 02, 2013, 08:51:34 PM
I didn't realize that US 52's treated as a north-south highway by MNDOT; the exit numbers through Rochester indicate that.
That's because most of the signed part follows former U.S. 55. The unsigned part was formerly signed E-W; the cutoff, I assume, was in Saint Paul, at Robert Street's junction with U.S. 10 on University Avenue.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 03, 2013, 07:43:27 AM
Not just Minnesota.  IIRC, 6 of the 10 states US 52 passes through classify it as a north-south route.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 10, 2013, 05:31:33 AM
MnDOT recently released it's Draft State Highway Investment Plan (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/mnship/index.html) for the next 20 years.  It's a legislatively-manded update every 4 years of MnDOT's 20-year state highway policies and plans.  It also includes a 10-year District Work Plan for each MnDOT District and the Metro Division.  The first 4 years from the Work Plan are projects already in the STIP and currently funded. Years 5-10 are a general plan of specific project improvements but are subject to change.  Here's a quick-look at some of the major projects being proposed over the next 10 years, broken down by route type/number.

I-35:   pavement reconstruction and add auxiliary lanes between Bridge St and Old US 14 West in Owatonna, 2014.
I-35:   bridge replacement over the Snake River (Pine County, IIRC), 2019.
I-35E:  reconstruction/add MnPASS lane from I-94 to I-694, 2014.
I-35W:  add ramp from 4th St to NB I-35W and add auxiliary lane to Johnson St, 2014.
I-35W:  bridge replacement over the Minnesota River (placeholder...may not actually happen), 2020-22.
I-90:   construct interchange at Jackson CSAH 34 near Jackson, 2016.
I-94:   add eastbound auxiliary lane from 7th St to Mounds Blvd, 2016.
I-94:   interchange modification at US 75 in Moorhead, 2016.
I-94:   add managed lane between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul (placeholder...may not actually happen), 2020-21.
I-494:  reconstruction and add "dynamic shoulder" from I-394 to I-94/694, 2014.

US 2:    bridge rehab or replacement over the Red River at East Grand Forks, 2018.
US 8:    roadway reconstruction from MN 95 South to Taylors Falls (this is the long grade into the St. Croix River valley), 2016.
US 14:   4-lane widening from Nicollet to North Mankato, 2018-19.
US 14:   Bridge replacements over the Minnesota River and Front St at New Ulm (should also include 4-laning), 2018-20.
US 53:   relocation/realignment from Eveleth to Virginia due to mine operations, 2015.
US 59:   construct roundabout at Becker CSAH 22 south of Detroit Lakes, 2017.
US 61:   reconstruct the two MN 97 intersections and replace with roundabouts, 2016.
US 63:   bridge replacement over the Mississippi River and US 61 at Red Wing, 2018.
US 169:  construct interchange at Scott CSAH 69 in Shakopee, 2014.
US 212:  reconstruct interchange at Hennepin CSAH 61/Shady Oak Rd, 2015.

MN 15:   construct interchange at 33rd St in st. Cloud/Waite Park (existing "freeway" segment between MN 23 and I-94), 2014.
MN 22:   construct a roundabout at Blue Earth CSAH 17/Madison Ave in Mankato (would have to be a multi-lane roundabout given the approach roads), 2014.
MN 24:   bridge replacement over the Mississippi River at Clearwater, 2017.
MN 29:   4-lane widening from I-94 to Douglas CSAH 28 and interchange modification at I-94, 2016.
MN 36:   St. Croix River Crossing, 2014-17.
MN 60:   4-lane widening from Mountain Lake to Butterfield, 2015.
MN 60:   4-lane widening from Windom to Mountain Lake, 2017-20.
MN 72:   bridge replacement over the Rainy River at Baudette, 2018.
MN 100:  reconstruction from 36th St to Cedar Lake Rd, including interchanges at MN 7 and Minnetonka Blvd, 2015.
MN 101:  reconstruction from the MN River to Carver CSAH 61 (old US 212), 2014 (likely part of a future turnback agreement).
MN 101:  construct interchange at Hennepin CSAH 144 in Rogers, 2014.
MN 210:  bridge replacement over the Mississippi River at Brainerd, 2020.
MN 250:  bridge replacements north of Lanesboro (mentioned b/c the existing bridges are old through-truss bridges), 2016.
MN 371:  4-lane widening from Nisswa to Crow Wing CSAH 16, 2018-21.
MN 610:  construct freeway from CSAH 81 to I-94 (placeholder...may not actually happen), 2018-19.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on July 10, 2013, 09:28:19 AM
US 169:  construct interchange at Scott CSAH 69 in Shakopee, 2014.
Finally!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on July 10, 2013, 10:37:15 AM
MnDOT recently released it's Draft State Highway Investment Plan (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/mnship/index.html) for the next 20 years.......

MN 101:  construct interchange at Hennepin CSAH 144 in Rogers, 2014.


Google Maps won't give me the CSAH #.  Can I assume this is the intersection with 141st Av North?

rte66man
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on July 10, 2013, 10:38:59 AM
Very disappointed to NOT see any mention of major work on US169 in and around Elk River.  :banghead:

rte66man
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 10, 2013, 12:44:30 PM
Quote
Google Maps won't give me the CSAH #.  Can I assume this is the intersection with 141st Av North?

Yes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on July 11, 2013, 09:48:19 PM
MnDOT recently released it's Draft State Highway Investment Plan (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/mnship/index.html) for the next 20 years.  It's a legislatively-manded update every 4 years of MnDOT's 20-year state highway policies and plans.  It also includes a 10-year District Work Plan for each MnDOT District and the Metro Division.  The first 4 years from the Work Plan are projects already in the STIP and currently funded. Years 5-10 are a general plan of specific project improvements but are subject to change.  Here's a quick-look at some of the major projects being proposed over the next 10 years, broken down by route type/number.


MN 101:  reconstruction from the MN River to Carver CSAH 61 (old US 212), 2014 (likely part of a future turnback agreement).

This is the longest-running turnback process, having probably started in 1988 when MnDOT started looking for incentives for Carver to take back their portion of 101. That little piece from Scott County line to old 212 (CSAH 61) includes reconstruction of an unusual three-signal triangle to, IIRC, a roundabout. The piece of 101 from 212 (when it was that) to the Minnesota River was strangely marked Carver County 101, though it was on pentagonal signs, which Carver does not use. Thus, it was still a state highway. After old 212 was turned back, I was informed via e-mail that the former "County" 101 was again properly marked as MN-101.

Last month, I drove by the new U.S. 212 exit of 101, and it was marked County 101. This sign used a proper Carver County standard square white rectangle rather than the blue pentagon. MnDOT maps show the trunk highway terminus of this segment has moved south of 212, indicating that as the road is improved by MnDOT, it is then turned back to Carver County. I don't know what is planned for the winding segment of 101 that goes up the hill out of the river valley, but it's possible that once the afore-mentioned project is complete, that whole piece of 101 south of MN-5 may belong to Carver County.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on July 11, 2013, 11:45:26 PM
I get the idea that to get a new interchange  built nowadays, the local agencies have to really champion (and help get funding for) it. Elk River doesn't seem that excited about work on US 169, they paid for a study on US 10 but don't seem to be pushing that even.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on July 13, 2013, 01:08:01 PM
I get the idea that to get a new interchange  built nowadays, the local agencies have to really champion (and help get funding for) it. Elk River doesn't seem that excited about work on US 169, they paid for a study on US 10 but don't seem to be pushing that even.

Does MN work the same as OK where many local legislators have the stroke to get new projects done (or at least prioritized)?

rte66man
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on July 13, 2013, 04:25:17 PM
I noticed the US 10 detour signs up in the northern suburbs are cutouts.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 14, 2013, 02:59:06 AM
Quote
Does MN work the same as OK where many local legislators have the stroke to get new projects done (or at least prioritized)?

Not really.  They try...you always see bills specifying this project or that project in the Legislature, but they never go anywhere.  State law gives MnDOT a lot of leeway in determing where highway funds go on the state highway system, but there's also a fair bit of oversight...not the least of which being the requirement for "municipal consent" for road projects.  If the local town doesn't like the project, they have de facto veto power, except for certain Interstate highway projects.

The only example I can think of recently is the transportation bill about 5 years ago that increased the gas tax to help pay for bridges (in the aftermath of the 35W collapse).  A provision was inserted in that bill to also give funding to finish the 4-laning of MN 60 between Worthington and Mankato.  One could argue that this was a statewide priority anyway (has long been on MnDOT's priority list but languished due to funding), but some of us feel it was inserted as a way to "buy" those legislators votes to help ensure passage of the bill (which barely survived Pawlenty's veto as it was).

No, the main avenue for the Minnesota porkfest is the bi-annual bonding bill.  But that's also subject to fairly stringent budgeting limitations.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 15, 2013, 06:01:57 PM
Any photos of such signs?  I'm sure Jake would be interested...as am I.

I have seen a sign pair that has an OLD banner on top of a HWY/US 61 cutout shield.  photos of any other styles would be greatly appreciated!

I took this last summer. As far as I knew at the time they were restricted to Chisago County along CR 30, but it sounds from here like the shields have appeared elsewhere to the north.

(http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg198/thehighwayman394/old61_zpscaa2f86a.jpg) (http://s248.photobucket.com/user/thehighwayman394/media/old61_zpscaa2f86a.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on July 15, 2013, 06:57:01 PM
I noticed the US 10 detour signs up in the northern suburbs are cutouts.

I would certainly like to see a photo of that.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Biddco on July 17, 2013, 11:20:38 PM
Would love to see something done to the I-394 East to I-94 east in Minneapolis. Worst bottleneck in the Cities in my view
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 18, 2013, 02:54:29 AM
Short of what would be a *VERY* expensive widening of the Lowry Hill Tunnel, there's nothing that can be done for that EB 394 to EB 94 movement.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Biddco on July 18, 2013, 08:41:29 AM
Short of what would be a *VERY* expensive widening of the Lowry Hill Tunnel, there's nothing that can be done for that EB 394 to EB 94 movement.
Sigh. That is what I thought. I guess I'll just keep taking 55 or 694 to 94 to avoid it during peak times.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on July 18, 2013, 10:56:40 AM
well, they could have built a freeway north of downtown to funnel off some traffic :P
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 19, 2013, 02:08:20 AM
That was the proposed I-335, which believe it or not did not have ramps planned at I-94, so it's effectiveness at funneling off traffic from the tunnel would have been minimal.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: midwesternroadguy on July 19, 2013, 09:38:21 AM
That was the proposed I-335, which believe it or not did not have ramps planned at I-94, so it's effectiveness at funneling off traffic from the tunnel would have been minimal.

I think that it did have some ramps that connected directly to I-94, but it may not have had a full set, it had some ramps connecting to local streets too (Plymouth Avenue?)

On another note, the 2013 MN official highway maps came out last week.  Some of the big changes:  US 14 west of Owatonna, US 53 expansion to Cook shown as under construction, TH 60 south of Worthington, scattered new interchanges in the Twin Cities and near Oronoco.  A big graphic change is the introduction of blue and red interstate route marker shields.  I love the idea, however the execution was weak, as the numbers extend across both the blue and red portions of the shield, and ideally should only be in the blue portion, as most other states have done with their maps.  Now if they could just graphically show main highway/US highways/NHS routes in red instead of black, and differentiate non-interstate limited access freeways from 4-lane divided highways, I'd be happy. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on July 21, 2013, 10:51:18 PM
That was the proposed I-335, which believe it or not did not have ramps planned at I-94, so it's effectiveness at funneling off traffic from the tunnel would have been minimal.

I think that it did have some ramps that connected directly to I-94, but it may not have had a full set, it had some ramps connecting to local streets too (Plymouth Avenue?)

On another note, the 2013 MN official highway maps came out last week.  Some of the big changes:  US 14 west of Owatonna, US 53 expansion to Cook shown as under construction, TH 60 south of Worthington, scattered new interchanges in the Twin Cities and near Oronoco.  A big graphic change is the introduction of blue and red interstate route marker shields.  I love the idea, however the execution was weak, as the numbers extend across both the blue and red portions of the shield, and ideally should only be in the blue portion, as most other states have done with their maps.  Now if they could just graphically show main highway/US highways/NHS routes in red instead of black, and differentiate non-interstate limited access freeways from 4-lane divided highways, I'd be happy. 
Maps are not available on line yet. Kind of late in the year for the next 2-year edition to be made available. Minnesota maps have always had the kinds of graphics you're describing, with no color differentiation between minor and major state routes. It would be a major change now to go to red for major routes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 03, 2013, 10:27:52 PM
I noticed the US 10 detour signs up in the northern suburbs are cutouts.

I would certainly like to see a photo of that.

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2884/9430702357_3f912da49b_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/9430702357/)
IMG_2971 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/9430702357/) by North Star Highways (http://www.flickr.com/people/26956281@N02/), on Flickr

More new photos on Flickr: MN 36 and English, Stillwater Bridge, US 10 and County 96
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 04, 2013, 01:45:35 AM
36 inches, no less.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on August 07, 2013, 01:57:02 PM
2013-14 Minnesota map is now available on line. One thing I noticed is that MN-27 east of Alexandria to Osakis is being turned back as a county road, and 27 uses former MN-127 to connect to I-94. It then runs concurrent with I-94 to west of Alexandria. I think this can be accomplished without modifying Legislative Routes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 08, 2013, 07:51:18 AM
I found this press release (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/newsrels/12/10/30hwy27.html) from last October that describes the change.

MN 127 and the section of MN 27 in question were part of Constitutional Route (noted as "C.R." below) 3, but now that the Alexandria city limits have extended south of I-94, C.R. 3 can be routed along I-94 without issue...there's precedent elsewhere in the state for this.

Also, that stretch of old MN 27 between Alexandria and Osakis underwent a full-depth reconstruction about 10 years ago, in concrete, and is in good shape.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 11, 2013, 03:10:40 PM
Are MN 295 and MN 333 gone? Can't find them listed on the map.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 12, 2013, 02:51:03 AM
Looks to be that way, yes.  Both were still on the August, 2010 Logpoint but were delisted by the February, 2012 Logpoint.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on August 14, 2013, 04:45:35 PM
MN 295 was probably decommissioned. Some of the signs were recycled for the MN 19 detour in Northfield; you can see the ghost "295."


(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7380/9512978906_2f2eae68b4_z.jpg)

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3736/9512980764_cbcdb5cbd8_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 21, 2013, 06:50:33 AM
That's a possibility, but MnDOT has long been known to recycle/refinish old signs after sign replacement projects.

On a different note, while digging through Chisago County imagery for a GIS project, I noticed what might have been an old MN 243 alignment west of the curve near the river bridge.  It looks like it used to tie into 263rd St.  A quick check of MnDOT's project logs lists a 1953 project that relocated MN 243, but doesn't show the old alignment.  Has anyone (Monte?) field-checked this?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on August 21, 2013, 01:11:58 PM
That's a possibility, but MnDOT has long been known to recycle/refinish old signs after sign replacement projects.
I think the point is that they had these 295 signs lying around because it's gone.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 24, 2013, 02:53:21 AM
Something else I've noticed recently in my research:  Carver County's transportation plan, where they propose relocating MN 25 to what is basically the CSAH 33 corridor, with a couple miles of new construction, with a little bit of new construction to tie it directly into the western US 212/MN 5/MN 25 intersection west of NYA.

Just one problem with that.  The language for Constitutional Route (C.R.) 25 specifies that it serve both Norwood and Watertown.  So while MN 25 could be relocated as the county proposes, MnDOT would still have to retain a state highway that directly connects NYA, Watertown, and Montrose.

This isn't the first time I've seen this sort of disconnect, even within MnDOT.  Past versions of MnDOT Metro Division's district plan proposed turning back parts of US 61, MN 20, and MN 50 in Dakota County, even though all three are required to meet Constitutional Route requirements.  Especially MN 20, where Constitutional Route 20 is specifically written to end at "a point on Route No 3 in the town(ship) of Douglas, Dakota County, T 113, R 17 W".
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on August 24, 2013, 08:22:17 AM
Confirmed: MN 295 and MN 333 are gone. Oddly they are still under MN/DOT's adopt a highway program.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 24, 2013, 10:38:19 AM
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/9583986308/" title="IMG_3271 by North Star Highways, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7311/9583986308_ed2d12ef88_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="IMG_3271"></a>

So why can't I embed Flickr photos anymore?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: on_wisconsin on August 25, 2013, 01:25:51 AM
(http://www.skyscrapercity.com/images/smilies/previous.gif)
(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7311/9583986308_ed2d12ef88_z.jpg)
by North Star Highways, on Flickr

Try using the [img] tags.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 25, 2013, 02:29:37 AM
Nice find...presume it was somewhere near Elk Run, but where specifically?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on August 25, 2013, 02:33:42 AM
Nice find...presume it was somewhere near Elk Run, but where specifically?
520th Street is the Olmsted/Goodhue county line.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 25, 2013, 02:49:20 AM
Yes, I know that, but it doesn't tell me what road the sign is on.  It's not necessarily located on 520th St.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on August 25, 2013, 02:58:23 AM
Sorry, Mdcastle will know. I was just down there during Gold Rush Days and it was almost unnavigable.  :banghead:     Probably on the most recent incarnation of county 12, where it meets 52 west of the brand new roundabout on county 18.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 25, 2013, 10:10:00 AM
Signs, there's actually a couple of them like that, one on the southbound mainline (if IRC correctly), one at the gore area, and one on the left side of the southbound off-ramp approaching the junction, which is the one on the pictures. (You can't see the "MN 52" mainline in the shot because it's looking up from a ramp). I think one of the median crossovers is closed an they're telling traffic they have to go south and make a U-turn at the interchange now (a construction worker saw me take the picture and gave a "WTF?" look.). I needed to get to Kendall, WI before 5 so I didn't have as much time to snoop around in the area as I would hae liked.

MN 243- going by online resources it does look like there was an old road to the Franconia Bridge (for lack of a better name), but it looks to me like it met MN 95 south of 263rd, lining up with what was then an old road on the other side. There's still power lines, private driveways, and a break in property lines along it. If you want I'll see if there's anything worth photographing the next time I'm in the area.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: midwesternroadguy on September 06, 2013, 10:35:22 AM
US 52 DDI at Elk Run:

The interchange fully opened in the last week.  I drove through it, and lo and behold as soon as I exited the off-ramp onto the overpass I encountered a wrong-way pick-up coming at me.   I stopped, flashed my lights at him and pointed to the other side of the roadway.  He actually stopped, backed up, and drove down the right--er, correct/left--side of the roadway.  Luckily he didn't go the wrong way onto the exit ramp off of 52.   I have decided to avoid the whole mess for a number of months risking another near-miss, as traffic volumes are light enough to not provide visual cues about the proper movement of traffic through the DDI. 

Other observations:  The "free flow" turns controlled by yield signs have absolutely no merging space or auxiliarly lanes.  I see this as a major flaw.  Particularly with the waist-high weeds (they're weeds and not landscape plantings) that block sight lines as you're merging.   There needs to be much more signage prohibiting turns and guiding the counter flow crossings.  People are missing the little signage that's there.  The angle of the intersections and curb radii encourage people to turn right into the oncoming traffic.  County 12/31 is paved in concrete between the frontage road roundabouts which is a little unusual, but nice. 

I'm afraid that between the roundabouts and the DDI (wouldn't the term "braided interchange" be more appropriate and descriptive?), that most of the locals will avoid it.  People in the Rochester area are particularly roundabout-phobic. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on September 06, 2013, 12:32:14 PM
wouldn't the term "braided interchange" be more appropriate and descriptive?
Already used for a C/D-like setup where an offramp crosses over or under an onramp.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 07, 2013, 02:30:02 AM
Quote
Other observations:  The "free flow" turns controlled by yield signs have absolutely no merging space or auxiliarly lanes.  I see this as a major flaw.

My hunch is they're waiting for the development at Elk Run to actually kick in, at which point signal warrants will probably be met.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: on_wisconsin on October 02, 2013, 04:38:57 AM
The new I-90 Dresbach Bridge project over the Mississippi River between MN & WI near La Crosse, is well under way.

Looking towards MN:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v704/packerfan386/944587_463275757102870_619571465_n_zps63af707e.jpg)

New construction with the current bridge in the background:
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v704/packerfan386/1385650_489349174495528_1248456637_n_zpsbe862dbb.jpg)
both courtesy of the Dresbach Bridge Project Facebook site- https://www.facebook.com/DresbachBridge



Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 02, 2013, 07:00:53 AM
That retaining wall is for the relocated access road down to the boat access point.  Needed as the old access road is basically where the I-90 mainline will be...the vast cleared swath in the upper photo.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on October 02, 2013, 06:02:11 PM
Why is the bridge being replaced, the old one seems to look OK?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: on_wisconsin on October 02, 2013, 06:36:55 PM
The current bridge is being replaced due to it having a non-redundant design and not meeting modern geometric standards. It is also fracture critical.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mgk920 on October 02, 2013, 08:29:47 PM
The current bridge is being replaced due to it having a non-redundant design and not meeting modern geometric standards. It is also fracture critical.

From what you are saying, can I correctly surmise that it is of essentially the same design that failed on the Hoan bridge (I-794) in Milwaukee a decade ago?  The former College Ave bridge over the Fox River here in Appleton was of the same design, too, and was replaced in 2008-2009.

Mike
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 03, 2013, 12:46:52 AM
Different design than the Hoan but the same issue...fracture-critical.  The existing bridge also lacks shoulders.
Title: Business Loop I-35 - Pine City
Post by: Alex on October 03, 2013, 01:34:47 PM
Received an email from Pine City about their new business loop for I-35. www.aaroads.com/forum_images/central/pine_city_business_loop_map.pdf

Anyone willing to add this with Google Map Maker?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on October 03, 2013, 10:45:11 PM
The political fallout from the I-35W bridge disaster required Mn/DOT to get rid of, in most cases, major fracture critical bridges. Rehabilitating it to add redundant elements and address deteriorating components was almost exactly the same as scrapping it and building a new one with a 100 year design life. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 04, 2013, 02:46:37 AM
Received an email from Pine City about their new business loop for I-35. www.aaroads.com/forum_images/central/pine_city_business_loop_map.pdf

Anyone willing to add this with Google Map Maker?

They just replaced the signs at the two interchanges on I-35 in the last couple years so I'd be pleasantly surprised to see any mainline I-35 signage for the loop.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on October 08, 2013, 09:47:00 AM
Received an email from Pine City about their new business loop for I-35. www.aaroads.com/forum_images/central/pine_city_business_loop_map.pdf

Anyone willing to add this with Google Map Maker?

They just replaced the signs at the two interchanges on I-35 in the last couple years so I'd be pleasantly surprised to see any mainline I-35 signage for the loop.
They could pull a sketchy Montana. http://goo.gl/maps/6bXGM
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on October 08, 2013, 12:29:36 PM
They could pull a sketchy Montana. http://goo.gl/maps/6bXGM

what's even sketchier is the green sign on the right.  since when does an interstate pull-through get local town streets added to it?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on October 08, 2013, 08:49:31 PM
They could pull a sketchy Montana. http://goo.gl/maps/6bXGM

what's even sketchier is the green sign on the right.  since when does an interstate pull-through get local town streets added to it?
Not unheard of. http://goo.gl/maps/TVHnp
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 21, 2013, 02:11:52 PM
The Pine City BL is signed on I-35 in both directions at the first interchange with it but not repeated at the second. By the way, the route follows the decommissioned MN 324 into downtown from the south end of the business loop, then follows old US 61 through downtown north to Pine CR 11 west back to I-35.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on October 21, 2013, 04:12:46 PM
So it's signed a la Faribault's business loop. That makes much more sense than signing it from both directions at both exits. If I wanted the business loop, I would have taken the first exit.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 21, 2013, 05:39:55 PM
I kind of wonder what decisions go into asking for a business loop. I would think Sandstone would be a perfect place for a business loop following MN 23 between the I-35 junctions at Exit 191 and 195.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 22, 2013, 08:07:05 AM
Not really, since even MN 23 bypasses the bulk of Sandstone's business district.  You'd have to route it partially along MN 123 and a short bit of Main St (what maps identify as Pine CSAH 64).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 22, 2013, 03:48:16 PM
Not really, since even MN 23 bypasses the bulk of Sandstone's business district.  You'd have to route it partially along MN 123 and a short bit of Main St (what maps identify as Pine CSAH 64).

Close enough.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on October 23, 2013, 02:10:07 PM
Breaking news: U.S. 63 signage in Rochester north of CSAH 22 has been changed to extend CSAH 33. 63 is still on its old alignment through Rochester, so it has a gap for the time being. There are no 63 signs on highway 52, but the BGSes for CSAH 14 have been replaced to reflect the reroute. 63 is also unsigned anywhere along CSAH 14.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Brandon on October 23, 2013, 02:34:27 PM
They could pull a sketchy Montana. http://goo.gl/maps/6bXGM

what's even sketchier is the green sign on the right.  since when does an interstate pull-through get local town streets added to it?

Like this (https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=41.842659,-87.657241&spn=0.003261,0.005284&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=41.842616,-87.657335&panoid=oYcFQ2cqZ6JkKZcL4o7LFA&cbp=12,55.61,,1,-11.06)?

Granted, I-55 ends at LSD, but still, it's the control "city" on the pull-through.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 23, 2013, 09:28:35 PM
Breaking news: U.S. 63 signage in Rochester north of CSAH 22 has been changed to extend CSAH 33. 63 is still on its old alignment through Rochester, so it has a gap for the time being. There are no 63 signs on highway 52, but the BGSes for CSAH 14 have been replaced to reflect the reroute. 63 is also unsigned anywhere along CSAH 14.

So just so I understand - 63 now follows 52 north from their current interchange near the airport north to CR 14, then east on CR 14 to the current route of 63?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on October 23, 2013, 09:35:27 PM
Breaking news: U.S. 63 signage in Rochester north of CSAH 22 has been changed to extend CSAH 33. 63 is still on its old alignment through Rochester, so it has a gap for the time being. There are no 63 signs on highway 52, but the BGSes for CSAH 14 have been replaced to reflect the reroute. 63 is also unsigned anywhere along CSAH 14.

So just so I understand - 63 now follows 52 north from their current interchange near the airport north to CR 14, then east on CR 14 to the current route of 63?
That is the plan. But for now it remains signed on Broadway until CSAH 22. So there's a gap in U.S. 63 until MN/DOT signs it along 52-14.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 23, 2013, 10:24:21 PM
Might end up like MN 55 in Minneapolis, where there is one brief mention of joining I-94 at Exit 230 and no mention of the duplex anywhere else. Hopefully it ends up fully signed though.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on November 03, 2013, 01:37:50 PM
That's a possibility, but MnDOT has long been known to recycle/refinish old signs after sign replacement projects.

On a different note, while digging through Chisago County imagery for a GIS project, I noticed what might have been an old MN 243 alignment west of the curve near the river bridge.  It looks like it used to tie into 263rd St.  A quick check of MnDOT's project logs lists a 1953 project that relocated MN 243, but doesn't show the old alignment.  Has anyone (Monte?) field-checked this?

I finally got a chance to field-check.
(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3726/10626411424_6f558a8c15.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/10626411424/)
MN 243 IMG_4220 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/10626411424/) by North Star Highways (http://www.flickr.com/people/26956281@N02/), on Flickr

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3750/10626386405_c8c19974fd.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/10626386405/)
MN 243 IMG_4224 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/10626386405/) by North Star Highways (http://www.flickr.com/people/26956281@N02/), on Flickr
The old road heading west of MN 243, the powerlines still follow this route.

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3787/10626414796_846277bd26.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/10626414796/)
MN 243 IMG_4231 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/10626414796/) by North Star Highways (http://www.flickr.com/people/26956281@N02/), on Flickr
Opposite direction from MN 95. Part of the road is now a long driveway, marked No Trespassing so I didn't venture in.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 20, 2013, 11:37:07 PM
I-35 southbound through the southwest part of downtown Duluth was unexpectedly shut down and will be for a few weeks after crews found a problem with a piling supporting the route's viaduct through that part of town. The route is closed from Lake Ave to I-535.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: JREwing78 on November 21, 2013, 06:04:26 AM
Another instance of pilings rusting out. Apparently this isn't just a Wisconsin thing (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10525.0)

Portion of southbound I-35 in Duluth closing for repairs
http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/283870/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 21, 2013, 03:45:56 PM
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/13/10/20speed.html

MnDOT's raising the rural (i.e. outside of towns/cities) speed limit from 55 to 60 on all of US 75, most of US 59 (south of Worthington and from Clarkfield to Marshall), and on MN 7 between US 75 and Appleton.  This map (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/13/10/60mphmap.pdf) shows the general locations.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: I94RoadRunner on November 22, 2013, 06:00:26 PM
Thanks for the list Froggie -- MnDOT has some informative project pages that come right up on Google.

I will miss that old-school I-694/MN 51 interchange though.

I drove that interchange at I-694 and MN 51 daily and trust me that it was no picnic in rush hour trying to get across from MN 51 north to continue on US 10. During construction, I was missing US 10 and MN 51 being open! It was several commutes on Silver Lake Road, Old Highway 8, and Lexington at double the time to get to work for me .....

I do wish that MNDot had used the other proposal that they had which was for higher speed ramps from MN 51 north to both I-694 and US 10 instead of the two loop ramps. Well, the new configuration is still a vast improvement over the weave and single through lane on I-694.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 26, 2013, 11:14:44 AM
MnDOT updated their Logpoint a few weeks ago.  A few items of note:

- US 63 is listed along its new routing around Rochester, utilizing US 52 and CSAH 14/75th St NW.

- MN 244 still exists in Washington County.

- MN 295, MN 332, and MN 333 are gone.

- While MN 361 was turned back, there are 8 bridges still listed on the Logpoint.  What that likely means is those bridges still belong to MnDOT and are awaiting improvements before they get turned back.

- A new route, MN 410, is listed in the Logpoint between I-94 and US 10 but is also listed as "Non-Existent".  The city codes suggest this is the designation MnDOT is giving to the planned I-94/US 10 connector near Clearwater and Clear Lake.

- A "MN 923" exists to reflect the segment of Old MN 23 through Paynesville that is to be turned back.  Same case with a "US 963" along US 63's old alignment along Broadway Ave through Rochester (but only as far as CSAH 22/37th St NE).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on November 26, 2013, 06:57:45 PM
If anyone cares about history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_U.S._Roads/Minnesota/All-time_list

I think the only one missing from Riner's log is 234, which was proposed, then disappeared, then reappeared as an extension of 64.

Anyone know what LR 314 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/data/revisor/law/1959/0/1959-426.pdf) is?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on November 26, 2013, 07:31:08 PM
They could pull a sketchy Montana. http://goo.gl/maps/6bXGM

what's even sketchier is the green sign on the right.  since when does an interstate pull-through get local town streets added to it?
Not unheard of. http://goo.gl/maps/TVHnp
And from the same area: http://goo.gl/maps/XXljy. It helps that MnDOT doesn't see control cities at freeway-freeway interchanges as important within the Twin Cities core.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on November 26, 2013, 07:46:50 PM
Neither of those Minnesota examples is a pull-through...?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on November 26, 2013, 10:21:01 PM
If anyone cares about history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_U.S._Roads/Minnesota/All-time_list

I think the only one missing from Riner's log is 234, which was proposed, then disappeared, then reappeared as an extension of 64.

Anyone know what LR 314 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/data/revisor/law/1959/0/1959-426.pdf) is?
LR 314 was to be an access road to a proposed new Twin Cities airport on the north side of the Cities. The airport never came to be, nor did other proposed replacements for the current MSP airport, so the road never was established. LR 234 was the authorization to extend MN-64 north from MN-34 to what is now MN-200. Official maps for several years up until 1965 show the proposed route as MN-234, but when the road is shown as completed in 1966, it has the logical posted designation of MN-64. That segment is still LR-234.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on November 26, 2013, 10:41:04 PM
I think the only one missing from Riner's log is 234, which was proposed, then disappeared, then reappeared as an extension of 64.
LR 234 was the authorization to extend MN-64 north from MN-34 to what is now MN-200. Official maps for several years up until 1965 show the proposed route as MN-234, but when the road is shown as completed in 1966, it has the logical posted designation of MN-64. That segment is still LR-234.
If original 252 is good enough for the log, so is 234. Just saying.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on November 26, 2013, 11:52:41 PM
I think the only one missing from Riner's log is 234, which was proposed, then disappeared, then reappeared as an extension of 64.
LR 234 was the authorization to extend MN-64 north from MN-34 to what is now MN-200. Official maps for several years up until 1965 show the proposed route as MN-234, but when the road is shown as completed in 1966, it has the logical posted designation of MN-64. That segment is still LR-234.
If original 252 is good enough for the log, so is 234. Just saying.
LR designation is not necessarily the posted route number, as I'm sure you're aware. This isn't California where a concurrence is required. I know that LR 252 is the Austin bypass posted as U.S. 218 upon its completion, not to be confused with MN-252 (old U.S. 169) on the north side of the Cities. LR 234 is a discreet route segment while LR 252 is redundant because the route it supplanted was moved onto it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on November 27, 2013, 12:46:03 AM
The point is that several state maps labeled the proposed route as MN 234, not MN 64. MN 252 was similar, where it became I-90 and US 218 upon completion.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 27, 2013, 06:45:08 AM
Quote
Quote
what's even sketchier is the green sign on the right.  since when does an interstate pull-through get local town streets added to it?
Not unheard of. http://goo.gl/maps/TVHnp

Just catching up, but I would not count this one based on the fact that this exit is the start of a C/D road and there is a secondary exit ramp off of that C/D road that goes to 11th Ave.  The access to I-94 West was not original...but was a later add-on in the 1990s in order to eliminate the old WB 94/SB 35W ramp weave on the SB 35W mainline within the commons area.

Quote
Anyone know what LR 314 is?

Looks to me like a proposed but never-built/designated route between MN 47 south of St Francis and US 61 near Forest Lake that was to serve the never-built Bethel Airport.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 10, 2013, 02:23:22 AM
I-35 in Duluth will reopen on Wednesday.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 26, 2013, 12:26:41 AM
Funding for the final 2 miles of MN 610's route (west from Hennepin County 81 to I-94) has been approved and selection of contractors along with groundbreaking will take place in Fall 2014 with a 2016 completion date.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on December 26, 2013, 01:56:22 PM
Funding for the final 2 miles of MN 610's route (west from Hennepin County 81 to I-94) has been approved and selection of contractors along with groundbreaking will take place in Fall 2014 with a 2016 completion date.
So Mark Dayton reached into his pocket and found $120 million to complete the road after 25 years. This will compete the "North Crosstown" link, but one thing missing will be a flyover ramp to allow WB MN-610 traffic to go east on I-94. That will come later.

Whole story can be read here: http://www.startribune.com/local/north/237258561.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on December 30, 2013, 03:29:03 PM
Funding for the final 2 miles of MN 610's route (west from Hennepin County 81 to I-94) has been approved and selection of contractors along with groundbreaking will take place in Fall 2014 with a 2016 completion date.
So Mark Dayton reached into his pocket and found $120 million to complete the road after 25 years. This will compete the "North Crosstown" link, but one thing missing will be a flyover ramp to allow WB MN-610 traffic to go east on I-94. That will come later.

Whole story can be read here: http://www.startribune.com/local/north/237258561.html
when does MN have those? Usually they make them cloverleaf or double back
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on December 30, 2013, 03:29:37 PM
Quote
Quote
what's even sketchier is the green sign on the right.  since when does an interstate pull-through get local town streets added to it?
Not unheard of. http://goo.gl/maps/TVHnp

Just catching up, but I would not count this one based on the fact that this exit is the start of a C/D road and there is a secondary exit ramp off of that C/D road that goes to 11th Ave.  The access to I-94 West was not original...but was a later add-on in the 1990s in order to eliminate the old WB 94/SB 35W ramp weave on the SB 35W mainline within the commons area.

Quote
Anyone know what LR 314 is?

Looks to me like a proposed but never-built/designated route between MN 47 south of St Francis and US 61 near Forest Lake that was to serve the never-built Bethel Airport.


Maybe someone can draw it
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on December 31, 2013, 11:10:59 PM
The talk of a "flyover" is typical media misreporting, there's 4 different layouts (the 1994/2002 and 2012 layouts with and without the county extension), and none of them include a flyover for that movement. In 1994/2002 it's a loop and in 2012 it's not there in any form.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 01, 2014, 09:09:45 AM
Monte's right.  I've *NEVER* seen a flyover proposed for the WB 610 to EB 94 movement, nor would I see any need for it.

Quote
Quote
Looks to me like a proposed but never-built/designated route between MN 47 south of St Francis and US 61 near Forest Lake that was to serve the never-built Bethel Airport.

Maybe someone can draw it

Problem there is that there were never any location studies done on it (none that I could find at the MnDOT Library or the MN History Center, anyway), so any attempt to draw it out would be complete conjecture...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 02, 2014, 01:32:26 PM
US 14/MN 42 in Eyota will get a roundabout by 2016:

http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/roundabout-coming-to-dangerous-eyota-intersection/article_c0662498-6027-52f4-abcc-d3eafcb43a68.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 03, 2014, 04:15:53 PM
Monte's right.  I've *NEVER* seen a flyover proposed for the WB 610 to EB 94 movement, nor would I see any need for it.

Quote
Quote
Looks to me like a proposed but never-built/designated route between MN 47 south of St Francis and US 61 near Forest Lake that was to serve the never-built Bethel Airport.

Maybe someone can draw it

Problem there is that there were never any location studies done on it (none that I could find at the MnDOT Library or the MN History Center, anyway), so any attempt to draw it out would be complete conjecture...


This in the land of fantasy highways :)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 16, 2014, 08:28:36 PM
Google Maps is showing a temporary crossover between the old and new Lafayette Bridge (https://maps.google.com/?ll=44.95098%2C-93.080742&spn=0.006515%2C0.011104&t=h&z=17) near I-94.  The Google Streetview car has also made it onto a couple of the new ramps.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 17, 2014, 02:06:56 PM
Google Maps is showing a temporary crossover between the old and new Lafayette Bridge (https://maps.google.com/?ll=44.95098%2C-93.080742&spn=0.006515%2C0.011104&t=h&z=17) near I-94.  The Google Streetview car has also made it onto a couple of the new ramps.


When we visited last month we were staying in Eagan.  We took 52 up to go to Savoys and you cant get there!!!!  There is a little right exit that was probably the right one, then east 94, then west, and you cant go to 7th anymore.  We had to go all the way to Maryland St and then double back.  And NB has an almost right turn jog on the bridge. What  a mess!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on January 28, 2014, 09:31:28 AM
Mn/DOT is moving cautiously in regards to LED lighting. They've accepted test units from vendors that want to be approved products, and installed them in Woodbury. There's been one full scale installation, but mostly they're still in the test phase. Mn/DOT bought enough from each manufacturer to convert a river bridge as a larger scale test. Now about a quarter of the lights on the I-35W Minnesota River bridge are out. Turns out a power surge blew out the surge protectors in each unit, and since this is still a test spare parts aren't stocked, so they had to order replacements from the manufacturer which is taking a while.

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 28, 2014, 04:25:33 PM
Funding for the final 2 miles of MN 610's route (west from Hennepin County 81 to I-94) has been approved and selection of contractors along with groundbreaking will take place in Fall 2014 with a 2016 completion date.

Only 30 years after it started!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 28, 2014, 05:00:40 PM
Depends on what you define as "started".  The original corridor studies for the "North Crosstown" (what became MN 610) date back to 1973.

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 28, 2014, 07:06:30 PM
Depends on what you define as "started".  The original corridor studies for the "North Crosstown" (what became MN 610) date back to 1973.



Even worse.  I remember riding my bike through there when they rerouted 95th street around 1986.  One thing I really noticed driving to MN & WI from Texas last month is how the roads are just built with no forethought whatsoever.  Most freeways still have only 2 lanes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 29, 2014, 07:18:14 AM
Quote
One thing I really noticed driving to MN & WI from Texas last month is how the roads are just built with no forethought whatsoever.  Most freeways still have only 2 lanes.

Are you referring to Minnesota freeways here?  Factor in that we aren't dealing with Texas-sized population or traffic levels.  Also consider that, due to their extensive use of ramp metering, the typical Twin Cities freeway can eke out higher volumes on fewer lanes than most other metropolitan areas.  Lastly, freeways and freeway expansions are expensive, and MnDOT just doesn't have the funding to address the latter except in isolated cases here and there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 29, 2014, 01:09:49 PM
Quote
One thing I really noticed driving to MN & WI from Texas last month is how the roads are just built with no forethought whatsoever.  Most freeways still have only 2 lanes.

Are you referring to Minnesota freeways here?  Factor in that we aren't dealing with Texas-sized population or traffic levels.  Also consider that, due to their extensive use of ramp metering, the typical Twin Cities freeway can eke out higher volumes on fewer lanes than most other metropolitan areas.  Lastly, freeways and freeway expansions are expensive, and MnDOT just doesn't have the funding to address the latter except in isolated cases here and there.


Oh how I hated those stupid traffic meters.  I don't miss them.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 03, 2014, 12:30:24 PM
Looks like MnDOT is in litigation with Steele and Waseca Counties over the turnback of old US 14 between Janesville and Owatonna:

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/13/12/31hwy14.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 03, 2014, 03:57:46 PM
Close to 2 years ago, I made a post (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6510.msg149617#msg149617) about underway and upcoming interchange projects in Minnesota.  Here's an update, with several completed projects from that list and some new interchange (and roundabout) projects in the pipeline.


Completed (includes new roundabouts):

US 10/Otter Tail CSAH 34 near Perham
US 10/Ramsey CSAH 96 - Partial interchange
MN 13/Old MN 101 in Savage
US 14/Nicollet CSAH 41 near Mankato
US 14/Blue Earth CSAH 12 near Mankato
US 14/Waseca to Owatonna
MN 15/Stearns CR 120 in St. Cloud (Minnesota's 2nd DDI)
MN 23/Paynesville Bypass
MN 36/English St in Maplewood
US 52/Dakota CSAH 47 in Hampton
US 52/Elk Run near Oronoco (Minnesota's 1st DDI)
US 52/65th St NW in Rochester (not listed previously, a folded-diamond interchange built in 2013)
US 59/MN 60 in Worthington - New roundabouts
US 61/Washington CSAH 4 in Hugo - New roundabout
US 63/Olmsted CSAH 14 near Rochester - New roundabout
I-94/Albertville
US 169/Hennepin CSAH 30 in Osseo/Brooklyn Park (was moved from 2014 to 2013)
US 169/I-494 in Bloomington
US 169/Blue Earth - 3 new roundabouts
US 212/MN 284 in Cologne - A "Reduced Conflict Intersection".  Effectively a 3/4 intersection with U-turns on either side.  It's very similar to the intersection improvements Maryland has done on US 15 north of Frederick and US 301 on the Eastern Shore, or the "Superstreet" concept of NCDOT.
MN 284/10th St in Waconia - New roundabout
I-494/34th Ave in Bloomington (not listed previously, converted interchange to a DDI)
I-694/US 10/MN 51


Under construction:

MN 7/Louisiana Ave in St. Louis Park
US 10/Benton CSAH 2 in Rice
MN 13/Dakota CSAH 5 in Burnsville
I-35E/Cayuga St in St. Paul (part of the Cayuga Bridge project, replaces 3/4 interchange at Pennsylvania Ave)
MN 36/Hilton Trl in Pine Springs
MN 36/Stillwater Bridge (includes MN 95 interchange)
US 52/Goodhue CSAH 24 in Cannon Falls
I-94/US 52 (part of the Lafayette Bridge project)
US 169/Scott CSAH 69 in Shakopee
I-394/Ridgedale Dr in Minnetonka - Adding a WB on-ramp to complete a full interchange.


New/upcoming projects (includes known roundabout projects):

US 10/US 169/Anoka CSAH 83 in Ramsey - A partial-folded diamond (EB on-ramp loop) is planned.  If the county can get bond funding, they hope to start the project this year.
US 14/MN 111/CSAH 23 near Nicollet - Part of the Nicollet bypass (to be built 2015-16).  MnDOT considered downsizing the junction last fall based on preliminary findings (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/14newulmtonmankato/pdfs/preliminary_ice_findings.pdf), but an interchange with roundabouts is currently planned (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/14newulmtonmankato/pdfs/p5203104_cl_interchange_2-5-2014.pdf).
US 14/Steele CSAH 43 near Owatonna - Phase 1 (near Owatonna) of the plan to bridge the 4-lane gap between Owatonna and Dodge Center was funded as part of the Governor's "Corridors of Commerce", with construction to begin this year.  A diamond interchange was the original plan at CSAH 43 (from the EIS vision for a freeway facility).  This was then changed to a Reduced Conflict Intersection, but is now going to be built as a standard at-grade intersection instead.
US 14/MN 42 near Eyota - Mentioned upthread, a roundabout will be built in 2015.
MN 15/33rd St in St. Cloud - This is on the existing freeway segment of MN 15 south of MN 23.  The plan is for a diamond interchange with roundabouts to be built this year.
MN 22 at both Blue Earth CSAH 17/Madison Ave and Adams St in Mankato - Roundabouts at both intersections are planned for this year.
MN 29/Douglas CSAH 28 near Alexandria - A roundabout is planned here as part of a larger project that will also reconstruct the I-94/MN 29 interchange (more or less as-is) and widen MN 29 to 4 lanes south to the new roundabout.  The physical location of the roundabout will be at CR 87...CSAH 28 will be realigned to meet MN 29 at the new location.
MN 29/MN 55 near Glenwood - Not currently funded, the plan is to replace the existing at-grade intersection with a bridge on MN 29 over both MN 55 and the adjacent Canadian Pacific tracks.  The connection between the two routes would be made via an improved 160th St.
I-35W/4th St in Minneapolis - Previously expected in 2012, construction will begin this year on a new on-ramp from 4th St to northbound I-35W near downtown Minneapolis.
US 52/Dakota CSAH 66 near Vermillion - MnDOT plans to build a "Reduced Conflict Intersection" this year.
US 52/Dakota CSAH 86 near Cannon Falls - Originally planned as a Reduced Conflict Intersection in 2013, a folded-diamond interchange will now be built in 2015.
US 52/Goodhue CSAH 9 south of Cannon Falls - This "pop-up" project (as Monte calls it) will build a folded-diamond interchange this year.
US 59/Willow St in Detroit Lanes - A roundabout is planned for this year.
MN 60/US 71 North in Windom - A roundabout is planned for 2017.
US 61/MN 97 in Forest Lake - This new 2015/16 project will build roundabouts at each of the 61/97 junctions.  According to current plans, "free rights" will be provided for each MN 97 through-right movement off 61, and also from WB 97 to NB 61.
I-94/US 75 in Moorhead - Planned for 2016, there are 3 alternatives being considered for reconstruction of this interchange:  a DDI, a 5-ramp par-clo, and a 6-ramp par-clo.
MN 100/St Louis Park - The long-awaited full reconstruction of MN 100 in St. Louis Park begins this year.  The plan includes reconstructing the interchanges at MN 7 (into a 5-ramp par-clo) and CSAH 5/Minnetonka Blvd (into a tight diamond).
MN 101/Hennepin CSAH 144 in Rogers - Planned for this year, this project will effectively complete a freeway on northbound MN 101 between Rogers and Elk River (signals will remain for southbound MN 101 near I-94).  The plan is for a diverging diamond.
MN 610/Maple Grove - As noted upthread, construction begins this year to extend MN 610 to I-94.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 04, 2014, 07:36:01 PM
Quote
US 14/Steele CSAH 43 near Owatonna - A diamond interchange is included here in the 1st phase of the overall project to bridge the 4-lane gap between Owatonna and Dodge Center.  Phase 1 (near Owatonna) was funded as part of the Governor's "Corridors of Commerce", with construction to begin this year.

I made a mistake here.  While an interchange was part of the original plan for the 4-laning of US 14, it appears that an at-grade intersection (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/newsrels/14/02/4hwy14.html) will be built instead…
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 09, 2014, 02:24:08 AM
New/upcoming projects (includes known roundabout projects):

US 10/US 169/Anoka CSAH 83 in Ramsey - A partial-folded diamond (EB on-ramp loop) is planned.  If the county can get bond funding, they hope to start the project this year.

What do they plan to do with the railroad paralleling 10/169? That's a pretty high-traffic rail corridor.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 09, 2014, 08:04:25 PM
CSAH 83 would bridge over both the railroad and 10/169.  It's a scenario roughly similar to US 12/Hennepin CSAH 6 west of Long Lake.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bugo on February 10, 2014, 12:47:06 PM
Funding for the final 2 miles of MN 610's route (west from Hennepin County 81 to I-94) has been approved and selection of contractors along with groundbreaking will take place in Fall 2014 with a 2016 completion date.

Will part of it run in the median of Hennepin County 81?  Where will it branch off to head towards I-94?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bugo on February 10, 2014, 12:48:31 PM
I-94/US 75 in Moorhead - Planned for 2016, there are 3 alternatives being considered for reconstruction of this interchange:  a DDI, a 5-ramp par-clo, and a 6-ramp par-clo.

Is this really needed?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 11, 2014, 07:54:24 AM
Will part of it run in the median of Hennepin County 81?  Where will it branch off to head towards I-94?

Roughly here (https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=45.13725,-93.455822&hl=en&sll=45.135903,-93.453097&sspn=0.01161,0.019205&t=h&mra=mift&mrsp=0&sz=16&z=16).

Quote
I-94/US 75 in Moorhead - Planned for 2016, there are 3 alternatives being considered for reconstruction of this interchange:  a DDI, a 5-ramp par-clo, and a 6-ramp par-clo.

Is this really needed?

Yes.  There is some recurring congestion on US 75 at the interchange.

Please don't strip quote attributions. ~S
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on February 11, 2014, 08:03:30 PM
Will part of it run in the median of Hennepin County 81?  Where will it branch off to head towards I-94?

That's looking very Texas
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 08, 2014, 07:54:05 PM
All three options for US 75 and I-94 have the same 2035 LOS.

Prediction- A Diverging Diamond gets built because it's cheapest.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 12, 2014, 03:41:33 PM
Motorcyclist hits pothole on I-394
Paywalled Article
http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/249682451.html?page=2&c=y

Motorcyclist was going 100-120 mph on I-394 without a helmet and hit a pothole. Let us draw a curtain of charity over the rest of the scene. This was the stretch were the concrete was the finished with the older method of using a fine rake which left a regular series of grooves resulting in a high pitched whine. The pavement was in good shape but the neighbors complained about the noise, so as part of the settlement to allow I-394 to be restriped to 3 lanes, a thin overlay was put on. Since it wasn't needed for engineering reasons it was thin and thus prone to peeling away.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: agentsteel53 on March 12, 2014, 05:29:38 PM
the neighbors complained about the noise

the worst of NIMBYism.  the environmental impact is almost exactly the same for concrete.  in fact, it's lower, since you don't have to lay new surface as often, thus not releasing as much byproducts of the solidifying process into the air.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Alps on March 12, 2014, 07:04:15 PM
the neighbors complained about the noise

the worst of NIMBYism.  the environmental impact is almost exactly the same for concrete.  in fact, it's lower, since you don't have to lay new surface as often, thus not releasing as much byproducts of the solidifying process into the air.

False. You're not supposed to use lateral grooves in residential areas because of the noise. Noise is a very real impact, especially when you're adding a feature to a highway that doesn't already have it. Longitudinal grooves were the old way of dealing with it, and now there's diamond grinding. (In other words, you're not supposed to use a thin layer of asphalt either.) Just because people are speaking out doesn't make it NIMBYism.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 12, 2014, 09:15:16 PM
Some people were saying Mn/DOT put down noisy concrete to punish the neighborhood for their opposition to the highway- it's asphalt farther west. (The actual reason is that Mn/DOT likes to use concrete on high volume roadways, but farther west they couldn't because the soils were soft and swampy- the technique of putting concrete over a layer of asphalt in such places hadn't been developed. Nor had the newer method of making concrete less noisy by finishing it with weighted astroturf rather than a rake).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Alps on March 13, 2014, 05:53:02 PM
Some people were saying Mn/DOT put down noisy concrete to punish the neighborhood for their opposition to the highway- it's asphalt farther west. (The actual reason is that Mn/DOT likes to use concrete on high volume roadways, but farther west they couldn't because the soils were soft and swampy- the technique of putting concrete over a layer of asphalt in such places hadn't been developed. Nor had the newer method of making concrete less noisy by finishing it with weighted astroturf rather than a rake).
Again, though, longitudinal grooving, diamond finish, or anything else that doesn't leave consistently spaced horizontal grooves is quieter than consistently spaced horizontal grooves. It's more than just an issue of it being concrete. It may or may not be political, but the people have a right to complain.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 13, 2014, 11:22:44 PM
Another "popup project" that's been in the works since last year, but I haven't been aware of it. Overpass and "interchange" at Goodhue County 9. The county didn't like the idea of a reduced conflict intersection so they came up with some of their own money and got some grants. For now they're cheaping out by building what's more like right turns as opposed to ramps, but the plan is to upgrade them later as traffic increases. This is a design-build so it is going to go up rapidly and may even be done at the same time later this year as the Cannon Falls interchange.
(http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/southernminn.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/87/687c55d9-c133-58a9-abe4-0aa335ba379b/51ce5c3e3bfe8.image.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: I94RoadRunner on March 14, 2014, 11:00:12 PM
Funding for the final 2 miles of MN 610's route (west from Hennepin County 81 to I-94) has been approved and selection of contractors along with groundbreaking will take place in Fall 2014 with a 2016 completion date.

Will part of it run in the median of Hennepin County 81?  Where will it branch off to head towards I-94?

I live about 15 minutes from there, will post some photos when the project starts .....
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2014, 12:04:21 AM
Couple things of note from a short trip around the area today:

- The one traffic signal that existed in Gaylord has been removed.  The signal posts and mast arms are still inplace (for the trailblazer signs), but the signals themselves are gone, replaced by 2-way stop control on 4th St (MN 22 South).

- I noticed at least three counties (Dakota, Goodhue, and Sibley) that are a hodgepodge of pentagon shields and the white square shields for county routes…including both being used for county state aid routes.  Not sure if they're in the process of transitioning from one to another or if this is a case of it "just happened to be".
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on April 05, 2014, 12:21:56 AM
Couple things of note from a short trip around the area today:

- The one traffic signal that existed in Gaylord has been removed.  The signal posts and mast arms are still inplace (for the trailblazer signs), but the signals themselves are gone, replaced by 2-way stop control on 4th St (MN 22 South).

- I noticed at least three counties (Dakota, Goodhue, and Sibley) that are a hodgepodge of pentagon shields and the white square shields for county routes…including both being used for county state aid routes.  Not sure if they're in the process of transitioning from one to another or if this is a case of it "just happened to be".
Dakota has selected a few major, cross-county CSAH's that use the pentagon. The rest use the square. Goodhue uses the pentagon to differentiate between CSAH and non-CSAH. I'm not sure of Sibley County's policy, though.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2014, 12:51:26 AM
Quote
Goodhue uses the pentagon to differentiate between CSAH and non-CSAH. I'm not sure of Sibley County's policy, though.

My point was that I found examples in both Goodhue and Sibley where they were using both the pentagon and the white square for CSAH.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on April 05, 2014, 05:01:23 AM
Quote
Goodhue uses the pentagon to differentiate between CSAH and non-CSAH. I'm not sure of Sibley County's policy, though.
My point was that I found examples in both Goodhue and Sibley where they were using both the pentagon and the white square for CSAH.
That is odd. MN/DOT commonly goofs up and only posts the squares in Goodhue County, but I haven't seen a goof from the county itself since around 2010, when the last white square was replaced on CSAH 9 during a resurfacing project in Dennison.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on April 05, 2014, 08:53:16 AM
Two new interchanges to the list- US 24 and MN 111 as part of the Nicollet bypass, and US 52 / County 86 to be built in 2015. Seems like reduced conflict intersections are more alluring to the suits in the office than the people that drive them daily.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2014, 09:14:43 AM
Lack of exposure, or at least connecting the dots.  There are numerous 3/4 intersections around, but people don't figure out that the RCI is the same concept.  Probably because we're talking about rural areas.  That said, 212/284 had an RCI put in.

Part of it might also be that the vision for 52 for over 10 years now has been to eventually convert it to a freeway.  People see RCIs proposed and poo-pooh it, whereas they see interchanges put in and see progress towards that eventual goal.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2014, 10:17:09 AM
I edited my interchange post (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6510.msg275765#msg275765) to update a few things including the 52/County 86 project that Monte just mentioned.

Another new project I just found:  District 4 has a plan to replace the existing MN 29/MN 55 intersection just north of Glenwood  with an overpass for MN 29 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/glenwoodoverpass/), bridging over both MN 55 and the adjacent Canadian Pacific tracks.  There's no funding for it yet, but it makes a lot of sense.  Connections between 29 and 55 would be made via an improved 160th St.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on May 11, 2014, 11:44:59 AM
Took a trip to the south to check out some construction projects:
#US 52 RCI @ County 66th- lanes closed and barreled off, the cross roads have been constructed but not the U-turns.
#US 52 and County 86: no construction yet
#US 52 @ Cannon Falls: overpass is looking to be close to completion, paving for the new roads has not started yet, looks like the final grading is getting done. The new gravel frontage roads are in various states of completion.
#US 52 @ County 1 & 9: crossovers have been closed and lanes barreled off, no sign of the new bridge yet.
#US 52 at Zumbrota: there's still temporary looking signs for business access and barriers up in the area.
#US 63 Rochester reroute: correct signs at the roundabout and northbound on US 52 approaching the north exit- these were modified as part of the 65th street project. Reassurance shields on the old US 63 have been pulled down but the cross street signs are still intact. No other signs have been changed anywhere, even on US 63 north approaching US 52- the signs just disappear rather than direction you onto US 52.
#US 52 and 65th: project completed.
#US 52 and 55th: the sidewalk on the south side of the overpass has been demolished, no work on widening the bridge yet. Intersection of 41st and the frontage road has been retrofited with flashing yellow arrows, they had to extend the mast because the frontage road used to be permissive only.
#US 14 at Owatonna. No work yet. I honestly don't know why they're bothering if their not going to build an interchange, and the new stretch of four lane will be so short.
#I-35 at Owatonna: inner lanes barreled off, no work on the crossovers yet.
#I-35 Lakeville- 2 way traffic in northbound lanes, didn't see much else because of rain. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 21, 2014, 10:43:32 AM
Found this interesting photo, related to a "situation"/standoff yesterday.  Apparently, BIA also posts "Indian Routes" in Minnesota.  This photo is just off MN 1 near Redby:

(http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/default/files/styles/full_1000/public/fieldimages/2/0620/myredlakeshoot620.jpg)


Here's Google Streetview of how MnDOT signs it from westbound MN 1 (https://maps.google.com/?ll=47.882477,-94.881749&spn=0.017672,0.045447&t=m&z=15&layer=c&cbll=47.882473,-94.881864&panoid=n1WZK2GAOz4VFFGSwAmcyA&cbp=12,281.39,,0,7.73).

Have any of the Minnesota regulars (Monte, Moland, etc) come across signage like this?  I admit I haven't, though my MN reservation travels have been pretty limited.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on June 21, 2014, 03:35:12 PM
I've seen one just south of Cass Lake. I wish I would have snapped a picture. :-/

I did find it on google maps. Looks like the route I saw is 1004. (https://www.google.com/maps/@47.272408,-94.627342,3a,15y,120.4h,83.83t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sm2qFwBLnAVFM_8xPqiud8g!2e0?hl=en)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on July 04, 2014, 06:03:47 PM
Quick question, inspired by some mileage signs seen in the construction plans for MnDOT SP 8809-20:  what are the "Range Cities"?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: on_wisconsin on July 04, 2014, 06:16:53 PM
Quick question, inspired by some mileage signs seen in the construction plans for MnDOT SP 8809-20:  what are the "Range Cities"?

I believe they are towns up in the Iron Range.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 04, 2014, 08:01:45 PM
Quick question, inspired by some mileage signs seen in the construction plans for MnDOT SP 8809-20:  what are the "Range Cities"?

I believe they are towns up in the Iron Range.

Correct. Roughly correlates to the cities along US/MN 169 northeast of Grand Rapids in northeastern Minnesota.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 05, 2014, 12:12:01 AM
Likely referring to the mining cities (in Minnesota, any incorporated municipality is by definition a "city") along the Mesabi Range…generally along US 169 between Grand Rapids and Virginia.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: on_wisconsin on July 05, 2014, 01:19:50 AM
Does anyone know if MnDOT has any plans to improve or rebuild the eastern I-494/694/94 interchange? A flyover ramp and especially some C/D lanes on 494/694 would do wonders there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 05, 2014, 09:07:36 AM
They don't.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Milepost61 on July 06, 2014, 12:10:13 AM
Bummer, C/D roads along 494/694 would do wonders for that cloverleaf. At least they extended the accel lanes so you have (a little) more distance than just what's between the loop ramps.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on July 06, 2014, 10:24:33 AM
Just to thank those who responded upthread to my "Range Cities" question.  I have now gone back and looked at the plan sheets more closely.  "Range Cities" as defined refers to a 60-mile segment of US 169 between Grand Rapids and Virginia, so for distance signing purposes, I think distances are calculated on a "nearest neighbor" basis.

For example, SP 8809-20 calls for installation of the following distance sign:  Grandy 5, Mora 23, Range Cities 129.  These are forward destinations for TH 65 northbound and the distance given for "Range Cities" is actually the distance to Pengilly (US 169/TH 65 intersection), approximately midway between Grand Rapids and Virginia.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on July 08, 2014, 10:44:08 AM
Minnesota is always well behind on building what they need.  I forgot how many 2 lane freeways there were in the 8 years since I moved away.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on July 08, 2014, 11:02:11 AM
With regard to the "Range Cities" question, that usage has been around since I moved to Minnesota (70s). I always took it to be centered around Hibbing and Virginia, without calculating a distance to any particular spot. In our recent trip there, I was surprised to see the "Twin Cities" control designation has basically disappeared on I-35 from the south. Now, you see alternating Minneapolis and St. Paul distances, and both cities on guide signs.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: SSOWorld on July 16, 2014, 10:09:41 PM
But yet (off-topic) you see "The Oranges" and "The Amboys", etc in New Jersey :-D
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: AplikowskiTheMinnesotan on July 24, 2014, 03:54:41 AM
Minnesota is always well behind on building what they need.  I forgot how many 2 lane freeways there were in the 8 years since I moved away.

Oh let me tell ya. Some of the things they plan is dumb too. Like The 694 by Lake Valentine. It took two years worth of construction, TO MOVE IT OVER A FEW FEET! They didn't even widen the lanes!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Milepost61 on July 27, 2014, 05:17:41 PM
The groundbreaking was held a couple weeks ago on the MN-43 Mississippi River bridge project at Winona. The existing 1940s truss bridge was closed for a couple months back in 2008 when a rusted-through gusset plate was found, and after temporary repairs Mn/DOT started planning the rebuild project.

The project will build a new bridge just to the upstream side of the existing bridge, and traffic will be moved over to it (2016) and the existing bridge closed for rehabilitation. Once rehab is done (2019) both bridges will be opened turning it into a four-lane crossing.

Some historical photos here:
http://www.winonadailynews.com/special-section/winona-bridge-project/


The profile of the new bridge reminds me a little of the I-35W bridge. Must be Mn/DOT's new favorite bridge type.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on July 27, 2014, 11:52:25 PM
That's an amazing number of bicyclists and pedestrians, and someone forgot to tell the animator that traffic signals are no longer yellow. As for the project itself, I think it would have been better for the new  bridge to end on Huff St, there might be too much traffic dumped onto Winona St. in the future.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Milepost61 on July 28, 2014, 11:19:14 PM
Yeah Winona St does turn residential just a couple blocks from the bridge but most of the traffic turns at 4th or Broadway. Didn't ever seem to be an issue. Connecting it to Huff would've also caused issues with Riverview Drive, and I imagine the city wants Riverview the way it is since it provides the direct access to the river port.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on July 29, 2014, 12:46:04 PM
I'm glad they're retaining and renovating that existing bridge at Winona. I always loved those older truss-cantilever bridges across the Mississippi. My favorite is the one at Lansing, IA.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: I94RoadRunner on August 13, 2014, 08:19:54 PM
Minnesota is always well behind on building what they need.  I forgot how many 2 lane freeways there were in the 8 years since I moved away.

Oh let me tell ya. Some of the things they plan is dumb too. Like The 694 by Lake Valentine. It took two years worth of construction, TO MOVE IT OVER A FEW FEET! They didn't even widen the lanes!

Yes, I live just north of there and made no sense to me why this section was not widened to 6 lanes. Thankfully the nasty weave between I-694/US 10/MN 51 Snelling was fixed and now don't have cross 2 lanes of traffic twice a day going from 10 to Snelling and returning for my daily commute!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on September 01, 2014, 01:06:41 AM
Got around to Cass Lake again today, finally snapped a better picture of a Minnesota Indian route sign! Indian Route 1004 is Oak Point road: not a dead-end road, but a road that loops back and junctions itself as it serves a few campgrounds and resorts along Leech Lake, between Steamboat Bay and Sucker Bay.

(https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3885/14915154489_5b3bea9744_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 02, 2014, 10:04:41 PM

Oh let me tell ya. Some of the things they plan is dumb too. Like The 694 by Lake Valentine. It took two years worth of construction, TO MOVE IT OVER A FEW FEET! They didn't even widen the lanes!

Yes, I live just north of there and made no sense to me why this section was not widened to 6 lanes. Thankfully the nasty weave between I-694/US 10/MN 51 Snelling was fixed and now don't have cross 2 lanes of traffic twice a day going from 10 to Snelling and returning for my daily commute!

I believe this (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i694shoreview/index.html) should address your concern...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: I94RoadRunner on September 03, 2014, 01:34:21 AM

Oh let me tell ya. Some of the things they plan is dumb too. Like The 694 by Lake Valentine. It took two years worth of construction, TO MOVE IT OVER A FEW FEET! They didn't even widen the lanes!

Yes, I live just north of there and made no sense to me why this section was not widened to 6 lanes. Thankfully the nasty weave between I-694/US 10/MN 51 Snelling was fixed and now don't have cross 2 lanes of traffic twice a day going from 10 to Snelling and returning for my daily commute!

I believe this (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i694shoreview/index.html) should address your concern...

Yes Adam, that will be a big improvement once it gets going. I only wonder why MNDOT did not go ahead and widen the section between I-35W and US 10 when they spent all of that time and money to move the road a few feet .....? Now if they want to widen that 2 mile section, they will have to go back and tear it all up again .....
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 03, 2014, 06:23:02 AM
Quote
Yes Adam, that will be a big improvement once it gets going. I only wonder why MNDOT did not go ahead and widen the section between I-35W and US 10 when they spent all of that time and money to move the road a few feet .....? Now if they want to widen that 2 mile section, they will have to go back and tear it all up again .....

A) They didn't have the money to widen it when they redid the Island Lake bridges, which were overdue for a rebuild.  What money they did have for 694 at the time rightfully went to undoing the mess at Snelling/Hwy 10.

B) The bridges were rebuilt with future widening already in mind.  There is no "tearing it all up again" necessary.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: I94RoadRunner on September 03, 2014, 10:02:23 PM
I will have to send you a pic of the new bridges, they did not look like they were wide enough to accommodate another lane of traffic .....
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on September 21, 2014, 07:18:26 PM
(http://i912.photobucket.com/albums/ac330/molandfreak/5573FFEC-CA58-4DA7-A57C-FEA08F73BFBF_zpsnepibisf.jpg)
MN/DOT installation, neutered county 42 shield west of U.S. 61.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 21, 2014, 08:04:47 PM
Installed directly as part of the Hastings bridge?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on September 21, 2014, 10:36:08 PM
That's what I'm assuming. MN/DOT stickers are on the back, not county ones.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 21, 2014, 10:58:37 PM
Hastings has a couple of other "neutered" county road shields posted on US 61. These are JCT signs though, and they're slightly more awkward because "COUNTY" is posted on the bottom of the pentagons.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 22, 2014, 09:38:47 AM
Possibly a contractor error, since MnDOT sign standards clearly point out the county name should be included on "independent" (i.e. standalone) markers.  It's on guide signage that the county name is omitted.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 17, 2014, 08:14:01 PM
MNDot tentatively planning a six-month shutdown of US 169 between Mankato and St. Peter sometime in 2016 in order to improve safety as well as raise the road level to end frequent road flooding:

http://www.kare11.com/story/news/local/minnesota/2014/11/17/mankato-st-peter-highway-196-construction/19195509/

Two different detour routes are planned: MN 22 on the east side and MN 99 on the west side. I expect the detour you follow will depend on what direction of 169 you are driving.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 18, 2014, 08:06:01 AM
That would be this project (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/floodmitigation/).  They did St. Peter to Le Sueur this year, which also included converting two intersections on the north side of St. Peter to RCI's (Reduced-Conflict Intersections) and removing a few other median crossings.

Next year's construction will raise MN 22 between 169/99 and the Minnesota River bridge.

For 169 between Mankato and St. Peter, there's not much they can do to avoid a detour.  It's a pretty tight fit in there between the river bluff and the river, and there's very little median along much of it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on December 19, 2014, 02:39:47 PM
There was a homicide at the Elm Creek rest area in Maple Grove when one man from Washington state shot another one, then led police on a high speed chase across the northern suburbs ending when he crashed at I-694 and Snelling, and was himself shot by police when he got out brandishing a weapon. It's still unclear what the motivation was or even why they were here. Elm Creek has always felt weird and unsafe to me for some reason, and I avoid stopping there. Some homeless live in cars there (and at Hudson) where the staff tolerate them as long as they don't leave a mess.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 21, 2014, 11:51:53 PM
There was a homicide at the Elm Creek rest area in Maple Grove when one man from Washington state shot another one, then led police on a high speed chase across the northern suburbs ending when he crashed at I-694 and Snelling, and was himself shot by police when he got out brandishing a weapon. It's still unclear what the motivation was or even why they were here. Elm Creek has always felt weird and unsafe to me for some reason, and I avoid stopping there. Some homeless live in cars there (and at Hudson) where the staff tolerate them as long as they don't leave a mess.

I felt like that rest area became obsolete anyway when Maple Grove exploded in services and population in the last decade. Never needed to stop there despite driving past it for years.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 23, 2014, 04:24:45 PM
MNDot has tentatively selected its plan to rebuild and realign part of MN 1/169 east of Tower. The "hybrid" Option 3A southern route was chosen which means the west part of the rebuild will be new road and the east part will utilize the existing route; there are concerns remaining over sulfur content in rocks in the area that could be released by blasting. Work expected to begin in 2017.

The road will be straighter with more passing zones, more turn lanes, and a bigger clear zone in the hopes that more sunlight will mitigate ice concerns.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy169eagles/

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy169eagles/docs/layout-lrg.pdf
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on December 30, 2014, 12:57:56 PM
When did MN 55 get rerouted off of 7th and 8th in downtown Minneapolis and onto I-94 between Olson Memorial and Hiawatha?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: SSOWorld on December 30, 2014, 01:23:30 PM
years ago - don't ask exactly how many but I know it was before 2012.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on December 30, 2014, 01:27:35 PM
If you're interested in the answer rather than simply making small talk: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5112
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 30, 2014, 05:12:46 PM
SPUI:  this was a recent transfer, so it wouldn't have been on those historic map scans.

To answer bick's question....officially, MnDOT never actually transferred MN 55 onto an I-94 concurrency.  There's officially a gap through downtown.  The drop through downtown happened between mid-2004 and mid-2005.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on December 30, 2014, 05:52:28 PM
this was a recent transfer, so it wouldn't have been on those historic map scans.
Sure it is. The 2007-08 shows it, but the 2009-10 has it (messily) removed. If you're right about the date, they forgot to remove it earlier.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 30, 2014, 11:14:12 PM
MN 55 is now fully signed as to where it joins I-94 after MnDOT replaced the signs at the I-94/Hiawatha Ave interchange earlier this year.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on December 31, 2014, 11:43:55 AM
SPUI:  this was a recent transfer, so it wouldn't have been on those historic map scans.

To answer bick's question....officially, MnDOT never actually transferred MN 55 onto an I-94 concurrency.  There's officially a gap through downtown.  The drop through downtown happened between mid-2004 and mid-2005.

Ah, I'd never noticed the route drop between the 2002 Thomas Bros paper map (the only year they did anything for the Cities) and the 2005 or 2008 King atlases.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 22, 2015, 12:58:54 PM
I've noticed that the state highway shield outline has gone from a tan/yellow to a more vivid orange on new standalone placements. I'll get pictures as soon as possible. It's not as noticeable on BGSs as standalone shields.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 25, 2015, 09:34:04 AM
http://www.startribune.com/local/west/289687251.html

Strib article about roundabouts in Minnesota, and mentions how MnDOT recently changed its engineering standards to give roundabouts equal weight to traffic signals.

There are several rural highway junctions in western and southwestern Minnesota that I think would be excellent roundabout candidates.  These locations are either all-way stops or have traffic signals, the latter of which IMO are very out of place for their rural character:

- US 14/US 59 west of Tracy
- US 14/US 71 near Sanborn
- US 71/MN 7 south of Willmar
- US 75/US 212 south of Madison
- US 212/MN 15 near Brownton
- MN 15/MN 24/MN 55 in Kimball
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 25, 2015, 05:36:35 PM
I think a great place for a roundabout would be MN 25/MN 95 near Foley. It's a four-way stop currently.

Wonder about the feasibility of a Medford-type setup at I-35/MN 23/Pine CR 61 at Hinckley with roundabouts on both sides of 35. 61 comes in from the southeast side of the interchange, takes a sharp turn west to cross 35, then turns north again off MN 23 as a frontage road to 35.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 25, 2015, 06:21:23 PM
Quote
I think a great place for a roundabout would be MN 25/MN 95 near Foley. It's a four-way stop currently.

South of Foley, yes.  They probably even could have put one in at MN 23/MN 25 in Foley when they widened 23, though they reinstalled the signal instead.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on January 28, 2015, 10:19:29 PM
To my surprise, the County 9 exit on U.S. 52 is labled Exit 89. Maybe MN/Dot will phase out the unnumbered exits on 52 sooner than I expected.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 28, 2015, 11:35:51 PM
To my surprise, the County 9 exit on U.S. 52 is labled Exit 89. Maybe MN/Dot will phase out the unnumbered exits on 52 sooner than I expected.

Where is that? I tried to find it on Maps and couldn't. Interesting though as I think that places north of the MN 60 exits and as far as I know those are unnumbered.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on January 28, 2015, 11:38:42 PM
North of the junction with MN57. It's the road that leads to Dennison westbound and Goodhue eastbound. Formerly an at-grade. :)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on January 28, 2015, 11:42:37 PM
Also: U-52: I-35EE?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on January 28, 2015, 11:50:21 PM
Here. (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.3993989,-92.8441766,17z?hl=en)


Also: U-52: I-35EE?
Nope, I-69NN :cool:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on January 29, 2015, 01:18:05 AM
Another "popup project" that's been in the works since last year, but I haven't been aware of it. Overpass and "interchange" at Goodhue County 9. The county didn't like the idea of a reduced conflict intersection so they came up with some of their own money and got some grants. For now they're cheaping out by building what's more like right turns as opposed to ramps, but the plan is to upgrade them later as traffic increases. This is a design-build so it is going to go up rapidly and may even be done at the same time later this year as the Cannon Falls interchange.
Just noticed this, so a bump here; the county isn't to blame for shooting down the reduced conflict intersection as much as local residents who cross there with tractors/other heavy machinery. That makes up a good deal of the traffic that crosses 52 there, so that's why the reduced conflict intersection would have been terrible. My aunt (who is a MN/DOT employee) and I use the road on a regular basis and agreed it would do more harm than good. Complaints from us and many others in the area are what prompted the county to come up with money for the overpass.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 29, 2015, 08:36:26 AM
The groundbreaking was held a couple weeks ago on the MN-43 Mississippi River bridge project at Winona. The existing 1940s truss bridge was closed for a couple months back in 2008 when a rusted-through gusset plate was found, and after temporary repairs Mn/DOT started planning the rebuild project.

The project will build a new bridge just to the upstream side of the existing bridge, and traffic will be moved over to it (2016) and the existing bridge closed for rehabilitation. Once rehab is done (2019) both bridges will be opened turning it into a four-lane crossing.

Some historical photos here:
http://www.winonadailynews.com/special-section/winona-bridge-project/


The profile of the new bridge reminds me a little of the I-35W bridge. Must be Mn/DOT's new favorite bridge type.

I remember crossing the old Wabasha bridge the day I crossed this (1983?).  The Wabasha bridge must be long gone.  http://www.dajensen-family.com/roads/mn60bridge.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 29, 2015, 08:38:18 AM
On a side note I've always wondered why US 63 wasn't rerouted over MN 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing?  Once US 52 went to 4 lanes it would seem to make more sense and now it has an even stranger routing through Rochester.  Red Wing doesn't really need two US highways either. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 29, 2015, 09:48:16 AM
Quote
To my surprise, the County 9 exit on U.S. 52 is labled Exit 89. Maybe MN/Dot will phase out the unnumbered exits on 52 sooner than I expected.

Not really surprised.  We saw it with ROC52 that MnDOT is opening up to exit numbers on the non-Interstates...at least along 52.

What's surprising is that they gave CSAH 9 an exit number with the ramps as tight as they were designed...unless they got built to something other than the design spec I saw.

Regarding Wabasha bridge:  the old bridge was gone by 1991 (my first time in Wabasha).  All that was left was the approach.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on January 29, 2015, 03:49:32 PM
On a side note I've always wondered why US 63 wasn't rerouted over MN 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing?  Once US 52 went to 4 lanes it would seem to make more sense and now it has an even stranger routing through Rochester.  Red Wing doesn't really need two US highways either.
Do you mean Lake City? Or are you suggesting truncating it to Rochester X-( ? 63 serves a bunch of county seats in Wisconsin, as well as a bunch of tourist hubs like Hayward and the Ashland area.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on January 29, 2015, 04:03:48 PM
Not really surprised.  We saw it with ROC52 that MnDOT is opening up to exit numbers on the non-Interstates...at least along 52.
That isn't the point, though. The point is all the other exits in the area are unnumbered, so it doesn't make sense to number this one. Especially when the new Cannon Falls interchange has no exit number, either.

What's surprising is that they gave CSAH 9 an exit number with the ramps as tight as they were designed...unless they got built to something other than the design spec I saw.
It's about as much of an exit as this is. Same 20mph advisory, too. The only difference is that the acceleration lane is longer and doesn't connect to another exit. (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.977177,-93.400332,3a,41.5y,16.03h,88.22t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s2PfHcVZjagaIPo3AAiU8rw!2e0?hl=en) :nod:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on January 29, 2015, 04:32:53 PM
On a side note I've always wondered why US 63 wasn't rerouted over MN 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing?  Once US 52 went to 4 lanes it would seem to make more sense and now it has an even stranger routing through Rochester.  Red Wing doesn't really need two US highways either.

The original, and unofficial, US 59 went from Lake City to the Iowa border through Rochester in 1934 and got taken over by US 63 the next year.  I do have to admit the idea of US 63 taking over MN 58 seems like a good idea, although it creates the concept of US 61 and US 63 not intersecting, since US 63 loops around to cross over the Mississippi River.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on January 29, 2015, 05:30:27 PM
it creates the concept of US 61 and US 63 not intersecting, since US 63 loops around to cross over the Mississippi River.
Whoa, two routes not intersecting except by a connector road. That never happens.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 29, 2015, 06:39:25 PM
On a side note I've always wondered why US 63 wasn't rerouted over MN 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing?  Once US 52 went to 4 lanes it would seem to make more sense and now it has an even stranger routing through Rochester.  Red Wing doesn't really need two US highways either.
Do you mean Lake City? Or are you suggesting truncating it to Rochester X-( ? 63 serves a bunch of county seats in Wisconsin, as well as a bunch of tourist hubs like Hayward and the Ashland area.

okay when 63 enters Minnesota I have it going straight south from Red Wing to Zumbrota.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 29, 2015, 06:40:08 PM
On a side note I've always wondered why US 63 wasn't rerouted over MN 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing?  Once US 52 went to 4 lanes it would seem to make more sense and now it has an even stranger routing through Rochester.  Red Wing doesn't really need two US highways either.

The original, and unofficial, US 59 went from Lake City to the Iowa border through Rochester in 1934 and got taken over by US 63 the next year.  I do have to admit the idea of US 63 taking over MN 58 seems like a good idea, although it creates the concept of US 61 and US 63 not intersecting, since US 63 loops around to cross over the Mississippi River.

Using your logic, Interstates never touch each other :)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on January 29, 2015, 06:42:32 PM

On a side note I've always wondered why US 63 wasn't rerouted over MN 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing?  Once US 52 went to 4 lanes it would seem to make more sense and now it has an even stranger routing through Rochester.  Red Wing doesn't really need two US highways either.
Do you mean Lake City? Or are you suggesting truncating it to Rochester X-( ? 63 serves a bunch of county seats in Wisconsin, as well as a bunch of tourist hubs like Hayward and the Ashland area.

okay when 63 enters Minnesota I have it going straight south from Red Wing to Zumbrota.
I was actually confused by the "Red Wing doesn't need two US highways either" part of your post.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on January 29, 2015, 06:46:44 PM
On a side note I've always wondered why US 63 wasn't rerouted over MN 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing?  Once US 52 went to 4 lanes it would seem to make more sense and now it has an even stranger routing through Rochester.  Red Wing doesn't really need two US highways either.

The original, and unofficial, US 59 went from Lake City to the Iowa border through Rochester in 1934 and got taken over by US 63 the next year.  I do have to admit the idea of US 63 taking over MN 58 seems like a good idea, although it creates the concept of US 61 and US 63 not intersecting, since US 63 loops around to cross over the Mississippi River.
Even if U.S. 63 were rerouted, its current alignment would have to remain a state highway since it's Constitutional Route 59 - which may have originally resulted in the brief U.S. 59 designation.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on January 29, 2015, 09:27:36 PM
Things will change dramatically on the Red Wing approach- you'd have a short opposite direction multiplex of north 63 and south 61
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/redwing-bridge/pdfs/minnesota-approach.pdf
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 29, 2015, 10:25:31 PM

On a side note I've always wondered why US 63 wasn't rerouted over MN 58 from Zumbrota to Red Wing?  Once US 52 went to 4 lanes it would seem to make more sense and now it has an even stranger routing through Rochester.  Red Wing doesn't really need two US highways either.
Do you mean Lake City? Or are you suggesting truncating it to Rochester X-( ? 63 serves a bunch of county seats in Wisconsin, as well as a bunch of tourist hubs like Hayward and the Ashland area.

okay when 63 enters Minnesota I have it going straight south from Red Wing to Zumbrota.
I was actually confused by the "Red Wing doesn't need two US highways either" part of your post.

Oh, I meant Lake City
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on January 29, 2015, 10:27:42 PM
It's a full 15 minutes longer to follow 63 through lake City than to take MN 58 through Zumbrota
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bugo on February 02, 2015, 07:24:37 AM
When did they reroute US 63 onto 75th Street NW? Does anybody have pictures of the US 14-52-63 triplex signs?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 02, 2015, 10:48:06 AM
My observation from last summer is there aren't any.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 02, 2015, 06:03:01 PM
The reroute officially happened in mid-2013.  Sign replacement was supposed to happen last summer, though it's possible Monte rolled through too early.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Milepost61 on February 03, 2015, 11:58:56 PM
I remember crossing the old Wabasha bridge the day I crossed this (1983?).  The Wabasha bridge must be long gone.  http://www.dajensen-family.com/roads/mn60bridge.html

Yeah the Wabasha bridge was replaced in the late-80s. The crazy 90-degrees bends the old bridge had were in addition to its narrowness, so much so there were "TRUCKS MUST NOT MEET ON BRIDGE" signs entering it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 07, 2015, 08:57:00 PM
When did they reroute US 63 onto 75th Street NW? Does anybody have pictures of the US 14-52-63 triplex signs?

The reroute officially happened in mid-2013.  Sign replacement was supposed to happen last summer, though it's possible Monte rolled through too early.


As of October 2014 the US 63 reassurance shields has been posted on mainline 52.

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.055019,-92.494797,3a,75y,163.38h,85.15t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sYaQ3lLcGAt_oLAJPYEGUhQ!2e0

And here's a triplex shield posted at the 2nd St SW interchange.

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.022243,-92.488178,3a,75y,178.37h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sBG-XloEoz55yf9KGyUbhww!2e0
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 07, 2015, 10:30:45 PM
The WHY has more to do with the city of Rochester than with MnDOT wanting to "shave some miles".  There are design changes that the city wants to do to Broadway in/near downtown that would have been near-impossible with MnDOT retaining jurisdiction, thanks to design standards being codified into state law instead of being flexible.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: SSOWorld on February 08, 2015, 12:38:46 AM
and yet the city itself has no regard for 63 whatsoever on its local streets...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 08, 2015, 06:58:04 AM
What do you mean?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on February 08, 2015, 11:39:14 PM
My observation from last summer is there aren't any.
Pretty sure we saw U.S. 63 posted on U.S. 52 NB in mid-June when we drove through there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 09, 2015, 02:57:53 AM
Does the "ramp" connecting MN 23 and US 14 in Lyon County have an 800-series number, and if so what is it?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 09, 2015, 07:21:30 AM
No.  800-series numbers are for roadway centerlines.  MnDOT considers that an actual ramp.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 26, 2015, 03:14:37 PM
Oh, MnDOT...you had one job...

signage fail (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Pequot+Lakes,+MN&hl=en&ll=46.513176,-94.287007&spn=0.00917,0.022702&sll=43.871754,-72.451472&sspn=2.451198,5.811768&hnear=Pequot+Lakes,+Crow+Wing+County,+Minnesota&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=46.513249,-94.286963&panoid=CgVy2gMgoY3HhzdNurFufw&cbp=12,52.49,,0,8.51)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: NE2 on February 26, 2015, 04:07:54 PM
Oh, MnDOT...you had one job...

signage fail (https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Pequot+Lakes,+MN&hl=en&ll=46.513176,-94.287007&spn=0.00917,0.022702&sll=43.871754,-72.451472&sspn=2.451198,5.811768&hnear=Pequot+Lakes,+Crow+Wing+County,+Minnesota&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=46.513249,-94.286963&panoid=CgVy2gMgoY3HhzdNurFufw&cbp=12,52.49,,0,8.51)

And fixed within the month, based on the view from the other direction.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 26, 2015, 05:08:49 PM
After they finished the MN 101/141st Ave interchange in Rogers they placed a "Speed Limit 45 Ahead" yellow diamond sign on the southbound side even though the speed limit is 40 around the I-94 interchange. The warning sign still says 45 and the speed limit is still 40 in that area and this error has remained for several months.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 27, 2015, 03:05:45 PM
MNDot cranking up the speed limits on significant portions of MN 23, MN 55, and US 212 among others. Chart also lists future speed studies for other routes for the next few years.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/govrel/reports/2015/2015-Evaluation-of-Certain-Speed-Limits-report.pdf
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: I94RoadRunner on March 25, 2015, 10:05:12 AM
After they finished the MN 101/141st Ave interchange in Rogers they placed a "Speed Limit 45 Ahead" yellow diamond sign on the southbound side even though the speed limit is 40 around the I-94 interchange. The warning sign still says 45 and the speed limit is still 40 in that area and this error has remained for several months.

I plan to go take a few photos of this new interchange soon. The work on the 610 extension is supposed to start significant construction this summer as well
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on March 25, 2015, 02:19:33 PM
After they finished the MN 101/141st Ave interchange in Rogers they placed a "Speed Limit 45 Ahead" yellow diamond sign on the southbound side even though the speed limit is 40 around the I-94 interchange. The warning sign still says 45 and the speed limit is still 40 in that area and this error has remained for several months.

I plan to go take a few photos of this new interchange soon. The work on the 610 extension is supposed to start significant construction this summer as well

which started 30 years ago
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 27, 2015, 07:26:19 PM
MNDot working on rebuilding MN 101 between old US 212 and the Minnesota River Bridge. When this is done will Carver County finally accept this section for turnback? I think it's one of three separate sections of MN 101 in Carver County that the county has not accepted yet.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy101river/index.html

Looking at GSV it appears more of the section south of US 212 has been turned back; the state section picks up again at Pioneer Trail.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on March 30, 2015, 02:31:29 PM
MNDot working on rebuilding MN 101 between old US 212 and the Minnesota River Bridge. When this is done will Carver County finally accept this section for turnback? I think it's one of three separate sections of MN 101 in Carver County that the county has not accepted yet.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy101river/index.html

Looking at GSV it appears more of the section south of US 212 has been turned back; the state section picks up again at Pioneer Trail.
Yep, Carver County appears to want the entire thing four-laned before they'll take it. The section between Pioneer Trail and old 212 would probably require some straightening to bring it to the standard they want, but the rich NIMBYs in the area will likely put an end to that. On another subject, 101 north of MN 5 is absolutely dreadful, and the county is right to wait for improvements to be made. But that area will be much worse in terms of NIMBYism, so there probably won't be anything done for a long time there. That's a shame, because it effectively dumps both 101 and Crosstown traffic onto a two-lane road with no shoulders. :no:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on March 30, 2015, 03:03:52 PM
yet the part north is not being designed to connect up.  whats wrong with a 4-way traffic light?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on March 30, 2015, 09:39:42 PM
Topography of the river bluff prevents a direct at-grade connection.  An interchange (with 101 bridging over old 212) was considered, but would've been a lot more expensive and eaten up more river valley wetlands to the south.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 31, 2015, 11:43:03 PM
St. Louis County to pump $119M into its county highway system over the next two years. Sales tax increases and a fee tacked onto car sales will fund the improvements.

https://www.stlouiscountymn.gov/GOVERNMENT/DepartmentsAgencies/PublicWorks.aspx
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 02, 2015, 05:51:28 PM
MnDOT released its 2015 construction project list today (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/construction/) (also viewable here (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/current.html)).

Projects of note (there are plenty of them):

- Reconstructing US 2 between Cass Lake and Deer River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/hwy2passinglanes/index.html), to include 3 sets of passing lanes, and turn lanes at several locations.
- Reconstruction at the US 2/MN 89 junction west of Bemidji, which apparently includes a bridge.  I've heard rumors that this is to be an interchange...I have an E-mail into MnDOT asking for confirmation.
- Redecking of the Fort Rd Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy5/) on MN 5 over the Mississippi River.  This will be a 2-year project with single-lane traffic on MN 5 during both summers, so plan on delays.
- A new interchange on US 10 at Anoka CSAH 83 (http://www.highway10andarmstrong.com/) in Ramsey.  Here is the proposed layout (http://www.highway10andarmstrong.com/pdf/141020_Layout.pdf).  Expected to be completed Fall 2016.
- Pavement reconstruction on US 10 from St. Cloud to Benton CSAH 33 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/stc/index.html).  Continuation from last year when the eastbound side was done.  This will result in 2-lane/2-way traffic on the eastbound side for most of the summer.  The goal is to have all lanes open during Memorial and 4th-of-July weekends, but this will be a traffic mess all other weekends.
- Similar to above, another resurfacing project will resurface US 10 south of St. Cloud to Clear Lake, with 2-lane/2-way traffic on the westbound side.
- Auxiliary lane construction on eastbound US 12 in Wayzata (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy12wayzata/) from CSAH 15/101 to the off-ramp to Gleason Rd and I-494.
- Continuation of the 4-lane project on US 14 east of Owatonna (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy14-218-to-cr-180/index.html).  I am still not sure if this includes the interchange at CR 43 or not.
- Roundabout construction at US 14/MN 42 near Eyota (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy14-42-roundabout/index.html).
- As part of the multiyear flood mitigation project near St. Peter (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/floodmitigation/), this year's portion will reconstruct MN 22 near the Minnesota River.
- A new overpass over MN 23 at Kandiyohi CSAH 5 near Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23kandi5/index.html).  This will NOT be a new interchange, but instead will bridge CSAH 5 over MN 23 using the existing embankments (part of the original interchange proposal from the original Willmar bypass construction years ago) and utilize the existing intersection to make the turning connections between MN 23 and CSAH 5.
- Replace the MN 24 Mississippi River Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy24/) at Clearwater.  This will be a 2-year project.
- A 2-year project to reconstruct much of MN 25 in Buffalo (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/buffalo/).  This year's work will add 2 roundabouts at 8th St NW and at CR 147, and construct a direct connection from the CR 147 roundabout to the MN 55/CSAH 34 intersection.  2016 work will reconstruct the MN 25/MN 55 intersection and widen MN 25 to 4 lanes for about 3/4mi north of MN 55.
- Another MN 25 project, (in Monticello (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/monti/index.html)) will reconstruct MN 25 for a couple miles south of I-94 and extend the 4-lane down to 85th St NE/CR 106.
- A 2-year project, reconstruction of the I-94/MN 29 interchange (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/alexi94hwy29/) in Alexandria.  There are 4 main components of the reconstruction:  moving the westbound ramps closer to the overpass, to increase the spacing with the intersection at 50th Ave; widening MN 29 to 4 lanes south to CSAH 28; realigning CSAH 28 to meet MN 29 at CR 87, and constructing the MN 29/CSAH 28/CR 87 intersection as a roundabout.  Here's the proposed layout (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/alexi94hwy29/pdfs/jan14layout.pdf).
- A continuation of a project from last year, a project on MN 34 is adding 4 sets of passing lanes on each side between Detroit Lakes and Akeley (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/hwy34/).
- Another continuation from last year, a project on I-35 in Owatonna (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/i35bridge-pavement-replacement/index.html) is reconstructing the Interstate through the town, replacing 4 bridges, and adding auxiliary lanes on both sides between Exit 41/Bridge St and Exit 42 (Old Hwy 14).
- The multiyear reconstruction of I-35E north of downtown St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/35estpaul/) continues.  This project is reconstructing I-35E from downtown to Little Canada, widening the road with a MnPASS (HO/T) lane in each direction, replacing the Cayuga Bridge, and moving the Pennsylvania Ave interchange to Cayuga St.
- Completion of a sequence of projects along northbound I-35W north of downtown Minneapolis (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wandfourthst/index.html).  These projects are adding a new northbound on-ramp from 4th St, adding a northbound auxiliary lane from the University Ave exit to Johnson St, and consolidating the Johnson St and Stinson Blvd/New Brighton Blvd exits into a single exit.  I have heard that the new on-ramp from 4th St is now open.  Here is the layout (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wandfourthst/pdf/projectlayout.pdf).
- The proposed DDI at I-35W/Ramsey CSAH 96 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/cr96overi35wardenhills/index.html) in Arden Hills will be built.
- Construction on the new Stillwater Bridge (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5160.0) project continues.
- Construction on the new MN 43 Mississippi River bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/winonabridge/index.html) at Winona continues.
- MN 51/Snelling Ave in St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/snellingfalconheights/), between Selby Ave and Pierce Butler Rte, will have its pavement rebuilt.  This project includes what is effectively a redecking of the bridge over I-94, which will require the bridge to be closed from May to August.
- The US 52 Lafayette Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/lafayettebridge/) project should wrap up this Fall.
- A short project which will build a 3rd westbound lane on MN 55 between I-494 and Plymouth Blvd (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy55plymouth/index.html).
- The US 61/MN 97 junctions (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy61and97/) near Forest Lake will be reconstructed and replaced with roundabouts.
- Construction on the new I-90 Dresbach Bridge over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/dresbachbridge/index.html) continues.
- A project in downtown Minneapolis that will continue into next year, the existing I-94 exit to 5th St will be replaced with a new exit to 7th St (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94minneapolis/index.html).  This is being done as construction of the Hiawatha LRT a decade ago reduced 5th St through most of downtown, and construction of the new Vikings Stadium has severed the street at 11th Ave.  Here is the layout (http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@publicworks/documents/images/wcms1p-136683.pdf).
- Widening of I-94 between Rogers and St. Michael (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/i94/index.html) continues.
- A new roundabout will be built at MN 96/Washington CSAH 15 near Stillwater.
- Reconstruction of MN 100 through St. Louis Park (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy100slp/) continues.  This project will reconstruct MN 100 to full width with 6 through lanes plus auxiliary lanes, reconstruct the Minnetonka Blvd interchange as a standard diamond (including a direct SB off-ramp instead of the existing indirect ramp to Vernon Ave), and reconstruct the MN 7 interchange as a 5-ramp par-clo.  This is the layout (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy100slp/pdf/concepts.pdf).
- MN 210 will be reconstructed (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy210future/index.html) through Jay Cooke State Park, in part to replace a section that washed out in severe flooding 3 years ago.
- Reconstruction and widening of I-494 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494plymouth/) between I-394 and I-94/694 continues.  The widenings involved with this project include a northbound auxiliary lane between I-394 and Carlson Pkwy, auxiliary lanes on both sides between CSAH 6 and MN 55, a 3rd through lane in each direction between MN 55 and I-94/694, and a southbound auxiliary lane from I-94/694 to CSAH 10/Bass Lake Rd.
- Construction of MN 610 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/610west/index.html) between I-94 and CSAH 81 continues.  The project includes a full interchange at Maple Grove Pkwy, a partial interchange at I-94 just north of the 101st Ave overpass (WB 610 to WB 94 and EB 94 to EB 610 only), and replaces old 101st Ave with a new 105th Ave from west of I-94 to Maple Grove Pkwy.  A project layout is here (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/610west/pdf/610layout.pdf).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 07, 2015, 08:00:29 AM
Got an E-mail back about the US 2/MN 89 project.  It will effectively create a partial interchange.  Southbound MN 89 will bridge over US 2 then loop around to eastbound 2 (there will be a normal ramp from SB 89 to WB 2).  There will still be a left turn from EB 2 to NB 89.  And access from Countryside Restaurant and "Pete's Place" to US 2 will also remain.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on April 21, 2015, 11:18:57 PM
"Minnesota's Great Umlaut War is Over"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/04/15/minnesotas-great-umlaut-war-is-over-also-minnesota-was-having-an-umlaut-war/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 21, 2015, 11:38:52 PM
"Minnesota's Great Umlaut War is Over"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/04/15/minnesotas-great-umlaut-war-is-over-also-minnesota-was-having-an-umlaut-war/

Well, we *thought* it was over until someone pointed out that these are not umlauts but rather a letter of the Swedish alphabet...which took this battle into another phase. :D
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on April 22, 2015, 11:11:47 AM
I'm half expecting a Lake Wobegon sketch to go in this direction now. Lake Wobegøn, honoring its Swedish heritage since Lindström got its umlaut back.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 22, 2015, 07:32:59 PM
Due to opposition from St. Louis Park residents (the city itself had given its approval) MNDot has decided not to close the ramp from MN 100 South to Westside Drive, which is at the north end of the major project zone in St. Louis Park and as a result drivers had been flooding onto local streets from the Westside exit to avoid the backups on 100. It will probably get worse on the local streets as the project enters the next phase where capacity on MN 100 will be reduced to two lanes in each direction.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on April 25, 2015, 04:13:18 PM
Due to opposition from St. Louis Park residents (the city itself had given its approval) MNDot has decided not to close the ramp from MN 100 South to Westside Drive, which is at the north end of the major project zone in St. Louis Park and as a result drivers had been flooding onto local streets from the Westside exit to avoid the backups on 100. It will probably get worse on the local streets as the project enters the next phase where capacity on MN 100 will be reduced to two lanes in each direction.

We will see how long the opposition to that closure lasts, I bet they come back and ask MnDOT to close it as there will be significant diversion off 100 in the next phase.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 27, 2015, 12:47:11 AM
MN 5 likely to be turned back to Washington County between MN 120 and MN 36 (its present east terminus) this summer.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28194176/mndot-handing-over-stretch-minnesota-5-washington-county

The article mentions something a little more curious though: MNDot is apparently trying to hand over a section of MN 60 in Worthington. What is this section and why would they hand it over?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on May 27, 2015, 01:19:37 AM
MN 5 likely to be turned back to Washington County between MN 120 and MN 36 (its present east terminus) this summer.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28194176/mndot-handing-over-stretch-minnesota-5-washington-county

The article mentions something a little more curious though: MNDot is apparently trying to hand over a section of MN 60 in Worthington. What is this section and why would they hand it over?
They might have forgot about the little part of old highway 60 that was left after construction. "MN 960A?"
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 27, 2015, 07:29:13 AM
There's a roughly 1-mi section south of downtown Worthington, near the lake, that was bypassed.  Presumably, it's that section that MnDOT's trying to turn back (which doesn't show up in Logpoint yet).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on May 27, 2015, 09:05:43 AM
MN 5 likely to be turned back to Washington County between MN 120 and MN 36 (its present east terminus) this summer.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28194176/mndot-handing-over-stretch-minnesota-5-washington-county


Finally.  It should be turned over east of the airport anyway, or moved to Shepard Road.  Also they've been talking about 65 & 47 north of Minneapolis & MN 120 for years as well.  I moved away from MN 9 years ago and they were talking about it back then.
Title: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on May 27, 2015, 09:48:29 AM
MN 5 likely to be turned back to Washington County between MN 120 and MN 36 (its present east terminus) this summer.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28194176/mndot-handing-over-stretch-minnesota-5-washington-county


Finally.  It should be turned over east of the airport anyway, or moved to Shepard Road.  Also they've been talking about 65 & 47 north of Minneapolis & MN 120 for years as well.  I moved away from MN 9 years ago and they were talking about it back then.
Shepard Road's pavement is in poor condition as it is. I don't think there's any reason to bring it in to the state highway system, where MN/DOT would likely neglect it further. It would be better IMHO to truncate MN 5 to U.S. 212 in Eden Prairie (unless Carver County would be willing to take it through Chanhassen) and the airport spur could become MN 594. :)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 27, 2015, 10:11:06 AM
Shepard Rd is a Principal Arterial, and both MnDOT and St. Paul are studying ways to more directly connect the Fort Rd Bridge (MN 5 over the Mississippi) to Shepard Rd.  A more likely scenario is that MN 5 gets rerouted onto Shepard Rd and Warner Rd to end at 61/10.  St. Paul and/or Ramsey County would then take over 7th St and Minnehaha Ave.
Title: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on May 27, 2015, 10:16:40 AM
Shepard Rd is a Principal Arterial, and both MnDOT and St. Paul are studying ways to more directly connect the Fort Rd Bridge (MN 5 over the Mississippi) to Shepard Rd.  A more likely scenario is that MN 5 gets rerouted onto Shepard Rd and Warner Rd to end at 61/10.  St. Paul and/or Ramsey County would then take over 7th St and Minnehaha Ave.
My point still stands that Ramsey County has neglected it. Weather or not MN/DOT will too, I don't know.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 01, 2015, 04:07:34 PM
Speaking of that study, 9 alternatives for connecting MN 5 to Shepard Rd have been created and considered.  The project website (http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=5588) has individual PDF files for each alternatives as well as a single PDF showing all 9 (http://www.stpaul.gov/DocumentCenter/View/78975).

5 of the 9 alternatives have been dropped.  Unfortunately, 3 of those dropped alternatives represented the simplest, most direct connections between MN 5 and Shepard Rd.  2 of those were along Norfolk Ave so local opposition played a factor.  The third was south of Norfolk Ave, but went right through a proposed development so I suspect that was why it was dropped.

One of the retained alternatives would have eastbound and westbound traffic cross over each other, with one of those crossings possibly being at-grade.  Another retained alternative would effectively have traffic do a 270-degree loop, using the existing loop space in the northwest quadrant of the interchange.  Unless they widened the loop radii, the loops as drawn would have very low speeds...likely 20 MPH and possibly even 15 MPH.  Not very safe given the situation.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on June 01, 2015, 04:34:43 PM
I'm surprised Alternative 7 got killed.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on June 01, 2015, 04:58:05 PM
Dang, the first three are the simplest (and the best) ones IMO. Are the condo residents just being NIMBYs about having the ROW right in front of them? Those three (and maybe 4 as well) are the only ones that should be considered, the rest are convoluted. Alternative 9 is the most confusing to me.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 01, 2015, 05:41:07 PM
Quote from: Bickendan
I'm surprised Alternative 7 got killed.

I'm not.  It's the only one that directly impacts Hidden Falls Park.  Also challenging bridge construction that's close to 100ft up from the valley floor, high-tension power line impacts, and goes directly over a memorial (that small area on the intersection corner).

Quote from: Molandfreak
Dang, the first three are the simplest (and the best) ones IMO. Are the condo residents just being NIMBYs about having the ROW right in front of them?

That's part of it, though given that the revised roadway would have almost 40K daily traffic next to the sidewalk, I can understand their concern.  Meanwhile, that alignment would completely take out several bungalows and a housing development on the south side of Norfolk Ave.

I came up with a conceptual proposal (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajfroggie/17279049811/in/dateposted-public/) about 6 weeks ago that's similar to Alternate 2.  I addressed the condo resident concerns by burying the roadway under and just south of Norfolk Ave.  This would give the option of air rights development on one of the two blocks, and a park-like lid on the other block.

Of the remaining official alternatives, I'd lean towards Alt 4, though I think the Edgcumbe/West 7th ramps could be cleaned up further, and I still think West 7th could be closed between Edgcumbe and Davern.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on June 01, 2015, 07:53:40 PM

Of the remaining official alternatives, I'd lean towards Alt 4, though I think the Edgcumbe/West 7th ramps could be cleaned up further, and I still think West 7th could be closed between Edgcumbe and Davern.
Agreed. It's the only reasonable one that has high speed access on Shepard Road from both directions.

I won't bicker about any of them other than number 9, however.


iPhone
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on June 01, 2015, 08:26:34 PM
This is Minnesota. They never do the simplest thing that makes sense
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on June 01, 2015, 08:27:56 PM
I really hope it's not number 9… all those low-speed ramps…


iPhone
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on June 01, 2015, 09:33:09 PM
I really hope it's not number 9… all those low-speed ramps…


iPhone

Why do you ever expect them to make sense?  #1 was a true thing of beauty.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 02, 2015, 10:23:40 AM
I've been in regular email contact with one of the project team members (a St. Paul city planner).  She said the first few alternatives were dropped "not only because of the opposition, but because of access issues, concerns about the intersection with Davern, bridges that would need to be constructed, and the way that the road would create an additional barrier in the middle of a residential community."

I'm not sold on the access issues, but I understand the barrier concern.  The "bridges" concern is mitigatable via better design, but the intersection at Davern would be problematic...that's a very valid concern, though I still think it'd be doable with Alt #3.

I sent her my concerns with Alts 5, 6, and (especially) 9.  The response was that most of my concerns will be looked at in the next phase of the study, which will go into more technical detail of the remaining alternatives.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: flowmotion on June 02, 2015, 11:20:49 PM
My folks are NIMBYing it up on this MN-5/Shepard Road thing, and I have to agree the entire premise of this project is completely flawed.

The existing interchange is not congested at all. The idea seems to be "If we build it, they'll come", without any consideration that Shepard Road simply doesn't serve many people's desired destination. MnDOT has not produced any sort of origin-destination study which shows this will reduce traffic on Fort Road/W Seventh, or if they have, they haven't shown it to the public. Although, a significant portion of traffic gets onto I-35E, so if they wanted to make a real improvement, they'd follow Froggie's suggestion of making I-35E/Shepard a full interchange.  (Or better yet, turn MN-110 into a freeway.)

My guess the entire idea is based on Saint Paul's farts and wishful thinking that people will accidentally take a highway ramp and end up downtown to spend money.

Edit: And thank you for posting the alternatives! -- I hadn't seen the actual plans, only some NIMBY photocopies.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on June 03, 2015, 10:19:23 AM
What is funny is that they oppose Ayd Mill road being connected and want traffic on the city streets, yet they are okay with Shephard road getting people off of West 7th.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: SSOWorld on June 03, 2015, 11:44:25 AM
What is funny is that they oppose Ayd Mill road being connected and want traffic on the city streets, yet they are okay with Shephard road getting people off of West 7th.
Welcome to America - home of the double standard :awesomeface:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 03, 2015, 01:51:24 PM
Different neighborhoods, so not exactly the same people.

And it should be noted that not everyone further up opposed opening Ayd Mill Rd to 35E.  Several residents, especially those along Lexington, supported the move.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on June 03, 2015, 02:19:26 PM
Really froggie?  Shepard Road (which ALL of it would have more traffic) is only about a mile from the end of Ayd Mill as the crow flies. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: flowmotion on June 03, 2015, 04:27:06 PM
The Ayd Mill Road situation is simply not comparable. Had it been completed, it would have functioned as a regional bypass largely for suburban commuters (similar to MN-280). Shepard Road is only useful for destinations in Saint Paul.

Also, this Shepard Road thing seems to be something that City Hall wants, not something the neighbors are clamoring for.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 15, 2015, 02:57:46 PM
Effective tomorrow MNDot is increasing the speed limit from 65 to 70 on I-94 between 494/694 in Woodbury and the WI border. Wasn't sure if they would since Hudson is still a 65 zone and one of the reasons that stretch never went to 70 before, but they are.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bugo on June 15, 2015, 03:30:51 PM
Good. Any time a speed limit is raised it is a good thing. The recent trend has been toward higher speed limits. With the eastern part of the midwest going to 70, does that mean that a little further west and south will be going to 75 or even 80?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on June 15, 2015, 04:04:23 PM
The Ayd Mill Road situation is simply not comparable. Had it been completed, it would have functioned as a regional bypass largely for suburban commuters (similar to MN-280). Shepard Road is only useful for destinations in Saint Paul.

Also, this Shepard Road thing seems to be something that City Hall wants, not something the neighbors are clamoring for.

So it's better to have traffic on Lexington than Ayd Mill?  :P
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on June 16, 2015, 07:53:51 AM
Effective tomorrow MNDot is increasing the speed limit from 65 to 70 on I-94 between 494/694 in Woodbury and the WI border. Wasn't sure if they would since Hudson is still a 65 zone and one of the reasons that stretch never went to 70 before, but they are.
Well Done MnDOT!!! :clap:
Despite what people say, MnDOT continues in many ways to be one of the more progressive state DOTs.

Now WisDOT needs to realize they are being stupid leaving 3 miles through Hudson at 65.  Very few drivers are going to drop their speeds for that short stretch.  Enforcement in that area will be difficult due to traffic volumes and a lack of median crossovers.  They need to do a speed study and up that speed to 70 versus leaving a more dangerous speed trap.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mgk920 on June 16, 2015, 10:49:37 AM
Effective tomorrow MNDot is increasing the speed limit from 65 to 70 on I-94 between 494/694 in Woodbury and the WI border. Wasn't sure if they would since Hudson is still a 65 zone and one of the reasons that stretch never went to 70 before, but they are.
Well Done MnDOT!!! :clap:
Despite what people say, MnDOT continues in many ways to be one of the more progressive state DOTs.

Now WisDOT needs to realize they are being stupid leaving 3 miles through Hudson at 65.  Very few drivers are going to drop their speeds for that short stretch.  Enforcement in that area will be difficult due to traffic volumes and a lack of median crossovers.  They need to do a speed study and up that speed to 70 versus leaving a more dangerous speed trap.

Also the the hills as the highway transits the Saint Croix River valley, especially on the Wisconsin side.

Mike
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 16, 2015, 11:04:43 AM
Given the mostly urban nature (especially around Carmichael Rd), the bluff climb, and the close interchange spacing, I see no problem with keeping 94 at 65 MPH from west of MN 95 North to the US 12 interchange.  I'm actually somewhat surprised that MnDOT bumped that segment to 70, though it does have wider interchange spacing than most of the Metro or in Hudson and is (relatively) newer vintage (completed ca. 1985).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: invincor on June 16, 2015, 07:26:19 PM
I was curious so I went up to investigate just now.  I drove westbound on I-94 from Hwy 65 in Wisconsin (exit 10) into Minnesota as far as Manning Avenue, then went back home heading eastbound, going through Hudson both ways.

The speed limit signs in Wisconsin are all now at 70 mph, those in Hudson included, in both directions.  The signs in the Minnesota section that I drove were still at 65. 

The Wisconsin signs are all brand new too.  They didn't just slap a 70 on top of the 65. 

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 16, 2015, 08:59:05 PM
I got things mixed up. MNDot isn't increasing the limit until tomorrow (Wednesday).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: flowmotion on June 21, 2015, 12:57:31 AM
So it's better to have traffic on Lexington than Ayd Mill?  :P

I seriously doubt anyone in their right mind does this. If you want to go the 'wrong way' between I-94 and I-35E, Kellogg Blvd is probably the best exit, despite the longer distance.

(Or Snelling-Shelby-Ayd Mill, but you have to ignore the misleading signs put up by the devious Saint Paulites.) 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 21, 2015, 02:23:40 PM
The great LED conversion has begun. Three contracts have been let to convert all the conventional sodium fixtures under Mn/DOT jurisdiction to LED. Work has started in the Northeast metro (which was due for relamping so they let that one first before deciding to do all of them), with I-694 already converted and work happening on MN 36 and I-94.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 22, 2015, 11:27:36 PM
Final EIS released for the US 53 relocation in Virginia. Public comment period through July 6; the E-2 was the option selected, which will reroute US 53 well to the north over a man-made lake and require relocating MN 135 slightly as well.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy53relocation/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on June 28, 2015, 02:40:32 PM
MN 5 likely to be turned back to Washington County between MN 120 and MN 36 (its present east terminus) this summer.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28194176/mndot-handing-over-stretch-minnesota-5-washington-county

The article mentions something a little more curious though: MNDot is apparently trying to hand over a section of MN 60 in Worthington. What is this section and why would they hand it over?
Turning MN-5 back requires a little creative routing for the now-bypassed Constitutional Route 45. This begins where MN-5 crosses the east city limits of St. Paul, and for now it could be routed up MN-120 and east on MN-36. This might work with the existing description of Legislative Route 118 (36), which "begins at a point on Route 45 southwest of Stillwater."

It could also go south and follow I-94 and MN-95 to Stillwater. Either route touches Lake Elmo, one of the locations in the route description. (I'm surprised Lake Elmo was noteworthy in 1920 when this amendment was passed).

In the future, though, if the state turns back MN-120, it would probably have to turn back MN-5 in Ramsey County west of 120 as well, at least as far as the St. Paul city limits, or change the description of the corresponding Legislative Route 109 for MN-5 in St. Paul. I wouldn't be surprised to see MN-5 eliminated east of downtown St. Paul anyway, since it's just on city streets.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 02, 2015, 10:55:38 AM
Some notes from a short trip out "west" to attend a wedding:

- On US 52, the new interchanges in and south of Cannon Falls have exit numbers, and an exit number was "retrofitted" to the MN 19 interchange as well.  Of note, MnDOT went cheap on the exit gore signing in a very 1990s-Alabama-esque way, posting the exit number above a standard exit gore sign.  None of the other interchanges north of Oronoco have exit numbers (for now).

- The I-94 widening between Rogers and the St. Michael exit (MN 101 to MN 241) has all traffic in a 2-way/4-lane config on the eastbound lanes.  Oddly, MnDOT retained a 60 MPH speed limit through this stretch...given the narrowness, I'd have expected them to go 55, similar to what they normally do with Outstate (non-Metro) reconstruction projects that close one side at a time.

- As has been mentioned previously, MnDOT has upped the speed limit on a number of rural 2-lane highways to 60 MPH.  I was looking to see if there was a pattern yet as far as improvements done before they upped the limit, and most of them do appear to have paved shoulders and both centerline and side rumble strips, but there was one notable 60 MPH route that lacked both (MN 79).

- Related to the 60 MPH limits, there were at least 3 towns I passed through (on US 71 and US 59) where the speed limit drops directly from 60 to 30.

- Near Owatonna, US 14 and US 218 are signed concurrently west of their interchange, but there's an "END US 218" sign at the CSAH 45 interchange, instead of at I-35.

- Old US 14 between Owatonna and Janesville is now Steele CSAH 2 and Waseca CSAH 14.  It's in the process of being rebuilt in both jurisdictions (presumably as part of the turnback agreements).

- On MN 23 near Paynesville, the half-interchange at the northeast end of the bypass is signed as County 85, and with "BUSINESS 23" in all-caps text.

- Nicollet County has recently rebuilt at least two of their county state aid routes (23 and 25) with concrete.

(EDIT):  Also, one more thing of note.  When MnDOT recently widened the MN 55/149 concurrency to 6 lanes and rebuilt 149 between 55 and I-494, they upgraded all the traffic signals to galvanized steel poles and flashing yellow arrows.  But the big thing here is there are FYAs for dual-left-turn-lane movements, and they actually are using the flashing yellow for some of these movements.  I've also noticed this (a FYA dual-left-turn-lane) at MN 55/Plymouth Blvd.  This marks a noted change in MnDOT signal policy....in the past, dual left turn lanes were automatically protected-only.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on July 02, 2015, 11:59:16 AM
Quote from: froggie
Of note, MnDOT went cheap on the exit gore signing in a very 1990s-Alabama-esque way, posting the exit number above a standard exit gore sign.
Huh, I figured that was a WSDOT thing.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on July 02, 2015, 09:39:09 PM
(EDIT):  Also, one more thing of note.  When MnDOT recently widened the MN 55/149 concurrency to 6 lanes and rebuilt 149 between 55 and I-494, they upgraded all the traffic signals to galvanized steel poles and flashing yellow arrows.  But the big thing here is there are FYAs for dual-left-turn-lane movements, and they actually are using the flashing yellow for some of these movements.  I've also noticed this (a FYA dual-left-turn-lane) at MN 55/Plymouth Blvd.  This marks a noted change in MnDOT signal policy....in the past, dual left turn lanes were automatically protected-only.

As a person who uses the 55/Plymouth Blvd/Niagara Lane intersection daily, the FYA on the dual left turns works really well for the side road (Glad they did this as my car had big troubles at idle before I replaced it).  Mn/DOT never activates the FYA for the mainline Left turns on 55 (even at 2-3AM in the morning they keep the protected green arrow but have shorter wait times).  But the FYA's on Plymouth Blvd/Niagara Lane are used 24/7 (there is still a green arrow but once that green arrow turns off they revert to the FYA during the green ball phase). 

Woodbury also has started to convert many of the single and dual lefts to FYA on city and county roads (Last I hear was 70% were converted to include FYAs).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on July 05, 2015, 10:53:51 PM
Quote from: froggie
- The I-94 widening between Rogers and the St. Michael exit (MN 101 to MN 241) has all traffic in a 2-way/4-lane config on the eastbound lanes.  Oddly, MnDOT retained a 60 MPH speed limit through this stretch...given the narrowness, I'd have expected them to go 55, similar to what they normally do with Outstate (non-Metro) reconstruction projects that close one side at a time.
Rogers and St. Michael are metro cities now.


iPhone
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 05, 2015, 11:06:38 PM
Quote from: froggie
- The I-94 widening between Rogers and the St. Michael exit (MN 101 to MN 241) has all traffic in a 2-way/4-lane config on the eastbound lanes.  Oddly, MnDOT retained a 60 MPH speed limit through this stretch...given the narrowness, I'd have expected them to go 55, similar to what they normally do with Outstate (non-Metro) reconstruction projects that close one side at a time.
Rogers and St. Michael are metro cities now.

I don't even want to envision how absolutely beyond imagination awful cabin traffic would be if they didn't keep it four lanes through there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 06, 2015, 07:26:51 AM
Quote from: Molandfreak
Rogers and St. Michael are metro cities now.

Which, if nothing else, is why I would've expected them to go with a 55 zone, as they've typically done with Metro-area reconstruction as well, and is the case with I-494.

Quote from: TheHighwayMan394
I don't even want to envision how absolutely beyond imagination awful cabin traffic would be if they didn't keep it four lanes through there.

Probably similar to what rush hours are like along 494 right now.  But it's not like there aren't alternatives to 94 for cabin traffic.  Drivers are just too fixated on the Interstate system.

On that note, I was impressed with the level of non-peak-flow that 94 has now, even before I got back to Monticello...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 09, 2015, 05:26:41 PM
MNDot working on rebuilding MN 101 between old US 212 and the Minnesota River Bridge. When this is done will Carver County finally accept this section for turnback? I think it's one of three separate sections of MN 101 in Carver County that the county has not accepted yet.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy101river/index.html

Looking at GSV it appears more of the section south of US 212 has been turned back; the state section picks up again at Pioneer Trail.
Yep, Carver County appears to want the entire thing four-laned before they'll take it. The section between Pioneer Trail and old 212 would probably require some straightening to bring it to the standard they want, but the rich NIMBYs in the area will likely put an end to that. On another subject, 101 north of MN 5 is absolutely dreadful, and the county is right to wait for improvements to be made. But that area will be much worse in terms of NIMBYism, so there probably won't be anything done for a long time there. That's a shame, because it effectively dumps both 101 and Crosstown traffic onto a two-lane road with no shoulders. :no:


Obviously each situation/county is different but the way MNDot is handling the MN 5 turnback is that they're basically just giving Washington County a bunch of cash for future maintenance on that stretch of 5 to use how they see fit. I wonder if Carver would accept a similar deal with MN 101 where MNDot doesn't do all the work Carver wants done before they take over 101, but the state gives them cash to do their own desired work with.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: I94RoadRunner on July 11, 2015, 05:46:53 PM
Speaking of MN 5 in Washington county, I wonder why MNDOT does not just truncate MN 5 to the I-494/US 212 interchange or even US 212 at the Y in Eden Prairie .....? The airport freeway from I-494 across to the Crosstown could become an extended MN 110 or some new number .....
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on July 11, 2015, 07:41:05 PM
Speaking of MN 5 in Washington county, I wonder why MNDOT does not just truncate MN 5 to the I-494/US 212 interchange or even US 212 at the Y in Eden Prairie .....? The airport freeway from I-494 across to the Crosstown could become an extended MN 110 or some new number .....
Exactly, plus it removes a concurrency no one is following from end to end. I was thinking of just renumbering that section MN 594 since it is effectively an airport spur of I-494. Shepard/Warner Road can also be MN 594 and go up U.S. 61/10 to I-94.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: I94RoadRunner on July 12, 2015, 02:41:18 AM
Sure, not a bad idea. I guess nothing wrong with I-594 between the airport and I-494 either .....? I figure if you want to give it an X94 number, might as well be an interstate!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 12, 2015, 11:51:09 AM
Given past precedent, it's highly doubtful that MnDOT would consider an Interstate.  The airport is so well signed from 494 (not to mention that the Humphrey Terminal is accessed from 494 anyway) that there isn't really a point to it.

I'd disagree with Moland's assertion that nobody is following the 494/5 concurrency from end-to-end.  Those going between Carver County (and points west) and the Airport are likely following it.  That said, whether that's a rationale to keep MN 5 is another matter entirely.  I could see truncating 5 back to Eden Prairie (whether 494 or the 212 split) and giving existing 5 between 494 and 35E another number...since 594 has been suggested for the eventual I-94/US 10 Connector near Clearwater, I'd go with 205 (never used, shows it's a derivative of 5).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 12, 2015, 07:29:03 PM
The new Minnesota state highway map has been released. On the map MN 101 is shown as being entirely turned back south of US 212, including the winding portion between Pioneer Trail and Flying Cloud Drive. The only section in Carver County still shown to be state-maintained is the portion from MN 5 north to the Hennepin/Carver line.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Molandfreak on July 12, 2015, 11:39:55 PM
Does nobody on this forum understand exaggeration to support a point? Obviously someone is taking 5 all the way, but not very many per day. You could make an argument that the affluent area 5 goes through to the west has a lot of airline pilots, but even so they are pretty much two separate highways with different functions. 5 loses a lot of significance beyond the 212 interchange as it's basically just an urban alternate. This is why I'd at least like to see all signs for 5 removed along 494.

since 594 has been suggested for the eventual I-94/US 10 Connector near Clearwater, I'd go with 205 (never used, shows it's a derivative of 5).
When was this discussed other than in road enthusiast talk? I really think 5 should get 594 if it's split up. Puts more emphasis on the idea that it's an airport spur off of 494. MSR 200 can easily be extended over 194 so that 194 can be used in Clearwater.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 13, 2015, 06:34:22 AM
Quote from: Molandfreak
Quote from: froggie
since 594 has been suggested for the eventual I-94/US 10 Connector near Clearwater, I'd go with 205 (never used, shows it's a derivative of 5).

When was this discussed other than in road enthusiast talk?

I know the project manager personally and have talked with her at length about the project.  594 was suggested back when the connector was being studied a decade or so ago.  Since it's so far out on the funding horizon, nobody bit.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 21, 2015, 10:48:22 PM
The MN 210 rebuild through Jay Cooke State Park is finally getting going. The road has been closed since June 2012 following massive floods; the relatively insignificant nature of the route obviously contributed to the waiting period. MNDot seriously considered not reconstructing the road at all, in which case I suspect MN 210 would have been rerouted over MN 45 north from Carlton to reconnect to I-35 at Scanlon.

http://www.fox21online.com/news/local-news/highway-210-jay-cooke-state-park-flood-repair-project-underway/34286464
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 22, 2015, 08:03:37 AM
Quote
MNDot seriously considered not reconstructing the road at all, in which case I suspect MN 210 would have been rerouted over MN 45 north from Carlton to reconnect to I-35 at Scanlon.

Given precedent (120/244 and various hanging ends of other routes), it's possible that they would have left 45 intact and truncated MN 210 to either Carlton or (more likely) the main entrance to Jay Cooke State Park.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on July 28, 2015, 12:38:51 PM
Really liking the look of the new curve MnDOT is putting in on I-90 at La Crescent as part of the Dresbach Bridge project.  Should be able to keep the cruise on around that once it's done.  Interesting to see the new interchange with US 14/61 is going to be free-flow.
MnDOT is tempting me to come up with a fictional freeway spur into downtown La Crosse via US 14/61 with this design. ;)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Brandon on July 28, 2015, 02:11:37 PM
Quote from: froggie
Of note, MnDOT went cheap on the exit gore signing in a very 1990s-Alabama-esque way, posting the exit number above a standard exit gore sign.
Huh, I figured that was a WSDOT thing.

Around here, it's more like an old-school Missouri thing.  Texas seems to do it as well.  And the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority has a few like that on the Tri-State Tollway (I-94 and I-294) now.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 31, 2015, 12:37:42 AM
Quote
MnDOT is tempting me to come up with a fictional freeway spur into downtown La Crosse via US 14/61 with this design.

It de-facto serves as one anyway.  Aside from a northbound scenic overlook, there is only one at-grade access north of Hillview Dr.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 18, 2015, 02:41:49 AM
Minnesota is planning to close part of US 169 in the southwest Twin Cities metro for an entire year starting in November 2016 with the main goal being replacing the long viaduct over some swampland between Bren/Londonderry Road and the Lincoln Drive exit (this is the part of 169 that would be completely closed). In addition, the RIROs at 16th St are proposed to be removed as well as improving the acceleration/deceleration at Cedar Lake Road which is a very tight interchange as well as some general repaving of the road.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169hopkins/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on August 18, 2015, 06:48:47 AM
Minnesota is planning to close part of US 169 in the southwest Twin Cities metro for an entire year starting in November 2016 with the main goal being replacing the long viaduct over some swampland between Bren/Londonderry Road and the Lincoln Drive exit (this is the part of 169 that would be completely closed). In addition, the RIROs at 16th St are proposed to be removed as well as improving the acceleration/deceleration at Cedar Lake Road which is a very tight interchange as well as some general repaving of the road.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169hopkins/

Yet people say MnDOT doesn't coordinate projects, they are waiting to start this one until after Highway 100 and 494 are finished.

That Cedar Lake entrance to northbound is bad, uphill and no acceleration lane.  This will certainly help with traffic flow.

16th Street should have never been there to begin with, that thing is a death trap.  Last week I saw someone trying to pull out onto the highway going southbound, not only is there no acceleration lane, the grade is so steep up the hill you can't get up to highway speeds.  Most locals don't even use it because they think it's unsafe.

I think back to the days of the old County Road 18 and even though 169 is still not ideal (Too many closely spaced entrance and exit ramps and not enough lanes), it is way better than it use to be.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 18, 2015, 08:15:31 AM
Quote
replacing the long viaduct over some swampland between Bren/Londonderry Road and the Lincoln Drive exit

It's not just swampland.  The primary reason for the viaduct is to cross Nine Mile Creek.

Quote
In addition, the RIROs at 16th St are proposed to be removed

I was under the impression that only the southbound RIRO was going to be removed.  The project website writeup specifies southbound as opposed to both directions.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on August 19, 2015, 10:29:58 AM
Minnesota is planning to close part of US 169 in the southwest Twin Cities metro for an entire year starting in November 2016 with the main goal being replacing the long viaduct over some swampland between Bren/Londonderry Road and the Lincoln Drive exit (this is the part of 169 that would be completely closed). In addition, the RIROs at 16th St are proposed to be removed as well as improving the acceleration/deceleration at Cedar Lake Road which is a very tight interchange as well as some general repaving of the road.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169hopkins/

Oddly they can't temporarily route everyone around it. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mrsman on August 24, 2015, 05:53:13 AM
Minnesota is planning to close part of US 169 in the southwest Twin Cities metro for an entire year starting in November 2016 with the main goal being replacing the long viaduct over some swampland between Bren/Londonderry Road and the Lincoln Drive exit (this is the part of 169 that would be completely closed). In addition, the RIROs at 16th St are proposed to be removed as well as improving the acceleration/deceleration at Cedar Lake Road which is a very tight interchange as well as some general repaving of the road.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169hopkins/

Oddly they can't temporarily route everyone around it.

Why do you say that?  I would imagine some type of detour signange would be put in place.  Even if the detour is many miles, there will be a detour.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 24, 2015, 06:02:05 AM
I think he's referring to the point that MnDOT isn't going to keep part of the bridge open for 2-lane-2-way traffic while they work on the other side.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mrsman on August 24, 2015, 06:18:10 AM
Oh, well in that case, the reason is that it would be cheaper and quicker to simply stop all traffic than to rebuild while traffic were using the other side.

DC did that a few years ago when they closed the bridge that's by Wash Nationals Stadium.  They closed for a few weeks in summer and did the job quickly while diverting traffic to other crossings.  Yes, it's harder on commuters than simply keeping a few lanes open, but at least they got the job done quickly.

A similar approach was rejected for work done on I-395's northern approach, north of the Capitol.  To accommodate a new development, the developer wanted to close the stub I-395 north of D street in DC for a year.  The city council rejected this and so now they do intermittent lane closures over the course of a few years.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 24, 2015, 04:12:52 PM
I think he's referring to the point that MnDOT isn't going to keep part of the bridge open for 2-lane-2-way traffic while they work on the other side.

I think the traffic volumes are too heavy for that configuration anyway. MN 100 will be done by then and I-494 will also be an easy detour option. There's no shortage of easy N-S options in the west metro.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on August 25, 2015, 02:42:02 PM
Has anyone ever driven along state highway 61 between Duluth and Grand Portage. The most interest segment of that roadway to me is the expressway between the outskirts of Duluth and the outskirts of Two Harbors. It is the last leg of the road trip I've taken to Two Harbors when vacationing with my mother and stepfather. Also, Scenic 61, the old alignment, is a fun drive with all sorts of interesting businesses. If any of you haven't been up this way, I suggest you try it sometime.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: peterj920 on August 25, 2015, 08:43:53 PM
Does anyone know if MNDOT plans on reconstructing the I-94/I-494/I-694 East interchange in Woodbury?  The cloverleaf can't handle the amount of traffic that goes through that interchange and there is so much weaving between traffic coming from I-94 west onto I-494 south and I-694 south trying to exit onto I-94 east.  Flyover ramps are desperately needed to smooth the traffic and reduce accidents, that probably happen there frequently. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Rothman on August 25, 2015, 08:44:40 PM
I haven't been up as far as Grand Portage. I believe I've only been up as far as MN 1.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on August 25, 2015, 09:21:18 PM
Has anyone ever driven along state highway 61 between Duluth and Grand Portage. The most interest segment of that roadway to me is the expressway between the outskirts of Duluth and the outskirts of Two Harbors. It is the last leg of the road trip I've taken to Two Harbors when vacationing with my mother and stepfather. Also, Scenic 61, the old alignment, is a fun drive with all sorts of interesting businesses. If any of you haven't been up this way, I suggest you try it sometime.

I did the Lake Superior Circle Tour a few weeks ago.  MN 61 is a pretty nice drive.  I understand why they aren't but it seems kind of crazy that I-35 doesn't link with the 61 Expressway.  I found MN-61 to be pretty scenic, but I was kind of hoping that the shoreline would be a little bit more mountainous.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 25, 2015, 09:43:38 PM
Has anyone ever driven along state highway 61 between Duluth and Grand Portage. The most interest segment of that roadway to me is the expressway between the outskirts of Duluth and the outskirts of Two Harbors. It is the last leg of the road trip I've taken to Two Harbors when vacationing with my mother and stepfather. Also, Scenic 61, the old alignment, is a fun drive with all sorts of interesting businesses. If any of you haven't been up this way, I suggest you try it sometime.

I've driven 61 a number of times, and I actually just did a photo documentary of the expressway today. Personally I think heading southbound on the expressway has some amazing views that are definitely equal to those of the scenic route. I also love Knife River and going through there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 25, 2015, 09:46:33 PM
Does anyone know if MNDOT plans on reconstructing the I-94/I-494/I-694 East interchange in Woodbury?  The cloverleaf can't handle the amount of traffic that goes through that interchange and there is so much weaving between traffic coming from I-94 west onto I-494 south and I-694 south trying to exit onto I-94 east.  Flyover ramps are desperately needed to smooth the traffic and reduce accidents, that probably happen there frequently. 

I agree with you. As far as I know there are no plans, and even if they did they wouldn't have the money to do it at this point.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on August 26, 2015, 12:33:38 AM
Does anyone know if MNDOT plans on reconstructing the I-94/I-494/I-694 East interchange in Woodbury?  The cloverleaf can't handle the amount of traffic that goes through that interchange and there is so much weaving between traffic coming from I-94 west onto I-494 south and I-694 south trying to exit onto I-94 east.  Flyover ramps are desperately needed to smooth the traffic and reduce accidents, that probably happen there frequently.

MnDOT is a very conservative organization in the sense that it factors in construction and future maintenance costs (When you do your own maintenance you have to be).  That is why the metro area has so many cloverleaf interchanges.  The high costs for bridges, snow/ice removal, and shear number of cloverleafs (32 total in the metro area) make upgrading all of them extremely costly.  As an example, the cloverleaf at 610 and 169 cost around $30 million, had a full flyover configuration been built (it was considered), it would have cost over $120 million. The few times they have deviated from the cloverleaf, they have built turbine interchanges (94/394, planned 35W/494, etc).  169 and 494 was the exception to that due to frontage road configuration.  Even the crosstown project left a loop ramp from 35W NB to 62 WB and that is a heavily traveled movement.

The most we will probably ever see here is collector-distributor lanes added to 694/494 (Similar to the configuration on 94 below).  When the original interchange was upgraded in 1985 there was not the north-south traffic that there is today.  MnDOT has a TON of needs and quite frankly once the 2008 transportation bill construction money winds down in 2018 there is hardly enough money to simply maintain the existing system (They have estimated a $6 billion+ shortfall just for the status quo).

I agree a flyover type of interchange would be the most ideal fix but I don't see it happening anytime soon.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: peterj920 on August 26, 2015, 01:05:36 AM
Would be nice to at least make the loops bigger, they're very tight.  There are a lot freeways in the Twin Cities metro also, so I can understand why there's so many cloverleafs.  But that interchange is probably top 5 in traffic.  694 is used for traffic that wants to bypass the metro and 494 serves Bloomington, the airport, and the Mall of America.  Interesting how Minnesota focuses on building so many freeways but doesn't spend a lot on interchanges, where Wisconsin is the complete opposite.  Wisconsin has less urban freeways, but builds extravagant interchanges (Mitchell, Marquette, and Zoo Interchanges are prime examples)  It's very expensive to have both, and that's probably why the states have such a contrast. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 26, 2015, 09:28:21 AM
Quote from: Roadguy
Even the crosstown project left a loop ramp from 35W NB to 62 WB and that is a heavily traveled movement.

It's really not that heavily used.  Combined with the lack of weaving along it plus the presence of Grass Lake just to the northwest is why that loop ramp was retained.  BTW, that loop ramp was the only loop ramp in the original Crosstown Commons design.

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 28, 2015, 08:35:51 AM
Interesting 1960s video from Minneapolis of I-35W.  35W ended at the Lake/31st St exit at the time, which puts the date of the video in 1966 or early 1967.  The cameraman is entering northbound from 35th St, passing through the barriers at 31st St, then continuing along the freshly completed concrete north into downtown.  There are views of US 212 signed with Lake/31st (212 followed Lake St from ~1934-1983), a 50 MPH speed limit sign (it's currently 55 MPH), a view down Lake St to the east from the 35W overpass, video from the downtown split up to 10th St, and a partial return southbound shot coming off 10th St/4th Ave towards where MN 65 crosses over I-94.  Aside from the 50 MPH speed limit sign, there were no signs yet posted on the then-unopened section.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mplsarchives/20639797346/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 29, 2015, 04:13:47 PM
They keep having issues with accidents at the I-35/MN 33 interchange in Cloquet where southbound traffic on 33 wanting to head north on I-35 has to turn left across traffic coming north off I-35, and the traffic coming off 35 is often speeding and has poor sightlines as they have to come over a hill. MNDot has tried adding an electronic speed indicator sign to get the attention of drivers getting off I-35 and making some pavement marking changes for MN 33 southbound traffic. I think honestly the best thing is just to install a stoplight here. It would be the most expensive fix short of reconfiguring the entire interchange, but what MNDot has tried isn't working.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on August 30, 2015, 06:51:08 PM
Interesting 1960s video from Minneapolis of I-35W.  35W ended at the Lake/31st St exit at the time, which puts the date of the video in 1966 or early 1967.  The cameraman is entering northbound from 35th St, passing through the barriers at 31st St, then continuing along the freshly completed concrete north into downtown.  There are views of US 212 signed with Lake/31st (212 followed Lake St from ~1934-1983), a 50 MPH speed limit sign (it's currently 55 MPH), a view down Lake St to the east from the 35W overpass, video from the downtown split up to 10th St, and a partial return southbound shot coming off 10th St/4th Ave towards where MN 65 crosses over I-94.  Aside from the 50 MPH speed limit sign, there were no signs yet posted on the then-unopened section.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mplsarchives/20639797346/

Froggie, thanks for the headsup.

And... Sears Used Cars? 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: midwesternroadguy on September 01, 2015, 01:41:40 PM
Freeway lighting upgrades:

MnDOT is replacing the luminaires on most freeway lights within the metro and also around St. Cloud with very thin LED-imbedded luminaires.  Very quickly too. 

As an additional perk of the upgrade, the Lafayette Freeway is having continuous lighting extended from Thompson Avenue to I-494.  The median lighting is being replaced with new cobraheads along the outer shoulders. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 24, 2015, 10:00:05 AM
Going back to Old Hwy 14 between Janesville and Owatonna, a judge dismissed yet another lawsuit (http://www.southernminn.com/owatonna_peoples_press/news/article_756bbfb0-df0a-5bcc-8816-b2da52cac835.html) brought up by Steele and Waseca Counties against MnDOT (filed back in May) regarding the reconstruction of old US 14.  In short, the counties wanted paved shoulders and cited that MnDOT's own technical manuals and policies would suggest such in many locations.  In the current reconstruction, MnDOT is putting gravel shoulders instead.  And won on the simple fact that the settlement agreement from the PREVIOUS lawsuit states that "the MnDOT is to reclaim the existing shoulder of Highway 14 to aggregate."
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: JMAN_WiS&S on September 24, 2015, 07:39:36 PM
Would be nice to at least make the loops bigger, they're very tight.  There are a lot freeways in the Twin Cities metro also, so I can understand why there's so many cloverleafs.  But that interchange is probably top 5 in traffic.  694 is used for traffic that wants to bypass the metro and 494 serves Bloomington, the airport, and the Mall of America.  Interesting how Minnesota focuses on building so many freeways but doesn't spend a lot on interchanges, where Wisconsin is the complete opposite.  Wisconsin has less urban freeways, but builds extravagant interchanges (Mitchell, Marquette, and Zoo Interchanges are prime examples)  It's very expensive to have both, and that's probably why the states have such a contrast.
Oh my gosh, my family mentions it every time we pass through there. Shortest merging lanes I've ever seen. The WI29/US53 interchange in Lake Hallie is similar to a cloverleaf, a stretched out cloverleaf, has collector lanes 1/2 mile before the interchange in all directions, and the merge lanes between all the loops seem like they are all at least 1/4 mile long, with lanes extending past the loops on each end, so that traffic can use that to merge back onto the main flow rather use the part that traffic entering the cloverleaf uses.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 25, 2015, 07:26:07 PM
MNPass lanes proposed for a 14-mile stretch of I-35W roughly between MN 36 and Lexington Avenue. Construction wouldn't begin until 2019 provided MNDot can convince the state to fund the project.

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/09/25/new-mnpass-lanes-could-be-coming-to-north-metro/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 26, 2015, 05:54:09 AM
US 53 relocation in Virginia receives final federal approval; the mining company that current US 53 exists on has agreed to an extension of the lease with MNDot until November 2017 when MNDot expects to finish the rerouted 53.

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/iron-range/3847530-highway-53-reroute-between-eveleth-and-virginia-receives-federal-approval
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 26, 2015, 08:01:03 AM
I'd noticed the I-35W MnPASS lane project (and a different news article on it) the other day, but opted not to say anything as only under the most optimum conditions would construction begin in 2019.

As for US 53....$240 million to relocate a road for a mine that has been having issues anyway (http://minnesotabrown.com/2015/08/highway-53-to-the-danger-zone.html)...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on September 26, 2015, 10:02:14 AM
I'd noticed the I-35W MnPASS lane project (and a different news article on it) the other day, but opted not to say anything as only under the most optimum conditions would construction begin in 2019.

As for US 53....$240 million to relocate a road for a mine that has been having issues anyway (http://minnesotabrown.com/2015/08/highway-53-to-the-danger-zone.html)...

MnPASS... I have nothing good to say...  :banghead:

No matter how the mining company does, to assume TH 53 will does not have to be relocated is a very bad assumption.  Even if United Taconite were to sell/go under, guaranteed another company would come in and buy out the mine and put MnDOT in the same position.  The company is not going to sell the mine or even in bankruptcy the land would not go for a significant value less than it's appraised value.  Typically land with significant mineral value in bankruptcy still fetches close to the fair market price.  So it still makes sense for MnDOT to build a bridge versus pay the $400 million to buy the mineral rights under the existing highway.  If anything this puts MnDOT in less of a stressful time frame to complete the bridge project and vacate the existing highway.

As for the writer's comment on cost overruns budget (I know you didn't write the piece Froggie, you are just linking us to it), MnDOT does a pretty good job at estimating project costs.  These large projects have enough contingency in them and MnDOT over the past 8 years has started/completed a lot of high cost bridge projects that one would expect they will probably stay on budget with this one as well.  Design-build has really brought down project overruns and change orders (averaging 2% of the project budget in design-build versus design-bid-build at 6%).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on September 27, 2015, 01:37:24 AM
I haven't been following the situation up in Virginia closely, but I guess I just assumed the relocation of US 53 would involve filling in whatever mine hole the new highway would go through with the endless supply of old overburden in the area.
The huge "Bridge to Target" (as that editorial so delightfully put it) has got to be the majority of the cost.  If they are going to spend over $200 million, MnDOT might as well just build a bypass of Virginia to the east.  Like completely.  The land is already destroyed by older mines.

At the very least, that alternative they had in the County Road 7 corridor is looking much better now that I know there's a big, expensive bridge involved.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: discochris on September 30, 2015, 12:00:12 AM
MN 5 likely to be turned back to Washington County between MN 120 and MN 36 (its present east terminus) this summer.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28194176/mndot-handing-over-stretch-minnesota-5-washington-county

The article mentions something a little more curious though: MNDot is apparently trying to hand over a section of MN 60 in Worthington. What is this section and why would they hand it over?

Wasn't there an intent long ago to make this a 4-lane highway through the east side of St. Paul all the way to Stillwater, but it was eventually killed, and that's why the 4-lane was built east of 694?

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 30, 2015, 06:12:46 AM
More or less.  Dates to the '50s.  Was effectively dead by 1980-ish.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Revive 755 on October 16, 2015, 10:46:47 PM
I don't believe this was posted before:  Apparently a Tier 1 ROD was reached for a new freeway connecting US 212 with US 169 (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/06/12/2015-14080/notice-of-final-federal-agency-actions-on-proposed-highway-in-minnesota)

Quote from: from federal register
Notice is hereby given that FHWA has issued at Tier I Record of Decision (ROD) in connection with a proposed highway project in the State of Minnesota: Construction of a new Trunk Highway (TH) 41 Minnesota River crossing connecting Trunk Highway 169 and United States (US) Highway 212 in the vicinity of the existing Trunk Highway 41. A modified Alternative C-2 corridor was the selected alternative in the Tier I FEIS. The selected alternative is an approximately 3 mile long, 300-foot wide corridor to accommodate a new four-lane east-west regional freeway connection between US 169 and US 212 that will improve regional accessibility and alleviate traffic congestion.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 17, 2015, 07:36:44 AM
It's been mentioned somewhere in the past, but MnDOT can't even fund a freeway connection that's been through the EIS process for years (between I-94 and US 10 near Clearwater), so the odds of this getting funded anytime soon are basically zero.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on October 17, 2015, 09:36:06 AM
It's been mentioned somewhere in the past, but MnDOT can't even fund a freeway connection that's been through the EIS process for years (between I-94 and US 10 near Clearwater), so the odds of this getting funded anytime soon are basically zero.

Agreed with Froggie.  Especially under the Met Council's 2040 Thrive plan, one might as well consider this a dead project.  Any expansion project like this one, especially outside of the 494-694 loop, has virtually 0.0001% chance of getting funding.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 09, 2015, 06:08:27 PM
Some notes from today:

I-494 in Maple Grove: All three southbound lanes to MN 55 plus the auxiliary lane between I-94/694 and Bass Lake Road are completed and open until spring when traffic will shift to that side so the northbound lanes can be rebuilt and widened.

MN 100 in St. Louis Park: Work is progressing at the south end of the rebuild zone around MN 7/Hennepin County 25 and the Cedar Lake Regional Trail. North of MN 7, much of the northbound work has been completed. The new northbound auxiliary lane to the West 25th St exit is now open. One personal thought though is that unsurprisingly, a lot of the intimate feel of MN 100 passing through the neighborhood in St. Louis Park is no longer there. Small price to pay of course, but I'll miss that.

MN 610 in Maple Grove: Road bed is being graded and some overpass construction work at Fernbrook Lane at the least is underway, if not elsewhere along the extension.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 09, 2015, 06:26:08 PM
Quote
I-494 in Maple Grove: All three southbound lanes to MN 55 plus the auxiliary lane between I-94/694 and Bass Lake Road are completed and open until spring when traffic will shift to that side so the northbound lanes can be rebuilt and widened.

A friend of mine posted a photo of this on his Facebook a couple weeks ago, as it's his normal commute route.  Sadly, I had to point out that it's "temporary" until construction resumes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 10, 2015, 02:29:19 AM
Oh, and at long, glorious, fucking last: US 52 Lafayette Bridge project is done.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_29092737/st-paul-officials-mark-end-u-s-52?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on November 10, 2015, 08:34:44 PM
Minnesota deserves credit for replacing a lot of old, structurally deficient bridges in the wake of the 35W collapse despite a tight road budget.  The Lafayette Bridge was one of the big ones.  And they have a bunch more under construction or in the pipeline.
It's good to see a state committed to fixing established infrastructure over expanding rural corridors.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on November 10, 2015, 10:12:49 PM
In St. Paul, I saw this bridge on Google Earth:
https://goo.gl/maps/dgbzLjfFmaM2

Surely there aren't plans to widen 494 that much?  https://www.aaroads.com/forum/Smileys/default/confused0003.gif
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 11, 2015, 01:12:54 AM
In St. Paul, I saw this bridge on Google Earth:
https://goo.gl/maps/dgbzLjfFmaM2

Surely there aren't plans to widen 494 that much?  https://www.aaroads.com/forum/Smileys/default/confused0003.gif

I believe that design was to minimize the effects on some wetlands adjacent to the freeway.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 11, 2015, 07:50:50 AM
Quote from: triplemultiplex
Minnesota deserves credit for replacing a lot of old, structurally deficient bridges in the wake of the 35W collapse despite a tight road budget.  The Lafayette Bridge was one of the big ones.  And they have a bunch more under construction or in the pipeline.

That's mainly because the transportation package the Legislature passed during the 2008 session (over the Governor's veto, I might add) contained a funding increase that went SPECIFICALLY to two things:  widening MN 60 between Windom and St. James, and replacing/rehabilitating structurally-deficient bridges, with a focus (and Legislative mandate) on fracture-critical bridges.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on November 11, 2015, 11:03:51 AM
In St. Paul, I saw this bridge on Google Earth:
https://goo.gl/maps/dgbzLjfFmaM2

Surely there aren't plans to widen 494 that much?  https://www.aaroads.com/forum/Smileys/default/confused0003.gif

I believe that design was to minimize the effects on some wetlands adjacent to the freeway.

That is 100% correct.  Also the bridge was extended because if you were to place 20 feet of fill over that area, the soils are so poor that the roadway placed on top of that fill would have settled probably 1-3 feet.  Bridges don't settle because they are on piling but the soils under the approaches do especially when the fill is placed on poor soil.  It would have created quite the bump right at the bridge.  :D

All of the costs to mitigate the soils issues and allowing them to avoid major wetland impacts made extending the bridge worth it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 21, 2015, 10:53:48 PM
I took a day trip down through New Ulm and Mankato this afternoon, taking MN 68 between the two cities instead of US 14. But I was wondering if sometime down the line when they finish with their US 14 four-laning that MNDot might have designs on eliminating 68 east of New Ulm. It's a nice drive but the upgrades to US 14 make it superfluous. I'm not suggesting this turnback would happen anytime in the near future, more like sometime in the mid-2020s or later.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 22, 2015, 11:13:26 AM
MnDOT completed a Jurisdictional Realignment study 2 summers ago.  According to that, they have no plans to turn back MN 68.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 30, 2015, 12:12:18 PM
According to today's Pioneer Press (http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_29181243/mnpass-lanes-will-open-today-i-35e), the EZPass lanes on I-35E between 694 and downtown St. Paul are supposed to open today (snowstorm permitting).  This is a big part of the overall reconstruction project on I-35E between downtown and Little Creek Rd.

A related construction project for next year will extend the EZPass lanes further north...to CSAH 96 southbound and County Rd J northbound.  The northbound lane will have a "gap" through the 694 commons, while the southbound lane will be continuous through the commons (starting at CSAH 96).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: JMAN_WiS&S on November 30, 2015, 08:36:23 PM
Update Notes:
Both Intersections for the Century Ave/I-694 Interchanges have had their signals replaced with the stainless steel looking poles, and black signal heads, and the turn signals for Century Ave have been changed from 5 stack to 4 stack FYA. Also, a Dual Right turn lane has been added
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 03, 2015, 03:57:04 PM
MNDot announced a new project for spring: rebuilding the ramp from MN 280 to northbound I-35W in Roseville, and resurfacing 280 between 35W and Como Avenue.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy280/index.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 03, 2015, 04:51:03 PM
I94RoadRunner just sent me a photo of a "JCT OLD MN 5" trailblazer on I-694 indicating the MN 5 turnback in Washington County is about to finally be completed.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: invincor on December 04, 2015, 05:02:54 PM
I94RoadRunner just sent me a photo of a "JCT OLD MN 5" trailblazer on I-694 indicating the MN 5 turnback in Washington County is about to finally be completed.

Yes, I saw these myself on Wednesday night.  They're posted right next to the BGSes for the exit on both northbound and southbound, but all the old, normal MN 5 signage is still up too, or it was then.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 04, 2015, 05:22:58 PM
I94RoadRunner just sent me a photo of a "JCT OLD MN 5" trailblazer on I-694 indicating the MN 5 turnback in Washington County is about to finally be completed.

Yes, I saw these myself on Wednesday night.  They're posted right next to the BGSes for the exit on both northbound and southbound, but all the old, normal MN 5 signage is still up too, or it was then.

I checked it out today. I'll post some photos later, but to summarize:

-Old MN 5 west of Lake Elmo to MN 120 is an extension of Washington CR 14; east of Lake Elmo to MN 36 is an extension of CR 15.
-The 1-mile guide sign on northbound I-694 has been patched over with a CR 14 shield. All other guide signs related to MN 5 have not been changed yet.
-All signs at the MN 36 interchange have been replaced, although the END MN 5/BEGIN CR 5 1/2 MILE sign has not been removed. There are no OLD MN 5 signs here like there are on 694.
-Still plenty of MN 5 mast-arm signs along the decommed stretch.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 09, 2015, 04:07:23 PM
An article yesterday from the Worthington Daily Globe (http://www.dglobe.com/news/3898513-53-years-four-lanes-mndot-presents-plans-complete-mn-60) makes note of the 53 year process it's been to upgrade MN 60 to 4 lanes across the southern/western part of the state.  But there are 3 notable design changes being pursued for the final segment...from Windom to Mountain Lake:

- The left lane will be 11ft instead of 12ft.
- Some of the shoulder will be aggregate (gravel) instead of fully paved.
- The inside (left) shoulder will be 3ft instead of 4ft.

MnDOT estimates that this will save about $1 million.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 17, 2015, 09:17:09 AM
I94RoadRunner just sent me a photo of a "JCT OLD MN 5" trailblazer on I-694 indicating the MN 5 turnback in Washington County is about to finally be completed.

Yes, I saw these myself on Wednesday night.  They're posted right next to the BGSes for the exit on both northbound and southbound, but all the old, normal MN 5 signage is still up too, or it was then.

I confirmed that all the old MN 5 signage is now gone since you and I went through there when I went to Stillwater on Tuesday. Anyway here are the photos from my drive through there 10 days ago:

New END MN 5 shield at MN 120

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/12301651_490563954461558_5690412001921415284_n.jpg?oh=e66759f58da00e84be84c584e053002e&oe=56DA7953)

Patched-over guide sign on I-694
(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/12345633_494275680757052_8602869211912297145_n.jpg?oh=8bf97cdcf35c3a72b91c92b24382f18f&oe=56DBFB46)

Old eastern terminus at MN 36 (note: there are no OLD MN 5 markers in this area)
(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/12366384_494275987423688_5241946026429191193_n.jpg?oh=bdd4ce9387d9dafe9ad7681e2238a4c9&oe=56E45A46)

OLD MN 5 assembly along MN 120 at the new eastern terminus.
(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfl1/v/t1.0-9/10518011_494276240756996_6515908697114802869_n.jpg?oh=24753fb7dbb3a368edaa289facbd27e4&oe=56DCEE8D)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 17, 2015, 05:29:38 PM
I'd like to see a lot more "old highway" signs. And not just in Minnesota.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 17, 2015, 05:38:17 PM
I'd like to see a lot more "old highway" signs. And not just in Minnesota.

You might already be aware, but unfortunately these are only transitional and they'll be removed in a couple years.

I remember OLD US 12 assemblies being posted at the interchange with US 169 following I-394's creation, and OLD MN 49 signs posted at I-35W's Exit 36 after that route was retired.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 06, 2016, 01:07:16 AM
The state just released the 11 projects receiving a total of $32M under the Transportation Economic Development program.

Metro projects include:
-Interchange at MN 36 and Hadley Avenue just west of I-694
-US 169/MN 41 interchange construction near Jordan
-Completing the I-494/West Bush Lake Road interchange in Bloomington by adding a ramp to westbound 494. A ramp wasn't built either initially or during the 2006 I-494 widen/rebuild due to the proximity of a railroad and the MN 100 interchange.
-Rebuild of the US 52/Dakota CR 42 interchange in Rosemount
-Expansion of MN 41 to four lanes between US 212 and Pioneer Trail

Metro: http://www.mn.gov/gov-stat/pdf/2016_01_05_ted2016-metro.pdf

Outstate (not much except some minor intersection improvements): http://www.mn.gov/gov-stat/pdf/2016_01_05_ted2016-statewide.pdf
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: peterj920 on January 06, 2016, 06:19:03 AM
I'd like to see a lot more "old highway" signs. And not just in Minnesota.

You might already be aware, but unfortunately these are only transitional and they'll be removed in a couple years.

I remember OLD US 12 assemblies being posted at the interchange with US 169 following I-394's creation, and OLD MN 49 signs posted at I-35W's Exit 36 after that route was retired.

Why would there be OLD US 12 signs along I-394 if US 12 is routed along I-394?  I know MNDOT wants to make it a hidden concurrency, but I don't think OLD US 12 signs were appropriate since it was part of the current routing.  US 10 is signed along I-35E and I-694 so why can't US 12 be signed along I-394 and I-94?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on January 06, 2016, 08:19:47 AM
I'd like to see a lot more "old highway" signs. And not just in Minnesota.

You might already be aware, but unfortunately these are only transitional and they'll be removed in a couple years.

I remember OLD US 12 assemblies being posted at the interchange with US 169 following I-394's creation, and OLD MN 49 signs posted at I-35W's Exit 36 after that route was retired.

Why would there be OLD US 12 signs along I-394 if US 12 is routed along I-394?  I know MNDOT wants to make it a hidden concurrency, but I don't think OLD US 12 signs were appropriate since it was part of the current routing.  US 10 is signed along I-35E and I-694 so why can't US 12 be signed along I-394 and I-94?

US 12 was not signed along 394 due to the signing clutter it would have created (https://goo.gl/maps/q69HEHVSD2R2).  The signage is already dense in the corridor due to the close interchanges and MnPASS/HOT signing.  As for the OLD 12 you are right, that is not correct.

The same is done with 52 along 94 (https://goo.gl/maps/D6jUnMFHuKs) and 12 along 94 (https://goo.gl/maps/SBGY9QPz1J82) through the twin cities metro area with the same idea to reduce signage clutter.

MnDOT in Minneapolis/St. Paul for years has been trying to remove their non-freeway/expressway portions from the central cities recognizing the fact that the freeway system is dense enough to carry these routes.

The larger reason is MnDOT and these two cities also clash in visions for these more urban roadways.  An example is during the recent discussion with Bottineau LRT, Minneapolis wanted to turn Olson Mem (MN 55) into a one lane roadway each direction with turn lanes and sell the excess land off for development.  MnDOT and the suburban politicians clearly did not have this vision.  It came to the point where politicians got involved from as far out as Buffalo (The mayors of Golden Valley, Plymouth, and Medina were extremely outspoken about against the one lane concept), ultimately it will be LRT down the center and 3 lanes inbound/2 lanes outbound (with accommodations to be able to build a 3rd lane if necessary).  This just gives people an idea of how different the visions are for these types of roadways.

As we saw, MN 5 was the most recent turnback to the counties.  MN 7 east of 100 is another example.  MN 120, MN 65 (south of 694), MN 47 (south of 694), and MN 51 are all on the list to be turned back to local governments when the money is available to do so.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 06, 2016, 10:45:49 AM
Quote from: TheHighwayMan394
-Completing the I-494/West Bush Lake Road interchange in Bloomington by adding a ramp to westbound 494. A ramp wasn't built either initially or during the 2006 I-494 widen/rebuild due to the proximity of a railroad and the MN 100 interchange.

This had nothing to do with the Hwy 100 interchange and everything to do with the railroad.  MnDOT's initial plan was to construct a standard on-ramp which would have crossed the railroad at-grade.  FHWA and FRA disagreed with that...this disagreement is why a ramp wasn't built during past 494 upgrades (namely the 2003-05 widening which saw the eastbound off-ramp loop built).

Quote from: Roadguy
The larger reason is MnDOT and these two cities also clash in visions for these more urban roadways.

This is not really the larger reason.  MnDOT has been turning back lesser routes for decades now because A) they want to save money for the more important roadways and B) because they feel the lighter used routes are more appropriately placed at the city and county level.  Has there been some friction?  Sure, but that friction is not the primary reason as you suggest.

Quote
An example is during the recent discussion with Bottineau LRT, Minneapolis wanted to turn Olson Mem (MN 55) into a one lane roadway each direction with turn lanes and sell the excess land off for development.

Correct on selling excess land for development.  INcorrect on roadway width.  Minneapolis is okay with 2 lanes each direction, but MnDOT wants to keep it at its existing 3 lanes.  Traffic volumes suggest that 2 lanes would still be fine.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: peterj920 on January 06, 2016, 08:32:03 PM
I understand why US 52 is hidden, it doesn't split from I-94 until Jamestown, ND and the concurrency is hundreds of miles.  I don't think adding a US 12 sign would add much sign clutter, and US 12 is a very important route west of I-394.  I think it should be signed along I-394 because of the continuation west of I-694.  Why is US 10 fully signed along interstates in the metro while US 12 isn't?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: noelbotevera on January 06, 2016, 08:36:34 PM
I understand why US 52 is hidden, it doesn't split from I-94 until Jamestown, ND and the concurrency is hundreds of miles.  I don't think adding a US 12 sign would add much sign clutter, and US 12 is a very important route west of I-394.  I think it should be signed along I-394 because of the continuation west of I-694.  Why is US 10 fully signed along interstates in the metro while US 12 isn't?
Although I've never been to the Twin Cities, I believe that signs sign US 12 up until you leave St. Paul.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 06, 2016, 09:20:23 PM
I understand why US 52 is hidden, it doesn't split from I-94 until Jamestown, ND and the concurrency is hundreds of miles.  I don't think adding a US 12 sign would add much sign clutter, and US 12 is a very important route west of I-394.  I think it should be signed along I-394 because of the continuation west of I-694.  Why is US 10 fully signed along interstates in the metro while US 12 isn't?
Although I've never been to the Twin Cities, I believe that signs sign US 12 up until you leave St. Paul.

They don't. There are no signs for US 12 east of the I-394 interchange except for the "12 FOLLOW 94" heading westbound after the state line. However there is one "stray" I-394/US 12 reassurance BGS heading west on I-394 as you approach the MN 100 interchange.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: invincor on January 08, 2016, 10:58:21 AM
I understand why US 52 is hidden, it doesn't split from I-94 until Jamestown, ND and the concurrency is hundreds of miles.  I don't think adding a US 12 sign would add much sign clutter, and US 12 is a very important route west of I-394.  I think it should be signed along I-394 because of the continuation west of I-694.  Why is US 10 fully signed along interstates in the metro while US 12 isn't?

It's probably because it keeps switching what routes it's concurrent with as it goes, zig-zagging along the way, whereas US12 heads due east-west along just I-394 and I-94. 

Going eastbound, US10 is solo until you get to I-35W, which it joins with for about a mile heading south, then splits off solo again for about 2-3 miles, then joins onto I-694 heading east for 4-5 miles, then switches to join I-35E heading south for about 4 miles, then switches to join I-94 heading east for 2-3 miles, before finally being paired with US61 and heading southeast with it out of the metro.  61 and 10 are cosigned all the way to their split just before Hastings where US10 turns east solo to head into Prescott, Wisconsin. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 08, 2016, 03:00:47 PM
MNDot's never seemed to have a problem with signing short duplexes such as the 10 example, US 59 in Fergus Falls with I-94, 14/61 on I-90 near La Crescent, etc. It's the lengthy duplexes such as US 12 and US 52 that have resulted in hidden concurrencies or truncations of US routes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 28, 2016, 02:08:03 AM
I took a day trip down to Red Wing. On the way back I followed MN 50 from Miesville to Farmington, which I noticed the mileposts reflect the route's old terminus at I-35 and not the truncated western terminus at MN 3. This is similar to MN 16, which retained US 16's mileposts, and MN 101's mileposts which even during the massive upgrades to the northernmost section still reflect the route's former extent south of I-94. Why were these never updated? Is it just a matter of familiarity, or is it seen as inconsequential? Probably both of those.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 28, 2016, 07:44:13 AM
MnDOT's station-making is based on the mileposts, so it's easier and a HELL OF A LOT LESS paperwork to just leave the mileposts as-is.  You'll also notice that MN 5 east of downtown St Paul has mileposts in the 180s....that's a legacy of when it used to be MN 212.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 30, 2016, 07:06:51 AM
An update on the MN 610 extension: work on demolishing the 101st Avenue bridge over I-94 in Maple Grove started in the last couple days.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 30, 2016, 11:08:12 AM
I headed down to Maple Grove to check things out this morning. The new 105th Ave bridge isn't open yet; I was under the impression they weren't going to close the 101st Ave bridge until the 105th bridge was open.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on January 31, 2016, 02:31:15 PM
The proposed new river crossing west Anoka: it seems now if it ever happens the plan is to tie into a future Brockton Lane interchane on I-94. Was it ever discussed as a reroute of US 169 or was that just roadgeek fantasy (and looks impossible now due to development).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 31, 2016, 03:12:57 PM
50-ish years ago, there was a proposal for a river crossing west of Anoka that would have been a Champlin/Anoka bypass for 169, but that would not have tied into a Brockton Ln interchange.  The current proposal, which does have a tie-in to I-94, wasn't intended as a 169 reroute.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 06, 2016, 09:24:12 AM
Here's my photoshop of a future Twin Cities Highway map
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1651/24417542059_0793530bb6.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DcGhyt)metro6 (https://flic.kr/p/DcGhyt) by North Star Highways (https://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 06, 2016, 10:26:08 AM
I know it was listed in the realignment study, but would Anoka County be so willing to hand County 14 back to the state after all the money they've put into upgrading it following the original turnback of 242?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 06, 2016, 12:01:43 PM
Now that it's mostly 4 lanes, possibly.  The main reason they accepted the turnback to begin with is because they could get it widened much faster using county, CSAH, and turnback funds than they could waiting for MnDOT to do it.  If they give it back to MnDOT now, they still have a 4-lane highway but would be absolved of the maintenance costs and responsibility.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 08, 2016, 06:08:18 PM
The MN 1/169 relocation project near Ely is getting underway this week as crews will begin clearing trees for the new alignment of road. The project had been delayed a few years due to environmental concerns raised about the original alternative, necessitating the state to develop another alternative.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy169eagles/index.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 24, 2016, 06:33:55 PM
Resurfacing project on MN 11 near Baudette added for this year. It's only 8 miles, but the nature of the project will make it a headache for MNDot to complete and they say it will take most of the summer.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/hwy11-baudette/index.html?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: JREwing78 on February 24, 2016, 07:34:15 PM
Resurfacing project on MN 11 near Baudette added for this year. It's only 8 miles, but the nature of the project will make it a headache for MNDot to complete and they say it will take most of the summer.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1531455e27c5f3db

We can't view links to your own Gmail inbox. Sorry.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 24, 2016, 07:57:32 PM
Resurfacing project on MN 11 near Baudette added for this year. It's only 8 miles, but the nature of the project will make it a headache for MNDot to complete and they say it will take most of the summer.

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1531455e27c5f3db

We can't view links to your own Gmail inbox. Sorry.


That'd be a problem, wouldn't it? (Linking to my own e-mail was unintentional, by the way) :(

It's fixed.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 30, 2016, 03:44:10 AM
Minnesota's favorite rite of spring about to get underway with several major metro projects kicking off soon, including a rebuild/widen of I-694 in the north metro, I-94 resurfacing on the east side of St. Paul, and a transit-friendly project on I-35W south of downtown Minneapolis.

The I-694 project will be using an express-local system to expedite traffic through the area. Left-lane traffic through the work zone will not have access to any exits between I-35E and I-35W.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/enhance694/

But my concern is that the road is only being expanded between Lexington and 35E (which makes sense I suppose given they just rebuilt the former mess at US 10/MN 51), when I feel a big part of the problem to begin with is the eastbound lane drop at I-35W. Are they ever planning on filling the 10/51 section in to five or six lanes, particularly the eastbound direction?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on March 30, 2016, 08:32:57 AM
5 or 6 lanes there would be overkill.  There is a large and noticeable traffic drop eastbound at 35W (likewise westbound at 10), which is in part why MnDOT feels it's acceptable to keep that short leg between 35W and 10 at 2 lanes each direction.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on April 02, 2016, 11:06:06 AM
Anyone know the history of Constitutional Route 12 west of the Twin Cities. I assume it originally followed the Yellowstone Trail route along Excelsior, than cutting over to what is now MN 5. Later maps seem to conflict on whether it was moved to go through Chaska along 41- one map shows it moved, but a later map (late enough to show US highway markers) shows it was not.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 02, 2016, 07:43:22 PM
Some notes that may help:

- Today's MN 7 was not built between Excelsior and MN 100 until the mid-30s.  MnDOT project logs show the "route" was added in 1921, and both the project log map and county road maps from the early '30s show that C.R. 12 did indeed follow Excelsior Blvd west out of Minneapolis.  This would have also included Main St through Hopkins proper.

- The original 1920 constitutional amendment map doesn't have the greatest of resolution, but suggests that originally, C.R. 12 followed Shady Oak Rd south from Hopkins, then followed today's Flying Cloud Dr corridor to Chaska.  It certainly shows C.R. 12 going through what is now Eden Prairie.

- The 1926 state highway map and all subsequent maps I have show C.R. 12 along today's MN 41 corridor between Chaska and Excelsior.  So based on this, C.R. 12 was moved onto MN 41 sometime between 1920 and 1926.

- As best as I can tell, C.R. 12 never followed any part of what is now MN 5 (east of NYA, at least).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 17, 2016, 07:34:42 AM
Someone tweeted a photo of yesterday's demolition of the old MN 7 bridge over MN 100, taken from the air:

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 19, 2016, 12:11:22 PM
MnDOT announced their 2016 construction kickoff (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/16/04/14kickoff.html) last week.  Between that and it's been over 2 years since I last offered a interchange/major roundabout write-up (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6510.msg275765#msg275765), I figured it's time for another update.  I'm splitting this up into multiple posts, starting with projects completed since 2014 (includes known roundabouts):

US 2/MN 89 junction west of Bemidji - The former T-junction was converted into a partial interchange.  There is a loop ramp from SB 89 to EB 2.  An at-grade left turn remains for EB 2 to NB 89, crossing WB 2.
US 2 between Cass Lake and Deer River - A reconstruction project included 3 sets of passing lanes.
MN 7/Louisiana Ave in St. Louis Park - Diamond interchange with roundabouts.
US 10/US 59 in Detroit Lakes (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/dlfrontageroad/) - Substantial completion of a project that rebuilt parts of US 10 and US 59, added a frontage road south of 10/west of 59, and added an underpass under US 59 with a connection between the frontage road and downtown Detroit Lakes.
US 10/Benton CSAH 2 in Rice - Modified diamond interchange.
US 10/US 169/Anoka CSAH 83 (http://www.highway10andarmstrong.com) in Ramsey - I don't remember how the county got funding, but they found it and the interchange is now open, though clean-up work continues into this spring.  A partial-folded diamond (http://www.highway10andarmstrong.com/pdf/141020_Layout.pdf) (EB on-ramp loop) was built, with a bridge over the BNSF rail tracks for CSAH 83.
US 12 in Wayzata - Auxiliary lane construction on eastbound US 12 from CSAH 15/101 to the off-ramp to Gleason Rd and I-494.
MN 13/Dakota CSAH 5 in Burnsville - Partial folded-diamond interchange (EB on-ramp loop).
US 14 near Owatonna - 4-lane widening from US 218 to just east of Steele CSAH 43 was completed last fall.  This is the first leg in bridging the remaining 4-lane gap between Owatonna and Dodge Center.  Of note:  an interchange was originally proposed at CSAH 43 and is still on the books, but an at-grade intersection was built instead due to lack of funding.
US 14/MN 42 near Eyota - Roundabout construction.
MN 15/33rd St in St. Cloud - Diamond interchange with roundabouts.
MN 22 at both Blue Earth CSAH 17/Madison Ave and Adams St in Mankato - Roundabouts were added at both intersections.
MN 25 in Monticello - Widened to 4 lanes south to 85th St NE/Wright CR 106.
MN 34 between Detroit Lakes and Akeley - 9 passing lanes (5 eastbound, 4 westbound) built.
I-35 in Owatonna - A reconstruction project that also added auxiliary lanes between Bridge St and Hoffman Dr (old US 14 West, now CSAH 2).
I-35W in northeast Minneapolis - A sequence of projects that added a northbound on-ramp from 4th St, added a northbound auxiliary lane from the Mississippi River bridge to Johnson St, and consolidating the Johnson St and Stinson Blvd/New Brighton Blvd exits into a single exit.  This last part removed old grading done on the northbound side that had originally been intended for the cancelled I-335.
I-35W at Ramsey CSAH 96 - The interchange was reconstructed as a diverging diamond (DDI).
MN 36/Hilton Trl in Pine Springs - Diamond interchange with roundabouts.
US 52/Goodhue CSAH 9 south of Cannon Falls - Folded-diamond interchange with on-ramp loops and VERY TIGHT ramp curves.
US 52/Goodhue CSAH 24 in Cannon Falls - Diamond interchange with rundabouts.
US 52/Dakota CSAH 66 north of Hampton - Reduced-conflict intersection.
US 52 Lafayette Bridge - Replaced the Lafayette Bridge over the Mississippi River with a 6-lane bridge plus bike/ped path and relocated the northbound ramps to I-94.
US 59 at Willow St in Detroit Lakes - Roundabout construction.
MN 60 between Mountain Lake and St. James - 4-lane widening.
I-94 between MN 241/St. Michael and MN 101/Rogers - 6-lane widening is completed.  Of note:  the eastbound lane is an auxiliary lane that ends at the MN 101 exit ramp (so that MN 101 to I-94 traffic can get its own lane).
MN 101/Hennepin CSAH 144 in Rogers - Diverging diamond interchange.
Former MN 101/Carver CSAH 101 between the Minnesota River and CSAH 61 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy101river/index.html) - Constructed a 4-lane bridge over floodplain to minimize river flooding shutdowns and replaced the former wye-junction at CSAH 61 with a roundabout.  As part of this project, the short bit of MN 101 south of the Wye to the Carver/Scott County line was turned back to the county.
US 169/Scott CSAH 69 in Shakopee - Partial folded-diamond interchange (NB off-ramp loop).
I-394/Ridgedale Dr in Minnetonka - Adding a WB on-ramp to complete a full interchange.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 19, 2016, 12:12:16 PM
Ongoing 2016 construction (continued from previous years):

MN 5 Mississippi River Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy5/) - A major bridge redecking continues.  Eastbound was done last year, now all traffic is squeezed onto one lane per direction on the eastbound side so westbound can be done.
US 14 from west of Nicollet to North Mankato (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/14newulmtonmankato/) - This project began last summer and involves 4-laning US 14 from west of Nicollet to the existing 4-lane on the outskirts of North Mankato.  It includes a Nicollet bypass an an interchange at MN 111/CSAH 23.
MN 23 at Kandiyohi CSAH 5 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23kandi5/index.html) near Willmar - This project will build an overpass for CSAH 5 over MN 23, utilizing the existing grading/fill for what was long ago planned as an interchange when the Willmar bypass was built.  The existing roadway north of MN 23 will remain as the connector road between MN 23 and CSAH 5.
MN 23 in West Duluth (http://www.mndot.gov/d1/projects/Hwy23grand/) - Second year of reconstructing MN 23 through West Duluth, from Becks Rd to I-35.  The road will basically retain its existing 4-lane undivided configuration.
MN 24 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy24/) - The MN 24 Mississippi River Bridge is being replaced with the new bridge being just downstream of the existing bridge.
MN 29 near I-94 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/alexi94hwy29/) in Alexandria - This project will essentially rebuild the I-94/MN 29 interchange (basically as-is except moving the westbound ramps closer to the I-94 mainline), widen MN 29 from I-94 south to CSAH 28/CR 87 (about 3/4mi), and construct a roundabout at CSAH 28/CR 7 with CSAH 28 relocated to meet MN 29 at CR 87.  The roundabout was completed last year.
I-35E from I-94 to Little Canada Rd - Ongoing reconstruction of the I-35E corridor should wrap up this year.  The project adds a MnPASS (HO/T) lane in each direction (opened 11/30/2015), replaces the Cayuga Bridge (completed), adds auxiliary lanes between I-94 and Maryland Ave (for a total of 10 lanes on that stretch), and replaces the former 3/4 interchange at Pennsylvania Ave with a full folded-diamond intechange at Cayuga St (northbound ramps open, southbound to open this summer).
I-35E from I-694 to north of County Road J (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35vadnaisheights/) - This project extends on the above Cayuga Bridge project to extend the MnPASS (HO/T) Lanes north of I-694.  The southbound MnPASS lane will begin at CSAH 96 and be continuous through the I-694 commons to downtown St. Paul.  The northbound MnPASS lane will have a gap through the 694 commons, beginning again north of I-694 and continuing to north of County Road J.
MN 36 St. Croix River Crossing (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/stcroixcrossing/) - Continuing construction on this "Stillwater Bridge" replacement.  MN 36 traffic is using the future eastbound off-ramp to MN 95.
MN 43 Winona Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/winonabridge/index.html) - Expansion of the winona Bridge over the Mississippi River.  The original plan as it began construction was to build a new parallel bridge upstream as the new southbound lanes and rehabilitate the existing bridge (which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places) to serve as the northbound lanes.  That plan is now $30 million over budget so MnDOT is reevaluating what to do with the existing bridge.  The new bridge span is still scheduled for completion this year.
US 53 relocation near Virginia (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy53relocation/) - Mentioned previously on this forum, this project will relocate US 53 on the south side of Virginia so that the adjacent mining company can mine underneath existing US 53.  US 53 will be relocated to the northeast, including a 1,100ft long bridge over the Rocheleau Pit that apparently will be the tallest bridge in the state.  The project replaces the existing half-interchange at 2nd St with an intersection, but includes a diamond interchange at MN 135 to replace the existing 53/135 interchange.
US 61/MN 97 in Forest Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy61and97/) - Construction started last fall to build roundabouts at each of the 61/97 junctions.  "Free right" ramps will be provided for each MN 97 through-right movement off 61, and also from WB 97 to NB 61.
US 63 at Olmsted CSAH 16 (https://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/planning/trnsprtnplng/2015airportinterchange/Pages/default.aspx) near the Rochester Airport - This project is reconstructing the existing interchange into a diamond with roundabouts (https://www.co.olmsted.mn.us/planning/Documents/CSAH%2016%20Preliminary%20Interchange%20Congfiguration%20(454%20KB).pdf).
US 75 near Kent (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/hwy75kent/) - This project is relocating a US 75 railroad grade seperation further north of Kent, in Wilkin County, to reduce persistent flooding closures.
I-90 Dresbach Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/dresbachbridge/index.html) - Aside from removal of the old bridge, construction should finish on the new I-90 Dresbach Bridge over the Mississippi River this year.  This project also reconstructs the interchange at US 14/US 61 with more direct ramps (especially WB 90 to SB 14/61).
I-94 at 7th St in downtown Minneapolis (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94minneapolis/index.html) - This project, begun last year, will relocate the westbound I-94 exit to 5th St and downtown Minneapolis to 7th St.  The existing 5th St ramp bridge over I-35W will be reconfigured as a local road.
MN 100 in St Louis Park (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy100slp/) - This long-awaited full reconstruction of MN 100 in St. Louis Park should wrap up this year.  The plan includes reconstructing the interchanges at MN 7 (into a 5-ramp par-clo) and CSAH 5/Minnetonka Blvd (into a tight diamond) and providing a continuous 6 lanes (3 per direction) on MN 100.  Additional auxiliary lanes will be built between West 36th St and MN 7 and also between MN 7 and West 26th St.
US 169 in Belle Plaine (http://www.belleplainemn.com/current-projects) - Another pop-up project, this will build an overpass over US 169 just west of Scott CSAH 3.  I'm somewhat surprised they didn't put it along CSAH 3 so as to provide a continuous route.  Here's a map (http://www.belleplainemn.com/sites/default/files/images/CSAH%203%20Layout_2014_0.jpg) that shows the location.
MN 210 through Jay Cooke State Park (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy210future/index.html) - This ongoing project will rebuild a section of MN 210 through the park that was washed out in severe flooding 4 years ago.
US 212 at Shady Oak Rd in Eden Prairie (http://www.edenprairie.org/community/infrastructure-projects/shady-oak-road) - This project should wrap up this year.  It's reconstructing the US 212/Shady Oak Rd interchange for increased capacity, but retaining a diamond configuration.
I-494 from I-394 to I-94 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494plymouth/) - Reconstruction/widening will finish this year on I-494 between I-394 and I-94.  The widenings involved with this project include a northbound auxiliary lane between I-394 and Carlson Pkwy, auxiliary lanes on both sides between CSAH 6 and MN 55, a 3rd through lane in each direction between MN 55 and I-94/694, and a southbound auxiliary lane from I-94/694 to CSAH 10/Bass Lake Rd.  Unlike last year, this year's construction will maintain 2 lanes in each direction, with traffic shifted to the southbound side so that the northbound lanes can be rebuilt and widened.
MN 610 between I-94 and CSAH 81 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/610west/index.html) - Construction should wrap up this year on extending MN 610 to I-94.  The project includes a full interchange at Maple Grove Pkwy, a partial interchange at I-94 just north of the 101st Ave overpass (WB 610 to WB 94 and EB 94 to EB 610 only), and replaces old 101st Ave with a new 105th Ave from west of I-94 to Maple Grove Pkwy.  A project layout is here (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/610west/pdf/610layout.pdf).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 19, 2016, 12:13:25 PM
New construction for 2016:

MN 1/MN 169 near Eagles Nest Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy169eagles/) - This project will fully reconstruct MN 1/169 in the Eagles Nest Lake area between Tower and Ely, with about half of that on new alignment.
MN 4/MN 30 in St. James (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy4stjames/) - This project reconstructs MN 4/MN 30 through St. James.  The project includes two mini-roundabouts in downtown St. James.
US 8/MN 95 near Taylors Falls (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy8/) - Reconstruction of the road results in detours this year.  The project includes a roundabout at MN 95 South/Tern Ave.
MN 23 between Pipestone and Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23passinglanes/index.html) - This project will construct 11 single-direction passing lanes along MN 23 between Pipestone and Willmar.
MN 25 in Buffalo (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/buffalo/) - This project will rebuild MN 25 through north Buffalo (on both sides of MN 55) and will include 4-laning for about a half-mile north of MN 55, dual left turn lanes on all approaches at the MN 25/MN 55 intersection, and a roundabout on MN 25 at 8th St NW/CSAH 12.
I-35W at County Road H (http://www.sehinc.com/online/35WCRH) in Arden Hills - This interchange project will reconstruct and reconfigure the I-35W/County Rd H interchange (just north of US 10 East).  The reconfiguration will add the missing northbound off-ramp, but in the process will eliminate the southbound on-ramp.  The ramp terminals will have roundabouts.  Given how close this is to US 10/CSAH 10, County Rd H traffic could use CSAH 10 to get to southbound I-35W.  The new northbound off-ramp will bridge under the ramp from westbound US 10 to northbound I-35W, with the latter ramp being relocated to include the bridge.
MN 36 at Lexington Ave in Roseville - This project reconstructs the MN 36/Lexington Ave interchange, essentially the same as the current configuration.
US 52 US 63 South/South Broadway (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy52-63-interchange/) in Rochester - Normally a bridge redecking on the US 52 bridges over US 63/South Broadway, this project will also revise the northbound 3rd lane on US 52 so that it begins from the on-ramp loop from northbound 63 (today's NB 63 through movement) instead of from the on-ramp from South Broadway.
US 52 at Dakota CSAH 86 (https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Transportation/CurrentConstruction/CR86/Pages/default.aspx) near Cannon Falls - Another US 52 "pop-up project", this will build another interchange along US 52.  The layout (https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Transportation/CurrentConstruction/CR86/Documents/TH52-CSAH86InterchangeLayout.pdf) calls for a folded-diamond with on-ramp loops.
MN 77 at Cedar Grove (just south of MN 13) - Not a highway-project per se but a transit project that will impact the MN 77 freeway.  As part of the "Red Line BRT" (which follows MN 77), an in-line BRT station will be built in the median of MN 77 at Cedar Grove, just south of MN 13.
I-94 at US 75 in Moorhead (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/moorhead/index.html) - This long-expected project will reconstruct the I-94/US 75 interchange into a diverging diamond.  The project also include auxiliary lanes on I-94 between US 75 and 20th St (east of US 75).
I-94 in East St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94stpaul/index.html) - Nominally a pavement reconstruction project extending out to MN 120, the project also includes building an auxiliary lane between downtown and Mounds Blvd, so that effectively you'll have at least 4 lanes on eastbound I-94 from the 11th St on-ramp downtown out to US 10/61 South.
MN 96 at Washington CSAH 15 (https://www.co.washington.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=2021)/Manning Ave near Stillwater - This county-led project will build a roundabout at the intersection.
US 169 between Mankato and St. Peter (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/floodmitigation/) - This year's flood mitigation north of Mankato will rebuild segments of US 169 between Mankato and St. Peter to bring them above the 100 year floodplain.  The project requires a shutdown of US 169...the official detour follows Nicollet CSAH 13/MN 99 but MN 22 is also available.
US 169 between Eden Prairie and St. Louis Park (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169hopkins/index.html) - A number of smaller projects are being combined into one.  The two biggest items are permanently closing the southbound ramps at 16th St (just south of I-394) and replacing the bridge over Nine Mile Creek (north of MN 62).  The bridge replacement will involve a complete shutdown of the roadway for about a year.
US 169 east of Bovey (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy169-cross-range/) - This project extends the 4-lane section of US 169 on the Iron Range another 1.5 miles, from the Bovey bypass to just east of Itasca CSAH 7.
MN 250 north of Lanesboro (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy250-bridge/index.html) - This project replaces two old overhead truss bridges north of Lanesboro.  The bridges are being replaced due to being narrow and in poor condition.
MN 371 between Nisswa and Jenkins (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy371/) - This long-awaited project will widen MN 371 to 4 lanes from Nisswa to just north of Crow Wing CSAH 16.  It includes a bypass of Pequot Lakes and a diamond interchange with roundabouts at Crow Wing CSAH 11.
I-694 between Arden Hills and Shoreview (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/enhance694/index.html) - This long-needed widening project finally received funding.  It will reconstruct I-694 and add a 3rd lane in each direction between Lexington Ave and Rice St.  The net result will be 3 lanes in each direction from US 10 West to I-35E.
Stearns CSAH 1 near MN 15 (http://www.co.stearns.mn.us/PropertyRoads/RoadConstruction/CSAH1HeritageDr) - This project widens CSAH 1 for about a quarter mile north of MN 15 and adds a roundabout at Heritage Dr.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 19, 2016, 12:14:29 PM
Upcoming/future projects:

MN 7/US 71 south of Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy7hwy71roundabout/) - A 2017 project will replace the existing rural traffic signal with a roundabout.
US 10 in Wadena (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/wadena/) - An 8-block leg of US 10 through Wadena will be reconstructed in 2018.  The reconstruction will accommodate a future
US 14/MN 15 near New Ulm (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/14newulmtonmankato/) - A project planned to begin in 2017 or 2018 will reconstruct US 14/MN 15 between MN 68/North Broadway in New Ulm and the 14/15 split, including replacing the bridges over Front St and the Minnesota River.  The road will be built as 2 lanes, with the bridges expandable to 4 in the future.  The existing folded-diamond interchange at Front St will be downgraded to a roundabout with a connector road.  The 14/15/CSAH 21 junction will be rebuilt as a diamond interchange with MN 15 as the through route, with dumbbells along US 14/CSAH 21 and a bypass ramp for EB 14 through traffic.
MN 29/MN 55 near Glenwood - Not currently funded, the plan is to replace the existing at-grade intersection with a bridge on MN 29 over both MN 55 and the adjacent Canadian Pacific tracks.  The connection between the two routes would be made via an improved 160th St.
I-35/I-535/US 53 in Duluth (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/twin-ports-interchange/index.html) - This proposal would fully reconstruct the I-35/I-535/US 53 "Can of Worms" interchange in Duluth, which has several deficient bridges.  MnDOT has submitted a FASTLANT grant proposal (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/twin-ports-interchange/images/TP-FASTLANE-Grant.pdf) requesting funding for the project.  The proposal includes a graphic on numbered page 7 that shows the proposed configuration.  In short, full freeway-to-freeway movements are retained between I-35 and I-535, the left exits on I-35 will be eliminated (all right-side ramps along I-35), and access between northbound I-35 and US 53 will be reconfigured into a set of regular diamond ramps with a traffic signal.  The ramps from southbound I-35 to northbound US 53 and to West 27th will also be reconfigured into a single exit...traffic from I-535 and US 53 would no longer be able to directly access West 27th.  If MnDOT doesn't get the FASTLANE grant, they predict they would not get to this interchange until 2031.
I-35W over the Minnesota River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wbloomington/index.html) - MnDOT anticipates replacing the I-35W bridge over the Minnesota Rive beginning in 2020.  The project would separate northbound and southbound onto separate bridges (shifted slightly east compared to existing), return a full right shoulder (10ft) and a 6ft left shoulder, add a northbound lane (for a total of 8, 6 regular lanes plus 2 MnPASS lanes), and add a bike/ped path.  The interchange at Black Dog Rd would remain.
I-35W/I-494 in Bloomington (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494and35winterchange/index.html) - Arguably the biggest interchange need in the state, but remains unfunded.
I-35W in South Minneapolis (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wminneapolis/) - This massive project would rebuild I-35W between 42nd St and I-94, including replacing several bridges with several other reconfigurations.  The project will extend the MnPASS lanes on both sides to 26th St (the existing north dynamic shoulder would become a full MnPASS lane), construct a median transit station at Lake St, add a northbound off-ramp to 28th St, and add a southbound off-ramp to Lake St.  In addition, the existing southbound 35W flyover near 24th would be replaced by a fly-under north of Franklin, with SB 35W merging on the right instead of on the left.  Also, the flyover from northbound 35W to westbound 94 would be relocated to enter westbound 94 on the left instead of on the right. The project is expected to kick off next year (2017) and take 4 years.
MN 36 in North St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy36study/documents.html) - This is part of the vision which would complete a MN 36 freeway between I-35W and I-694.  The last two at-grade intersection are at MN 120/Century Ave and Hadley Ave.  Although a preferred alternative has not been selected yet, the likely scenario is a tight diamond interchange at MN 120 and a folded-diamond interchange (folded to the west) at Hadley.  No funding has been identified thus far.
US 52 at MN 58 in Zumbrota (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy58-bridge/index.html) - This interchange reconstruction project will add roundabouts at the ramp terminals.
MN 60 between Windom and Mountain Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy60stjames/) - Planned for 2017-18, this 4-lane widening project will fill the final 4-lane gap on MN 60 between Worthington and Mankato, and is part of a larger 4-lane corridor stretching from the Twin Cities to Sioux City, IA.
US 63 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/redwing-bridge/) - Tentatively scheduled to begin next year (2017), the US 63 bridges over US 61 and the Mississippi River at Red Wing will be replaced.  Traffic volumes are borderline between 2-lane and 4-lane, but MnDOT opted for a 2-lane span to save money, with a design that would allow for 4 lanes in the future.  US 63 would also be relocated out of downtown Red Wing, meeting US 61 directly just east of the overpass.
US 71 at MN 7 south of Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy7hwy71roundabout/) - A roundabout is planned for 2017.
US 71 at Hubbard CSAH 15 in Park Rapids (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/hwy71-parkrapids/index.html) - A roundabout is being considered for this junction in 2018.
MN 72 at the Rainy River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/baudette-bridge/index.html) in Baudette - This 2018 project will replace the International bridge connecting MN 72 to ON 11.
MN 149 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy149highbridge/index.html) - Redecking of the Smith Ave "High Bridge" over the Mississippi River is planned for 2018.
US 169 at Red Oak Dr/Southgate Dr in Aitkin (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/aitkin/) - A roundabout is planned for 2017.
US 169 at MN 37 in Hibbing (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy-169-Hwy-37-Roundabout/index.html) - A multilane roundabout is planned for 2017.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: invincor on April 19, 2016, 03:36:10 PM
Thanks for all that froggie.  Some interesting tidbits there I hadn't known before. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on May 03, 2016, 11:32:51 PM
I'm disappointed I didn't see the reconstruction of the MN101/US10/US169 interchange in Elk River.  Did I miss that?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 04, 2016, 07:22:39 AM
No you didn't.  MnDOT doesn't have the funding to do anything with it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 06, 2016, 11:08:44 PM
Project added for 2017: resurfacing of I-35/35W/35E at their northern split in Forest Lake, but more importantly replacing the bridges at MN 97 and US 8. Anoka County has been pleading for several years for MnDOT to replace the bridge at 35 and 97.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/35linolakes/index.html?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on May 19, 2016, 12:14:43 PM
New construction for 2016:

US 169 between Mankato and St. Peter (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/floodmitigation/) - This year's flood mitigation north of Mankato will rebuild segments of US 169 between Mankato and St. Peter to bring them above the 100 year floodplain.  The project requires a shutdown of US 169...the official detour follows Nicollet CSAH 13/MN 99 but MN 22 is also available.
OK, I was fooled. We drove up to Minnesota using MN-60 at the end of April, and when I saw signs in Worthington warning that 169 was closed north of Mankato, I thought it was the usual Spring flooding. We detoured up MN-15, U.S. 14 and MN-99 to St. Peter, but it looked like most traffic was using MN-22 instead of the official detour, which intersected 99.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on May 20, 2016, 12:27:29 AM
On the subject of exit numbers on non-interstate freeways: I know that the U.S. 52 freeway upgrade through Rochester a few years back resulted in the exits being numbered. When we were in the area recently, we drove the U.S. 169 bypass around Shakopee, and one exit had new signage with an exit number on it. I think it was Marysville Road, which is the first exit after the new CSAH-69 exit on the west side of the city. (A new exit but no exit number). None of the other exits were numbered. Are these starting to show up on other Twin Cities area freeways?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 20, 2016, 01:57:08 AM
On the subject of exit numbers on non-interstate freeways: I know that the U.S. 52 freeway upgrade through Rochester a few years back resulted in the exits being numbered. When we were in the area recently, we drove the U.S. 169 bypass around Shakopee, and one exit had new signage with an exit number on it. I think it was Marysville Road, which is the first exit after the new CSAH-69 exit on the west side of the city. (A new exit but no exit number). None of the other exits were numbered. Are these starting to show up on other Twin Cities area freeways?

I haven't seen any anywhere else; the roads I can speak for are MN 100 (entire length) and MN 5's airport section, the latter of which I noticed recently underwent a total sign replacement. MN 100 I think saw quite a few signs replaced in 2014 and 2015 with no exit numbers added.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on May 20, 2016, 10:43:29 AM
I went up to Minneapolis/St. Paul last weekend, which was my first occasion spending any significant amount of time in Minnesota with a car, though I nicked the southwestern corner near Pipestone back in 1996 and flew to St. Paul in 1997 for a scholarship interview.  Since then I have amassed a collection of about 11,500 sign panel detail and sign elevation sheets (largely culled from MnDOT's EDMS and from letting plans that have been available from two vendors since 2007), but was not able to see MnDOT's approach to freeway signing as a gestalt before now.  (With the exception of TH 95 between I-94 and Taylors Falls, I still have seen very little of the conventional-road state highway system in Minnesota, and will seek to remedy this in a future trip.)

I have a few questions that I haven't been able to answer by looking in the MnMUTCD.

*  The MnMUTCD identifies the square county marker (M1-X4) as the default but says that county authorities can choose the pentagon marker (M1-6) "to establish and identify a system of important County roads."  The interchange sequence and route confirmation signs I saw on the freeways suggest that counties use either one or the other, not both.  Are there any counties which mix them, e.g. by using the pentagon for important routes and the square for lesser ones?

*  Why are Ramsey County routes identified on interchange sequence signs (e.g., on I-35E) as "County E2," "County J," "County C," etc. rather than with guide-sign versions of the county markers, as is the norm (with exceptions that appeared to me to be isolated) elsewhere in the state?

*  In Minnesota, as well as nearby states with bitter winters (IL and WI), I notice there are upright signs marking the start of turn lanes.  (WI is unusual among these states in using an arrow that points sideways and down, with a bias-cut shaft, in addition to the "LEFT [or RIGHT] TURN LANE" word message.)  Are these signs provided to allow turn lanes to be found when the road is covered with snow?

*  Is there any significant mileage of two-lane state highway in Minnesota with speed limits greater than 55 MPH?  I received the impression that the double nickel still rules on two-lane state highways in MN, IA, and WI, though the top freeway speed limit is now 70 in all three states.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 20, 2016, 06:44:49 PM
Quote
Are there any counties which mix them, e.g. by using the pentagon for important routes and the square for lesser ones?

Stearns and Dakota are two such examples.

Whether to use the pentagon shield, the white square shield, or a mix, is completely up to the county.  Several counties use the pentagon shield exclusively (Hennepin and Anoka amongst them), whereas others use the white square exclusively (Olmsted, Carver, and Lake of the Woods being examples of this).

Quote
Why are Ramsey County routes identified on interchange sequence signs (e.g., on I-35E) as "County E2," "County J," "County C," etc. rather than with guide-sign versions of the county markers, as is the norm (with exceptions that appeared to me to be isolated) elsewhere in the state?

I laugh every time one of the "uninitiated" encounter this.   :-D

In short, those are not county routes...they're street names.  The way Ramsey County chose to name their east-west sectional roads was to start with "A" at the St. Paul city limits (Larpentur Ave), and increase one letter per mile.  The "2" (as in E2) refers to a half-mile sectional.

Some of them are indeed county routes, both county state aid (CSAH) and regular county roads (CR).  But, as per the case in virtually all Minnesota counties, the CSAH's and CR's are numbered routes.

Quote
Is there any significant mileage of two-lane state highway in Minnesota with speed limits greater than 55 MPH?

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/speed/

Some outstate (i.e. outside the Twin Cities metro) roadways have had 60 MPH speed limits for about a decade now.  This includes lengthy sections of US 2, US 53, US 71, US 212 (west of Montevideo), MN 7, and MN 23 (southwest of Willmar).  Most of US 59 and US 75 were added in 2013.

2014 legislation is mandating that MnDOT study all remaining 2-lane 55 MPH segments on the state highway system through 2019, and implement changes as needed.  A map at the end (Appendix G) of this document (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/govrel/reports/2016/th-speed-limit-evaluations-report.pdf) shows the status thus far of these speed studies, including where 60 MPH zones existed before the 2014 legislation, where 60 MPH zones are recommended as a result of the 2014+ studies, and where 55 MPH zones are recommended to remain.  As a general rule, locations in/near the Twin Cities Metro, in Wright County, around Lake Mille Lacs, and in Cass County are recommended to remain 55 MPH.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on May 20, 2016, 11:51:30 PM
Quote
Are there any counties which mix them, e.g. by using the pentagon for important routes and the square for lesser ones?

Stearns and Dakota are two such examples.

Whether to use the pentagon shield, the white square shield, or a mix, is completely up to the county.  Several counties use the pentagon shield exclusively (Hennepin and Anoka amongst them), whereas others use the white square exclusively (Olmsted, Carver, and Lake of the Woods being examples of this).

Quote
Why are Ramsey County routes identified on interchange sequence signs (e.g., on I-35E) as "County E2," "County J," "County C," etc. rather than with guide-sign versions of the county markers, as is the norm (with exceptions that appeared to me to be isolated) elsewhere in the state?

I laugh every time one of the "uninitiated" encounter this.   :-D

In short, those are not county routes...they're street names.  The way Ramsey County chose to name their east-west sectional roads was to start with "A" at the St. Paul city limits (Larpentur Ave), and increase one letter per mile.  The "2" (as in E2) refers to a half-mile sectional.

Some of them are indeed county routes, both county state aid (CSAH) and regular county roads (CR).  But, as per the case in virtually all Minnesota counties, the CSAH's and CR's are numbered routes.

As you stated, the street names are alphabetical (one letter per mile, starting at Larpenteur) while the current county designations are numerical. But, up through the 1950s, those letters actually were the official county designations. I'd have to look at old maps to see if any north-south roads had official designations. The current sequentially numbered Ramsey County highway system was introduced probably by 1960. I haven't looked back to see when those numbers first showed up.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 21, 2016, 08:29:05 AM
Though it's possible Ramsey County revised their numbering system since then, the modern CSAH system was created in 1957 (following the 1956 Constitutional amendment that created the funding stream), so it would be no later than 1957 when numerical CSAH routes were created.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on May 21, 2016, 05:00:39 PM
My thanks to Froggie for his thorough answers to my questions.

In regard to what High Plains Traveler says, I've been through my collection of MnDOT sign panel detail sheets for county 62 (Ramsey) and I see MnDOT has been very careful not to couple any of the "County X" names with county route shields.  Google Maps, however, is not so cautious.  A casual look at the mapping for the eastern part of the Twin Cities on my phone turns up County D labeled with a "D" in a square.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on May 23, 2016, 10:44:43 PM
My thanks to Froggie for his thorough answers to my questions.

In regard to what High Plains Traveler says, I've been through my collection of MnDOT sign panel detail sheets for county 62 (Ramsey) and I see MnDOT has been very careful not to couple any of the "County X" names with county route shields.  Google Maps, however, is not so cautious.  A casual look at the mapping for the eastern part of the Twin Cities on my phone turns up County D labeled with a "D" in a square.
Google Maps on-line provides sporadic markings for Ramsey County routes not established along a road named with a lettered County Road designation. In a limited search, it also has a few "County Road X" named roads marked with their official county numerical designation. This is more evident when drilling down to high magnification.

A piece of trivia is that Ramsey did not mark essentially any of its official county road numbers until the late 1990s. Then, they starting posting numbers (using the pentagon sign) in the areas outside St. Paul. Finally, they marked the County State-Aid Highways within St. Paul - going overboard to the point where a route shield was posted immediately after all signalized intersections, even though there might have been a marker one or two blocks back.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: discochris on May 24, 2016, 12:39:30 AM
Quote
I laugh every time one of the "uninitiated" encounter this.   :-D

In short, those are not county routes...they're street names.  The way Ramsey County chose to name their east-west sectional roads was to start with "A" at the St. Paul city limits (Larpentur Ave), and increase one letter per mile.  The "2" (as in E2) refers to a half-mile sectional.

I've lived here my whole life, and I never knew that. So it's kind of like the numbering around Detroit (seven mile, eight mile, nine mile etc.)  I did know that St. Paul addresses are based on a mile system, rather than a grid system, which also confuses a lot of people.

Washington County for a long time just had the white square signs, and then a mix. I think they may have all gone to the blue pentagon.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 24, 2016, 07:37:37 AM
Quote from: discochris
Washington County for a long time just had the white square signs, and then a mix. I think they may have all gone to the blue pentagon.

There've been a number of counties that have gone this route (pun intended).  I think Freeborn County is on its way there, which wouldn't be the first time they'd changed.  I'm old enough to remember seeing white-on-green county shields in Freeborn County.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on May 31, 2016, 08:58:53 PM
Quote
Are there any counties which mix them, e.g. by using the pentagon for important routes and the square for lesser ones?
Some outstate (i.e. outside the Twin Cities metro) roadways have had 60 MPH speed limits for about a decade now.  This includes lengthy sections of US 2, US 53, US 71, US 212 (west of Montevideo), MN 7, and MN 23 (southwest of Willmar).  Most of US 59 and US 75 were added in 2013.

US 212 is also 60 MPH on two-lane sections between Granite Falls and Chaska (except for sections through towns).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 01, 2016, 08:13:35 AM
That would be the result of the recent speed studies, as noted in the last link I provided above.  The section west of Montevideo has been 60 MPH for about a decade now.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on June 04, 2016, 04:54:31 AM
I took this picture (https://i.imgur.com/vZtyiNL.jpg) on MN-210 back on May 1st. I find it really interesting that the DOT posted an actual End sign for what should be a temporary closure. (I should note that this was coming from the west. There was no sign marking the temporary end coming from the east.)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 04, 2016, 05:46:30 AM
I took this picture (https://i.imgur.com/vZtyiNL.jpg) on MN-210 back on May 1st. I find it really interesting that the DOT posted an actual End sign for what should be a temporary closure. (I should note that this was coming from the west. There was no sign marking the temporary end coming from the east.)

I noticed this too when I saw it last fall. I think it's because of two factors: one is the length of the 210 closure, which will mark its fourth year later this month, but the bigger thing I think is that MnDOT's stated preference was to not rebuild that section of road at all before public opinion from locals swayed them to do so.

It's amusing in another way because the END MN 210 shield at MN 23 is still there (and what reason would they have to remove it, since that open section of 210 doesn't go anywhere but a dead end at this point) so the road currently has two eastern terminus END shields within a five-mile span.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on June 04, 2016, 02:46:59 PM
I remember heading westbound on that stretch of 210 on a slightly snowy day and couldn't get up the hill.  we kept rolling back but there was no room to turn around.

Curious why there is a MN-39 instead of 210 just going to the border.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 04, 2016, 04:37:41 PM
I remember heading westbound on that stretch of 210 on a slightly snowy day and couldn't get up the hill.  we kept rolling back but there was no room to turn around.

Curious why there is a MN-39 instead of 210 just going to the border.

MN 39 is a holdover from the US 210 days. I believe 39 used to end at the current 210/MN 45 intersection in Carlton, which at the time was the intersection with old US 61. When US 210 was decommissioned MN 210 was extended over 39 to meet MN 23. But why the stub of 39 was kept I don't know.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on June 05, 2016, 08:05:17 AM

It's amusing in another way because the END MN 210 shield at MN 23 is still there (and what reason would they have to remove it, since that open section of 210 doesn't go anywhere but a dead end at this point) so the road currently has two eastern terminus END shields within a five-mile span.

Yep. (https://i.imgur.com/RZG61Fx.jpg)

I also enjoyed the closed signs (https://i.imgur.com/tauv2Xh.jpg) attached to the junction/direction signs on MN-23.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on June 10, 2016, 07:29:13 PM
The new ramp from I-94W to 7th St., replacing the ramp to 5th St. near US Bank Stadium, is now open to traffic. It's definitely weird not having the 5th St. ramp after using it for three years during my morning commute, but it makes sense. It also reminds me of a plan I saw that had that ramp from the beginning.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 20, 2016, 10:18:01 PM
Saw the signs for that yesterday and it threw me off at first.

Speaking of which, I just returned back East from a 5 day trip to Minnesota.  A few notes:

- Traversing through a good chunk of Districts 1 and 3, we found 60 MPH speed zones are now posted on lengthy segments of the following routes:  MN 18, MN 23, MN 47, MN 107, and MN 210.

- Noticed that Metro Division is now using 3-digit-sized reassurance shields along US 169, at least within Hennepin County.  The standard has long been to use 2-digit-size shields for 3-digit routes and use Series C font where necessary to fit the digits.  These shields were much wider...able to easily fit Series D digits.

- Though I missed a photo opportunity, there is at least one exit on the US 169 Shakopee Bypass that has an exit number posted on the guide signage.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 20, 2016, 11:09:51 PM
- Though I missed a photo opportunity, there is at least one exit on the US 169 Shakopee Bypass that has an exit number posted on the guide signage.

I managed to get a photo a couple weeks ago for those who want to see it. Apologies for the ugly Scott County 83 shields.

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13319734_552933828224570_4122196198344214662_n.jpg?oh=1a864bd142cac88947de56850144cbad&oe=57D11167)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 18, 2016, 02:26:54 PM
A slew of exit numbers have popped up on the US 10/61 freeway between Bailey and Summit in the southeast metro. The downside is all the new I-494 shields on the signs are ugly.  :pan:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on July 24, 2016, 02:14:09 PM
The downside is all the new I-494 shields on the signs are ugly.  :pan:

In what way?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 25, 2016, 07:46:14 PM
The downside is all the new I-494 shields on the signs are ugly.  :pan:

In what way?

The word "INTERSTATE" is an ugly font and spreads the entire width of the shield.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 29, 2016, 01:39:05 PM
TIGER grants were announced in another thread, but of note in the awards is $17M for a new interchange at US 169/MN 41/CSAH 78.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on August 10, 2016, 11:42:44 AM
What's with the milemarkers on US 65? They're in the low 300s, which doesn't make any sense at all, and only reach the 270-280s on the Iowa side.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 10, 2016, 12:18:48 PM
What's with the milemarkers on US 65? They're in the low 300s, which doesn't make any sense at all, and only reach the 270-280s on the Iowa side.

Most likely changed in order to prevent internal confusion with MN 65 - the Twin Cities' MN 62 has mileposts starting in the 100s for that reason.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on August 10, 2016, 01:21:56 PM
have you ever given a direction that referred to "MN 62 mile marker 24"?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 10, 2016, 01:38:46 PM
have you ever given a direction that referred to "MN 62 mile marker 24"?

I don't think it has anything to do with Joe Motorist. It's related to the internal DOT inventory and internal records.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on August 10, 2016, 01:54:19 PM
have you ever given a direction that referred to "MN 62 mile marker 24"?

I don't think it has anything to do with Joe Motorist. It's related to the internal DOT inventory and internal records.

I don't know we cared so much

ha ha

Actually I was surprised they just didn't renumber the other MN 62
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 10, 2016, 02:56:21 PM
Both 62's had long-standing route numbers.  MnDOT perceived there was a low chance of confusion between the two, and so kept the 62 number when they took over Hennepin CSAH 62.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on August 11, 2016, 04:05:48 AM
What's with the milemarkers on US 65? They're in the low 300s, which doesn't make any sense at all, and only reach the 270-280s on the Iowa side.

Most likely changed in order to prevent internal confusion with MN 65 - the Twin Cities' MN 62 has mileposts starting in the 100s for that reason.
How would they be? The Minneapolis portion should be starting in the low 100s, from the overlap on I-35 and 35W from Albert Lea to Minneapolis.

Looks like MN 44's milemarkers start off in the 30's. Unconstructed western segment perhaps, I'm guessing from about the US 63/MN 56 junction toward Harmony perhaps?

Also, apparently US 61 is the dominant route from La Crescent through Winona, not US 14. I would have expected the low numbered route in a given tier to be the dominant route. Not an especially pressing 'concern' however.

Also, paging rawmustard, could we get the MN shield icon on this (and other Minnesota) threads please? It makes it easier to spot in the forum's list :)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on August 11, 2016, 07:49:25 AM
US routes:  x1>x4
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 11, 2016, 09:31:12 AM
Quote from: Bickendan
Quote from: TheHighwayMan394
Most likely changed in order to prevent internal confusion with MN 65 - the Twin Cities' MN 62 has mileposts starting in the 100s for that reason.
How would they be? The Minneapolis portion should be starting in the low 100s, from the overlap on I-35 and 35W from Albert Lea to Minneapolis.

Despite the route south of Albert Lea being a US route, the route north of Minneapolis is both more important to MnDOT and is a far longer route (close to 300 miles).

Quote from: Bickendan
Looks like MN 44's milemarkers start off in the 30's. Unconstructed western segment perhaps, I'm guessing from about the US 63/MN 56 junction toward Harmony perhaps?

MN 44 previously began at US 63 (about 2.5 miles north of the 63/56 junction), but was turned back west of Harmony in the mid-90s.  The turned back segment is now CSAH 44.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on October 03, 2016, 03:57:23 PM
This time I'm writing to ask if any thought has been given to a bypass of St. Cloud that would provide a stoplight-free transit of its urbanized area for traffic following the TH 23 corridor.  I had the misfortune to try to get through the town on a Friday in late August, when it was choked with weekenders (probably from the Twin Cities), and was both amazed and appalled by the number of stoplights:  I count 22 traffic signal installations along TH 23 between I-94 and TH 95 inclusive.

A casual check of Google Maps routings suggests my options for this length of TH 23 are as follows:

*  TH 23 all the way (13.5 miles)--23 minutes

*  I-94 to TH 15, TH 15 back to TH 23 (cuts out five signals, since it is mostly grade-separated and stoplight-free all the way to TH 23) (15.3 miles)--20 minutes

*  I-94 to TH 24 Clearwater-Clear Lake, back north to TH 95 via locally maintained roads (30.5 miles)--34 minutes

The last-listed route has a very steep distance penalty of 17 miles but in Friday afternoon traffic might have been faster, and would almost certainly have been less hassle.  It took considerably longer than 23 minutes to clear St. Cloud along TH 23.

Casual Googling suggests that the closest thing to a TH 23 St. Cloud bypass MnDOT has on its books is a freeway connector between I-94 and US 10, loosely following the TH 24 corridor between Clearwater and Clear Lake.  This is described as "unprogrammed" and the timeline ends in 2008.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/projects/interregionalconnection/

Bypasses along the TH 23 corridor near St. Cloud have already been built, including one at Willmar and another at Paynesville that apparently opened a few years ago after being on the drawing boards for twenty years.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on October 04, 2016, 07:40:13 AM
How much traffic on MN 23 is bypassing St. Cloud really?
There was an option (That St. Cloud was really pushing for that would have built the new river crossing around 33rd, but this was one of the more expensive and least effective options towards the goal of making it easier for traffic shuttling between US 10 and I-94
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on October 04, 2016, 11:48:25 AM
St. Cloud has a population of about 70,000, so a ballpark estimate for the proportion of bypassable traffic on TH 23 (based on 1930's research that regresses bypassable traffic against city size) is 45%.  It would require an origin-destination survey (possibly one using automatic license plate recognition over a wide area) to come up with exact figures.

The cross-section width in combination with the level of summer Friday afternoon congestion on TH 23 through St. Cloud proper is consistent with an AADT in the 30,000-40,000 VPD range.  45% of 30,000 VPD is 13,500 VPD, which is enough to meet the traditional 10,000 VPD warrant for widening from two-lane to four-lane divided.  This does not take into account seasonality of traffic volume, which is likely to be stronger in Minnesota because of the cold winters.

However, it does give an indication of why the St. Cloud city planners would push for a connector in the 33rd St. S. corridor, as this allows TH 23 to be bypassed with no length disadvantage, minimum land-take in the urbanized area since the areas east of the Mississippi River are still greenfield, and with excellent access to the airport.  As a connector between I-94 and US 10 it is not particularly efficient, but the fact that MnDOT's preferred Clearwater/Clear Lake solution is better for traffic to and from the Twin Cities does not mean that there is nothing to be gained from a St. Cloud bypass for TH 23 traffic.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 04, 2016, 11:29:18 PM
To my knowledge, there has never been consideration of a St. Cloud bypass for MN 23 traffic.  Nor is there really a need for one.  Despite what Jonathan put in his last post, the percentage of through traffic along MN 23 through St. Cloud is no higher than 25%, and most likely lower than that.

I also find the comment about "weekenders in St. Cloud" intriguing because, in my considerable experience (countless weekends passing through St. Cloud going up to my grandparent's cabin), the "weekenders" are largely along I-94 and US 10, not MN 23.  Some may have trickled over to MN 15 over the past 20 years now that it's a completed route (it wasn't when I was growing up), but few weekenders are actually stopping in St. Cloud.

Given MnDOT's limited funding, the focus in the St. Cloud area should be where the need is greatest.  And that isn't MN 23.  It's US 10 (high through traffic volumes, especially summer weekends) and MN 15 (generally higher traffic than MN 23).

Quote from: J N Winkler
The last-listed route has a very steep distance penalty of 17 miles but in Friday afternoon traffic might have been faster, and would almost certainly have been less hassle.

Not if you were headed north/east.  You'd have gotten caught in the head-up-to-the-lake rush and certainly would have had a travel time longer than the 34 minutes advertised...

Quote
However, it does give an indication of why the St. Cloud city planners would push for a connector in the 33rd St. S. corridor, as this allows TH 23 to be bypassed with no length disadvantage

This is not why they were pushing for a connector along 33rd, however.  They A) wanted another river crossing close to the city, and B) wanted a corridor that could be developed.  Nor did, as I've noted in past research, such a corridor actually connect back to MN 23 to the west...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on October 05, 2016, 08:15:20 AM
North Star Highways is Back
https://northstarhighways.wordpress.com

After losing the old site due to an ISP switch I've been writing for a local transportation issues blog, but after a few years some of the mods made it clear my opinions were no longer welcome there so it was time to move on. Right now the priority is copying existing content: blog posts, old web site pages, and some Flickr galleries over and travel season is about over, so don't expect much for "new" content for a while.

For those that read my articles over there, I'm not making a lot of changes when I'm copying them; just updates when appropriate, removal of links to other writer's articles, and reformatting it more like a static web page as opposed to a blog. (Even though it's a blog format because that's the easiest way to publish content on the web nowadays, and I learned wordpress writing for the other site.)

I am abandoning a few articles that are now dated, but all of the good relevant ones I'm republishing. The only ones with substantial changes are the general streetlights articles, which now that I've written several I'm reformatting them to be more logical, and the "Four-Lane Death Road" article, that I'm rewriting from scratch. My content on their site is still there. I've neither asked for it to be removed nor asked that it stay, and I don't have standing to demand either.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on October 05, 2016, 11:19:03 AM
To my knowledge, there has never been consideration of a St. Cloud bypass for MN 23 traffic.  Nor is there really a need for one.  Despite what Jonathan put in his last post, the percentage of through traffic along MN 23 through St. Cloud is no higher than 25%, and most likely lower than that.

How do you arrive at that estimate?

I also find the comment about "weekenders in St. Cloud" intriguing because, in my considerable experience (countless weekends passing through St. Cloud going up to my grandparent's cabin), the "weekenders" are largely along I-94 and US 10, not MN 23.  Some may have trickled over to MN 15 over the past 20 years now that it's a completed route (it wasn't when I was growing up), but few weekenders are actually stopping in St. Cloud.

I don't actually think St. Cloud is the destination of this weekender traffic.  Instead, I suspect a large share of the traffic on TH 23 (larger than on other weekday afternoons in August, and larger than on Friday afternoons in the cold months of the year) is transiting St. Cloud from northeast to southwest, or vice versa.  I-94 and US 10 would definitely carry larger volumes of weekender traffic because they are direct connections to the Twin Cities, but I-94 at least is a full freeway and has much greater capacity.  The Twin Cities are by far the largest population center in Minnesota, so it would not surprise me if traffic originating there but on tangential itineraries were supplying much of the volume on TH 23.

Given MnDOT's limited funding, the focus in the St. Cloud area should be where the need is greatest.  And that isn't MN 23.  It's US 10 (high through traffic volumes, especially summer weekends) and MN 15 (generally higher traffic than MN 23).

I am not familiar with conditions on US 10 in the St. Cloud area, but TH 15 at least appears to have comprehensive grade separation with no stoplights from I-94 north to the intersection with TH 23 where the two routes begin their dogleg overlap.  I can envisage bottlenecking at that first stoplight at TH 23, but I would have expected TH 15 as a whole to operate at a higher LOS.

Quote
However, it does give an indication of why the St. Cloud city planners would push for a connector in the 33rd St. S. corridor, as this allows TH 23 to be bypassed with no length disadvantage

This is not why they were pushing for a connector along 33rd, however.  They A) wanted another river crossing close to the city, and B) wanted a corridor that could be developed.  Nor did, as I've noted in past research, such a corridor actually connect back to MN 23 to the west...

I take the point regarding the planners' intent.  Development roads are properly the business of a local agency, not the state DOT.  If the concept had instead been for a TH 23 bypass to handle through traffic, the connection on the east side would be entirely on undeveloped greenfield land and so would be fairly simple to build (absent complications such as floodplain or wetlands).

I find it rather interesting that Willmar and Paynesville both have TH 23 bypasses while St. Cloud does not.  They are much smaller than St. Cloud, which translates into shorter lengths of new construction required, better availability of feasible corridors, and higher percentages of bypassable traffic, but also lesser benefit to through traffic in terms of time savings.  In both cases the bypasses are of high specification, consisting of divided highways with grade-separated interchanges at major intersections (Willmar's is full freeway but does include a US 71 overlap).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 05, 2016, 09:28:21 PM
Quote
How do you arrive at that estimate?

A combination of ongoing analysis of traffic volumes in the region and my own anecdotal experience in the area.

Quote
Instead, I suspect a large share of the traffic on TH 23 (larger than on other weekday afternoons in August, and larger than on Friday afternoons in the cold months of the year) is transiting St. Cloud from northeast to southwest, or vice versa.

Not as much as you were thinking before, hence the comment I made upthread.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on October 05, 2016, 11:29:04 PM
I did some digging and found this study that focuses on TH 23 improvements between I-94 and TH 15/CSAH 75:

http://www.stcloudapo.org/uploads/1/2/8/7/12874227/th_23_and_csah_75_corridor_study.pdf

It confirms pretty much what I observed--traffic conditions are bad and set to get worse.  But probably the key parts are what it does not say.  The only build options it mentions keep traffic signals on TH 23 where they are now (the most ambitious call for them to be retained as part of a "throughpass" with beefed-up access control, backage development, and RIRO conversions).  None of the projections take account of any intent to build a TH 23 bypass.  The scoping (only a little of the way into the St. Cloud built-up area, covering about one-quarter of the stoplights required for a complete transit) is in itself indicative.

A TH 23 corridor study was apparently done in 1997, but I have not been able to find it online as a PDF.  This would be useful as a hard check on the estimates of through traffic volume quoted so far in this thread, and might give an indication as to whether the study authors believed St. Cloud would have to be bypassed at some point in the future.  The Paynesville Bypass EIS is online (as a Google Book) but doesn't seem to have origin-destination information for St. Cloud at the other end of Stearns County.  For Paynesville it does report an O/D study (carried out in 2001) and there is a large difference in bypassable traffic percentage between weekdays and summer weekends--generally in the 40%-60% range for typical commute times but climbing to 70%-90% on the weekends.  A similar (though somewhat smaller gap) may be present for St. Cloud.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: lakewobegon on October 06, 2016, 07:40:22 AM
After lurking for 2 years, this topic brought me out of the shadows.
I've been living in St. Cloud for the past 27 years. Not only does TH 23 have loads of lights. They are also badly synchronized. In addition, the two intersections of TH 15 with TH 23 (and CR 75) are rated among the worst 10 intersections in MN as of 2013. That's because there is so much turning left traffic in all directions that the two lights each only allow 1 direction of travel at a time. https://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2013/11/minnesota-s-10-most-dangerous-intersections-and-why-they-are-so-perilous  (https://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2013/11/minnesota-s-10-most-dangerous-intersections-and-why-they-are-so-perilous)
Also, all main roads on the west side of the Mississippi River converge at these intersections.

For north-south bypasses. The TH 15 bypass is not a great solution, since it has 8 traffic signals between I-94 and US 10. And, US 10 is bogged down by two signals in St. Cloud. On Friday afternoons and Sunday afternoons, the back-ups approaching these lights are huge (last 2-3 cycles).

The TH 24 corridor doesn't work as a bypass since it is a primary transfer route of I-94 traffic to Hwy. 10.

Bob Weisman
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 08, 2016, 10:20:48 PM
Arrow-per-lane signs have made their first appearance in the state. They were installed on northbound I-494 in Maple Grove approaching the 94/694 junction.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on October 12, 2016, 01:05:27 AM
After lurking for 2 years, this topic brought me out of the shadows.
I've been living in St. Cloud for the past 27 years. Not only does TH 23 have loads of lights. They are also badly synchronized. In addition, the two intersections of TH 15 with TH 23 (and CR 75) are rated among the worst 10 intersections in MN as of 2013. That's because there is so much turning left traffic in all directions that the two lights each only allow 1 direction of travel at a time. https://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2013/11/minnesota-s-10-most-dangerous-intersections-and-why-they-are-so-perilous  (https://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2013/11/minnesota-s-10-most-dangerous-intersections-and-why-they-are-so-perilous)

Also, all main roads on the west side of the Mississippi River converge at these intersections.

Bob Weisman

The last line in your quote sums it up for me.  I've been traveling MN23 on and off for the past 35 years between Mora and Pipestone visiting relatives.  Yes, my experience is anecdotal; however, I suspect MnDOT knows there is an appreciable amount of through traffic given their improvements to 23 both NE and SW of St Cloud. Other than replacing the Mississippi River Bridge a few years ago, there has been minimal improvement to 23 from the MN95 junction west to I-94.  It is long past time for MnDOT to do a corridor study to come up with real figures.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 07, 2016, 03:19:49 PM
Looks like MnDOT and Scott County have made a decision regarding a proposed interchange at US 169/MN 41 (https://www.scottcountymn.gov/608/US-169-TH-41CH-78-Interchange-Design-Pro) outside Shakopee.  The preferred design (to be built in 2018) is a DDI with US 169 bridged over MN 41/CSAH 78.

The project website mentions that Scott County has also won some additional Federal funding which will allow for an overpass to be built a little further south at CSAH 14.  The existing intersection will remain except for a median closure (in effect, it'll be a pair of RIRO on each side).  Access across US 169 will be provided by the overpass, about 400ft north of the existing intersection.

In conjunction with median/driveway closures and some frontage road construction, this project will extend the freeway section on US 169 from CSAH 69 down to CSAH 14...about 3 miles.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 01, 2016, 04:50:21 AM
MN 610 appears set to open any moment now. Crews were working on installing the final signage on I-94 on Wednesday night.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 09, 2016, 12:50:23 AM
MN 610's final piece slated to open tomorrow (Friday 12/9).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 16, 2016, 12:59:15 AM
Drove the new 610 tonight.
-The new exits are numbered, but the pre-2011 exits were not retrofitted with exit numbers as of yet.
-It is not Interstate-standard, which will likely quash any hypothetical dreams of making it an x35 or x94. Some features were scaled back as a cost-saving measure. The shoulders on the new segment are either a combination of paved and aggregate, or on overpasses only four feet wide. In addition, the last mile westbound is only one lane as it transitions into the I-94 ramp.
-There are big green spaces on the Maple Grove Parkway signs; does this mean Hennepin County and Maple Grove may have made a CSAH application for that road?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 16, 2016, 08:55:24 AM
Quote
-It is not Interstate-standard, which will likely quash any hypothetical dreams of making it an x35 or x94. Some features were scaled back as a cost-saving measure. The shoulders on the new segment are either a combination of paved and aggregate, or on overpasses only four feet wide.

Believe it or not, for a rural 4-lane cross-section like what they built on 610, a 4ft inside shoulder is the Interstate standard.

Quote
-There are big green spaces on the Maple Grove Parkway signs; does this mean Hennepin County and Maple Grove may have made a CSAH application for that road?

I doubt they've made the application yet, but it's a long-term goal to extend/reroute CSAH 121 along Maple Grove Pkwy.  The main hold-up with the reroute is extending the parkway north of 81 to tie into Fernbrook.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on December 16, 2016, 11:37:21 AM
Believe it or not, for a rural 4-lane cross-section like what they built on 610, a 4ft inside shoulder is the Interstate standard.

I don't have a copy of the actual Interstate design reference, but a quick check of the Wikipedia article based on it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_standards) suggests that the shoulders don't actually have to be paved, either.  I recall that about 20 years ago, before most of it was reconstructed, I-85 in North Carolina between Durham and the Virginia state line had stabilized vegetated shoulders.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on January 01, 2017, 10:15:25 PM
Just three randon things I noticed:
1) A square County 25 shield on the new exit ramp off MN 100
2) A Flashing Yellow Arrow U-Turn Signal on MN 7
3) Business Loop 169 is on the new BGSes at the Shakopee Bypass.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: CtrlAltDel on January 01, 2017, 10:50:13 PM
I don't have a copy of the actual Interstate design reference, but a quick check of the Wikipedia article based on it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_standards) suggests that the shoulders don't actually have to be paved, either.  I recall that about 20 years ago, before most of it was reconstructed, I-85 in North Carolina between Durham and the Virginia state line had stabilized vegetated shoulders.

The 2005 standards state: "On a four-lane section, the paved width of the left shoulder shall be at least 1.2 m (4 ft)."
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 16, 2017, 10:19:11 PM
The US 169 shutdown at Nine Mile Creek in Hopkins begins this week to rebuild the viaduct there, which is scheduled to last seven months. It's similar to when MN 36 was rebuilt several years ago between I-35E and I-694 where a complete shutdown of the road was enacted to expedite the rebuild.

What do people think of this method anyway? Good idea or is it worth keeping the road open with a longer work process?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on January 17, 2017, 06:59:33 AM
The US 169 shutdown at Nine Mile Creek in Hopkins begins this week to rebuild the viaduct there, which is scheduled to last seven months. It's similar to when MN 36 was rebuilt several years ago between I-35E and I-694 where a complete shutdown of the road was enacted to expedite the rebuild.

What do people think of this method anyway? Good idea or is it worth keeping the road open with a longer work process?

It's a good idea in my opinion based on the other projects surrounding it.  Be in and out in 9 months instead of 2 years.  If they did it under traffic over the 2 year schedule for most of the time 169 would be 1 lane each direction and a parking lot anyways for a majority of the day.  Might as well close it.

Main reason it was done this way was to get detour traffic off 100 before 35W Lake Street Access gets into high gear in 2018:
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wminneapolis/ (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wminneapolis/)

The last thing they wanted was for 35W and 169 to be under construction at the same time.  That would place a lot of pressure on the remaining system (that's already at/over capacity) to handle the diverted volumes of traffic.

Random note:  Another interesting project: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94brooklyncntr/index.html
Planning on having bi-directional traffic through one tube of the Lowry Hill Tunnel at 30 mph and no trucks.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 17, 2017, 10:23:33 AM
Quote
Random note:  Another interesting project: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94brooklyncntr/index.html
Planning on having bi-directional traffic through one tube of the Lowry Hill Tunnel at 30 mph and no trucks.

They did the same thing back in the early '90s when they had to do a full pavement reconstruction in the tunnel.  4 narrow lanes (2 per direction) and a 30 or 35 MPH speed limit (don't remember which), with trucks diverted onto the "Prohibited Vehicles" route along Lyndale Ave.  Good thing the city rebuilt the Hennepin/Lyndale bottleneck last year...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on February 01, 2017, 01:57:41 AM
I hate to do this, but I don't have the patience to check twenty pages to see if it's been brought up already, so here goes my question:

Back in December when I visited the Mall of America, I noticed that all the new signals along Lindau Ln were flashing yellow arrows, but only the single-lane approaches actually had the permissive phase going (the double lane approaches with the FYAs were always protected-only).

Anyone know if the double lefts only get permissive phasing during certain times of day? I swear even late at night, the brief couple of times that I checked (it was -15 for Pete's sake), they were still running protected-only.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 01, 2017, 08:25:17 AM
Past MnDOT policy was that dual left turn lanes *ALWAYS* were protected-only.  I do not know if that changed when MnDOT implemented FYA's, though my own empirical evidence (from times home to Minneapolis since then) suggests that policy remains in place.  I'm also pretty sure that, for logistical reasons, MnDOT installs the 4-lens FYA signals even when they have no intention of allowing FYA...simplifies the supply chain when they're only buying one type of left turn signal instead of two or more...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: JMAN_WiS&S on February 01, 2017, 12:45:55 PM
Past MnDOT policy was that dual left turn lanes *ALWAYS* were protected-only.  I do not know if that changed when MnDOT implemented FYA's, though my own empirical evidence (from times home to Minneapolis since then) suggests that policy remains in place.  I'm also pretty sure that, for logistical reasons, MnDOT installs the 4-lens FYA signals even when they have no intention of allowing FYA...simplifies the supply chain when they're only buying one type of left turn signal instead of two or more...
A similar case noted across the boarder in Eau Claire Wi. Eau Claire has 4 different intersections where 1 of the approaches has a 4 section left turn signal. They all have the sign indicating to yield on a flashing yellow arrow, however, only one intersection has them operating protected/permitted 100% of the time, crossing 3 lanes at 35mph. The other three installations are protected only all of the time aside from one that becomes permissive/protective late at night. I think Wisconsin is the same where they are just moving to installing one type of light.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 01, 2017, 12:56:54 PM
Past MnDOT policy was that dual left turn lanes *ALWAYS* were protected-only.  I do not know if that changed when MnDOT implemented FYA's, though my own empirical evidence (from times home to Minneapolis since then) suggests that policy remains in place.

Yeah, I honestly am pretty sure that I've never seen double left-turn lanes have FYAs, in Minnesota or elsewhere. There certainly aren't any in the Des Moines area, to my knowledge.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mgk920 on February 01, 2017, 09:31:49 PM
Past MnDOT policy was that dual left turn lanes *ALWAYS* were protected-only.  I do not know if that changed when MnDOT implemented FYA's, though my own empirical evidence (from times home to Minneapolis since then) suggests that policy remains in place.  I'm also pretty sure that, for logistical reasons, MnDOT installs the 4-lens FYA signals even when they have no intention of allowing FYA...simplifies the supply chain when they're only buying one type of left turn signal instead of two or more...
A similar case noted across the boarder in Eau Claire Wi. Eau Claire has 4 different intersections where 1 of the approaches has a 4 section left turn signal. They all have the sign indicating to yield on a flashing yellow arrow, however, only one intersection has them operating protected/permitted 100% of the time, crossing 3 lanes at 35mph. The other three installations are protected only all of the time aside from one that becomes permissive/protective late at night. I think Wisconsin is the same where they are just moving to installing one type of light.

That is also WisDOT's policy.  Two or more left turn lanes - protected (green arrow) turn ONLY.

Mike
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on February 01, 2017, 11:16:34 PM
Phasing of dual left turns has been one of forte's for some time now. I've discovered over the years that, in general, state manuals don't permit it, but that individual cities within the state seem to do as they wish. WashDOT doesn't permit it, but several cities in Washington (Seattle, Kennewick; Federal Way and Bellevue at some point) do permit permissive phasing at dual lefts.

In regards to the FYAs outside the MOA, I'm almost as interested to know whether or not the signals surrounding the mall are maintained by MnDOT or the City of Bloomington. Only important because Bloomington may allow dual permissive turns but MnDOT may not.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 01, 2017, 11:33:33 PM
Phasing of dual left turns has been one of forte's for some time now. I've discovered over the years that, in general, state manuals don't permit it, but that individual cities within the state seem to do as they wish. WashDOT doesn't permit it, but several cities in Washington (Seattle, Kennewick; Federal Way and Bellevue at some point) do permit permissive phasing at dual lefts.

In regards to the FYAs outside the MOA, I'm almost as interested to know whether or not the signals surrounding the mall are maintained by MnDOT or the City of Bloomington. Only important because Bloomington may allow dual permissive turns but MnDOT may not.

The only thing MnDOT would be maintaining, if anything at all, are signals on ramps to/from Cedar Ave (MN-77), but I don't know the specifics of the agreements between the different levels of government. The rest would be the city of Bloomington and/or possibly Hennepin County. I doubt they would differ much/if at all from state regulations.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 02, 2017, 06:48:39 AM
Quote from: jakeroot
In regards to the FYAs outside the MOA, I'm almost as interested to know whether or not the signals surrounding the mall are maintained by MnDOT or the City of Bloomington. Only important because Bloomington may allow dual permissive turns but MnDOT may not.

Those signals along 24th Ave would be county-maintained.  The others would be city-maintained.  But this is a moot point since MnDOT has pretty rigorous state-aid standards, and all of the main roads surrounding the Mall of America are on the state-aid system.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on February 02, 2017, 08:09:17 AM
Past MnDOT policy was that dual left turn lanes *ALWAYS* were protected-only.  I do not know if that changed when MnDOT implemented FYA's, though my own empirical evidence (from times home to Minneapolis since then) suggests that policy remains in place.

Yeah, I honestly am pretty sure that I've never seen double left-turn lanes have FYAs, in Minnesota or elsewhere. There certainly aren't any in the Des Moines area, to my knowledge.

The policy is now pretty standard that FYA gets installed on all new installations.  Now instead of having to justify why you need a FYA, you have to justify why one shouldn't be there.
http://dotapp7.dot.state.mn.us/edms/download?docId=1225902

A couple of locations with FYA on dual lefts (there are more out there, but the list is starting to get longer especially when including local roads):
MN 55 and Lone Oak Road in Eagan: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.8479371,-93.1265094,3a,75y,157.59h,75.05t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sabv71k6BJd4ZS85cUeWEAw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

MN 55 and Winnetka Avenue in Golden Valley: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9836276,-93.3805031,3a,75y,113.98h,86.16t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1XUQiBWbEhl97a4bxfmgww!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

MN 55 and Plymouth Blvd/Niagara Lane in Plymouth: https://www.google.com/maps/@45.0153297,-93.4708616,3a,75y,299.3h,77.61t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKz3_JIRcM0tLqBzbs5JSHw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

MN 7 and Oak Street in Excelsior: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.8979595,-93.5678597,3a,75y,47.45h,81.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sBACQjdDQcqGHOD4RR3jV6w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

These run protective during the day and only run FYA later at night.  On the local systems there are some that run FYA during the day on dual lefts and only go to protected in AM/PM peak hours.  Recently I've noticed there are some FYA that wait 3-4 seconds to go to FYA after that thru direction indication gets a green ball.  One would assume it would be to get other vehicles and pedestrians out into the intersection so they are more visible to those who can turn left on a FYA.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 02, 2017, 03:40:03 PM
The policy is now pretty standard that FYA gets installed on all new installations.  Now instead of having to justify why you need a FYA, you have to justify why one shouldn't be there.
http://dotapp7.dot.state.mn.us/edms/download?docId=1225902

[snip]

Cool to see I've been proven wrong. Thanks!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on February 02, 2017, 04:25:55 PM
The policy is now pretty standard that FYA gets installed on all new installations.  Now instead of having to justify why you need a FYA, you have to justify why one shouldn't be there.
http://dotapp7.dot.state.mn.us/edms/download?docId=1225902

[snip]

Cool to see I've been proven wrong. Thanks!

At least you're humble.

Glad to see MnDOT being so progressive (by installing FYAs at all new approaches that meet criteria), even if they disable the FYAs during most of the day (or entirely). It gives the traffic engineers a lot of freedom to really control each and every signal, something that isn't entirely possible with protected only turns. If there's no ban on permissive turns against a lot of lanes or high speed approaches, they could have a lot of fun with lead/lag signals (if that's something they like to do).

These run protective during the day and only run FYA later at night.  On the local systems there are some that run FYA during the day on dual lefts and only go to protected in AM/PM peak hours.

Any video of this? I believe you, but I'm just curious to see how they operate.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 02, 2017, 05:59:53 PM
At least you're humble.

Glad to see MnDOT being so progressive (by installing FYAs at all new approaches that meet criteria), even if they disable the FYAs during most of the day (or entirely). It gives the traffic engineers a lot of freedom to really control each and every signal, something that isn't entirely possible with protected only turns. If there's no ban on permissive turns against a lot of lanes or high speed approaches, they could have a lot of fun with lead/lag signals (if that's something they like to do).

These run protective during the day and only run FYA later at night.  On the local systems there are some that run FYA during the day on dual lefts and only go to protected in AM/PM peak hours.

Any video of this? I believe you, but I'm just curious to see how they operate.

Is humility on the Internet really so rare as to be noteworthy these days? ...Psssh, who am I kidding, lol. My username might try to imply that I know everything about Minnesota highways... but I don't, and I haven't even lived there since 2010. I ain't going to pretend I even know close to everything.

I second that request for a video.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 03, 2017, 12:16:51 AM
Hennepin County's new standard phasing is to use the 4 second delay before a flashing yellow arrow starts (but there are a lot of older county signals that do not do this). Bloomington is also implementing protected only phases if there's a conflicting ped call, which Hennepin County will use selectively.

I've never seen the double lanes on Lindau operate with flashing yellow arrows either, and in fact there are no signs mounted on these approaches.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 03, 2017, 08:58:01 AM
Met Council Regional Solicitation Grants Awarded.
https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/Planning-2/Transportation-Funding/Regional-Solicitation/RegionalSolicitationAwardedGrants/2016-Selected-Regional-Solicitation-Projects.aspx

Brooklyn Center got two of them by splitting the 66th interchange project into the interchange itself (Roadway Expansion) and an pedestrian bridge where 70th will be cut off (Multiuse Trails and Bicycle Facilities)

A few highlights:

Interchange at MN 252 and 66th St North, the busiest signalized intersection in the state and one of the most dangerous due to high speeds, congestion, and site distance problems. 70th will be cut off and a pedestrian bridge built in a separate grant.

New interchange at Brockton Lane and I-94 in Dayton. The local governments have been asking for this one for 15 years for economic development and it will connect to a possible new river crossing.

An interchange at MN 36 at Manning Ave, as the evolution of MN 36 from expressway to freeway continues. (An interchange at Hadley Ave is already funded, that leaves Century [will not be done until work on Hadley is complete], Lake Elmo [they said no to the overpass and won't come up with funding for an interchange], and the three in Oak Park Heights [Oak Park Heights threatened to veto the bridge project if the signals were removed]).

Third northbound lane on Snelling in Roseville

Rebuilding the Rice Street interchange with I-694 as a diamond with a bunch of roundabouts (rather than a parclo like the plans we found previously)

Scott County 14 interchange at US 169 (Don't know why they got this one, Scott County has plenty of their own money for stuff like this thanks to their opt-out tax)

77th Street underpass under Cedar

Fairoak Underpass under US 10,

More work on the St. Paul Grand Rounds trails

A bunch of trails along suburban highways

A bunch of sidewalks near some St. Paul schools

Fiber optic traffic signal interconnects on Old Shakopee, Minnetonka, Exclesior, Rockford, Snelling, and Lexington

Rebuilding Lake / Excelsior to be more pedestrian friendly
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 03, 2017, 09:14:28 AM
Fiber optic traffic signal interconnects on Old Shakopee, Minnetonka, Exclesior, Rockford, Snelling, and Lexington

Is there any advantage to using fiber optic lines to connect traffic signals over copper wires? I understand the advantage when it comes to Internet connections, but not with regards to traffic signals. Seems like super-expensive overkill to me.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 03, 2017, 12:33:56 PM
Quote
Is there any advantage to using fiber optic lines to connect traffic signals over copper wires? I understand the advantage when it comes to Internet connections, but not with regards to traffic signals. Seems like super-expensive overkill to me.

As those with old school DSL will tell you, there's a distance limitation with copper wire that doesn't really exist with fiber.  Important for where there's longer distances between signals.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: sparker on February 03, 2017, 04:31:18 PM
Quote
Is there any advantage to using fiber optic lines to connect traffic signals over copper wires? I understand the advantage when it comes to Internet connections, but not with regards to traffic signals. Seems like super-expensive overkill to me.

As those with old school DSL will tell you, there's a distance limitation with copper wire that doesn't really exist with fiber.  Important for where there's longer distances between signals.


Any use of fiber optics with traffic signals would be limited to setting timing, phase, sequencing, and other parameters remotely or centrally.  The signals themselves will still require a standard electrical power supply, which would in any case require metallic wiring; the fiber-optic cables would connect relays or digital switching in the on-site control boxes. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 03, 2017, 05:05:42 PM
I think he was referring to interconnecting signals, not the physical signal installation itself.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: sparker on February 04, 2017, 01:35:40 AM
I think he was referring to interconnecting signals, not the physical signal installation itself.


Good -- then that makes more sense.  It would be much more efficient to effect some sort of centralized approach to traffic control through synchronization -- if the parameters could be adjusted to account for traffic levels and even recurring anomalies (accidents, road work) in order to optimize them for maximal effectual results.  If fiber optics can at once enhance this process while cutting down maintenance costs, it's a "win-win" situation all around.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 04, 2017, 12:29:00 PM
At this point most of the signals owned by a given agency on a corridor are interconnected, but if you go from a county to city signal, there is not coordination.  What's going on is thinking much bigger and implementing a central traffic control system for the south suburbs for all Mn/DOT, south suburban Hennepin, and Dakota county signals. This will eventually include adaptive traffic control. Bloomington also intends to join in and there is a project to lay fiber along Lyndale and American this spring.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 07, 2017, 11:44:23 AM
US 169/MN 37 intersection in Hibbing to be rebuilt as a roundabout this spring.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy-169-Hwy-37-Roundabout/?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on February 08, 2017, 06:37:15 PM
Is Minnesota going on a roundabout-building binge like Wisconsin has (not that I disapprove of it)?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on February 08, 2017, 06:43:48 PM
US 169/MN 37 intersection in Hibbing to be rebuilt as a roundabout this spring.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy-169-Hwy-37-Roundabout/?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Am I the only one who can't load this link?

For that matter, I can't seem to load any links to the MnDOT website. Every link returns with "This site can't be reached" on Chrome.

FWIW, my internet seems to be working just fine, just not with the MnDOT websites. Strange.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 08, 2017, 09:09:45 PM
Quote from: jakeroot
Am I the only one who can't load this link?

For that matter, I can't seem to load any links to the MnDOT website. Every link returns with "This site can't be reached" on Chrome.

FWIW, my internet seems to be working just fine, just not with the MnDOT websites. Strange.

Might just be you.  Granted, I'm not using Chrome, but not having a problem accessing MnDOT websites in general or this project website in particular.

Speaking of this project, it made last year's forum list (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6510.msg2139599#msg2139599) of upcoming projects.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on February 08, 2017, 09:20:27 PM
Might just be you.  Granted, I'm not using Chrome, but not having a problem accessing MnDOT websites in general or this project website in particular.

I tried it using Edge. Worked fine.  :confused:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 08, 2017, 09:22:29 PM
Is Minnesota going on a roundabout-building binge like Wisconsin has (not that I disapprove of it)?

Not nearly to Wisconsin's extent, but it's been a steadily increasing sight in Minnesota over the last five years or so. I'd say though that local governments started it first and MnDOT is just now starting to catch up to them.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 08, 2017, 10:36:07 PM
US 169/MN 37 intersection in Hibbing to be rebuilt as a roundabout this spring.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy-169-Hwy-37-Roundabout/?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Am I the only one who can't load this link?

For that matter, I can't seem to load any links to the MnDOT website. Every link returns with "This site can't be reached" on Chrome.

FWIW, my internet seems to be working just fine, just not with the MnDOT websites. Strange.

I have the same problem with Chrome. No idea what it is. I use Firefox to access their site, because I'm presently too lazy to figure out what the issue is.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on February 09, 2017, 07:09:44 AM
US 169/MN 37 intersection in Hibbing to be rebuilt as a roundabout this spring.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy-169-Hwy-37-Roundabout/?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Am I the only one who can't load this link?

For that matter, I can't seem to load any links to the MnDOT website. Every link returns with "This site can't be reached" on Chrome.

FWIW, my internet seems to be working just fine, just not with the MnDOT websites. Strange.

I have the same problem with Chrome. No idea what it is. I use Firefox to access their site, because I'm presently too lazy to figure out what the issue is.

MnDOT had a post on their facebook page awhile back (Jan 17th) about this:
"Having problems accessing our website?
Due to a glitch you may need to clear the cache on your browser, especially if you use Google Chrome.
How to (Chrome):
1. Click the three vertically stacked dots in the upper right corner of your browser.
2. Hover over "More tools."
3. Select "Clear browsing data."
4. Check the boxes for "Cached images and files" and "Cookies and other site and plugin data."
5. Click "Clear browsing data.""
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 09, 2017, 08:24:38 AM
Quote
I'd say though that local governments started it first and MnDOT is just now starting to catch up to them.

I'd argue otherwise.  MnDOT built the second & third roundabouts in the state (I-35 Medford interchange) which opened only a month after the first roundabout in Maplewood.  Given the timeline involved with state vs. local projects, it's likely that MnDOT started their planning before Maplewood did.

Has MnDOT been slow to pick up compared to local jurisdictions?  Perhaps, but I'd argue that MnDOT was the initiator.  I distinctly remember that back when the Medford roundabouts were being planned.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on February 09, 2017, 01:44:08 PM
Quote from: MnDOT on Facebook
"Having problems accessing our website?
Due to a glitch you may need to clear the cache on your browser, especially if you use Google Chrome.

Hahahaha that's not gonna happen.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 09, 2017, 06:36:13 PM
MnDOT had a post on their facebook page awhile back (Jan 17th) about this:
"Having problems accessing our website?
Due to a glitch you may need to clear the cache on your browser, especially if you use Google Chrome.
How to (Chrome):
1. Click the three vertically stacked dots in the upper right corner of your browser.
2. Hover over "More tools."
3. Select "Clear browsing data."
4. Check the boxes for "Cached images and files" and "Cookies and other site and plugin data."
5. Click "Clear browsing data.""

That actually worked. I have no idea why I didn't try that before... but maybe it's because I assumed cache data didn't have anything to do with establishing connections. Thanks!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 10, 2017, 10:01:49 AM
And why can't they just fix the problem on their end, considering the number of people that use Chrome?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 10, 2017, 10:33:47 AM
I wouldn't.  Chrome's a memory hog and a PITA.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on February 10, 2017, 03:06:28 PM
I wouldn't.  Chrome's a memory hog and a PITA.

True, but a lot of people use Chrome on their computer because they use it on their phone (and vice versa). This has the advantage of syncing passwords, cookies, history, etc between your devices. Makes life a lot easier. I'm sure the same things are possible with mobile versions of Firefox and Opera, but when everything you do involves Google in some respect, it's just easier to use Chrome.

FWIW, the MnDOT website is the first website that I've ever been to that has this issue. Surely it can't be a difficult fix (if it were, I'm sure other websites would suffer the same issues).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 11, 2017, 12:42:33 AM
I use an iPhone, but I have two Asus Chromeboxes attached to my TV sets and Google Maps seems to work better with Chrome.

Then you have Mn/DOT's lighting layouts which work on Internet Explorer and nothing else (and not very well at that).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 14, 2017, 04:10:40 AM
A state lawmaker plans to introduce a law to raise the loathed 45 MPH speed limit on I-35E to 55, and failing that will then introduce a bill to prevent cops from giving tickets to anyone driving 55 or under on that stretch.

This would not alter the truck ban on that section, for the record.

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/02/13/speed-limit55-mph-interstate-35e/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 14, 2017, 05:06:59 AM
I'm honestly surprised it's taken this long for a lawmaker to seriously try to change that speed limit.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on February 14, 2017, 07:34:07 AM
A state lawmaker plans to introduce a law to raise the loathed 45 MPH speed limit on I-35E to 55, and failing that will then introduce a bill to prevent cops from giving tickets to anyone driving 55 or under on that stretch.

This would not alter the truck ban on that section, for the record.

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/02/13/speed-limit55-mph-interstate-35e/

That's an annual bill that has been introduced every year.  Not even sure if it's ever made it out of committee, usually it goes to the house or senate transportation committees and then dies as it is never taken up.  Not enough support statewide to go any further.  Only south metro residents are affected and care about it so usually it's one of their legislators who introduce the bill.

The truck ban removal would probably take an act of congress like the stillwater bridge as the original court agreement between the neighborhoods and MnDOT included the ban.  The only way around that would be to pass a new federal law overruling the courts.  The speed limit was treated the same if I remember right, so that would take the same effort to change that as well.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 14, 2017, 07:59:04 AM
Quote from: Roadguy
The truck ban removal would probably take an act of congress like the stillwater bridge as the original court agreement between the neighborhoods and MnDOT included the ban.  The only way around that would be to pass a new federal law overruling the courts.  The speed limit was treated the same if I remember right, so that would take the same effort to change that as well.

That is correct...the original court agreement also imposed the 45 MPH limit.  Because of that, any passage of a law changing the speed limit would immediately be subject to a lawsuit that would likely kill said law.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on March 05, 2017, 09:35:20 AM
MnDOT is planning the first Reduced Conflict Intersection with stoplights in the state at MN 65 and Viking Boulevard in East Bethel:
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy65rci/

Found some on google in North Carolina that have stoplights but it seems there are not too many in the country that have stoplights with them.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 05, 2017, 10:19:15 AM
I really think MN 65/Viking Blvd needs to become an interchange at some point in the future. I've gotten to know that intersection fairly well over the last several years. But as the DOT even points out themselves in the video, not a lot of money hanging around right now so this at least would be some kind of solution even if I think it's kind of an annoying-sounding one.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on March 05, 2017, 08:09:53 PM
Speaking as someone who took many, many trips as a child (and then teenager/adult) between Cambridge and the Twin Cities, MN-65 should really be a freeway between US-10 and something like the Isanti/Anoka County line. As a youngster I used to be able to tell you exactly how many traffic signals there were in that stretch…
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 06, 2017, 01:04:20 PM
What's the advantage of a RCI with traffic signals over a just an ordinary signalized intersection? I thought the whole point of a RCI was not having signals?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on March 06, 2017, 05:38:49 PM
RCI with signals is still safer, in that there are fewer conflict points, and has more throughput as the signal phasing is simpler (basically a two-phase).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 07, 2017, 10:10:19 AM
County Road 42 interchange gets under way this year. At least for now they're not doing an "almost cloverleaf" and the new local street under US 52 next to the railroad tracks. This got popup funding with the 2014 round of Met Council TAB grants. County 42 will be shut down and US 52 traffic diverted to the ramps.

https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Transportation/PlannedConstruction/CR42
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on March 10, 2017, 04:56:38 PM
County Road 42 interchange gets under way this year. At least for now they're not doing an "almost cloverleaf" and the new local street under US 52 next to the railroad tracks. This got popup funding with the 2014 round of Met Council TAB grants. County 42 will be shut down and US 52 traffic diverted to the ramps.

https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Transportation/PlannedConstruction/CR42
I find myself amused by the presence of the MN 56 shield on that map.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 15, 2017, 03:03:48 AM
Took a nice day drive today. I have to say MN 30 is a fun alternative to MN 16 between Rushford and US 52 between the curves, grades, and hills, comparative lack of traffic, and not being as "safe" as MN 16 in terms of road condition (minimal shouldering and some fairly steep dropoffs when winding over some of the bluffs).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 24, 2017, 12:33:03 PM
Wrote a short post on the 2015 "Bicycles on the Freeways" incidents.
https://northstarhighways.wordpress.com/all-articles/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 24, 2017, 07:52:05 PM
Wrote a short post on the 2015 "Bicycles on the Freeways" incidents.
https://northstarhighways.wordpress.com/all-articles/

I'm actually going to comment on one of your other entries, which is the second one related to Bloomington's love of the four-lane undivided road. First, is that Normandale rebuild going to reconfigure it into a four-lane boulevard? And second, was there a problem with the city overbuilding its street grid and thus the city being stuck with these narrow four lane streets?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on March 24, 2017, 11:51:08 PM
Wrote a short post on the 2015 "Bicycles on the Freeways" incidents.
https://northstarhighways.wordpress.com/all-articles/

Hmm. Not sure how I feel about bikes and freeways. On one hand, I'm quite used to seeing it around here. Cyclists may ride upon most non-major freeways in the Seattle area. But, it does seem like the speed differential could pose an issue (if an issue were to arise -- most drivers don't drive in the shoulder, but shit happens).

How does Minnesota view bikes? Here in Washington, they are legally viewed as cars, with the same rights. Bikes are allowed wherever cars are, barring specific restrictions.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 25, 2017, 03:32:39 AM
Wrote a short post on the 2015 "Bicycles on the Freeways" incidents.
https://northstarhighways.wordpress.com/all-articles/

Hmm. Not sure how I feel about bikes and freeways. On one hand, I'm quite used to seeing it around here. Cyclists may ride upon most non-major freeways in the Seattle area. But, it does seem like the speed differential could pose an issue (if an issue were to arise -- most drivers don't drive in the shoulder, but shit happens).

How does Minnesota view bikes? Here in Washington, they are legally viewed as cars, with the same rights. Bikes are allowed wherever cars are, barring specific restrictions.

Minnesota also views bikes as being equivalent to cars.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on March 25, 2017, 07:49:05 AM
Bikes riding in the street/road are the equivalent of cars.  Bikes riding on off-street paths or on sidewalks are the equivalent of pedestrians, but yield to actual pedestrians.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 25, 2017, 02:26:52 PM
Wrote a short post on the 2015 "Bicycles on the Freeways" incidents.
https://northstarhighways.wordpress.com/all-articles/

I'm actually going to comment on one of your other entries, which is the second one related to Bloomington's love of the four-lane undivided road. First, is that Normandale rebuild going to reconfigure it into a four-lane boulevard? And second, was there a problem with the city overbuilding its street grid and thus the city being stuck with these narrow four lane streets?

Normandale they're adding a median and turn lanes.

Around the time the inner-ring suburbs were built, the trend was to build four lane undivided roads. Hennepin County did it, Bloomington did it. In most cases the anticipated traffic volumes never materialized. Both the county and the city acknowledge the problem and are trying to fix it when appropriate, in most cases three lanes will work fine but Normandale was an exception, as is 66th in Richfield where they went as far as to take out a row of houses to add a turn lane and cycletracks.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on March 25, 2017, 02:30:50 PM
Wrote a short post on the 2015 "Bicycles on the Freeways" incidents.
https://northstarhighways.wordpress.com/all-articles/

Hmm. Not sure how I feel about bikes and freeways. On one hand, I'm quite used to seeing it around here. Cyclists may ride upon most non-major freeways in the Seattle area. But, it does seem like the speed differential could pose an issue (if an issue were to arise -- most drivers don't drive in the shoulder, but shit happens).

How does Minnesota view bikes? Here in Washington, they are legally viewed as cars, with the same rights. Bikes are allowed wherever cars are, barring specific restrictions.

And the specific restrictions in Minnesota are to exclude them from freeways. Although it was illegal for her to be on the freeway and she would have passed a sign on the on-ramp stating such they gave the 14-year-old a warning rather than a citation.

Here's a summary of Minnesota laws:
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=169.222

Of note:

* Bicycles  have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle except as noted below.

* Riding on a sidewalk is permitted except in a business district, but local ordinances can override this either way. Bloomington has a local ordinance allowing bicycles on any sidewalk. Carefully using the sidewalks has in fact been advocated by the city in the Oxboro business district.

* The commissioner of transportation may post a road as off-limits to bicycles. All the interstates are so posted. Other freeways usually are but this is inconsistent; US 52 has signs on some ramps but not others.

* Absent are any kinds of bicycle helmet laws for any age, and there's none on the municipal level either. The 14-year-old was wearing her riding helmet, (although a lot of good it probably would have done given typical freeway speeds). My own study showed usage from around 20% for women on Minneapolis streets to 90% for children along the Minneapolis parkways.
https://northstarhighways.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/bicycle-helmet-use-in-minneapolis-and-suburbs-2015-2016/

* A light is required at night. There is some thought among bicycle advocates that lights should be required for each bicycle sold, given how low compliance is.

Here's a direct link to the videos






 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on April 06, 2017, 07:58:57 AM
As MnDOT and the Met Council have received more requests for the locals to build interchanges within busy non-freeway corridors, they decided to study priorities for future intersection to interchange conversions.  The results are out: https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/Planning-2/Transit-Plans,-Studies-Reports/Highways-Roads/Principal-Arterial-Intersection-Conversion-Study.aspx
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 06, 2017, 12:05:18 PM
^ It should be noted that 7 of those sub-corridors are segments that had official freeway-conversion proposals within the past 2 decades.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: ET21 on April 06, 2017, 08:15:40 PM
That's one of the perks of the Twin Cities area I like when I was up there this past fall. Those in-between corridors that were up to freeway standards. Made for an easy drive from UofM and Chaska, MN
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mgk920 on April 07, 2017, 05:03:10 PM
^ It should be noted that 7 of those sub-corridors are segments that had official freeway-conversion proposals within the past 2 decades.

So then it looks like they might eventually make that cut.  I'm especially drawn to the MN 65 and MN 252 ones, those upgrades would turn them into full freeways.  How long before the rest of US 61 in Saint Paul and on southeastward gets the same treatment?  Also, I'm kind of surprised that those intersections on MN 36 east of I-694 aren't higher priorities and that we might see the MN 77 freeway extended southward to at least County 42.

 :nod:

Mike
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 07, 2017, 09:19:46 PM
Quote
How long before the rest of US 61 in Saint Paul and on southeastward gets the same treatment?  Also, I'm kind of surprised that those intersections on MN 36 east of I-694 aren't higher priorities and that we might see the MN 77 freeway extended southward to at least County 42.

None of the above.  61 and 36 just don't have the cross traffic to warrant major expense.  And despite it being NHS, MnDOT has (to my knowledge) no interest in taking over jurisdiction of more of Cedar Ave.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 08, 2017, 04:17:26 AM
Monte mentioned it again recently, but in addition to traffic volume concerns the city of Oak Park Heights also pushed back against any potential MN 36 interchanges within its limits because of the large amount of chain businesses that currently front those intersections.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on April 13, 2017, 03:42:24 PM
I just found this today while searching for other Minnesota turnback information, and I don't think it's been posted here yet (it's from February 27):

https://www.senate.mn/departments/scr/billsumm/summary_display_from_db.php?ls=90&id=5043

Quote from: the most relevant parts
Section 6.  Legislative Route No. 123 removed.  Provides county turnback of Trunk Highway 112 (running from Le Sueur to Le Center) following an agreement between MnDOT and Le Sueur County.

Section 7.  Legislative Route No. 225 removed.  Provides a county turnback of Trunk Highway 225 (running from Ponsford to Trunk Highway 34 near Osage in Becker County) following an agreement between MnDOT and Becker County.

The bill proposes to eliminate MN-112, which I find to be an odd decision to make. It's a shortcut from MN-99 west to US-169 north, never mind that it's the perfectly logical route from Le Center to Le Sueur (duh) and then from there north on MN-93 to points on MN-19 west. Doesn't make sense to me. The only thing that would make sense to me is to eliminate MN-112 from the MN-93 junction to its north terminus, as I've always thought of it as a bit redundant. Then you could re-route 112 over MN-93 to US-169 and have it terminate there, which would remove the MN-93 concurrency with US-169.

The MN-225 elimination, however, is one that I actually can't believe hasn't been done years ago. One of the most useless Trunk Highways in the state.

Looks like I should try to make some time soon to drive up there and photograph those routes before they're gone.


Yet another edit:

The text of SF 1059 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/pages/doctypes/bills/text.php?number=SF1059&version=0&session=ls90&session_year=2017&session_number=0) also changes the description of LR 259 (MN-93) to end not at LR 123 (MN-112), but instead at "a point at or near Le Sueur." This implies to me that in addition, the short east-west segment of MN-93 will be turned back as well, and the concurrency with US-169 eliminated.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 13, 2017, 04:32:31 PM
MN 112 being axed could be part of a broader effort to reduce district mileage, since the useless MN 66 was eliminated in the last year or so as well.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on April 13, 2017, 05:03:22 PM
Yeah, it was. I tried to make a trip up there last year on July 30th to get some pictures of it before they began reconstructing it, but I was too late (not sure what I was thinking going that late into summer, but whatever). The old highway was all torn up. I did, however, find these still posted on US-169:

NB
(https://i.imgur.com/2e6XzRxm.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/2e6XzRx.jpg)(https://i.imgur.com/umWlxjdm.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/umWlxjd.jpg)

SB
(https://i.imgur.com/0EOLLF5m.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/0EOLLF5.jpg)(https://i.imgur.com/XnHzipym.jpg) (https://i.imgur.com/XnHzipy.jpg)

So those were a bit of a consolation prize. The part of MN-66 that ran through Mankato was already posted with Blue Earth CR-1 markers.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 13, 2017, 05:44:56 PM
Both routes (93 and 112) are listed on MnDOT's Jurisdictional Realignment Project report from 2014 as turnback candidates, so this doesn't surprise me.  Sounds like MnDOT has come to preliminary agreement with Le Sueur County as to the turnbacks.

The language to change the Legislative Route description for MN 93 to an endpoint "at or near Le Sueur", and the lack of mention of Sibley County in the language, suggests that MnDOT and Sibley County haven't come to an agreement and that MN 93 will possibly end at the county line instead of at US 169.

Another intriguing part of that bill:  elimination of L.R. 101.  I guess they're finally starting to get around to eliminating concurrent legislative routes.  In this case, L.R. 101 was originally added between Faribault and what is now the northwest corner of Lakeville, initially signed as MN 165, and then becoming a rerouted US 65 once it was paved in the 1950s.  It's routing eventually became primarily I-35, I-35E, and a little bit of MN 21.  As the route system is currently set up, L.R. 101 is completely concurrent with C.R. 21 and L.R. 390, so it can easily be removed.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on April 13, 2017, 06:38:48 PM
MN 112 being axed could be part of a broader effort to reduce district mileage, since the useless MN 66 was eliminated in the last year or so as well.

You just don't care at all about the people of Good Thunder, do you?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on April 13, 2017, 07:15:10 PM
The language to change the Legislative Route description for MN 93 to an endpoint "at or near Le Sueur", and the lack of mention of Sibley County in the language, suggests that MnDOT and Sibley County haven't come to an agreement and that MN 93 will possibly end at the county line instead of at US 169.

So it would run south from MN-19/Henderson, follow US-169 as it does, then turn east toward Le Sueur where it will suddenly end at the bridge, right before it enters town? That would be kind of silly, but also super amusing to see. Much like the ongoing MN-101 saga has been.

Another intriguing part of that bill:  elimination of L.R. 101.  I guess they're finally starting to get around to eliminating concurrent legislative routes.  In this case, L.R. 101 was originally added between Faribault and what is now the northwest corner of Lakeville, initially signed as MN 165, and then becoming a rerouted US 65 once it was paved in the 1950s.  It's routing eventually became primarily I-35, I-35E, and a little bit of MN 21.  As the route system is currently set up, L.R. 101 is completely concurrent with C.R. 21 and L.R. 390, so it can easily be removed.

Because I was unfamiliar with LR 101, I went to look at MnDOT's Legislative Route maps (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadway/data/data-products.html#CSSR), and found out that it's just not on there. They didn't even bother to label it, if the CR 21 and LR 390 routing is correct.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 13, 2017, 08:01:24 PM
Quote from: MNHighwayMan
So it would run south from MN-19/Henderson, follow US-169 as it does, then turn east toward Le Sueur where it will suddenly end at the bridge, right before it enters town? That would be kind of silly, but also super amusing to see. Much like the ongoing MN-101 saga has been.

It's even possible that MN 93 would retain its current southern terminus for the time being.  It all depends on whatever turnback agreements MnDOT has come to with Sibley and Le Sueur Counties and the city of Le Sueur.

Quote
Because I was unfamiliar with LR 101, I went to look at MnDOT's Legislative Route maps, and found out that it's just not on there. They didn't even bother to label it, if the CR 21 and LR 390 routing is correct.

It's correct.  I got a downsized version of MnDOT's TIS database from them some years ago that includes L.R./C.R. designations, and L.R. 101 is completely concurrent with C.R. 21 and L.R. 390.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on April 13, 2017, 09:02:03 PM
It's even possible that MN 93 would retain its current southern terminus for the time being.  It all depends on whatever turnback agreements MnDOT has come to with Sibley and Le Sueur Counties and the city of Le Sueur.

So what kind of time table are we looking at as far as turnback goes? I know I'm asking this question far too early for this specific case, but I'm not terribly familiar with the overall process itself. I guess the biggest question I have, is how long is it, generally, from when the statute is eliminated to when the signs come down? In the past I've only found out about turnbacks after they've been executed on the ground or maybe just before (MN-5 in Washington County was my lucky one, though it helped that that was around the time I started participating here - I wasn't so lucky for other recent ones, including MN-66, 227, and 235).

Or how does one typically find out about these? I stumbled upon that Senate File by complete accident. Is it really as mundane (and tedious) as just simply checking the legislature's website for transportation-related bills and stuff? MnDOT site? Or what?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 14, 2017, 01:50:45 AM
My guess is it depends on a number of factors, but 1 to 2 years seems to be the average I've noticed. The MN 5 turnback was announced in spring 2015 with the signs coming down in December of that year. I think the DOT and Blue Earth County came to an agreement on MN 66 in fall 2014, but the signs only finally came down last fall.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 14, 2017, 09:59:57 PM
Usually, but not always, the relevant MnDOT district will issue a press release about the impending jurisdictional change, but those are usually close to the turnover time.

Looking at Legislative Route changes in state legislation will give one an idea of what will eventually happen...i.e. what MnDOT is actively pursuing that requires changing an L.R. designation, but is unreliable when it comes to the timing.  For example, removing the former MN 232's L.R. was done in 1996, but the route was only turned back about a year or so ago.  As I mentioned above, it all depends on the agreements between MnDOT and the local jurisdictions and how long it takes those entities to come to those agreements, which often involves the local jurisdiction requesting (if not outright demanding) some sort of improvement to the roadway before they'll agree to take it over.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 15, 2017, 09:42:22 PM
This past week was the week that MnDOT announced their 2017 construction season (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/construction/).  As with last year (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6510.msg2139596#msg2139596) and previous years, here's a series of posts showing current and planned status of interchange, major highway, and major roundabout projects across Minnesota.

We'll start with a list of projects that were substantially completed last year:

MN 5 Mississippi River Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy5/) - Bridge redecking completed.
US 8/MN 95 near Taylors Falls (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy8/) - Reconstruction of the 8/95 concurrency is complete.  The project included a roundabout at the western US 8/MN 95 junction.
US 14 from west of Nicollet to North Mankato - 4-laning of US 14, including a Nicollet bypass with an interchange at MN 111/CSAH 23, was completed in November.
MN 23 between Jasper and Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23passinglanes/index.html) - MnDOT built passing lanes in 10 locations along MN 23.
MN 25 in Buffalo (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/buffalo/) - Now substantially complete, this project rebuilt MN 25 on the north side of Buffalo, adding a roundabout at 8th St NW/CSAH 12, dual left turn lanes on all approaches at the MN 25/MN 55 intersection, nad widened MN 25 to 4 lanes for about a half mile north of MN 55.
MN 29 near I-94 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/alexi94hwy29/) in Alexandria - This project rebuilt the I-94/MN 29 interchange (moving the westbound ramps closer to the I-94 mainline to provide more space between them and 50th Ave W), built a new roundabout on MN 29 at CSAH 28/CR 87, and widened MN 29 to 4 lanes between the roundabout and I-94.
I-35E from I-94 to Little Canada Rd - This project rebuilt, widened, and slightly realigned I-35E, adding a MnPASS (HO/T) Lane in each direction, replaced the Cayuga Bridge on new alignment, added auxiliary lanes between I-94 and Maryland Ave (for a total of 10 lanes), and replaced the former 3/4 interchange at Pennsylvania Ave with a full folded-diamond interchange at Cayuga St.
I-35E from I-694 to north of County Rd J (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35vadnaisheights/) - This project, now largely complete, expanded upon the above I-35E project to extend the MnPASS Lanes on I-35E to north of I-694.  The northbound MnPASS lane has a gap along the I-694 commons, but begins again north of I-694 and continues up to the Ramsey/Anoka County line at County Rd J.  The southbound MnPASS lane begins at CSAH 96 and is continuous through the 694 commons to downtown St. Paul.  The project also redecked the CSAH 96 bridge over I-35E.
MN 36 at Lexington Ave in Roseville - This project replaced the MN 36 bridges over Lexington Ave, which dated to 1938.  MN 36 was also repaved in the vicinity.
US 52 at US 63/South Broadway (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy52-63-interchange/) in Rochester - Mainly a bridge redecking on the US 52 bridges over US 63, this project also revised the northbound 3rd lane on US 52 so that it began from the on-ramp loop from northbound 63 instead of from the on-ramp from South Broadway.
US 61/MN 97 in Forest Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy61and97/) - This project realigned the southern 61/97 junction and added roundabouts at both junctions.
US 63 at Olmsted CSAH 16 near the Rochester Airport - This project reconstructed the existing interchange with a wider CSAH 16 bridge over US 63 and added roundabouts at the ramp junctions.
US 75 near Kent (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/hwy75kent/) - This project relocated a US 75 railroad grade separation near Kent (south of Moorhead) to reduce persistent flooding closures.
I-90 Dresbach Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/dresbachbridge/index.html) - The project to replace the I-90 Mississippi River bridge (locally called the "Dresbach Brdige" is now substantially complete, with all lanes/ramps open.  The rebuilt interchange at US 14/61 features direct ramps from WB 90 to SB 14/61 and NB 14/61 to WB 90 (the former was previously a 2-intersection indirect connection and the latter had an intersection).  The Mississippi River Trail (USBR 45) is designed so as to avoid any mainline road crossings.
I-94 at US 75 in Moorhead (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/moorhead/index.html) - This project rebuilt the I-94/US 75 interchange as a diverging diamond, and also added auxiliary lanes along I-94 between US 75 and 20th St (east of US 75).
I-94 at 7th St in downtown Minneapolis (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94minneapolis/index.html) - This project relocated the westbound I-94 exit into downtown Minneapolis from 5th St to 7th St.  An upcoming project will convert the old 5th St ramp bridge over I-35W into a bike/ped bridge.
MN 96 at Washington CSAH 15 (https://www.co.washington.mn.us/2021/Manning-Avenue-RehabCR12-to-TH96)/Manning Ave near Stillwater - This county-led project replaced the intersection with a roundabout.
MN 100 in St. Louis Park (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy100slp/) - This now-completed project reconstructed the last segment of MN 100 needing such, from south of MN 7 to approximately W 26th St.  The project provided a continuous 6 lanes (3 per direction) on MN 100, replaced the ca. 1930s-era bridges over MN 100, reconstructed the MN 7 interchange into a 5-ramp par-clo (loops in the SW/SE quads and a direct SB 100 to WB 7 ramp), and rebuilt the CSAH 5/Minnetonka Blvd interchange into a standard cloverleaf.  Additional auxiliary lanes were built as needed.
US 169 between Mankato and St. Peter (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/floodmitigation/) - The final of 3 projects addressing flood mitigation in Nicollet County was completed last year.  This project rebuilt segments of US 169 between Mankato and St. Peter to raise them above the 100 year floodplain elevation and reduce future river flooding closures of the highway.
US 169 in Belle Plaine - This "pop-up" project built an overpass over US 169 about 600ft southwest of Scott CSAH 3.  Theoretically, the median crossing at CSAH 3 (which for years had been restricted to left turns off US 169 only) has been fully closed, but I cannot confirm that.
US 212 at Shady Oak Rd in Eden Prairie - This project rebuilt the interchange and added capacity on Shady Oak Rd, but left the basic diamond configuration intact.
MN 250 north of Lanesboro (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy250-bridge/index.html) - This project replaced two old overhead truss bridges north of Lanesboro.  The bridges were replaced due to their narrowness and poor condition.
I-494 from I-394 to I-94 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494plymouth/) - This reconstruction finally finished last year.  It widened I-494 to 3 lanes in each direction, plus a 4th auxiliary lane southbound from 94/694 to Bass Lake Rd.
MN 610 from I-94 to CSAH 81 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/610west/index.html) - The long-awaited extension of MN 610 to I-94 opened in December.  The project effectively completes the MN 610 freeway across the northern suburbs.  The extension completed an interchange at CSAH 81/CSAH 130, added an interchange at Maple Grove Pkwy, and added direct connections to/from I-94 West.  Though proposed, connections from WB 94 to EB 610 and vice versa are not currently funded.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 15, 2017, 09:43:04 PM
Ongoing 2017 construction (continued from previous years):

MN 4/MN 30 in St. James (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy4stjames/) - Reconstruction of MN 4/MN 30 through St. James continues this year.  The project includes two mini-roundabouts in downtown St. James.
MN 23 at Kandiyohi CSAH 5 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23kandi5/index.html) near Willmar - This project is building an overpass for CSAH 5 over MN 23, utilizing the existing grading/fill that was initially built with the Willmar bypass for a planned interchange.  The existing roadway north of MN 23 will remain as the connector road between MN 23 and CSAH 5.
MN 23 in West Duluth (http://www.mndot.gov/d1/projects/Hwy23grand/) - Continuing reconstruction of MN 23 through West Duluth, from Becks Rd to I-35.  Should wrap up this summer.
MN 24 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy24/) - Completion of a new MN 24 Mississippi River Bridge (just downstream of the existing bridge) should wrap up this summer.
I-35W at County Road H (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/crhoveri35wardenhills/) in Arden Hills - Part of this project was built last year.  It widens County Road H between I-35W and CSAH 10, removes the southbound on-ramp loop, adds a northbound off-ramp from I-35W that bridges under the WB 10-to-NB 35W ramp, and builds roundabouts at the ramp terminals.
MN 36 St. Croix River Crossing (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/stcroixcrossing/) - Continuing construction on the "Stillwater Bridge" replacement, as has been documented in another thread (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=5160.0) by Monte Castleman.  MN 36 traffic is now using both of the west ramps at the future 36/95 interchange, and closing the gap on the bridge deck was completed 2 months ago.
MN 43 Winona Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/winonabridge/index.html) - The initial plan for this multi-year project involved expanding the MN 43 river crossing by building a brand new bridge for southbound traffic and then rehabilitating the existing bridge for northbound traffic.  The new bridge opened up at the end of last summer, but costs for rehabilitating the existing bridge jumped by $30 million and so the "pause button" was hit.  MnDOT announced in February (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/newsrels/17/02/1-winonabridgerehabilitation.html) a preferred alternative for the rehabilitation of the existing bridge, but additional study is needed to see if it still falls within FHWA's record of decision or if additional study is needed....this being because the existing bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.  So, for now, traffic is 2-lane/2-way on the new bridge.
US 52 at Dakota CSAH 86 (https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Transportation/CurrentConstruction/CR86/Pages/default.aspx) near Cannon Falls - To be wrapped up this summer, this project is building an interchange on US 52 at Dakota CSAH 86.  The layout will be a folded-diamond interchange with on-ramp loops.
US 53 relocation near Virginia (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy53relocation/) - This project relocates US 53 on the south side of Virginia so that the adjacent mining company (which owns the land underneath existing US 53) can expand its mine.  US 53 is being relocated to the northeast, including a 1,100ft long bridge over the Rocheleau Pit that will become the tallest bridge in the state.  The project replaces the existing half-interchange at 2nd St with an intersection, but adds a diamond interchange at MN 135 to replace the existing 53/135 interchange.  The bridge is expected to open to traffic by the end of this year.
MN 77 at Cedar Grove (just south of MN 13) - Not a highway project per se but a transit project that impacts the MN 77 freeway.  This project is building an in-line BRT station in the median of MN 77 at Cedar Grove, just south of MN 13.  The roadway configuration is similar to that of the 46th St BRT station along I-35W in Minneapolis.
I-94 in East St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94stpaul/index.html) - Primarily a pavement reconstruction project extending out to MN 120, this project includes building an auxiliary lane between downtown and Mounds Blvd, so that upon completion, there will be at least 4 lanes along eastbound I-94 from the 11th St on-ramp downtown out to US 10/61 South.
US 169 from MN 62 to MN 55 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169hopkins/index.html) - A number of projects were combined into one, with the biggest impact this year.  US 169 is currently completely shut down between Bren Rd and Lincoln Dr in order to replace the bridge over Nine Mile Creek (north of MN 62) in a single year.  The road is expected to be closed until this fall.  Other smaller elements of this project include road/ramp resurfacing and permanently closing the southbound ramps at 16th St (just south of I-394).
US 169 east of Bovey (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy169-cross-range/) - This project extends the 4-lane section of US 169 on the Iron Range another 1.5 miles, from the Bovey bypass to just east of Itasca CSAH 7.
MN 210 through Jay Cooke State Park (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy210future/index.html) - This project, which should wrap up this fall, is rebuilding a section of MN 210 through the park (which is between Carlton and West Duluth) that was washed out during a severe flood in 2012.
MN 371 between Nisswa and Jenkins (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy371/) - This project, which should wrap up this fall, is widening MN 371 to 4 lanes from Nissway to Crow Wing CSAH 16.  The project includes a bypass of Pequot Lakes and a diamond interchange with roundabouts at Crow Wing CSAH 11.
I-694 between Arden Hills and Shoreview (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/enhance694/index.html) - This project is reconstructing I-694 and adding a 3rd lane in each direction between Lexington Ave and Rice St, which will result in a continuous 3 lanes in each direction between US 10 West and I-35E.  The project should wrap up this year.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 15, 2017, 09:43:43 PM
New construction for 2017:

MN 1/MN 169 near Eagles Nest Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy169eagles/) - This project was slated for 2016 but got bumped to this year.  It will fully reconstruct MN 1/169 in the Eagles Nest Lake area between Tower and Ely, with about half of it on new alignment south of the existing alignment.
US 2 over the Red River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/kennedybridge/index.html) in East Grand Forks - The "Kennedy Bridge" will be redecked this year and into next year.  MnDOT and NDDOT opted to go this route as part of a bridge rehabilitation instead of building a brand new bride.
MN 7/US 71 south of Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy7hwy71roundabout/) - The existing rural traffic signal will be replaced with a roundabout this summer.
US 14/MN 15 in New Ulm (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/14newulmtonmankato/) - Called the "New Ulm Gateway Project", this project involves several items.  It will raise US 14 and MN 15 out of the 100 year floodplain.  It will replace the existing bridges over the Minnesota River and Front St/UP RR with 2-lane structures that can be expanded to 4 lanes in the future.  7th N St will be reconstructed as a 2-lane divided section with left turn lanes between N Broadway (MN 15/68) and the Front St bridge.  The folded-diamond interchange at Front St will be replaced with a one-quadrant access road with a roundabout on US 14/MN 15.  The US 14/MN 15/CSAH 21 junction will be replaced with a diamond interchange along MN 15 with dumbbells at the ramp junctions.  A free-right will be provided for eastbound US 14 through traffic to avoid the dumbbell and the intersection at CSAH 21 South.
I-35W in south Minneapolis (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wminneapolis/) - This huge, 5-year project will reconstruct I-35W between 42nd St and I-94, replacing several bridges and with several reconfigurations.  The MnPASS lanes on I-35W will be extended on both sides to 26th St (the existing northbound dynamic shoulder would become a full MnPASS lane).  A median transit station will be built at Lake St.  Two new ramps are added:  a northbound off-ramp to 28th St, and a southbound off-ramp to Lake St.  The flyover from northbound 35W to westbound 94 would be relocated to enter westbound 94 on the left instead of on the right (most ramp traffic stays on 94, and so it'll reduce the weave situation between 35W and Hennepin/Lyndale).  Also, the existing 35W flyover near 24th wouldb e replaced with a fy-under north of Franklin, with southbound 35W merging on the right instead of on the left.
US 52 at MN 58 in Zumbrota (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy58-bridge/index.html) - This project will replace the MN 58 bridge over US 52 and add roundabouts at the ramp junctions.
US 52 between Cannon Falls and Coates (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy52coates/index.html) - MnDOT plans to convert several intersections on US 52 to Reduced-Conflict Intersections (RCI) this year.
US 59 at Becker CSAH 22 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/hwy59roundabout/index.html) south of Detroit Lakes - MnDOT will build a roundabout at US 59/CSAH 22 this year, replacing the current 4-way stop sign.
MN 60 between Windom and Mountain Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy60stjames/) - The last needed segment in a larger 4-lane corridor from the Twin Cities to Sioux City, IA, this project will widen MN 60 to 4-lanes between Windom and Mountain Lake.
US 63 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/redwing-bridge/) in Red Wing - Scheduled to begin this year and last 3 years, the US 63 bridges over US 61 and the Mississippi River will be replaced.  The bridges will be 2-lane spans for now, but with a design that would allow for 4 lanes in the future.  US 63 will also be relocated out of downtown Red Wing, meeting US 61 directly just east of the overpass.
MN 73 at Carlton CSAH 10 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Moose-Lake-Area-Project/index.html) in Moose Lake - Part of a series of other improvements around Moose Lake, a roundabout will be built at MN 73/CSAH 10 this year.
MN 73 at St. Louis CSAH 5 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy73chisholm/index.html) in Chisholm - St. Louis County is leading a project to realign CSAH 5 and build a roundabout where it meets MN 73, just north of US 169.
MN 149 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy149highbridge/index.html) in St. Paul - Redecking of the Smith Ave "High Bridge" is planned to begin later this year and continue into 2018.
US 169 at Red Oak Dr/Southgate Dr (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/aitkin/) in Aitkin - A roundabout will be built at this intersection in southern Aitkin this year.
US 169 at MN 37 in Hibbing (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy-169-Hwy-37-Roundabout/index.html) - A multilane roundabout is planned for this junction for this year.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 15, 2017, 09:44:24 PM
Lastly, here are some upcoming/future projects (including some unfunded projects):

MN 3 at Dakota CSAH 26 (https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Transportation/PlannedConstruction/CR26-Hwy3/Pages/default.aspx) in Inver Grove Heights - Dakota County is leading a project to replace this intersection with a roundabout in 2018.
US 10 in Wadena (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/wadena/) - Now pushed to 2019, this project will reconstruct an 8-block leg of US 10 through Wadena.  The reconstruction will accommodate a future potential 4-lane cross-section for US 10.
US 12 near Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/willmarwye/index.html) - Though this one is primarily a rail project, I'm including it here because it would realign part of US 12 west of Willmar.  The main project proposes building a new wye rail connection between the BNSF Morris and Marshall Subdivisions, in order to reduce the number of trains reversing through downtown Willmar.  The planned alignment of the wye is parallel to and just east of CSAH 55.  MN 40 would be bridged over the wye, and about 2 miles of US 12 (from 7th Ave NW to 28th St SW) would also be relocated so it could also bridge over the wye.
US 14 between Owatonna and Dodge Center (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy14/) - This long-standing project is currently unfunded, but would fill the last gap in a 4-lane US 14 between Mankato and Rochester.  The approved plan is for a freeway-grade facility being located parallel and just south of the DM&E tracks.  The Steele CSAH 43 intersection would be upgraded to an interchange, and new interchanges would be built at Dodge CSAH 3 and a relocated MN 56 (that would also tie into CSAH 5).
MN 29/MN 55 near Glenwood (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/glenwoodoverpass/) - Not currently funded, the plan is to replace the existing at-grade intersection with a bridge on MN 29 over both MN 55 and the adjacent Canadian Pacific tracks.  An improved 160th St would make the connection between thet wo routes.
I-35/I-535/US 53 in Duluth (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/twin-ports-interchange/index.html) - This project would fully reconstruct the I-35/I-535/US 53 "Can of Worms" interchange in Duluth, which has several deficient bridges.  The design would change considerably, though.  Full freeway-to-freeway movements are retained between I-35 and I-535, with all left exits being eliminated from I-35 and replaced with right-side exits.  Access between northbound I-35 and US 53 will be reconfigured into a set of regular diamond ramps with a traffic signal.  The ramps from southbound I-35 to northbound US 53 and to West 27th Ave will also be reconfigured into a single exit...traffic from I-535 and US 53 would no longer be able to directly access West 27th.  MnDOT applied for a FASTLANE grant last year but was turned down.
I-35W over the Minnesota River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wbloomington/index.html) - MnDOT anticipates replacing the I-35W bridge over the Minnesota River beginning in 2020.  The project would separate northbound and southbound onto separate bridges (shifted slightly east compared to the existing bridge) and add a bike/ped path.  The interchange at Black Dog Rd would remain and be reconstructed.  The new bridge would carry 8 lanes (6 through lanes plus 2 MnPASS lanes).
I-35W/I-494 in Bloomington (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494and35winterchange/index.html) - Arguably the most congested interchange in the state now, reconstructing the 35W/494 interchange is seen as a high priority but an expensive endeavor.  A turbine-style interchange (except retaining a loop ramp for SB 35W to EB 494) is favored.  Officials are trying to find funding to build the first phase of the project, which would add a 2-lane turbine ramp for NB 35W to WB 494 traffic.  I've seen the cost estimate for that range anywhere from $35 million to $85 million.
MN 36 in North St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy36study/index.html) - As part of the vision to complete a MN 36 freeway between I-35W and I-694, the last two at-grade intersections (at MN 120 and Hadley Ave) would be converted to interchanges.  Interchange designs are still TBD, though the Hadley interchange is fully funded for 2019 construction and the likely scenario is a folded-diamond to the west.
US 71 at Hubbard CSAH 15 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/hwy71-parkrapids/index.html) in Park Rapids - Intersection reconstruction is planned for 2018, with a roundabout being the likely solution.
MN 72 at the Rainy River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/baudette-bridge/index.html) in Baudette - This 2018 project will replace the International bridge connecting MN 72 to ON 11.  The preferred plan will build a new bridge just upstream (east) of the existing bridge.
US 169 at MN 41/CSAH 78 and at Scott CSAH 14 (https://www.scottcountymn.gov/608/US-169-TH-41CH-78-Interchange-Design-Pro) - This is a county-led (and primarily funded) project to add an interchange on US 169 at MN 41/CSAH 78 and an overpass in the vicinity of CSAH 14.  Combined with construction of planned frontage roads, this would bring the freeway section on US 169 south to CSAH 14, where the intersection will be converted to RIRO on each side.  Construction is planned for 2018.  The interchange at MN 41 is planned to be a diverging diamond.
I-694 at Ramsey CSAH 49 (http://www.sehinc.com/online/rice694)/Rice St - Reconstruction and upgrading of this interchange has been a high priority for Ramsey County for years, but has been stymied by lack of funding commitment.  The county is looking again at alternatives, including roundabouts and/or a modified single-point interchange similar to what was recently built at MN 36 and Rice St.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 16, 2017, 03:25:05 AM
I don't understand why turning the new 94/610 interchange into a full movement is even being considered, unless FHWA is on their case about it. Saying that's going back the same way you came isn't an exaggeration in the least in this case, as 94 and 610 share 5 interchanges and 7 total crossings with the same roads. It's a waste of money MNDOT doesn't have.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on April 16, 2017, 08:06:13 PM
The pieces of the US 169 bridge
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2907/33925993422_b8bc0885eb.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/TFVzT5)IMG_0535 (https://flic.kr/p/TFVzT5) by North Star Highways (https://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on April 19, 2017, 11:58:35 AM

I-35W in south Minneapolis (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wminneapolis/) - This huge, 5-year project will reconstruct I-35W between 42nd St and I-94, replacing several bridges and with several reconfigurations.  The MnPASS lanes on I-35W will be extended on both sides to 26th St (the existing northbound dynamic shoulder would become a full MnPASS lane).  A median transit station will be built at Lake St.  Two new ramps are added:  a northbound off-ramp to 28th St, and a southbound off-ramp to Lake St.  The flyover from northbound 35W to westbound 94 would be relocated to enter westbound 94 on the left instead of on the right (most ramp traffic stays on 94, and so it'll reduce the weave situation between 35W and Hennepin/Lyndale).  Also, the existing 35W flyover near 24th wouldb e replaced with a fy-under north of Franklin, with southbound 35W merging on the right instead of on the left.


This will be such a mess for a long time, and hopefully worth it. I'm surprised they're keeping the current ramp configuration with the messy merge between the 31st/Lake ramps and the 35th/36th ramps.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 19, 2017, 02:37:15 PM
Needed another ~$30 million to fix that, and the project was already short on funding.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on April 20, 2017, 11:12:19 PM
Lastly, here are some upcoming/future projects (including some unfunded projects):

I-35W/I-494 in Bloomington (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494and35winterchange/index.html) - Arguably the most congested interchange in the state now, reconstructing the 35W/494 interchange is seen as a high priority but an expensive endeavor.  A turbine-style interchange (except retaining a loop ramp for SB 35W to EB 494) is favored.  Officials are trying to find funding to build the first phase of the project, which would add a 2-lane turbine ramp for NB 35W to WB 494 traffic.  I've seen the cost estimate for that range anywhere from $35 million to $85 million.
I am just astounded that this project has languished for this length of time. This should have been designed, funded and begun before I moved away from the Cities in 2002. I know the design has gone through a couple of iterations, and the turbine design sounds good to me, but this is such a deficient interchange that I just can't believe it's taken this long. And, apparently, longer because the money still isn't there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: ET21 on April 21, 2017, 12:08:34 AM
Lastly, here are some upcoming/future projects (including some unfunded projects):

I-35W/I-494 in Bloomington (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494and35winterchange/index.html) - Arguably the most congested interchange in the state now, reconstructing the 35W/494 interchange is seen as a high priority but an expensive endeavor.  A turbine-style interchange (except retaining a loop ramp for SB 35W to EB 494) is favored.  Officials are trying to find funding to build the first phase of the project, which would add a 2-lane turbine ramp for NB 35W to WB 494 traffic.  I've seen the cost estimate for that range anywhere from $35 million to $85 million.
I am just astounded that this project has languished for this length of time. This should have been designed, funded and begun before I moved away from the Cities in 2002. I know the design has gone through a couple of iterations, and the turbine design sounds good to me, but this is such a deficient interchange that I just can't believe it's taken this long. And, apparently, longer because the money still isn't there.

You'd think such a deficient and nowadays "dangerous" configuration given the growth and traffic, it wasn't put as a #1 priority on both the local and national level
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 21, 2017, 09:21:34 AM
^ At the time, the Crosstown Commons (I-35W/MN 62) was a far higher priority.  Since then, bridge replacement and pavement reconstruction needs have generally driven where upgrades have taken place.

Regarding ET21's comment....the last time I checked, transportation funding at the Federal level wasn't doing all that great, either...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on May 06, 2017, 04:26:35 AM
Now that I have officially clinched it, I really have to know why MN 105 was ever in the highway system and why it remains in the highway system.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 06, 2017, 07:58:34 AM
^ The latter is, AFAIK, because MnDOT hasn't approached Mower County yet about turning it back...probably because MnDOT doesn't have much in the way of turnback funds.  This is despite it being a long-time turnback candidate.

No idea why it was added to the system to begin with...my first guess would be an influential local legislator back in the '30s? (MN 105 was authorized in 1933 as part of the first wave of Legislative Routes).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on May 06, 2017, 04:02:29 PM
^ The latter is, AFAIK, because MnDOT hasn't approached Mower County yet about turning it back...probably because MnDOT doesn't have much in the way of turnback funds.  This is despite it being a long-time turnback candidate.

The legislative route is still in the books, though, isn't it? (Just checked, it is.) Can MnDOT request that the legislature eliminate one of its routes?

Personal anecdote: I drove MN-105 once during one of my many Des Moines—Twin Cities trips (as a way to ease the dullness of taking I-35 every single time) and thought it was a rather interesting route, albeit a useless one (wish I'd been in my major highway picture taking phase back then—since I wasn't, I would rather like to go back sometime before it really does get eliminated.)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 06, 2017, 11:32:25 PM
Yes, the L.R. for MN 105 is still on the books.

MnDOT does request legislative route eliminations as part of the turnback process, if the legislative route in question cannot be rerouted onto other state highways.  This year's legislative "MnDOT Housekeeping Bill" proposes removal of L.R.'s 101, 123, and 225.  Which means we're about to see MN 112 and MN 225 go away.

Keep in mind, though, that the state's Municipal Consent law requires MnDOT to enter into an agreement with the jurisdictions receiving the former state route before it can be turned back.  In point of fact, the language behind the removal of L.R. 123 and L.R. 225 stipulates that it isn't official until MnDOT has received the final turnback correspondence from the respective counties.  For another example, MnDOT has been slow to turn back MN 101 through Carver County because the county has insisted on considerable (and expensive) upgrades before they've agreed to take over the roadway.  Recently, this has included the brand-new and lengthy 4-lane bridge across the Minnesota River floodplain, the roundabout where it meets old US 212 (now Carver CSAH 61), and ongoing realignment and 4-laning of Great Plains Blvd (between old 212 and MN 5).

L.R. 101 is an interesting beast.  Originally created for a more direct route between Faribault and Burnsville (at the time, US 65 followed today's MN 3 corridor through Northfield to Farmington), it has been entirely subsumed by C.R. 21 and L.R. 390 (MN 21 and I-35 respectively).  This is the first case I know of where MnDOT has proposed elimination of a Legislative Route that is completely concurrent with other Legislative Routes or Constitutional Routes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 10, 2017, 06:05:39 AM
Since I'm not sure anyone else here has shared them yet, here is one of Minnesota's first three (and only as of yet) APL signs:

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/18425371_720268521491099_6086389412811633367_n.jpg?oh=4881d5ff4d3fa3c1e871305b49944f7d&oe=597AAB80)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 10, 2017, 07:02:51 AM
I see the second one in the background (just above-right of the red van).  Where's the third?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 10, 2017, 07:29:24 AM
I see the second one in the background (just above-right of the red van).  Where's the third?

It's about 1/3 of a mile behind the one in the above picture. That one adds a "1 MILE" notice on the I-94 West panel.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on May 10, 2017, 12:03:29 PM
Is there an END I-494/I-494 ENDS sign anywhere, or does this new sign layout omit that?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 10, 2017, 03:15:45 PM
Is there an END I-494/I-494 ENDS sign anywhere, or does this new sign layout omit that?

There's an END 494 - JCT 94/694 1 1/4 MILES sign posted on the Bass Lake Road overpass that's been there for as long as I can remember. There's not a new END shield or anything, unfortunately.

(https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/18342227_720268931491058_1573991531295901627_n.jpg?oh=b41fa119c6720e09cd783e1cf0e0da3f&oe=59B44548)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on May 10, 2017, 03:40:02 PM
Ah, okay. I couldn't remember if there was one previously, so I was just wondering if any old one remained or whether a new one was put in place. Thanks.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 11, 2017, 10:25:26 AM
I don't recall there ever being an END sign at the Fish Lake Interchange before.  Just the advance sign that Patrick posted that's been there for decades.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on May 11, 2017, 02:30:55 PM
I don't recall there ever being an END sign at the Fish Lake Interchange before.  Just the advance sign that Patrick posted that's been there for decades.

This post confused me, because my name happens to be Patrick as well. What're the chances, you suppose? :biggrin:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 11, 2017, 03:16:32 PM
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadsguy on May 12, 2017, 10:12:57 AM
I don't recall there ever being an END sign at the Fish Lake Interchange before.  Just the advance sign that Patrick posted that's been there for decades.

This post confused me, because my name happens to be Patrick as well. What're the chances, you suppose? :biggrin:

And both with "HighwayMan" in your names, and both with Minnesota route shields... I too was briefly confused in glancing back up the thread.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: SSOWorld on July 04, 2017, 12:03:52 PM
http://kstp.com/traffic/minnesota-department-of-transportation-close-i35-bloomington-burnsville-replace-86th-street-bridge/4532286/?cat=12196

How many trucks does it take to damage a bridge? :eyebrow: :banghead:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on July 04, 2017, 01:34:08 PM
One truck to damage two bridges- the same truck hit the 82nd St bridge.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on July 04, 2017, 02:04:41 PM
http://kstp.com/traffic/minnesota-department-of-transportation-close-i35-bloomington-burnsville-replace-86th-street-bridge/4532286/?cat=12196

From the article,

"The problem is the bridge is tall but it's not tall enough."

(http://cs5.pikabu.ru/images/previews_comm/2015-02_1/14228826159841.png)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 05, 2017, 01:10:49 PM
That stretch of I-35W opened in 1959...there were lower bridge clearance standards back then.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 13, 2017, 06:46:21 AM
I confirmed this morning that there is still one US 61 shield remaining in Lake County. It's on the MN 1 mileage sign leaving Ely. Appears that sign has yet to be replaced/patched since 1990 and not an error.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 13, 2017, 09:43:19 AM
A Minneapolis associate of mine just sent me a photo of that sign...the photo's apparently been floating around the Facebooks.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 14, 2017, 07:23:12 AM
And may not be there much longer because some fuckhead has now reported it to MnDOT.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 14, 2017, 08:27:36 AM
To be fair, that sign should have been replaced years ago.  Besides the likely age and condition of the sign, sign accuracy is more important to the driving public than some whiff of nostalgia for a few roadgeeks.

Though I'll be the first to agree that MnDOT should have just kept it as US 61 and included a "hidden concurrency" along I-35 much as what's done along I-94 with US 12 and US 52.  My Minneapolis associate said the same thing to me when he showed me the photo.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 20, 2017, 10:52:24 PM
I went to check out the MN 371 Nisswa/Pequot Lakes work. The Pequot Lakes bypass is now fully open along with the CR 11 interchange, but there's still a lot of remaining work on the Nisswa section. Overall it's a nice looking route.

(https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/20246029_761301740721110_2142441431835670384_n.jpg?oh=3cc15351ea3f0d87a792ab6615348d76&oe=5A0ACE8F)

(https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15781081_761301974054420_5776061998491075069_n.jpg?oh=7b62ed48f431559e968327cfcc0058e2&oe=5A039DF8)

(https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/20139708_761301947387756_6943692401679538515_n.jpg?oh=3b77c3717466437e4c33da5e7abed743&oe=59FE6FA1)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on July 21, 2017, 04:34:59 PM
On my way back from Duluth and I must've briefly passed through a time warp back to 2007, because I saw this on SB I-35. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor:

(http://i.imgur.com/3osWYLR.jpg)

Contractor error on a replacement sign?

Edit to replace hasty gas station upload with straightened and cropped version of picture.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 21, 2017, 04:45:55 PM
Probably thought it was a replace-in-kind...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 21, 2017, 05:35:40 PM
I thought that sign had already been replaced once in the last few years...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on July 21, 2017, 09:18:24 PM
I thought that sign had already been replaced once in the last few years...

I wouldn't doubt that they have. The other three signs are correct, just not that one.

Edit: The latest GSV (https://goo.gl/maps/PFuQCAJqXjr) for the spot shows a correct sign. I have to wonder how this came to be.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 16, 2017, 09:40:34 PM
The new MN 24 Mississippi River bridge in Clearwater will open tomorrow, a couple months ahead of schedule.

http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2017/08/16/clearwater-officials-celebrate-highway-24-bridge-opening/569601001/

As an amusing side note you can easily tell the MN 24 shield they used at the dedication ceremony was a patch job, making me wonder if there's a special "dedication shield" that gets reused at all sorts of dedication ceremonies in Minnesota  :sombrero:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 16, 2017, 10:01:50 PM
The MN-24 marker reminds me of a lot of patch jobs you'll see in use on detour signage and the like. (Except it's in way too good of condition to be one of those. :))
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 26, 2017, 07:36:13 PM
Has anyone else noticed that MN-298 has been truncated to end at the Academy for the Blind? I was browsing the route in GSV and noticed this. (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.2870766,-93.2587404,3a,41y,152.81h,92.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-YcdAefutBlyl0WaZ6GvsA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) The latest logpoint confirms that the academy loop is now the southern endpoint of the route, while the previous August 2014 version still lists the full route that ended at the prison fence.

Edit: I guess this is kind of old news, as I did some reading and found that legislation in 2013 amended the definition of LR 298 to end at the loop (LR 323).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 26, 2017, 09:24:06 PM
Field-checked it when I was home last month and updated TM (and OpenStreetMap) with the results.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 26, 2017, 10:26:25 PM
MN 51 now has a proper standalone end shield at its north terminus rather than the old "JCT I-694/END MN 51 1/2 MILE" advance signs that had been there for decades. I missed the photo of it, unfortunately. Will try again when I go back to the state fair a second time.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 01, 2017, 01:33:10 PM
MN 61 was closed through much of Cook County last night after a truck irreparably damaged one of the inactive railroad bridges in Taconite Harbor. The bridge has been torn down. Much of the urgency was due to the detour following a lot of gravel roads and the holiday traffic surge.

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/4321087-update-highway-61-reopened
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on September 01, 2017, 01:56:15 PM
Just three randon things I noticed:
1) A square County 25 shield on the new exit ramp off MN 100
2) A Flashing Yellow Arrow U-Turn Signal on MN 7
3) Business Loop 169 is on the new BGSes at the Shakopee Bypass.

I drove on 169 today for what seems like the first time in a long time, and noticed the BL 169 shields. It's also marked at the intersection with CSAH 101 in downtown Shakopee. Has this always been a BL, or is this a new addition?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 01, 2017, 05:01:07 PM
Just three randon things I noticed:
1) A square County 25 shield on the new exit ramp off MN 100
2) A Flashing Yellow Arrow U-Turn Signal on MN 7
3) Business Loop 169 is on the new BGSes at the Shakopee Bypass.

I drove on 169 today for what seems like the first time in a long time, and noticed the BL 169 shields. It's also marked at the intersection with CSAH 101 in downtown Shakopee. Has this always been a BL, or is this a new addition?

It's a new addition. Officially created in 2015 I think but only signed recently.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 04, 2017, 03:56:52 PM
The five-year closure of MN 210 in Jay Cooke State Park is over, and the road is fully open through the park to MN 23 on Duluth's southwest side.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bulldog1979 on October 04, 2017, 04:22:34 PM
I went to check out the MN 371 Nisswa/Pequot Lakes work. The Pequot Lakes bypass is now fully open along with the CR 11 interchange, but there's still a lot of remaining work on the Nisswa section. Overall it's a nice looking route.

(https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15781081_761301974054420_5776061998491075069_n.jpg?oh=7b62ed48f431559e968327cfcc0058e2&oe=5A039DF8)


Well, it looks like I need to plan a 2018 trip now. My paternal grandfather's family has a condo on Pelican Lake in Breezy Point, and it's been a few years (ok, 13) since I was there last.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on October 08, 2017, 11:34:13 AM
MnDOT has put out a request for qualification for design-build for the replacement of the 35W Minnesota River bridge with Construction starting in mid-2018:
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/designbuild/i35w-mn-river-bridge/index.html

It's going to be a fun commute for those going from Burnsville, Lakeville, Savage, etc to downtown Minneapolis for the next few years.  Glad that is not my route  :bigass:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on October 08, 2017, 03:43:55 PM
As a longtime fan of MnDOT signing, I have been exploring what is available through the brand-new eDIGS interface to MnDOT's eDocs EDMS.

http://dotapp7.dot.state.mn.us/eDIGS_guest/DMResultSet/ContentSearch

Part of the motivation for checking this out is loss of backdoor access, last June, to full construction plans sets for advertised projects through MnDOT's current planroom contractor, Franz Reprographics.  They used to offer what they called a "Hi-Res Java Viewer" that was basically a Java applet that downloaded the entire actual plans set to your hard drive so it could be viewed locally (in the browser) using the applet itself instead of a PDF plugin with a save button.  In June, however, they disabled it, so download calls resulted in HTTP 404 errors, and now their website has been scrubbed to remove all references to the viewer.

In the absence of access through the planroom contractor, one alternative is the EDMS, crossing fingers that the folks in the records department upload them promptly after letting.  My experience in this regard has been fairly uneven and I have also found that the gap between successive uploads seems to be wider than the gap between consecutive lettings.

What I would like to see now is some lobbying effort to persuade MnDOT to make letting plans available free to the public at the time of advertising, as is already the norm in all of the surrounding states (ND, SD, IA, WI) and in all of the states that surround the surrounding states except WY and MN itself (MT, NE, MO, IL, and MI).

But anyway!  Back to eDIGS . . .

While I was playing with content search on the site (tree search and profile search are also available), I discovered that a simple search for {signs} (no braces) returns 1178 traffic work orders among the results.

Each traffic work order, which can be issued by any MnDOT district, concerns installation and removal of traffic appliances (including signs) by maintenance forces and often includes pattern-accurate sign panel detail sheets for any new signs to be installed.  The TWOs retrieved by this search span a time period reaching back from about 2015 to at least the mid-1980's.  The vast majority are from District 6 (captions beginning WO-YY-6A or WO-YY-6B, where YY is the final two digits of the year; A and B are apparently subdistricts of District 6), which covers Rochester and the surrounding area.  (I am now trying to figure out how to access TWOs from the other districts.)  Most of the TWOs are for installation of specific services signs (addressed in federal MUTCD Chapter 2J, though MnDOT's preferred designs for these signs resemble the tourist-oriented directional signs shown in Chapter 2K), but quite a few are for message revisions on green-background guide signs, signing for state parks (including an almost-unique bicycles-only campground at one state park that was unfindable by most bicyclists without a wasted trip up and down a steep hill), and signing for at least one casino (Treasure Island).

The longest TWO at 157 pages, which ultimately didn't result in signs being erected, concerned a RV resort that wanted "Camping" signing at the I-35/TH 30 interchange near Ellendale.  From this I learned that in Minnesota at least, "Camping" signs are reserved for campgrounds that allow tents and have modern sanitary facilities such as hot showers and flush toilets.  This is useful information given the increasing prevalence of RV-only campgrounds and the fact that surge pricing even at cheap motels can run to over $100 per night.  (The RV resort in question, besides banning tents altogether, was open only to over-50s and banned all RVs over 10 years old.)

I don't yet have a hard page count for the pattern-accurate sign details in this wedge of 1178 TWOs, but they run to 6286 pages and so far have been running at about 10 sign detail pages per 100, so I'm guessing around 630.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 10, 2017, 04:26:30 PM
Another incident with a raised dump truck results in "extensive" damage to the northbound I-35 bridge over MN 45 outside Cloquet.

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/4341337-lane-i-35-closed-scanlon-after-truck-hits-bridge
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on October 10, 2017, 04:44:43 PM
I was surprised to find this new interchange on my trip to Saint Cloud last weekend.  Google Maps knows nothing about it, and I was expecting a stop sign.  Almost missed my turn, coming north on CR-5.

Kandiyohi County Road 5 bridge overpass at Hwy 23 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23kandi5/)

Overall, I was very impressed with MN-23 from Willmar to Saint Cloud.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on October 10, 2017, 04:49:08 PM
a longtime fan of MnDOT signing,

They have more than adequate signage, and it's mostly consistent.  They do use text in some situations where I think symbols would be better, but that's a matter of preference.  There are also a LOT of [JCT ## →] signs where the JCT should be removed.  The [BYPASS LANE] signs are super awesome.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on October 10, 2017, 06:01:37 PM
I was surprised to find this new interchange on my trip to Saint Cloud last weekend.  Google Maps knows nothing about it, and I was expecting a stop sign.  Almost missed my turn, coming north on CR-5.

Kandiyohi County Road 5 bridge overpass at Hwy 23 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23kandi5/)

Overall, I was very impressed with MN-23 from Willmar to Saint Cloud.

You were benefiting from construction of the Paynesville Bypass (finished around 2012) as well as four-laning upgrades in the early noughties.  MnDOT classifies this length of TH 23 as a MPIRC (medium-priority interregional corridor), which means you are supposed to be able to average 55 mph or better even with traffic signals.  I like this part of TH 23:  it is the part through St. Cloud itself I cannot stand.

. . . a longtime fan of MnDOT signing . . .

They have more than adequate signage, and it's mostly consistent.  They do use text in some situations where I think symbols would be better, but that's a matter of preference.  There are also a LOT of [JCT ## →] signs where the JCT should be removed.  The [BYPASS LANE] signs are super awesome.

I like the bypass lane signing too, though I am less keen on turn lanes that feel like they should be bypass lanes instead, an issue that crops up every so often in Minnesota in general (including in at least one of the District 6 TWOs I went through) and came into play a time or two when I followed TH 23 from St. Cloud to I-35 on a summer Friday in 2016.  The experience has left me with more respect for KDOT's basic approach of laying down enough pavement for right-turn lane, through lane, and left-turn lane, the turn lanes being long enough to allow coastdown followed by gentle braking to safe turning speed.

Where MnDOT signing really shines through is in two main areas.  For decades, MnDOT has been really consistent about using Series E Modified for all mixed-case legend, which results in signs that are quite easy to read even with letter sizes at MUTCD minima (which IMO are too low for high-speed conventional roads in rural areas).  It is only in the past few years that standards have loosened to allow Series D on construction signs and in some urban applications, a change I disagree with but which fortunately is well-limited.  At signals and important flat intersections, MnDOT is also quite good about using green-background guide signs where other states would try to get away with sign salad.

And in urban areas, particularly the Twin Cities, MnDOT is quite scrupulous about maintaining continuity of signing.  If you find a trailblazer for, say, an Interstate highway, and then follow it, you can count on finding trailblazers every step of the way until you are actually on the Interstate in your desired direction, which is at best a crapshoot in most other states.  This is especially helpful with the thickets of restricted-access interchanges in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The main variations I have seen in signing across Minnesota are at the district level.  My 2016 trip covered TH 23 all the way from Pipestone to Duluth, and I noticed that the district that covers southwest Minnesota had gone kind of wild with active intersection warning signs and snowmobile right-of-way signing, while pretty much every structure that qualified for a MnDOT bridge number--including even tiny culverts--had a horizontal bridge-number sign ("Bridge No" in small type followed by bridge number in large type, a design that was recently removed from the MnDOT Standard Signs Manual).  By Willmar all of that was pretty much over.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on October 10, 2017, 06:24:32 PM
Yes, there were signs announcing that stretch of MN-23 as having been part of collision reduction initiative or some such verbiage. Nice to know, but not exactly warranting multiple signs on a (warning) yellow background.

I've long been a fan of advance-warning flashing yellow lights for stoplights that are about to turn red (as opposed to those that just flash all the time). MN-23 not only has those, but I also saw one for an unsignalized intersection (assumedly activated by sensors at the crossroad) and also one at a firehouse or something like that. Pretty sweet, especially as I was driving around dusk and dawn, when cross traffic can be rather invisible.

Yes, Minnesota's small green signs on stoplight arms are something that should be replicated across the nation. Along with extensive use of reflectors for snowy conditions.

The thing that irks me most about Minnesota's signage is that there is no consistency in the use of blue pentagons versus white squares for county roads. I had read once that the practice varies by county, but I'm starting to think even that is wishful thinking and counties can actually be internally inconsistent. In Kandiyohi County, for example, I saw several crossroads that used blue pentagons for reassurance markets; however, some of the advance junction assemblies used white squares., while others used blue pentagons. I could determine no rhyme or reason.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 10, 2017, 06:27:46 PM
The thing that irks me most about Minnesota's signage is that there is no consistency in the use of blue pentagons versus white squares for county roads. I had read once that the practice varies by county, but I'm starting to think even that is wishful thinking and counties can actually be internally inconsistent. In Kandiyohi County, for example, I saw several crossroads that used blue pentagons for reassurance markets; however, some of the advance junction assemblies used white squares., while others used blue pentagons. I could determine no rhyme or reason.

Some counties use both to differentiate between County State-Aid Highways (the blue pentagons) and regular County Roads (white squares).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on October 10, 2017, 06:31:17 PM
Right. I get that. And I thought maybe that was it. But I saw two situations:

Junction assembly used white square, road itself used blue pentagons.

Junction assembly used blue pentagon, road itself also used blue pentagons.

Explain that!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 10, 2017, 06:33:29 PM
Right. I get that. And I thought maybe that was it. But I saw two situations:

Junction assembly used white square, road itself used blue pentagons.

Junction assembly used blue pentagon, road itself also used blue pentagons.

Explain that!

It could be a case of MnDOT making that distinction but not the county (though normally MnDOT follows the same practice as the county it's in). But who knows, maybe it's just an error.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on October 10, 2017, 06:41:04 PM
The [BYPASS LANE] signs are super awesome.

I've never seen/heard of these. Any connection to passing lanes?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 10, 2017, 06:54:45 PM
The [BYPASS LANE] signs are super awesome.

I've never seen/heard of these. Any connection to passing lanes?

Well, sort of. They're for going around left-turning vehicles in the main travel lane: https://goo.gl/maps/ruj3gqzG59T2
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on October 10, 2017, 07:40:44 PM
In regard to county road shields, both the squares and pentagons are in the Minnesota MUTCD and counties are free to choose between either.  Some of the lack of consistency comes from counties being in the process of changing from one to the other.

There is also variation in how passing lane stripes emerge from the centerline on rural two-lanes in Minnesota.  Some follow the same basic striping pattern that is prevalent in Ontario, Michigan, and Wisconsin:  broken white stripe tapers to the right away from the yellow centerline until the passing lane reaches unit lane width, at which point the taper ends and the broken white stripe runs parallel to the centerline (https://www.google.com/maps/@46.8470812,-92.5451716,168m/data=!3m1!1e3).  Others have a large hatched yellow island that tapers out from the centerline until it reaches unit lane width, at which point it ends and the right-hand edge becomes a broken white stripe that runs parallel to the centerline:  I recall this is especially favored in southwestern Minnesota (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23passinglanes/Final%20Assessment%20Report%2014%2005%2016.pdf) (page 14 of 55 in linked PDF has the typical layout).  I believe there are also a few instances of the striping pattern that is favored in Kansas, i.e., shoulder stripe tapers right until unit lane width is reached, at which point the broken white stripe for the passing lane starts.

The goal of the first two striping patterns is to guide drivers out of the passing lane by default, reserving it for those who actually intend to pass.  The first of these two is simpler and less wasteful of both passing lane length and thermoplastic (especially environmentally damaging yellow pigment).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on October 11, 2017, 04:25:06 AM
The [BYPASS LANE] signs are super awesome.

I've never seen/heard of these. Any connection to passing lanes?

Well, sort of. They're for going around left-turning vehicles in the main travel lane: https://goo.gl/maps/ruj3gqzG59T2

Brilliant piece of engineering. Shame these aren't more common. I can think of at least one good location near me that would do well with a "bypass lane": https://goo.gl/d3s4Q9 (you can tell by the lack of vegetation that the gravel area is used to bypass turning traffic quite often already, but a paved bypass area would make it a lot easier for those in non 4x4 vehicles to perform the maneuver).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on October 11, 2017, 10:54:17 AM
The [BYPASS LANE] signs are super awesome.

I've never seen/heard of these. Any connection to passing lanes?

Well, sort of. They're for going around left-turning vehicles in the main travel lane: https://goo.gl/maps/ruj3gqzG59T2

Brilliant piece of engineering. Shame these aren't more common. I can think of at least one good location near me that would do well with a "bypass lane": https://goo.gl/d3s4Q9 (you can tell by the lack of vegetation that the gravel area is used to bypass turning traffic quite often already, but a paved bypass area would make it a lot easier for those in non 4x4 vehicles to perform the maneuver).

And they're EVERYWHERE in Minnesota.  Freaking awesome.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Revive 755 on October 11, 2017, 08:49:05 PM
I am not a fan of some of MNDOT's signing:

* They seem inconsistent on the use of interchange sequence signs.

* They do not seem to do a good job signing option lanes.  This really becomes an issue when they don't always use exit only tabs either (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.8772875,-93.0021708,3a,23.6y,350.71h,89.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shyzmp3f4kCR3cufoxJdM1Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en)

* Lack of exit numbers on non-interstates

* Not very good at warning of left exits in advance.  Here's one example on NB I-35W. (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9289303,-93.2745942,3a,75y,0.11h,90.42t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPbyC3VHTvvd01KmiCo_WTQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en)  There should be a black on yellow "left" to the right of "WEST".

* Then there is this sign on I-35W south of Downtown Minneapolis (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9575559,-93.2692676,3a,60y,7.89h,85t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6PoWOnauA09Ycvmcv1Pr5g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en).  Several of the signs south of this assembly do not seem consistent either and are lacking mention of I-94.

* They fail to mention County Road numbers on some freeway signs

* They are not good at mentioning what side of the road an entrance ramp is on in advance
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 11, 2017, 09:11:49 PM
Exit numbers have begun to appear on some non-Interstate freeways. I don't expect them all to appear overnight, but the trend has changed.

Second, adding county roads to some freeway signs is pointless. I doubt there's even a single person in existence that navigates Ramsey County largely by using its numbered county road system. Who here previously knew that White Bear Ave is Ramsey County 65? (Though admittedly I might be asking the wrong audience that rhetorical question :-P) There's a few exceptions, like CR 49 and 96 (and even the former is probably better known as Rice St), but those are only because they once were state maintained with those numbers.

Also, your second link doesn't work. ;-)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: JREwing78 on October 11, 2017, 09:46:07 PM
The [BYPASS LANE] signs are super awesome.

I've never seen/heard of these. Any connection to passing lanes?

Well, sort of. They're for going around left-turning vehicles in the main travel lane: https://goo.gl/maps/ruj3gqzG59T2 (https://goo.gl/maps/ruj3gqzG59T2)

Brilliant piece of engineering. Shame these aren't more common. I can think of at least one good location near me that would do well with a "bypass lane": https://goo.gl/d3s4Q9 (https://goo.gl/d3s4Q9) (you can tell by the lack of vegetation that the gravel area is used to bypass turning traffic quite often already, but a paved bypass area would make it a lot easier for those in non 4x4 vehicles to perform the maneuver).

And they're EVERYWHERE in Minnesota.  Freaking awesome.

These lanes are very common in Wisconsin as well at T-intersections. Only in areas of higher traffic do you see them create islands and specific turn lanes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on October 11, 2017, 11:34:50 PM
I am not a fan of some of MNDOT's signing:

* They seem inconsistent on the use of interchange sequence signs.

How so?

* They do not seem to do a good job signing option lanes.  This really becomes an issue when they don't always use exit only panels either (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.8772875,-93.0021708,3a,23.6y,350.71h,89.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shyzmp3f4kCR3cufoxJdM1Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en)

That particular example strikes me as a variant of the option-lane-followed-by-lane drop problem, which all agencies struggle with.

* Lack of exit numbers on non-interstates

As MNHighwayMan points out, there are signs of progress on this front in Minnesota since the US 169 Shakopee Bypass apparently has signed exit numbers in at least one location.  In comparison, Kansas DOT (to quote just one example) still has a perfect record of no exit numbers on non-Interstates.

* Not very good at warning of left exits in advance.  Here's one example on NB I-35W. (http://)  There should be a black on yellow "left" to the right of "LEFT".

An exit number tab with a yellow "LEFT" plaque is a very recent addition (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/publ/signsmanual/summaryofchanges.pdf) to MnDOT's Standard Signs Manual.  MnDOT has been doing relatively few pure sign replacement contracts lately, so the existing left exit tabs without yellow plaque are nowhere near being changed out.

* Then there is this sign on I-35W south of Downtown Minneapolis (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9575559,-93.2692676,3a,60y,7.89h,85t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6PoWOnauA09Ycvmcv1Pr5g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en).  Several of the signs south of this assembly do not seem consistent either and are lacking mention of I-94.

I have some familiarity with this area since I parked on Groveland Avenue (southwestern fringe of downtown, just north of I-94; its bridge over I-94 overlooks the Lyndale Tunnel south portal) to visit the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  The signing doesn't seem especially confusing to me, given that the freeway interchanges in the vicinity have restricted access.  The "Downtown Exits" sign (pointing to the downtown connector) may at one time have had TH 65 shields, though I can't be sure without going through my MnDOT sign panel detail sheet stash, which has well over two thousand sheets for Hennepin County alone.  The left exit exists because the downtown connector has a braided connection with I-35W, with which it is in a brief commons until the latter route peels off east for a commons with I-94.  The downtown connector itself has just a restricted-access interchange with I-94 (northbound connects with I-94 westbound only, and southbound does not connect with I-94 at all).  Surface streets in the surrounding neighborhoods have access to eastbound I-94 through Lyndale and South Fifth Avenues only.

* They are not good at mentioning what side of the road an entrance ramp is on in advance

Hmmm? (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.7699025,-93.2846646,3a,17y,276.33h,88.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siaJ75CCyDdKPBMTPTaUj_w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656)

I am not sure Zwahlen signs have caught on outside Ohio.

As a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities when I visited in May 2016, the biggest adjustment for me was dealing with striping treatments at cloverleafs.  When a collector-distributor roadway is not provided, it is not uncommon for MnDOT to try to mitigate weaving conflicts between an entry loop and an exit loop by cutting back the painted gore for the latter to create more length for merging.  It helps that MnDOT is consistent about using elephant tracks.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 12, 2017, 02:57:24 AM
The non-Interstates where I have seen exit numbers:

-The aforementioned US 169 Shakopee bypass; the numbers have spread along the length of the bypass up to the Pioneer Trail exit across the river.
-US 10/61 in Newport and Cottage Grove.
-MN 610's westernmost three exits (the final segment of that freeway to open).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 12, 2017, 03:17:17 AM
The "Downtown Exits" sign (pointing to the downtown connector) may at one time have had TH 65 shields, though I can't be sure without going through my MnDOT sign panel detail sheet stash, which has well over two thousand sheets for Hennepin County alone.

It certainly would've been signed there, up until the mid 2000s, but I'm not sure if that panel is old enough. Dunno what else the empty space would've been for, though.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Revive 755 on October 12, 2017, 06:44:23 PM
Second, adding county roads to some freeway signs is pointless. I doubt there's even a single person in existence that navigates Ramsey County largely by using its numbered county road system. Who here previously knew that White Bear Ave is Ramsey County 65?

Someone from out of state looking at a map (and the MN state map does have some of these numbers), seeing a road has a county route number, and seeing county route numbers on other freeway guide signs?

* They seem inconsistent on the use of interchange sequence signs.

How so?

Seems there are several spots around the Twin Cities the interchange sequence signs are not used after having them after several other interchanges.

* They do not seem to do a good job signing option lanes.  This really becomes an issue when they don't always use exit only panels either (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.8772875,-93.0021708,3a,23.6y,350.71h,89.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shyzmp3f4kCR3cufoxJdM1Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en)

That particular example strikes me as a variant of the option-lane-followed-by-lane drop problem, which all agencies struggle with.

Still should be some form of "exit only" on the signs for I-494 on NB US 61 north of Glen Road.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 12, 2017, 11:41:35 PM
Drove the reopened US 169 tonight.

-As we knew, the southbound RIRO to 16th St was removed. But it's not that they just removed the exit and made the street into a dead end. They literally removed the entire street in that area.
-No exit numbers were added to any of the interchanges that were involved in the work project.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on October 14, 2017, 05:00:08 AM
Drove the reopened US 169 tonight.

-As we knew, the southbound RIRO to 16th St was removed. But it's not that they just removed the exit and made the street into a dead end. They literally removed the entire street in that area.
-No exit numbers were added to any of the interchanges that were involved in the work project.

With the new noise wall there, when I went by 16th street going southbound I said to myself "I can't believe there was ever an exit there".  I also really like the added northbound acceleration lane added at Cedar Lake Road.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 14, 2017, 08:35:17 PM
Regarding county route numbers on guide signs, there are two primary reasons for the vast bulk of these situations:

A):  It's in Ramsey County, which (with the exception of former state highways turned back to the county, namely former MN 49 and most of former MN 96) only within the last 20 years has started including reassurance shields for its county routes.  But as a general rule, Ramsey County does not fully sign its county routes.  MnDOT, as noted above, typically follows the county's lead and thus (again except for former MN 49 & 96 segments) ignores county routes on freeway signage.

B):  Cases where the county route has the same number as a state highway in the general vicinity**, and so MnDOT does not post the county route number in order to avoid confusion.  As an example, this is the reason why CSAH 5 was taken off the I-494 guide signs at Minnetonka Blvd (Exit 17).  It was being confused with MN 5, with that confusion made worse by MN 5 having a concurrency with I-494.

** - Two notable exceptions to this are Hennepin CSAH 62 and Ramsey CSAH 10.  The former is an extension of the Metro Area MN 62 (and deliberate), while the latter is the old routing of US 10 through Mounds View.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 14, 2017, 09:05:38 PM
To go off point B, there was one instance that confused me.

I-494 in Bloomington. Portland Avenue is signed as County 35. Nicollet Avenue, which is County 52 had the shields removed on those signs. Were people confusing US 52 but not confusing I-35W/E?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 15, 2017, 08:28:05 AM
I believe CSAH 52 was in advance of a county turnback that was planned but never happened, but I'm not 100% on that.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on October 16, 2017, 01:04:21 PM
Regarding county route numbers on guide signs, there are two primary reasons for the vast bulk of these situations:

A):  It's in Ramsey County, which (with the exception of former state highways turned back to the county, namely former MN 49 and most of former MN 96) only within the last 20 years has started including reassurance shields for its county routes.  But as a general rule, Ramsey County does not fully sign its county routes.  MnDOT, as noted above, typically follows the county's lead and thus (again except for former MN 49 & 96 segments) ignores county routes on freeway signage.

B):  Cases where the county route has the same number as a state highway in the general vicinity**, and so MnDOT does not post the county route number in order to avoid confusion.  As an example, this is the reason why CSAH 5 was taken off the I-494 guide signs at Minnetonka Blvd (Exit 17).  It was being confused with MN 5, with that confusion made worse by MN 5 having a concurrency with I-494.

** - Two notable exceptions to this are Hennepin CSAH 62 and Ramsey CSAH 10.  The former is an extension of the Metro Area MN 62 (and deliberate), while the latter is the old routing of US 10 through Mounds View.


This was Kandiyohi County, so A is right out.  Here are specific examples, in northeast–southwest order.  Notice that some of them match and some of them don't, for no reason apparent to me.

1 Advance junction assembly using white squares (https://goo.gl/maps/Zwbc5QRb8Am), even though...
...both highways (CR-6 (https://goo.gl/maps/T1w8t7qZhNp) & CR-143 (https://goo.gl/maps/xKAEgSRoKFS2)) use blue pentagon markers.
MN-6 is >100 miles away, MN-143 does not exist.

2 Advance junction sign using a white square (https://goo.gl/maps/AMNPgPAcfeC2), even though...
...CR-2 uses blue pentagon markers (https://goo.gl/maps/Y6ABAGcPJvx).
MN-2 does not exist.

3 Advance junction sign using a blue pentagon (https://goo.gl/maps/uqWKdNjUSyt), which...
...matches what CR-40 actually uses (https://goo.gl/maps/5TQLgXqZM6y).

4 Advance junction sign using a blue pentagon (https://goo.gl/maps/zesLwVjgdQK2), which...
...matches what CR-10 actually uses (https://goo.gl/maps/SFr3SPk1B392).

5 Advance junction sign using a blue pentagon (https://goo.gl/maps/t7JCiESwoLC2), which...
...matches what CR-127 actually uses (https://goo.gl/maps/dnM3FycZHTE2).

6 Advance junction sign using a white square (https://goo.gl/maps/FEZvuHiM6fM2), even though...
...CR-25 uses blue pentagon markers (https://goo.gl/maps/ZJRYe9nx1aH2).
MN-25 is >50 miles away.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 16, 2017, 01:44:52 PM
I was referring to the earlier discussion on guide signs which Revive 755 brought up, not junction signs as your examples show.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on October 16, 2017, 02:02:21 PM
That's what I get for lazy reading.  I'm a guy, I thought I knew how that sentence ended so I stopped listening.  Basically, I assumed you were talking about potential confusion between white-on-blue county road markers and white-on-blue state highway markers.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 19, 2017, 03:19:19 PM
I drove the reopened MN 210 today.

Wow. What a job.

That’s also a top-3 drive in Minnesota just for that 10 miles east of Carlton.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 19, 2017, 09:08:30 PM
Did they straighten it out at all or is it pretty much on the same alignment as it was before?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on October 19, 2017, 10:14:12 PM
Did they straighten it out at all or is it pretty much on the same alignment as it was before?

I remember driving up that once westbound and it was just steep & slippery enough I couldn't get the car up it.  But the road was too narrow to turn around.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 19, 2017, 10:46:19 PM
It's pretty much the same alignment as it was before the floods destroyed the road.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on October 22, 2017, 12:04:34 PM
Heard that MnDOT is looking at a design build project for 494 in Bloomington/Richfield.  Three main goals:
1.) Build phase 1 of the turbine interchange at 35W and 494 which entails the 35W Northbound to 494 Westbound ramp (eliminating the loop). See the link for the report for phase 1: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494and35winterchange/pdf/trafficexecutivesummary.pdf (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494and35winterchange/pdf/trafficexecutivesummary.pdf)
2.) A westbound auxiliary lane between MN 77 and 35W
3.) An eastbound auxiliary lane between MN 100 and 35W

MnDOT for the 35W project between 42nd and downtown has had numerous outreach on the upcoming project focusing on the 35W corridor.  But what has not been discussed are the temporary lane additions to MN 62, 394, and MN 100.  Similar to what was done over the 35W Minnesota River Bridge and 94 between 280 and 35W, lanes will be shifted and added to account for the additional traffic on these roadways.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 29, 2017, 01:19:46 AM
In the vein of the MN-210 discussion — does anyone know what MnDOT might've done if they hadn't reconstructed the road, like they had originally wanted? Ended 210 at the state park entrance? At Jay Cooke Rd/CR-151, where the temporary end sign was erected? Something else? I hadn't thought about the possibility until now.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 29, 2017, 08:39:00 PM
Probably would have ended with MN 45, as they likely would have seen anything east of there as a county function, and providing access to state parks is not a state highway mission.  Several state parks whose main access is via county roads.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 29, 2017, 09:57:30 PM
Probably would have ended with MN 45, as they likely would have seen anything east of there as a county function, and providing access to state parks is not a state highway mission.  Several state parks whose main access is via county roads.

I agree in most cases, but as Jay Cooke is one of the state's five most visited parks annually with 300,000 visitors I think this is one time where it would be beneficial to keep it on the state highway network.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 30, 2017, 01:00:42 AM
Probably would have ended with MN 45, as they likely would have seen anything east of there as a county function, and providing access to state parks is not a state highway mission.  Several state parks whose main access is via county roads.

So you're suggesting they would've created yet another end-to-end terminus (much like the 120/244 terminus that somehow continues to exist to this day)? Or might've MN-45 been renumbered as a N/S extension of a truncated MN-210?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 30, 2017, 01:19:07 AM
Probably would have ended with MN 45, as they likely would have seen anything east of there as a county function, and providing access to state parks is not a state highway mission.  Several state parks whose main access is via county roads.

So you're suggesting they would've created yet another end-to-end terminus (much like the 120/244 terminus that somehow continues to exist to this day)? Or might've MN-45 been renumbered as a N/S extension of a truncated MN-210?

I would have liked to see 210 replace 45 in this case. What's amusing is it would mean two state routes would have terminated at Carlton County 1, which is the south leg of that 4-way and quietly duplexes with MN 210 to the east through Carlton.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on October 30, 2017, 01:31:41 AM
As an unrelated aside, I love that the 120/244 terminus in White Bear Lake/Mahtomedi has existed long enough for me to see it on Steve Riner's website, then long enough for me to become old enough to drive there to photograph it not once (https://i.imgur.com/zu8ikp6.jpg) (2011), but twice (https://i.imgur.com/xvoIlDT.jpg) (2015).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 30, 2017, 09:49:34 AM
Prior to the 210 reconstruction, the Duluth MPO did a public input study to see what sort of public consensus there was on whether or not to rebuild the roadway, what sort of design, and who should have jurisdiction over the roadway.   As a general rule, both the public and Minnesota Power want MnDOT to retain the road as a state highway.  Both the DNR and local elected officials felt that it didn't necessarily have to remain a MnDOT road, just as long as their jurisdiction wasn't the one taking it over.  Below are specific, verbatim quotes from their final report to MnDOT:

Carlton County did not express a desire to take over the roadway.

The DNR has not expressed interest in taking the road over, despite the fact owning the road would give them a higher level of access control.

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: discochris on November 06, 2017, 01:47:00 AM
I drove the reopened MN 210 today.

Wow. What a job.

That’s also a top-3 drive in Minnesota just for that 10 miles east of Carlton.

Yeah, we took it a couple weeks ago. It's pretty impressive.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 06, 2017, 07:41:09 AM
Did either of you get photos?  Is it significantly different from what existed pre-flooding?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 20, 2017, 05:40:33 PM
US 169 got a nice speed boost to 60 through at least part of the metro area. I only saw between 694 and 394, so I’m not sure how far it extends. I’m guessing northward it probably goes to 610 where the freeway section ends. It would be interesting if the 60 section extends south of 394, since that’s where the 60 section of MN 100 ends (which went to 60 between 394 and 694 a decade ago).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on November 21, 2017, 01:01:37 PM
US 169 got a nice speed boost to 60 through at least part of the metro area. I only saw between 694 and 394, so I’m not sure how far it extends. I’m guessing northward it probably goes to 610 where the freeway section ends. It would be interesting if the 60 section extends south of 394, since that’s where the 60 section of MN 100 ends (which went to 60 between 394 and 694 a decade ago).

I couldn't find any reference on the Channel 5 news story to indicate where the 60 zone ends either.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on November 21, 2017, 01:53:03 PM
US 169 got a nice speed boost to 60 through at least part of the metro area. I only saw between 694 and 394, so I’m not sure how far it extends. I’m guessing northward it probably goes to 610 where the freeway section ends. It would be interesting if the 60 section extends south of 394, since that’s where the 60 section of MN 100 ends (which went to 60 between 394 and 694 a decade ago).

The 60MPH limit is posted south of 394, and continues to where the 65MPH limit begins south of 494.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on November 25, 2017, 12:41:17 AM
A question about the Worthington area: Why is there a half diamond interchange for Nobles County Road 3 east of Worthington? I drove past it on the way to my uncle's farm in western Nobles County and I looked at it on Google Maps and can't figure out why that exit exists.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 25, 2017, 04:36:55 AM
A question about the Worthington area: Why is there a half diamond interchange for Nobles County Road 3 east of Worthington? I drove past it on the way to my uncle's farm in western Nobles County and I looked at it on Google Maps and can't figure out why that exit exists.

Almost makes you wonder if somebody transposed the plans, since the interchange would make a little sense if it was EB entry/exit as a shortcut to eastbound MN 60. My best guess is it's meant to be another access route to Round Lake without sending people all the way over to MN 264.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on November 26, 2017, 01:22:39 AM
A question about the Worthington area: Why is there a half diamond interchange for Nobles County Road 3 east of Worthington? I drove past it on the way to my uncle's farm in western Nobles County and I looked at it on Google Maps and can't figure out why that exit exists.

Almost makes you wonder if somebody transposed the plans, since the interchange would make a little sense if it was EB entry/exit as a shortcut to eastbound MN 60. My best guess is it's meant to be another access route to Round Lake without sending people all the way over to MN 264.
Having now driven back home, going east on 90, I can guess it has everything to do with the weigh station east of the MN 60 exit. Before the US 59 and MN 60 exits, there is a sign that tells trucks they have to go to the weigh station if the light is flashing. I wonder if they have the same sign on MN 60 eastbound as you approach I-90. That exit ramp is a glorified U-turn. I suspect it's cheaper to have one there than to have one on 60 south of Worthington and one on 90 west of Worthington.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 30, 2017, 09:56:29 PM
MnDOT has narrowed down to four alternatives for rebuilding 35/535/US 53 in Duluth, even though funding is still far from guaranteed.

Concepts B and C both involve signalized 90-degree turns to remain on US 53 and/or I-535.
Concept I is the free-flow, which would be my preferred alternative.
Concept O has a weird U-turn on the east side to facilitate the transition between I-535 and southbound 35/northbound 53.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/twin-ports-interchange/technicaldocuments.html

The other problem which can't be helped in any scenario will be detour routes. There are no alternatives to I-35 or US 53 and the local streets around this interchange are not suitable for long-term detour traffic.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 01, 2017, 10:18:51 AM
Concept I isn't fully free-flow.  There would still be a traffic signal where the northbound ramps meet US 53.  But it's certainly more streamlined than the 90-degree turns of B/C and the U-turn ramp of O and would also be my preference.  But a big problem with I is that it creates the worst weaving situation on southbound 35 between the 53 on-ramp and the exit to 27th.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 04, 2017, 04:06:17 AM
Water main break under I-694 causes a sinkhole underneath the road in Oakdale. Closed in both directions between MN 36 and 10th St until further notice.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 04, 2017, 07:11:20 AM
From this morning's Strib (http://www.startribune.com/washout-in-oakdale-closes-stretch-of-i-694-for-days/461806173/#1):

Quote
MnDOT enlarged the portion that is closed, which now stretches from I-94 in the south to Hwy. 36 in the north.

Quote
The break occurred in a 12-inch diameter pipe connected to the municipal water supply system, said Oakdale police spokeswoman Michelle Stark.

Quote
The washout formed under the southbound lanes of the interstate just north of the 15th Street N. overpass and was visible in the median.

Quote
Gutknecht said the larger closure is needed so vehicles can be “detoured through like-sized roads.”
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on December 04, 2017, 05:13:43 PM
MnDOT has narrowed down to four alternatives for rebuilding 35/535/US 53 in Duluth, even though funding is still far from guaranteed.

Concepts B and C both involve signalized 90-degree turns to remain on US 53 and/or I-535.
Concept I is the free-flow, which would be my preferred alternative.
Concept O has a weird U-turn on the east side to facilitate the transition between I-535 and southbound 35/northbound 53.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/twin-ports-interchange/technicaldocuments.html

The other problem which can't be helped in any scenario will be detour routes. There are no alternatives to I-35 or US 53 and the local streets around this interchange are not suitable for long-term detour traffic.

Some of these options would require I-535 to go bye-bye.
Concept I is the least stupid and could be made functional with some changes to eliminate the tight weave and provide a non-shitty ramp from 35 NB to 535 SB.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on December 04, 2017, 08:07:39 PM
Concept O looks like what they did with the I-94/US 52 interchange rebuild.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 05, 2017, 07:29:47 AM
Quote from: triplemultiplex
Some of these options would require I-535 to go bye-bye.

Strictly speaking, no (keeping in mind that Interstates are just as much a funding category as they are a design standard...this is why I-180 WY exists).  But "B" would certainly require a design exemption from FHWA.  The other three options, while not optimal to some, still retain enough ramp connections to qualify.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: paulthemapguy on December 05, 2017, 12:57:53 PM
Quote from: triplemultiplex
Some of these options would require I-535 to go bye-bye.

Strictly speaking, no (keeping in mind that Interstates are just as much a funding category as they are a design standard...this is why I-180 WY exists).  But "B" would certainly require a design exemption from FHWA.  The other three options, while not optimal to some, still retain enough ramp connections to qualify.

Wasn't it similar changes that brought about the decommissioning of I-587 in New York though?  Or am I way off?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 05, 2017, 01:05:24 PM
I wasn't aware that I-587 NY was decommissioned.  If anything, the rebuilt circle at the Thruway interchange is an improvement over what was there before.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on December 05, 2017, 06:51:30 PM
Both Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_28#Route_description) and GSV (admittedly from about a year ago) (https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9428151,-74.0263592,3a,61.6y,302.1h,100.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPttL65bRXIhkpSKJBfayMw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) seem to indicate that I-587 still exists (though not actually connected to I-87?). I don't know what to believe. :crazy:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Rothman on December 05, 2017, 08:02:24 PM
I-587 still exists.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on December 05, 2017, 08:40:16 PM
I-587 still exists.

Thanks for the confirmation. But is it accurate to say that I-587 no longer connects to I-87? The placement of the END signs certainly suggest it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 05, 2017, 09:45:00 PM
I don't believe that situation has ever changed.  It's always connected to the 87/Thruway interchange via a traffic circle (which was rebuilt about 10-15 years ago).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on January 18, 2018, 10:59:47 PM
MnDOT's employee newsletters from the 1950's on-wards have been digitized, found the article on the initial authorization of the interstate network in metro.  Also included are pictures of 35E/94 next to the capital (full interchange) and 94 at Hennepin/Lyndale (when the freeway when it was planned to go above Hennepin/Lyndale versus through a tunnel as it does today):
https://reflections.mndigital.org/catalog/mdt:1793#/image/3 (https://reflections.mndigital.org/catalog/mdt:1793#/image/3)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on February 19, 2018, 12:16:05 PM
Apparently Minnesota's 2nd route marker was redesigned at some time to remove the "Minnesota" at top
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4764/26491782478_29c66fd62f_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/GmZiYj)signs (https://flic.kr/p/GmZiYj) by North Star Highways (https://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 19, 2018, 03:47:26 PM
Where is that? Guessing the junction on the east side of the Mendota Bridge?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 20, 2018, 07:31:40 AM
Yes.  Northbound 13 at the former junction.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 20, 2018, 12:53:58 PM
MnDOT's employee newsletters from the 1950's on-wards have been digitized, found the article on the initial authorization of the interstate network in metro.  Also included are pictures of 35E/94 next to the capital (full interchange) and 94 at Hennepin/Lyndale (when the freeway when it was planned to go above Hennepin/Lyndale versus through a tunnel as it does today):
https://reflections.mndigital.org/catalog/mdt:1793#/image/3 (https://reflections.mndigital.org/catalog/mdt:1793#/image/3)

Forgot to follow up on this one, but why exactly was the NB 35E-WB 94 connection removed from the final design?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mgk920 on February 21, 2018, 01:03:53 AM
MnDOT's employee newsletters from the 1950's on-wards have been digitized, found the article on the initial authorization of the interstate network in metro.  Also included are pictures of 35E/94 next to the capital (full interchange) and 94 at Hennepin/Lyndale (when the freeway when it was planned to go above Hennepin/Lyndale versus through a tunnel as it does today):
https://reflections.mndigital.org/catalog/mdt:1793#/image/3 (https://reflections.mndigital.org/catalog/mdt:1793#/image/3)
Forgot to follow up on this one, but why exactly was the NB 35E-WB 94 connection removed from the final design?

Didn't that planned NB I-35E to WB I-94 ramp ultimately morph into what is now the WB I-94 on ramp from 5th St (ditto the planned/never built connection for EB I-94 to SB I-35E)?  ISTR that before that area was rebuilt in the late 1980s/early 1990s, the I-94 ramps there were configured differently with the never-built I-35E connections in mind.

Mike
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on February 21, 2018, 05:32:41 PM
Seems to me that Ayd Mill Rd was meant to be the missing connection.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 21, 2018, 05:49:22 PM
Ayd Mill Rd was intended as the longer-term and regional-scale connection (ca. 1963 city plans envisioned it as a full freeway that would continue north of I-94 along Snelling Ave).  Local connections were to be via what became today's Kellogg Blvd.

It should also be noted that, of the four mid-1940s-era maps planning I-94 and I-35E that I've seen, only one of them had the direct ramps like what was in the graphic Monte linked to.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 04, 2018, 12:11:56 AM
A roundabout is being installed on the north side of the I-35/MN 33 interchange in Cloquet this year. This intersection has been the site of a number of major crashes over the last several years as SB MN 33-NB I-35 traffic takes a left turn across traffic exiting from northbound I-35 onto MN 33. I expect this will result in critics warning that the high-speed traffic exiting the freeway will not be expecting a low-speed obstacle, and it's not really debatable that the sight lines on the NB 35-NB 33 ramp aren't very good.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/i-35-cloquet/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on April 04, 2018, 03:29:57 AM
That seems like an absolutely awful place for a roundabout.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 04, 2018, 03:57:09 AM
Frankly I would have just gotten rid of the SB 33-NB 35 movement if they had come to the point that action needed to be taken, and just redirect NB 35-bound traffic down Carlton County 45 to the I-35 interchange at Exit 239.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 04, 2018, 08:04:09 AM
FHWA frowns upon incomplete Interstate interchanges these days.  There are exceptions they will grant (494/169), but generally speaking they prefer full interchanges.

The 494/169 rebuild almost didn't happen because of this preference.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on April 04, 2018, 08:18:00 AM
Wasn't there also some similar kind of nonsense about the missing movements at the I-94/MN-610 interchange?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on April 04, 2018, 09:26:25 AM
There's a project to convert all District 1, 3, 4, 7 and Metro Districts high mast lighting to LEDs this summers with three projects to be let this summer. 8816-2701 covers the metro and District 3, and 8816-2704 covers District 7, 8816-2733 covers Districts 1 and 4. Both symmetrical and asymmetrical  high pressure sodium luminaires used 1000 watts plus the ballast; the symmetrical LEDs use 627 watts and the asymmetrical ones use 209 watts proving that LEDs really shine when you want to direct light to a specific area rather than all over.

The only approved fixture is made by Holophane. Previously they've used holophane fixtures intended for high mast installations mounted to davit poles for 5 lane freeways.

District 2 and 8 have no high mast lights that I know of, and no word about District 6.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on April 05, 2018, 10:26:58 AM
Wasn't there also some similar kind of nonsense about the missing movements at the I-94/MN-610 interchange?

Living in Texas "incomplete interchanges" makes us laugh.  e.g. to go from SB 35 to NB 183 or SB 183 you must exit and take a turn and get back on.  Also for NB 183 to SB or NB 35, SB 183 to NB 35, or NB 35 to SB 183.  The only directional is SB 183 to SB 35 and vice versa.  There are many intersections like this.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2018, 10:59:01 AM
^ However, as I recall, the frontage roads in much of Texas are considered part of the Interstate, even if there are signals at the junctions.  So those are not considered incomplete interchanges in a general sense...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on April 06, 2018, 12:16:17 AM
^ However, as I recall, the frontage roads in much of Texas are considered part of the Interstate, even if there are signals at the junctions.  So those are not considered incomplete interchanges in a general sense...

and you gotta love our turnarounds
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 09, 2018, 09:52:40 AM
As usual for the first week of April, MnDOT announced their 2018 construction season (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/18/04/4kickoff.html).  Also, as has become tradition over the past few years, I've created a series of posts showing completion of major projects over the past year, plus current and planned major projects including interchanges, major roundabouts, or other major highway projects.

Here's what was completed in 2017:

MN 7/US 71 south of Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy7hwy71roundabout/) - This project replaced the previous traffic signal with a roundabout.
MN 23 at Kandiyohi CSAH 5 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23kandi5/index.html) near Willmar - This project built an overpass for CSAH 5 over MN 23, utilizing the existing grading/fill that was initially built with the Willmar bypass for a planned interchange.  The eastbound on-ramp to MN 23 was also built so as to avoid the need for at-grade left turns onto MN 23.  The existing roadway north of MN 23 remains as the connector road for the other movements between MN 23 and CSAH 5.
MN 23 in West Duluth (http://www.mndot.gov/d1/projects/Hwy23grand/) - Completion of reconstruction of MN 23 through West Duluth, from Becks Rd to I-35.
MN 24 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy24/) - While the new bridge itself was opened last summer and the old bridge removed, wrap-up work continues into this summer.  The wrap-up work includes repaving and traffic signal upgrades between I-94 and US 10.
I-35W at County Road H (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/crhoveri35wardenhills/) in Arden Hills - This project widened County Road H between I-35W and CSAH 10, removed the southbound on-ramp loop, added a northbound off-ramp from I-35W that bridges under the WB 10-to-NB 35W ramp, and built roundabouts at the ramp terminals.
MN 36 St. Croix River Crossing (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/stcroixcrossing/) - The "Stillwater Bridge" replacement is finally open to traffic, having opened last August (just before the Twin Cities road meet).  There are a few punchlist items left for this year, plus conversion of the old lift bridge into a bike/ped facility, but aside from a brief MN 95 closure this summer, this project is finished for the motoring public.
US 52 at MN 58 in Zumbrota (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy58-bridge/index.html) - This project replaced the MN 58 bridge over US 52 and added roundabouts at the ramp junctions.
US 52 at Dakota CSAH 86 near Cannon Falls - This "pop-up" project built an interchange on US 52 at Dakota CSAH 86.  The layout is a folded-diamond interchange with on-ramp loops.
US 52 between Cannon Falls and Coates (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy52coates/index.html) - MnDOT converted several intersections on US 52 to Reduced-Conflict Intersections (RCI).
US 53 relocation near Virginia (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy53relocation/) - This major project relocated US 53 on the south side of Virginia so that the adjacent mining company (which owns the land underneath existing US 53) can expand its mine.  US 53 was relocated to the northeast, including a 1,100ft long bridge over the Rocheleau Pit that is now the tallest bridge in the state.  The project replaced the existing half-interchange at 2nd St with an intersection, but added a diamond interchange at MN 135 to replace the old 53/135 interchange.
US 59 at Becker CSAH 22 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/hwy59roundabout/index.html) south of Detroit Lakes - MnDOT built a roundabout at US 59/CSAH 22, replacing the former 4-way stop sign.
MN 73 at Carlton CSAH 10 in Moose Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Moose-Lake-Area-Project/index.html) - Part of a series of other improvements around Moose Lake, a roundabout was built at MN 73/CSAH 10.
MN 73 at St. Louis CSAH 5 in Chisholm (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy73chisholm/index.html) - This county-led project partially realigned CSAH 5 and built a roundabout where it meets MN 73, just north of US 169.
MN 77 at Cedar Grove (just south of MN 13) - Not a highway project per se but a transit project that impacted the MN 77 freeway.  This project built an in-line BRT station in the median of MN 77 at Cedar Grove, just south of MN 13.  The roadway configuration is similar to that of the 46th St BRT station along I-35W in Minneapolis.
I-94 in East St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94stpaul/index.html) - Primarily a pavement reconstruction project extending out to MN 120, this project also built an auxiliary lane between downtown and Mounds Blvd, so there are now at least 4 lanes along eastbound I-94 from the 11th St on-ramp downtown out to US 10/61 South.
US 169 from MN 62 to MN 55 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169hopkins/index.html) - A number of projects were combined into one for this project, which included repairing pavement, closing the southbound ramps at 16th St (just south of I-394), and replacing the bridge over Nine Mile Creek (north of MN 62).  The latter required a 9-month full shutdown of US 169.  Everything is now completed and open.
US 169 at Red Oak Dr/Southgate Dr in Aitkin (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/aitkin/) - A roundabout was built at this intersection in southern Aitkin.
US 169 at MN 37 in Hibbing (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy-169-Hwy-37-Roundabout/index.html) - A roundabout was built at this major junction, replacing a traffic signal.  While technically a single lane roundabout, it was designed to include a "free right" for southbound 169 through traffic and was also designed to accommodate double-wide truck loads like this (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy-169-Hwy-37-Roundabout/QA.html).
MN 210 through Jay Cooke State Park (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy210future/index.html) - Completed last fall, this project rebuilt a section of MN 210 through the park (which is between Carlton and West Duluth) that was washed out during a severe flood in 2012.
MN 371 between Nisswa and Jenkins (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy371/) - This long-desired project widened MN 371 to 4 lanes from Nisswa to Crow Wing CSAH 16, including a bypass of Pequot Lakes and a diamond interchange with roundabouts at Crow Wing CSAH 11.
I-694 between Arden Hills and Shoreview (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/enhance694/index.html) - This project reconstructed I-694 and added a 3rd lane in each direction between Lexington Ave and Rice St.  It also fully opened the NB 35E to WB 694 ramp to 2 lanes.  The only remaining 4 lane (2 per direction) segments on the 494/694 loop now are both on I-694:  between I-35W and US 10 West and from US 61 to I-94/494....approximately 11.5 miles out of 73 total.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 09, 2018, 09:53:08 AM
Ongoing 2018 construction (carried over from previous years):

MN 1/MN 169 near Eagles Nest Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/Hwy169eagles/) - This project will fully reconstruct MN 1/169 in the Eagles Nest Lake area between Tower and Ely, with about half of it on new alignment south of the existing alignment.
US 2 over the Red River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/kennedybridge/index.html) in East Grand Forks - Ongoing bridge rehab, including a complete replacement of the bridge deck and one bridge pier (Pier 6 at the west end of the truss).  MnDOT and NDDOT opted to go this route last year instead of building a brand new bridge.  Traffic will be using the completed southern half of the bridge this year as work continues on the northern half.  The final configuration will see the median removed and the former narrow (2.5ft) sidewalks on each side replaced by a combined bike/ped path on the north side of the bridge, separated from vehicle traffic by a concrete barrier.
MN 4/MN 30 in St. James (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy4stjames/) - Reconstruction of MN 4/MN 30 through St. James continues and should wrap up this year.  The project includes two mini-roundabouts in downtown St. James.
MN 5 at Orchard Rd in Waconia (https://clients.bolton-menk.com/carvercountycsah10/) - I missed this one last year because it's a county project, but it began last year and involves a relocation of Carver CSAH 10 to meet MN 5 at Orchard Rd on the west side of Waconia.  I'm including it here because the project includes a roundabout on MN 5 where it will meet Orchard Rd/relocated CSAH 10.
I-35W in south Minneapolis (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/35w94/) - This massive, 5-year project will reconstruct I-35W between 42nd St and I-94, replacing several bridges and with several reconfigurations.  The MnPASS lanes on I-35W will be extended on both sides to 26th St (the existing northbound dynamic shoulder would become a full MnPASS lane).  A median transit station will be built at Lake St.  Two new ramps are added:  a northbound off-ramp to 28th St, and a southbound off-ramp to Lake St.  The flyover from northbound 35W to westbound 94 will be relocated to enter westbound 94 on the left instead of on the right (most ramp traffic stays on 94, and so it'll reduce the weave situation between 35W and Hennepin/Lyndale).  The existing 35W flyover near 24th will be replaced with a fy-under north of Franklin, with southbound 35W merging on the right instead of on the left.  Finally, the ramp from westbound 94 to southbound 35W will have its auxiliary lane extended to be come the exit-only lane to the new southbound ramp to Lake St.
I-35W at County Road I (https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/roads-transit/2018-construction-maintenance/county-road-irice-creek-parkway-roundabout) in Arden Hills - This county-led project, parts of which have been finished, will permanently remove the on-ramp to northbound I-35W from County Road I, construct a roundabout where the northbound 35W off-ramp meets County I and Rice Creek Pkwy, and build a frontage road along I-35W between County I and County Road H.
MN 43 Winona Bridge (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/winonabridge/index.html) - After taking a pause due to a significant cost increase, rehabilitation of the existing Winona Bridge is back underway and is expected to take through the end of 2019.  The new bridge (future southbound lanes) is open and currently running two-way traffic.
MN 60 between Windom and Mountain Lake (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy60stjames/) - The last needed segment in a larger 4-lane corridor from the Twin Cities to Sioux City, IA, this project will widen MN 60 to 4-lanes between Windom and Mountain Lake.  It is expected to wrap up this fall.
US 63 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/redwing-bridge/) in Red Wing - The US 63 bridges over US 61 and the Mississippi River are being replaced.  The bridges will be 2-lane spans for now, but with a design that would allow for 4 lanes in the future.  US 63 will also be relocated out of downtown Red Wing, meeting US 61 directly just east of the overpass.  The project will extend through August, 2020.
MN 149 over the Mississippi River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy149highbridge/index.html) in St. Paul - Redecking of the Smith Ave "High Bridge" continues, with the bridge closed to traffic this year.  The project should wrap up by the end of 2018.
US 169 east of Bovey (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy169-cross-range/) - This one should wrap up in June.  It's extending the 4-lane section of US 169 on the Iron Range another 1.5 miles, from the Bovey bypass to just east of Itasca CSAH 7.
I-494 at Hennepin CSAH 28 in Bloomington (https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/eng/east-bush-lake-roadi-494-interchange-west-bound-ramp) - When I-494 was reconstructed 15 years ago, the then-half-diamond at Bush Lake Rd (CSAH 28) was partially upgraded, becoming a 3/4 interchange and lacking a westbound on-ramp due to the proximity of the Dan Patch Line railroad immediately west of Bush Lake Rd.  A city-led project this year will finally build a westbound on-ramp at the interchange.  The ramp will split from the eastbound on-ramp, then loop to the left over 494 before merging westbound.  Construction actually began last fall and will be completed this year.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 09, 2018, 09:53:34 AM
New construction for 2018:

MN 3 at Dakota CSAH 26 (https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Transportation/PlannedConstruction/CR26-Hwy3/Pages/default.aspx) in Inver Grove Heights - Dakota County is leading a project to replace this intersection with a roundabout.
MN 4 at Brown CSAH 29 north of Sleepy Eye (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy14hwy4sleepyeye/) - MnDOT will build a roundabout this year.
US 10 at Sherburne CSAH 23 in Becker (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/2018/clearlaketobiglake/) - As part of a larger project that will reconstruct eastbound US 10 between Clear Lake and Big Lake, the US 10/CSAH 23 intersection in Becker will be converted into a Reduced-Conflict Intersection (RCI).
US 10 in Arden Hills (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy10ardenhills/documents.html) - This will add a 3rd auxiliary lane along eastbound US 10 between I-35W and the exit to CSAH 96.  The project includes widening the SB off-ramp from I-35W to EB US 10 to 2 lanes.
US 12 near Willmar (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/willmarwye/index.html) - Officially a rail project named the "Willmar Wye", this project will build a rail shortcut on the west side of Willmar and provide a direct connection between the BNSF Morris and Marshall Subdivisions, reducing rail traffic (and crossing delays) in downtown Willmar.  The wye will be parallel to and approximately 500ft east of CSAH 55 (45th St SW/NW).  As part of the Wye project, US 12 will be relocated south of its existing location (to approximately the equivalent of "4th Ave SW") from near 7th Ave NW (west of CSAH 55) to 28th St SW.  The relocated US 12 will be bridged over the rail wye, as will MN 40.  The project is expected to be completed in 2021.
US 14/MN 15 in New Ulm (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/14newulmtonmankato/) - Though I included this in last year's "new construction", the project itself didn't get underway until December and the construction finally begins this spring.  Called the "New Ulm Gateway Project", the project involves several items.  It will raise US 14 and MN 15 out of the 100 year floodplain.  It will replace the existing bridges over the Minnesota River and Front St/UP RR with 2-lane structures that can be expanded to 4 lanes in the future.  7th N St will be reconstructed as a 2-lane divided section with left turn lanes between N Broadway (MN 15/68) and the Front St bridge.  The folded-diamond interchange at Front St will be replaced with a one-quadrant access road with a roundabout on US 14/MN 15.  The US 14/MN 15/CSAH 21 junction will be replaced with a diamond interchange along MN 15 with dumbbells at the ramp junctions.  A free-right will be provided for eastbound US 14 through traffic to avoid the dumbbell and the intersection at CSAH 21 South.
MN 22 at Blue Earth CSAH 90 south of Mankato (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy22mapleton/index.html) - As part of a larger reconstruction project between Mapleton and Mankato, MnDOT will build a roundabout at this intersection this year.
MN 23 in Marshall (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23marshall/index.html) - Two intersections along MN 23 in Marshall will be converted into Reduced Conflict Intersections.
MN 28 in Glenwood (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/glenwood/) - MN 28 through Glenwood will be fully reconstructed, including a 4-to-3 road diet in the Glenwood core and an upgraded traffic signal at the 28/29/104 intersection.
I-35 at MN 33 in Cloquet (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/i-35-cloquet/) - The current I-35/MN 33 interchange is an odd configuration, with the ramps favoring traffic to/from I-35 South and the ramps to/from 35 North almost as an afterthought.  The result has been an intersection with several crashes and a poor safety record.  This project will replace the ramp intersection with a roundabout, which will improve safety.  The roundabout will retain the existing "free right" from the southbound 35 off-ramp to northbound 33.
I-35W over the Minnesota River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wbloomington/index.html) - Moved up to this year from 2020, this project will replace the I-35W bridges over the Minnesota River and West 106th St as well as reconstruct I-35W between West 106th and Cliff Rd.  The project will separate northbound and southbound onto separate bridges over the river (shifted slightly east compared to the existing bridge) and add a bike/ped path to the northbound bridge.  The interchange at Black Dog Rd will remain and be reconstructed.  The new bridge will carry 8 lanes (6 through lanes plus 2 MnPASS lanes).  Expected completion is late 2021.
MN 41 in Chaska (https://www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/public-works/program-delivery/road-construction-projects/county-road-123) - Carver County is leading a project to widen MN 41 to 4 lanes from US 212 north to CSAH 14.
MN 42 at Olmsted CSAH 9 near Eyota - I could not find a project website on this, but did found several references.  MnDOT will build a roundabout at this intersection this year.
MN 65 between Blaine and East Bethel (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy65rci/) - This project will convert several intersections along MN 65 into Reduced-Conflict Intersections (or J-turns).  In particular, the intersection at Viking Blvd/CSAH 22 will become a signalized RCI...the first in the state.
MN 72 at the Rainy River (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/baudette-bridge/index.html) in Baudette - This project will replace the International bridge connecting MN 72 to ON 11 with a new bridge just upstream (southeast) of the existing bridge.
MN 95 at 21st Ave N in Princeton (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/2017/princeton/) (west of US 169) - This project will build a roundabout at the intersection.
US 169 at MN 41/CSAH 78 and at Scott CSAH 14 (http://www.scottcountymn.gov/608/US-169-TH-41CH-78-Interchange-Design-Pro) - This is a county-led (and primarily funded) project to add an interchange on US 169 at MN 41/CSAH 78 and an overpass in the vicinity of CSAH 14.  Combined with construction of planned frontage roads and adjacent access closures, this will bring the freeway section on US 169 south to 133rd St W (but not all the way to CSAH 14), where the intersection will be converted to RIRO on each side.  The interchange at MN 41/CSAH 78 is planned to be a diverging diamond.  At CSAH 14, an overpass over US 169 will be built just north of CSAH 14, with the existing intersection converted into a pair of Right-In/Right-Outs (RIRO).  Construction is expected to run through 2020.
US 169 in Champlin (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy169champlin/) - This project will replace the bridges over Elm Creek, realign US 169 at West River Rd to smooth the curve (and eliminate what is effectively a TOTSO), and convert the West River Rd and Dean Ave intersections into a single, traditional 4-way intersection.  The intersection at Dowlin St will also be removed.
I-494 in South St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494invergroveheights/index.html) - As part of a pavement/bridge repair project, MnDOT will add an auxiliary lane on westbound I-494 between Hardeman Ave and 7th Ave.  What this means in layman's terms is 4 lanes westbound from US 10/61 to US 52.  The project will run through 2019.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 09, 2018, 09:53:58 AM
Lastly, here are some upcoming/future projects (including some unfunded projects):

US 10 in Wadena (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/wadena/) - Planned for 2019, this project will reconstruct an 8-block leg of US 10 through Wadena.  The reconstruction will accommodate a future potential 4-lane cross-section for US 10 by building the shoulders wide enough to be restriped as travel lanes.
MN 13 at Scott CSAH 21 in Prior Lake (https://clients.bolton-menk.com/movingforward13-21/) - A joint MnDOT/Scott County project will build a multilane roundabout at this busy intersection in 2019.
US 14 between Owatonna and Dodge Center (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy14/) - This long-standing project is currently unfunded, but would fill the last gap in a 4-lane US 14 between Mankato and Rochester.  The approved plan is for a freeway-grade facility being located parallel and just south of the DM&E tracks.  The Steele CSAH 43 intersection would be upgraded to an interchange, and new interchanges would be built at Dodge CSAH 3 and a relocated MN 56 (that would also tie into CSAH 5).
MN 23 between New London and Paynesville (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23gapsnewlondonpaynesville/index.html) and between Paynesville and Richmond (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23gappaynesvillerichmond/index.html) - MnDOT has preliminary designs to widen these two segment of MN 23 to 4 lanes, which would complete a 4-lane corridor between Willmar and St. Cloud.  Both segments are currently unfunded, though.
MN 29/MN 55 near Glenwood (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/glenwoodoverpass/) - Not currently funded, the plan is to replace the existing at-grade intersection with a bridge on MN 29 over both MN 55 and the adjacent Canadian Pacific tracks.  An improved 160th St would make the connection between the two routes.
I-35/I-535/US 53 in Duluth (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/twin-ports-interchange/index.html) - This project would fully reconstruct the I-35/I-535/US 53 "Can of Worms" interchange in Duluth, which has several deficient bridges.  The design would change a bit as well.  Full freeway-to-freeway movements are retained between I-35 and I-535, with both left exits being eliminated from I-35 and replaced with right-side exits.  Ramps connecting to/from US 53 will be relocated somewhat to reduce the amount of bridges, but a traffic signal would remain where the northbound 35 ramp to US 53 intersects southbound 53...this signal, however, would not be on top of I-35 but instead where a "more typical" northbound off-ramp would be located.  The project will also reconfigure the I-535/Garfield Ave interchange (design TBD) and will also reconstruct the US 53 bridges to the northwest of the Can of Worms...possibly to include some earthen fill in between city blocks to reduce the length of bridge.  It appears that MnDOT has finally lined up some funding...construction is expected to start in 2019 but will take 4 years.
I-35W/I-494 in Bloomington (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494and35winterchange/index.html) - Arguably the most congested interchange in the state, reconstructing the 35W/494 interchange is seen as a high priority but an expensive endeavor.  A turbine-style interchange (except retaining a loop ramp for SB 35W to EB 494) is favored.  Officials are trying to find funding to build the first phase of the project, which would add a 2-lane turbine ramp for NB 35W to WB 494 traffic.  I've seen the cost estimate for that range anywhere from $35 million to $85 million.
MN 36 in North St. Paul (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy36study/index.html) - As part of the vision to complete a MN 36 freeway between I-35W and I-694, the last two at-grade intersections (at Century Ave/MN 120 and Hadley Ave) would be converted to interchanges.  The Hadley interchange is fully funded for 2019 construction and will be a folded-diamond to the west with roundabouts at the ramp terminals.  The Century/120 interchange is still unfunded but will likely be some sort of tight diamond interchange.
US 71 at Hubbard CSAH 15 in Park Rapids (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/hwy71-parkrapids/index.html) - Now bumped to 2019, this project will rebuild the intersection as a roundabout.
US 169 at 101st Ave N in Brooklyn Park (http://projects.srfconsulting.com/hwy169and101st/Default.aspx) - A project tentatively scheduled for 2020 would build an interchange here, extending the freeway section on US 169 further north (to 109th Ave N).  The preliminary interchange design is for a folded-diamond to the north.
I-694 at Ramsey CSAH 49 (https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/roads-transit/future-road-construction-projects/i-694rice-street-interchange)/Rice St (http://www.sehinc.com/online/rice694) - Reconstruction and upgrading of this interchange has been a high priority for Ramsey County for years, but has been stymied until recently.  It has also gone through several designs.  The current design, now expected to begin construction in 2019, is for a modified SPUI similar to what was recently built at MN 36/Rice St, except with a roundabout where the ramps meet Rice St.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on April 09, 2018, 10:17:38 AM
Why does US 53 need much of an interchange at all with 35?  I would think a more basic interchange would be sufficient.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 09, 2018, 10:21:13 AM
Because it meets 35 directly at 535 and is technically freeway (disregarding the existing signal at the ramps) for the first mile or so up the bluff.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on April 12, 2018, 09:12:58 AM
New construction for 2018:

Thank you for your excellent information, Froggie.

I have two "newbie" questions - please bear with me:

1. It seems like every couple of years, MnDoT builds a new interchange, extending the freeway portion of 169 two or three miles closer to Mankato. Are there any plans to make 169 a freeway all the way to Mankato?

2. Has any serious consideration been given to making US-52 a freeway all the way to Rochester?

I know MnDoT doesn't have the funds for these projects, but how likely would they be if the legislature and governor finally raised the gas tax enough to give MnDoT the money it needed?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on April 12, 2018, 09:26:17 AM
I would say 'yes' to both questions with the caveat that it's not an aggressive plan to fully convert either route to full freeway access control.  They are upgrading "as needed".  And I see some recent interchanges have cheaped out with some 'jughandle' ramp designs.
US 169 through St Peter is presents an especially large challenge for developing that corridor.  There's topography, wetlands, a large river and city parks in the way of any potential option.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on April 12, 2018, 09:42:21 AM
The only way I think we'd ever get a full US-169 freeway from the Twin Cities to Mankato would be by bypassing St. Peter to the west. However, I dunno how feasible that is environmentally/topographically, not to mention such a project would probably be quite expensive.

Thus, I doubt it's happening any time soon.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 12, 2018, 09:50:52 AM
1)  No.  It would be desirable in some circles, but would be extremely difficult to do in the river bottoms south of Le Sueur.  Getting a freeway through or around St. Peter would also be very difficult.

There's a general plan/goal to extend the freeway to Belle Plaine, but that's largely locally driven.

2)  Yes.  This has been a stated long-term goal of both MnDOT and most of the local jurisdictions.  It also has the highest traffic volumes of any of MnDOT's non-Metro/non-Interstate corridors (only I-94 to St. Cloud has higher volumes outside the Metro).

Depending on how much the legislature raised the gas tax (or license tabs or the motor vehicle sales tax), you might see an additional interchange project or three.  But I would hazard a bet that you'd see a lot more pavement and bridge projects instead, especially if it was a small tax increase as system preservation tends to be MnDOT's highest priority and is also underfunded.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on April 12, 2018, 11:18:50 AM
2)  Yes.  This has been a stated long-term goal of both MnDOT and most of the local jurisdictions.  It also has the highest traffic volumes of any of MnDOT's non-Metro/non-Interstate corridors (only I-94 to St. Cloud has higher volumes outside the Metro).

How much work needs to be done to finish this project? Are we just a couple of interchanges away, or is there still a lot of work left?

Again, thanks to all of you who answered my previous posting.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on April 12, 2018, 11:31:05 AM
Quite a lot. Most major junctions have been grade separated and turned into interchanges, but there's still quite a few crossings and RIRO-type intersections with minor side roads and driveways. There is also an at-grade railroad crossing north of Cannon Falls that would need addressing.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 12, 2018, 01:34:54 PM
To summarize, here is what would be needed for US 52 from north to south:

- Addressing a southbound RIRO at Inver Grove Trail (south of Dakota CSAH 56)
- 16 miles from MN 55 East to Dakota CSAH 86, including an interchange at Dakota CSAH 66
- The above-mentioned railroad crossing near Cannon Falls as well as a farm field access not far north of that rail crossing.
- 16 miles from south of Cannon Falls to Zumbrota, including interchanges at MN 57 and Goodhue CSAH 7 and addressing the very substandard ramps at the Goodhue CSAH 9 interchange
- 7 miles from MN 58 to the Goodhue/Olmsted County line
- Addressing the I-90 interchange

With all of that, you would have a full US 52 freeway from I-94 to I-90.  There may be additional interchanges considered in addition to the three I mentioned above.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on April 12, 2018, 07:34:08 PM
Are there any plans to upgrade US 63 between I-90 and US 52?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 12, 2018, 10:25:42 PM
^ The city/county/MPO still have it in their long-range plan, yes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 13, 2018, 01:31:27 AM
^ The city/county/MPO still have it in their long-range plan, yes.

What more are they planning to do with it? There are already three new interchanges between 52 and 90, so is it going to be a full freeway conversion?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 13, 2018, 07:17:14 AM
Two new interchanges.  CSAH 16 was a rebuild of a previously existing interchange.

Their long range plan is for a freeway conversion, but there are two notable sticking points:  how to address MN 30 West given its proximity to the I-90 interchange, and what to do in the 60th Ave SW vicinity.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on April 15, 2018, 08:54:40 PM
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has an article about the latest efforts to upgrade the I-494 / I-35W interchange. Here's a link:

http://www.startribune.com/suburbs-look-for-state-funding-to-renovate-i-494-i-35w-interchange/479817103/

A full upgrade to the interchange is estimated to cost $300 Million, but as Froggie said up thread, the first phase would cost $85 Million. Legislators are hoping to fund the upgrades as part of plans to extend bus rapid transit down 35W to Burnsville.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 01, 2018, 04:56:33 PM
Corridors of Commerce grants awarded for 2018:

-Freeway conversion of most of US 169 in Elk River, though this will not include modification to the existing US 10/MN 101 interchange.
-Expansion of I-94 to six lanes from St. Michael to Albertville.
-Two separately submitted projects on I-494 in Bloomington, which most dramatically finally includes the first phase of upgrade to the 494/35W interchange.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/18/05/1-award.html

All four of these being metro area projects (the criteria making the Elk River and Albertville projects "outstate" allowed for those to be selected) has already rankled some, particularly the US 14 commission in southern Minnesota.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 01, 2018, 08:23:20 PM
There's a couple of things they possibly could have done along US 14, though most of what's easily broken down is between New Ulm and Nicollet.  Because of the chosen design between Owatonna and Dodge Center (a new-alignment freeway south of the DM&E tracks), that would have to be done all in one fell swoop...probably too big for a Corridors of Commerce grant.  They probably could have thrown a bone to southern Minnesota by building a Courtland bypass or adding the interchange near Owatonna at Steele CSAH 43, but there's not much else that would have fit.

The first phase of 494/35W is a big thing.  That interchange is arguably the most congested interchange in the state now, and one of the most dangerous.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 02, 2018, 09:45:59 PM
Did some more digging into the Corridors of Commerce results.  It's worth noting that they selected the top two-scoring projects each from the Metro and "Outstate".  While many consider Sherburne and Wright Counties part of the Metro, they're in an Outstate MnDOT District (District 3) and those two projects scored top amongst all the non-Metro-Division projects.

Plenty of other big projects scored fairly high, though.  Here are the top 11 Metro projects (scored above 600 out of 700) and the top 10 Outstate projects (scored 500-600 out of 700) considered.  It should be noted that several of these overlap with or were superseded by others.

Top 11 Metro:

1)  I-494 MnPASS lanes from France Ave to MN 77 (selected as noted previously, westbound MnPASS lane will end at I-35W)
2)  I-494/I-35W interchange Phase 1 (selected as noted previously...adds a NB 35W to WB 494 flyover, though this appears to be the only part that got funded.  The remainder of this project included two auxiliary lanes along EB 494:  through the Bush Lake Rd interchange, and from France Ave to the SB 35W ramp)
3)  I-94/MN 252 MnPASS lanes from Dowling Ave to MN 610
4)  I-494 improvements from France Ave to I-35W (includes the flyover from #2 above plus the EB 494 auxiliary lane from France Ave to the SB 35W ramp)
5)  I-494 eastbound auxiliary lane from MN 100 to I-35W (a longer version of the auxiliary lane in #4 that would effectively begin at MN 100)
6)  US 169 MnPASS lanes from Scott CSAH 17 to I-494
7)  I-494 improvements at E Bush Lake Rd and I-35W (includes both the flyover from #2 above plus the EB 494 auxiliary lane at Bush Lake Rd)
8)  MN 65 convert to freeway from US 10 to 131st Ave NE (does not include improvements at US 10, but would build interchanges at 99th, 109th, and 117th, an overpass at 93rd, and extend a west-side frontage/backage road, effectively an extension of Ulysses, from 93rd to 109th)
9)  I-494 improvements between E Bush Lake Rd and I-35W (includes ONLY the eastbound auxiliary lanes mentioned above at E Bush Lake Rd and from France Ave to SB 35W)
10)  I-494 eastbound auxiliary lane from France Ave to the SB 35W ramp (ONLY this auxiliary lane as described above)
11)  I-94 interchange reconstruction at MN 280 (this would relocate EB 94 and reconstruct the interchange into a trumpet with the EB 94 on-ramp as the loop, allowing access from 280 to the Cretin Ave exit.  The 280/Franklin Ave interchange would also be revised for "better freight connections".)


Top 10 Outstate:

1)  US 169 convert to freeway from US 10 to 211th Ave NW (selected as noted previously, builds full interchanges at Main St, School St, and 193rd and a half-interchange at 197th.  Does not include improvements at US 10.)
2)  I-94 6-lane widening from MN 241 to Wright CSAH 19 (selected as noted previously, also rebuilds the interchanges at MN 241, widens the MN 241 bridge over I-94, and adds a loop ramp from WB 94 to WB 241)
3)  US 169 convert to freeway in Elk River (a partial version of #1 above, this would build the interchanges at Main St and School St)
4)  I-94 6-lane widening from MN 241 to Wright CSAH 19 plus interchanges (same as #2 above but includes an EB on-ramp from CSAH 19 and an EB C/D road between CSAH 19 and CSAH 37)
5)  US 14 Owatonna to Dodge Center (the top-scoring Outstate project *NOT* in District 3, this project would complete a 4-lane freeway between Owatonna (CSAH 43 in particular) and Dodge Center, with interchanges at Steele CSAH 3 and a relocated MN 56 North)
6)  MN 23 Willmar to St. Cloud (would fill the 4-lane gaps on both sides of Paynesville)
7)  I-35 at I-535/US 53 (reconstruction of the "Can of Worms" interchange, including the I-35/27th Ave W interchange and possibly the I-535/Garfield Ave interchange)
8)  MN 23 Paynesville to Richmond (a limited part of #6 above, this would fill the Paynesville to Richmond 4-lane gap)
9)  I-94 Albertville to Clearwater (6-lane widening)
10) US 14 Dodge CSAH 16 to Dodge Center (a limited extent variant of #5 above, this would build the 4-lane freeway relocation of US 14 between Dodge CSAH 16 and the existing freeway around Dodge Center, including the interchanges at CSAH 3 and MN 56 North.  A temporary connection would be built at Dodge CSAH 16.)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 02, 2018, 10:25:31 PM
Kind of shows how deficient 494 through Bloomington is when submissions for it make up more than half of that list...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Zaphod on May 04, 2018, 01:58:39 PM
-Freeway conversion of most of US 169 in Elk River, though this will not include modification to the existing US 10/MN 101 interchange.

According to the city engineer on the City of Elk River's facebook page, he stated that there won't be any stoplights from the Mississippi River to 197th Ave. So that would imply removing the stoplight at the Hwy 10 interchange, which makes sense not to have a single stoplight in this stretch. Maybe the project will include a WB Hwy 10 to SB Hwy 101 cloverleaf loop. The details will be presented at future open houses/meetings. I am following this closely as I work in Elk River and use 169 often.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 04, 2018, 02:23:33 PM
This is what's proposed at 10/169/101 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/projects/169elkriver/pdf/fig4A_proposed_improvements.pdf).  However, MnDOT's release on the Corridors of Commerce grant suggests that the improvements at 10/169/101 would *NOT* be built as part of the grant.  So it's hard to tell who's correct.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on May 15, 2018, 06:57:12 AM
This is what's proposed at 10/169/101 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/projects/169elkriver/pdf/fig4A_proposed_improvements.pdf).  However, MnDOT's release on the Corridors of Commerce grant suggests that the improvements at 10/169/101 would *NOT* be built as part of the grant.  So it's hard to tell who's correct.

There is no way that ever gets built as shown, that would be one of the most extravagant systems interchanges in the state  They are going to need another $150+ million to build that and if that money is sitting around, it's not going to a single interchange in Elk River.  To eliminate the stoplights at 101/169/10 they are going to have to implement a low cost solution to complete the conversion.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on May 15, 2018, 07:19:14 AM
Sticking to the corridors of commerce topic:
For the I-494 MnPASS lanes from France Ave to MN 77 (westbound MnPASS lane will end at I-35W), this will dramatically change the corridor particularly between I-35W and MN 77. One would assume because the bridges at Nicollet, progressive railroad, Portland and 12th Avenue are too narrow to fit another lane without going to zero shoulders under them that they will all be replaced. Definitely interested to see if this will prompt the reconfiguration of interchanges in this stretch: closure of Nicollet with removal of the ramps, a full SPUI at Portland, and closure of the ramps at 12th.  This will dramatically change the corridor if this occurs.  Add in Richfield's project for the 77th Street tunnel and there will be quite a change for the east sides of Richfield/Bloomington.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 15, 2018, 03:48:30 PM
Per the Elk River city engineer (who submitted the 169 proposal), the approved funding will include modifications at the 10/169/101 interchange to eliminate the existing signal.  What form those improvements will take has not been finalized yet.

I've had conversations with several Twin Cities residents that many of the overpasses along 494 are too narrow to squeeze the lanes in.  The bridges probably will be replaced for this, but I have doubts that they will include the interchange improvements.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on May 15, 2018, 06:30:07 PM
Probably they won't be wide enough for additional regular lanes either, just those stupid Lexus Lanes.

As for Elk River, one idea would be to replace the northwest ramp with a loop and then rely on Main Street for the movements between 10 west and 169 north.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 20, 2018, 05:25:04 AM
As for Elk River, one idea would be to replace the northwest ramp with a loop and then rely on Main Street for the movements between 10 west and 169 north.

While we're on the topic of shunting traffic onto Main Street, they should eliminate the at-grade left turn from EB 10 to NB 169. That's a scary intersection these days.

The big problem with Main Street is it still has a 4-way stop between 10 and 169.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on May 20, 2018, 05:17:54 PM
Yes, hence my suggestion. I really don't think it's a good idea to leave any crossing movements. The unsignalized eastbound to northbound relies on the Main Street traffic signal, and formerly the one at County 39, to create breaks in traffic. Now that the County 39 signal is gone there are no breaks northbound.

Depending on how fancy they want to get, they could also rebuild the railroad overpass to build the NW ramp and loop, and/or build a third river span to build the SE loop and ramp. Either would be directly incorporated if in some fantasy they do a full buildout of the final design.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on May 20, 2018, 05:21:24 PM
Scott County plans to convert just about every last traffic signal they own to flashing yellow arrows this year. Most will get flashing yellow arrows in all directions except for two in downtown Shakopee that will remain protected only, two in Shakopee where the side street left turns lanes will remain permissive only, and 9 where one or more of the side streets doesn't have dedicated turn lanes. If they wanted to they could use the flashing yellow arrow doghouse design, but they aren't.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 30, 2018, 06:51:40 PM
The funding to finish US 14 from Owatonna to Dodge Center is finally in place with the new bonding bill passed by the state and will be signed by the governor after some questions about whether he would.

Also, MN 252 freeway conversion with MnPass lanes in Brooklyn Center and MN 23 widening from New London to Paynesville and then to Richmond.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/18/05/30-corridors-of-commerce.html

Transit advocates had bemoaned the bill because it had no money for any public transit projects.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on May 30, 2018, 09:30:34 PM
Wow, MN-252 is finally going to get the upgrades it's needed for at least 20 years, now? I'll believe it when I see it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on June 06, 2018, 12:53:01 AM
Additional transportation projects in the bonding bill:
Anoka County – Thurston Boulevard: $15,000,000 (Interchange and signal removal at US 10)
Anoka County – Ramsey Boulevard Rail Grade Separation: $2,000,000
Brooklyn Park – Highway 169/101st Ave: $4,000,000 (New interchange on 169)
Carver County – Hwy 101 Turnback: $9,000,000 (Reconstruction of Trunk Highway 101 from Flying Cloud Drive to Pioneer Trail, this would complete the 101 turnback in Carver County except the portion shared with Hennepin/Carver from County Road 62 to MN 5)
Chisago County – Hwy 8 Reconstruction: $3,000,000 (If anyone knows more chime in)
Dayton – Brockton Interchange: $13,500,000 (New interchange north of 610 and south of 101, potential to go forward with MnDOT's unbonded concrete overlay.  Dayton is growing so fast it's going to double it's population between the 2010 and 2020 census)
Foley – Hwy 23 Safety Improvements ($300,000 cash): $500,000 (The improvements are scheduled for the year 2022 and include a roundabout at Highway 23 and 8th Avenue, added lighting, turn lanes and improved pedestrian pathways and crossings)
Goodview – Railroad Crossing Quiet Zone: $330,000 (If anyone knows which specific crossings chime in)
Hennepin County – CSAH 9–494: $4,860,000 + (THB) $4,860,000 (Adds dual left turn lanes at Rockford Road and 494 interchange in Plymouth)
Inver Grove Heights – Argenta Trail 70th Street: $6,100,000 (Continuing to extend County Road 63 [Argenta] towards 494 and reconstructing County Road 26 [Lone Oak/70th] to Trunk Highway 3)
La Crescent – Wagon Wheel Trail: $2,500,000 (Funding for a trail bridge over Highway 14 which will ultimately create a trail connection between La Crescent and La Crosse)
Loretto/Medina/Wayzata – Rail Crossing Safety: $1,200,000 (To go towards creating quiet zones at Townline Road and County Road 19 in Loretto, Arrowhead Drive in Medina, and Lake Street/Barry Ave in Wayzata)
Mankato – Hwy 169 Levee Reconstruction (THB): $830,000 (City of Mankato/North Mankato looking for funding to fill in a leeve gap at 169 to avoid FEMA from designating new areas as floodplain requiring the purchase of flood insurance)
Minneapolis –  Upper Harbor Terminal: $15,000,000 (Not all of it will go toward transportation but a portion of it has already been identified for improvements at the Doweling/94 interchange and surrounding local streets)
Minnesota Commercial Railway – Rice Creek Bridge: $1,550,000 (Design funding for a replacement rail bridge over Rice Creek in New Brighton)
Moorhead – 21st Street Grade Separation: $6,000,000 (At 21st Street and Main Street grade separating the rail crossings and creating a Wye to eliminate railroad back ups)
Pope County – Glenwood Railroad Separation (THB): $10,500,000 (Grade separation for MN 55 at MN 29 and the CP rail crossing)
Wadena – Hwy 10 Enviro Cleanup (THB): $5,000,000 (Highway 10 is being rebuilt in 2019, an extensive amount of contamination was found that will require all of the water pumped from pits created to place water, sewer, and drainage pipes to be filtered before releasing it)
Wakefield – 200th Street: $600,000 (Reconstruction of an approximately 2.7 mile portion of 200th Street)

Feel free to chime in if you have corrections or added information
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 06, 2018, 02:49:01 AM
That US 8 bill is a big mystery. I can find no projects on MnDOT's site and the actual bill is literally nothing more than one sentence with no references to what part of US 8 is involved. Given the relatively small amount of money involved, it's certainly not going to be a broad-scale project.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Henry on June 06, 2018, 09:20:29 AM
That US 8 bill is a big mystery. I can find no projects on MnDOT's site and the actual bill is literally nothing more than one sentence with no references to what part of US 8 is involved. Given the relatively small amount of money involved, it's certainly not going to be a broad-scale project.
FWIW, the mileage in MN is a lot shorter compared to its immediate eastern neighbor, so I wouldn't be surprised if WI were also involved in converting US 8 into some sort of freeway/expressway combo.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on June 06, 2018, 09:28:19 AM
That US 8 bill is a big mystery. I can find no projects on MnDOT's site and the actual bill is literally nothing more than one sentence with no references to what part of US 8 is involved. Given the relatively small amount of money involved, it's certainly not going to be a broad-scale project.
FWIW, the mileage in MN is a lot shorter compared to its immediate eastern neighbor, so I wouldn't be surprised if WI were also involved in converting US 8 into some sort of freeway/expressway combo.

But the money needed to truly fix US-8 in Minnesota (i.e. four-lanes and bypasses) is going to cost a hell of a lot more than $3 million, and I really can't envision cash-strapped WisDOT pitching in to help.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 06, 2018, 03:03:59 PM
The US 8 money relates to studies MnDOT did about a decade ago.  The $3M is specifically for ROW acquisition and preliminary (possibly final) design for 4-laning US 8 from the end of the existing 4-lane near US 61 to Karmel Ave in Chisago City.

Some comments on other projects:

- The Thurston Ave project (https://clients.bolton-menk.com/hwy10/) will effectively extend the US 10/169 freeway section to just west of Anoka Technical College.  The project has 4 main parts:  a southern frontage road between Thurston Ave and Main St, an underpass at Fairoak Ave, an odd interchange at Thurston Ave (essentially a SPUI with a roundabout instead of a signal), and adding roundabouts at the Main St interchange ramp terminals.  Tentative go-ahead for construction is 2021-22...articles on the project suggest that MnDOT will do as much as it can with the funding that is acquired by then.  This bonding bill addition reduces the funding gap to about $24M.

- The $13.5M in Dayton isn't specifically for the Brockton interchange on I-94 per se but instead is for local roads related to the interchange.

- The I-94/CSAH 9 project will replace the CSAH 9 bridge over 494.  It's the only way they'll be able to add the left turn lanes.

- The Glenwood rail separation (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/projects/glenwoodoverpass/) will bridge MN 29 over MN 55 and the adjacent Canadian Pacific tracks.  Access between MN 29 and MN 55 will be via an upgraded 160th St.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on June 07, 2018, 07:00:27 AM
Minor detail I noticed a while ago, and one I just thought of again: anyone have any idea why US-61 (North) is not mentioned on the Mounds Blvd exit (Exit 243) (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9539631,-93.0793793,3a,75y,63.6h,91.09t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKbjMtNc9WTW5MxAl0v2_6w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) on I-94? Seems like an omission in error to me, even if MnDOT wants to rid themselves of maintaining US-61 on surface roads in St. Paul.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 07, 2018, 03:57:28 PM
Minor detail I noticed a while ago, and one I just thought of again: anyone have any idea why US-61 (North) is not mentioned on the Mounds Blvd exit (Exit 243) (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9539631,-93.0793793,3a,75y,63.6h,91.09t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKbjMtNc9WTW5MxAl0v2_6w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) on I-94? Seems like an omission in error to me, even if MnDOT wants to rid themselves of maintaining US-61 on surface roads in St. Paul.

I assumed it was because it was redundant to I-35E and they wanted to discourage people from using the surface street. I can't ever remember there being a mention of US 61 at the eastbound exit to Mounds. Until the recent I-94 rebuild project there were no US 61 reassurance markers on the I-94 duplex either, but those have been added now.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 16, 2018, 07:55:44 AM
The area around the I-35W projectisn't very saf so I don't know how much wandering around with a large camera I'm going to be doing, and I'm not too excited about it since it does virtually nothing too fix the congestion problem in the area, but here's one of the former downtown exits.
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1810/42832614291_eef4a2a81c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/28fYkXR)IMG_1491[1] (https://flic.kr/p/28fYkXR) by North Star Highways (https://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 16, 2018, 08:00:29 AM
Quote
and I'm not too excited about it since it does virtually nothing too fix the congestion problem in the area

I'd disagree with this.  The end project will have some significant operational improvements, including additional lanes in a few spots and a permanent 8+2HO/T from the Crosstown to the downtown split (instead of just to 42nd St).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 17, 2018, 01:29:33 PM
Almost six years to the day after the flood that closed MN 210 in Jay Cooke for five years, MN 23 in the same area was washed out last night by significant flooding in NE Minnesota/NW Wisconsin.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on June 17, 2018, 02:12:58 PM
News article with some pictures and more information.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/06/17/flash-flooding-northeastern-minnesota-northwestern-wisconsin-carlton-county-superior
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 20, 2018, 05:04:45 PM
It looks like MN 23 will be out of commission for some time. Weeks or more. It’s not that heavily travelled compared to I-35 of course, so it’s not the worst thing to ever happen.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 04, 2018, 03:13:21 AM
In the latest round of GPS dumbassery...

MNDot's official Facebook page shared that a motorist drove around barriers and damaged a freshly-laid concrete part of a US 63 rebuild north of Rochester.

Yay.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on July 04, 2018, 03:32:22 PM
Damn. I'd love to see photos of that.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on July 04, 2018, 05:12:09 PM
The area around the I-35W projectisn't very saf so I don't know how much wandering around with a large camera I'm going to be doing, and I'm not too excited about it since it does virtually nothing too fix the congestion problem in the area, but here's one of the former downtown exits.
(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1810/42832614291_eef4a2a81c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/28fYkXR)IMG_1491[1] (https://flic.kr/p/28fYkXR) by North Star Highways (https://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/), on Flickr

what is this a picture of?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 05, 2018, 03:30:29 PM
Quote from: Bickendan
Damn. I'd love to see photos of that.

KARE11 did a story (https://www.kare11.com/article/news/driver-goes-through-wet-concrete-causing-100k-damage/89-570418379) on it.  It appears to be more a case of old age driver confusion than "GPS dumbassery".

Quote from: texaskdog
what is this a picture of?

Here. (https://goo.gl/maps/vfJiGgeNbUT2)  As part of the I-35W reconstruction between 42nd St and downtown Minneapolis, they're completely ripping up the connector to 4th/5th Avenues and adding bus-only ramps between the future HO/T lanes and 12th St.  The photo is taken from the 15th St overpass.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: n0ax on July 05, 2018, 10:51:28 PM
I was browsing online in relation to the announced corridors for commerce funding which would widen 494 by adding a MnPass lanes and rebuild the 35W/494 interchange in a turbine configuration. Looking back there appears to be a visualization of 494 posted online circa 2007, which included widening 494 to ten lanes each direction and going forward with the 2001 494/35W interchange study recommendation of using full flyovers. Does anyone know if the former visualization was apart of a broader study or plan to rebuild 494?

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on July 06, 2018, 01:28:22 AM
Quote from: Bickendan
Damn. I'd love to see photos of that.

KARE11 did a story (https://www.kare11.com/article/news/driver-goes-through-wet-concrete-causing-100k-damage/89-570418379) on it.  It appears to be more a case of old age driver confusion than "GPS dumbassery".

Quote from: texaskdog
what is this a picture of?

Here. (https://goo.gl/maps/vfJiGgeNbUT2)  As part of the I-35W reconstruction between 42nd St and downtown Minneapolis, they're completely ripping up the connector to 4th/5th Avenues and adding bus-only ramps between the future HO/T lanes and 12th St.  The photo is taken from the 15th St overpass.
Is the old MN 65 mainline into downtown getting rebuilt then?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 06, 2018, 10:56:14 PM
Quote from: n0ax
I was browsing online in relation to the announced corridors for commerce funding which would widen 494 by adding a MnPass lanes and rebuild the 35W/494 interchange in a turbine configuration. Looking back there appears to be a visualization of 494 posted online circa 2007, which included widening 494 to ten lanes each direction and going forward with the 2001 494/35W interchange study recommendation of using full flyovers. Does anyone know if the former visualization was apart of a broader study or plan to rebuild 494?

Not quite 10 lanes in each direction...I believe that 2001 plan was for 6 each way between 100 and 35W.  And yes, it was part of a broader study to rebuild 494 between 394 and the Minnesota River.  Of course, MnDOT didn't have the ~$1B it would have taken to implement even the revised 2001 study (revised from what was proposed in the early '90s), so they've been chopping away piecemeal at it.  The widenings between 394 and 100 and the later interchange revisions at 169 were the result of this "chopping away piecemeal".

Quote from: Bickendan
Is the old MN 65 mainline into downtown getting rebuilt then?

Yes...that's what you see in the photo that texaskdog referenced....that's the rebuilding.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: paulthemapguy on July 07, 2018, 01:44:11 PM
Damn. I'd love to see photos of that.

Image of the ruined concrete on US63 in Rochester.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dg3NOkcWsAAJysg.jpg)

Courtesy of
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on July 15, 2018, 02:43:02 PM
I noticed today that MnDOT is installing new alternate I-35 route designations.

(https://i.imgur.com/RQSxYO1.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/crJrK24.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/YGIQcZi.jpg)

They were posted on almost every exit from the Iowa border to the Elko/New Market exit. I don't think either I-90 exit or the US-14 exits had them. There are probably others.

Some of them were missing the yellow tab on top, such as this one from the NB offramp to MN-251. Note that they have the wrong direction installed on this one.

(https://i.imgur.com/lZxzthK.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: SSOWorld on July 15, 2018, 03:34:34 PM
Catching up with Iowa's "Emergency Detour" and Wisconsin's "Alternate" escape routes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 15, 2018, 03:43:48 PM
I-94 has a few in Douglas County, but I think those may have been county installs.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on July 15, 2018, 03:50:41 PM
Seems MNDOT's variation is rather wordy. Wouldn't the placards normally say "ALTERNATE" or "ALT"?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 15, 2018, 03:53:26 PM
^ Appears to stem from a research and pilot project (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/research/TS/2015/201543.pdf) MnDOT conducted with a consultant in 2014-15.  The study included I-94 through District 3 which, depending on where THM394 saw the Douglas County signs, might explain those signs.

[EDIT] Here's a MnDOT press release (https://www.dot.state.mn.us/d4/newsrels/17/06/7i94.html) about the ALT I-94 signs.  Looks like MnDOT extended the I-94 alternate route signage into District 4, which definitely would explain those Douglas County signs.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on July 15, 2018, 07:55:16 PM
On my way up north, I also found this sign on NB MN-101:

(http://i.imgur.com/3j9Na1U.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Revive 755 on July 15, 2018, 08:23:36 PM
Seems MNDOT's variation is rather wordy. Wouldn't the placards normally say "ALTERNATE" or "ALT"?

They appear to be basing them on a recent FHWA interpretation on alternate route/incident bypass signing. (https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/pdf/6_09_42.pdf)

Iowa has at least one assembly on mainline westbound I-80 that follows the interpretation - IIRC it is before the exit for US 71.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on July 22, 2018, 08:14:19 PM
The four routes around Mille Lacs Lake (plus a county road) have now been designated as a scenic byway:

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/18/07/18-new-scenic-byway.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: SSOWorld on July 22, 2018, 10:20:29 PM
Well the rest of Iowa, WI, IL and IN seem to be in violation of that now... (Given for IL and WI since they use ALT and Alternate banners respectively)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 23, 2018, 09:38:36 PM
The four routes around Mille Lacs Lake (plus a county road) have now been designated as a scenic byway:

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/18/07/18-new-scenic-byway.html

I’m interested to see its special scenic route shield. If they’ve made a design and released it it wasn’t in that article.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: ET21 on July 24, 2018, 08:46:35 AM
Catching up with Iowa's "Emergency Detour" and Wisconsin's "Alternate" escape routes.

And Illinois to a lesser extent, mainly for I-39
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 01, 2018, 09:42:04 AM
I was going through my pictures from a couple weeks ago, and I got to thinking when I came to this one. Is this the only example of a distance sign with a city more than 100+ miles away on a state-numbered highway? This is on MN-89 at its southern terminus west of Bemidji.

(https://i.imgur.com/j8b7Rjo.jpg)

If this isn't the only example, which other ones are there? (Besides the reverse in Roseau (https://www.google.com/maps/@48.8470079,-95.7684655,3a,75y,181.09h,78.5t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s3wdpj91CieWoaefXv5NikQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656), which lists Bemidji at 131 miles.)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 01, 2018, 09:52:07 AM
There are a couple 100+ distance signs on MN 23 for Duluth. That’s the only specific one I can think of, though I want to say I saw this on MN 7 and MN 65 as well.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 01, 2018, 10:03:41 AM
When you mentioned MN-23 and Duluth I remembered that I even have a picture of one of them, too (this is right after the MN-95 junction):

(https://i.imgur.com/T4pdEuV.jpg)

Also, I realized that MN-61 almost certainly has one each direction for Duluth/Grand Marais. I haven't checked but that has to be at least 100 miles.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 01, 2018, 10:44:40 AM
Ah, how the F did I forget MN 61? That one has a 151 for Duluth at its north beginning.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 01, 2018, 01:06:00 PM
^ By "state numbered highway", I'm presuming you're excluding the Interstates.  What about U.S. routes?  They'd be signed in the same fashion as the state routes.  And on that note, there's a "St Paul 127" coming off I-90 on US 14/61.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 01, 2018, 05:49:34 PM
I did mean "excluding Interstate and US Routes" because I figured those are generally longer and more likely to use longer-distance destinations due to their nature.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 01, 2018, 09:43:13 PM
Correct in the case of the Interstates.  But at a fundamental level, the only difference between US and MN routes aside from the shield is that US routes were part of a coordinated system of uniform route numbers that cross state lines.  It's true that the US routes were generally laid upon the more important routes of the time, but that wasn't always the case even then and certainly isn't today.

For example, even if it hadn't been dropped to a state route, nobody in their right mind would take 16 between Austin and La Crosse unless they had a stop along one of the towns enroute or they really weren't worried about time.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on August 02, 2018, 04:20:14 AM
^Having driven most of southeast Minnesota's highways, I agree. 16 is more of a Sunday drive route than a backbone corridor.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 03, 2018, 05:34:37 PM
Was tipped off to this on TravelMapping, but MnDOT has both turned back MN 275 and extended MN 119 south to US 212 in Dawson.  Here is the press release (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/newsrels/18/05/2-lac-qui-parle.html).

Both changes were recommended in the recent statewide Jurisdictional Transfer study.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 04, 2018, 02:10:18 AM
The MN 110 changeover has begun, with all the MN 62 reassurance markers now installed but the overhead signs are almost entirely untouched except for the ones along the new 62/55 duplex.

Also of note, a new auxiliary lane was built on WB MN 62 between Valley View Road and northbound MN 100 in Edina. Hope that will help some of the awful weekday afternoon crunch on that stretch.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 04, 2018, 04:18:40 AM
Was tipped off to this on TravelMapping, but MnDOT has both turned back MN 275 and extended MN 119 south to US 212 in Dawson.  Here is the press release (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/newsrels/18/05/2-lac-qui-parle.html).

Both changes were recommended in the recent statewide Jurisdictional Transfer study.

Additions (by means of transfer) to the system are so uncommon nowadays. Very interesting. I wonder if it's going to end up like MN-42 and not have mile markers on the new southern section.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 04, 2018, 08:26:10 AM
^ This sort of thing, while uncommon in general, is certainly not unheard of.  MnDOT will try to do such swaps whenever possible where they're taking over a new roadway.  Part of it has to do with their state highway mileage cap in the state Constitution.  But it's also fiscal in nature.

Another notable example from the Metro is when they took over MN 62 and what is now US 169 between 494 and 94/694 in the late 1980s.  These had been Hennepin County freeways.  In return, MnDOT gave several smaller state highways in the county to Hennepin County, including the former MN 81, 121, and 152.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: JREwing78 on August 04, 2018, 09:13:56 AM
M-28 in Michigan has these 100+ signposts. 

This one is just west of the I-75 junction in Dafter (just south of Sault Ste. Marie):

(https://i.imgur.com/8ZDbShg.png)


At the junction with M-123 east of Newberry:

(https://i.imgur.com/vTGP1VR.png)


Westbound in Champion, MI (on a multiplex with US-41, but US-41 doesn't go to Wakefield).

(https://imgur.com/1VZ0v7O.png)

In Wakefield eastbound:

(https://imgur.com/GWPSdzQ.png)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 04, 2018, 09:56:07 AM
Another notable example from the Metro is when they took over MN 62 and what is now US 169 between 494 and 94/694 in the late 1980s.  These had been Hennepin County freeways.  In return, MnDOT gave several smaller state highways in the county to Hennepin County, including the former MN 81, 121, and 152.

MN-121 still exists, although shortened to go north only to W 58th St (this is at W 58th, taken May of last year.) The only evidence it still exists are the one reassurance shield at each end, though, since I-35W/MN-62 omit it from their signs.

(https://i.imgur.com/Dj7bbuU.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: J N Winkler on August 04, 2018, 02:49:07 PM
M-28 in Michigan has these 100+ signposts.

They also exist in the lower peninsula, commonly thought of as less remote.  Three examples culled from about 3000 pages of pattern-accurate sign panel detail sheets for non-freeway signing jobs:

M-65 14, West Branch 35, Cadillac 102
White Cloud 10, Baldwin 37, Traverse City 102
Owosso 21, St Johns 41, Grand Rapids 102
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 04, 2018, 03:51:44 PM
M-28 in Michigan has these 100+ signposts.
They also exist in the lower peninsula, commonly thought of as less remote.  Three examples culled from about 3000 pages of pattern-accurate sign panel detail sheets for non-freeway signing jobs:

M-65 14, West Branch 35, Cadillac 102
White Cloud 10, Baldwin 37, Traverse City 102
Owosso 21, St Johns 41, Grand Rapids 102

Yes, well, I just need to stop you both here, because I was specifically asking about it as it happens in Minnesota only. Otherwise, I would've asked the question in a new thread in the general board. ;-)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 05, 2018, 01:24:13 PM
Quote from: MNHighwayMan
MN-121 still exists, although shortened to go north only to W 58th St (this is at W 58th, taken May of last year.)

My point is that the vast bulk of MN 121 was decommissioned as part of the swap.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: invincor on August 06, 2018, 11:03:14 AM
I took a road trip up to Duluth yesterday and did some roadgeeking on the way.  This included going over that old iron bridge connecting WIS 105 to MN 39 where the car lane that looks like it was originally built for horses-and-buggies is on the lower level and the railroad uses the upper level.  I also drove back and forth on MN 23 a few times over that bit where it crosses into and out of Wisconsin briefly, just to see if there was any visible sign of the state line apart from my Google Maps alert.  (Only a fire number on a residence gave the game away.) 

On the way home using I-35, traffic backed up badly twice, once for an accident and the other time for the construction around Pine City.  At the second one, on Google Map traffic advice, I detoured into Pine City and used County 61 to miss several miles of back-up, and along the way, I found it's still got a cut-out US 61 shield at one point.  It's exactly opposite the Pine City high school building.  (This is southbound.)

Oh, and on the 100-mile plus topic on the guide signs... I went up there on WI-35, and found it started giving distances to Superior while still over 100 miles away. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 06, 2018, 01:11:25 PM
I detoured into Pine City and used County 61 to miss several miles of back-up, and along the way, I found it's still got a cut-out US 61 shield at one point.  It's exactly opposite the Pine City high school building.  (This is southbound.)

It's one of these. They've been put up by Pine, Carlton, and St. Louis counties to mark the old US-61. They're from 2012 (https://i.imgur.com/6mMVBVo.jpg).

(https://i.imgur.com/EcooXGW.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: invincor on August 07, 2018, 09:15:26 AM
Yes, that's the type, except this one was just the 61 shield by itself.  It didn't have the county highway marker or the "OLD" sign on it. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on August 07, 2018, 05:14:11 PM
I took a road trip up to Duluth yesterday and did some roadgeeking on the way.  This included going over that old iron bridge connecting WIS 105 to MN 39 where the car lane that looks like it was originally built for horses-and-buggies is on the lower level and the railroad uses the upper level.  I also drove back and forth on MN 23 a few times over that bit where it crosses into and out of Wisconsin briefly, just to see if there was any visible sign of the state line apart from my Google Maps alert.  (Only a fire number on a residence gave the game away.) 

On the way home using I-35, traffic backed up badly twice, once for an accident and the other time for the construction around Pine City.  At the second one, on Google Map traffic advice, I detoured into Pine City and used County 61 to miss several miles of back-up, and along the way, I found it's still got a cut-out US 61 shield at one point.  It's exactly opposite the Pine City high school building.  (This is southbound.)

Oh, and on the 100-mile plus topic on the guide signs... I went up there on WI-35, and found it started giving distances to Superior while still over 100 miles away. 


Several years ago that old bridge rumbled when you drove across it.  I believe it was boards before they paved it (drove on it once after that too)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: invincor on August 10, 2018, 01:12:44 PM
Come to think of it, why did Minnesota decommission US 61 once it hit I-35?   They could've just hidden it like they've done with US 52 when it meets I-94 or US 12 through the Twin Cities metro.  Then US 61 could've reemerged on the north side of Duluth and they wouldn't have had to replace all those signs with Minnesota 61 ones. 

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 10, 2018, 01:17:07 PM
Come to think of it, why did Minnesota decommission US 61 once it hit I-35?   They could've just hidden it like they've done with US 52 when it meets I-94 or US 12 through the Twin Cities metro.  Then US 61 could've reemerged on the north side of Duluth and they wouldn't have had to replace all those signs with Minnesota 61 ones. 

No one's really sure. My research seems to indicate that 61 was actually mostly ghosted from Wyoming to Duluth and they still decommissioned it anyway. It was like MN was on a mission to dismantle as many redundant US routes as possible, even going as far as pressuring Wisconsin to accept a US 16 downgrade.

MN had petitioned for 61's elimination in 1971, but was denied then likely because I-35 was incomplete at that time.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on August 10, 2018, 05:11:22 PM
So who decommed 16 first - SD or MN?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 10, 2018, 06:59:40 PM
According to RVDroz's old website, Minnesota finished theirs first.  But it was all submitted through and approved by AASHTO at the same time for all three states.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mgk920 on August 10, 2018, 10:14:51 PM
According to RVDroz's old website, Minnesota finished theirs first.  But it was all submitted through and approved by AASHTO at the same time for all three states.

IIRC, I-90 wasn't completed in Minnesota until late 1976 or sometime in 1977.  A section that runs for an interchange or two on either side of Blue Earth, MN was the last to open.  It was completed through South Dakota by then, except for possibly a tiny part by the Wyoming state line (this is west of Rapid City, SD, where US 16 diverges from it, anyways).

Mike
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 11, 2018, 06:58:16 AM
^ Mike, it was late 1978 when I-90 was completed near Blue Earth.  The SD/MN/WI submission and AASHTO's approval on US 16 actually predated the completion by a few months.  But MnDOT and WisDOT beat out SD on removing US 16 first.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on August 20, 2018, 01:13:56 PM
I was surprised MN 110 has not been changed to MN 62 yet
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 20, 2018, 01:28:09 PM
I was surprised MN 110 has not been changed to MN 62 yet

It has now.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on August 20, 2018, 02:35:41 PM
I was surprised MN 110 has not been changed to MN 62 yet

Yeah, signs have been up for a couple of weeks now. Haven't tried to get a good photo while driving on it #safety
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 21, 2018, 08:04:45 PM
High Mast LED streetlights are coming

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1845/29249676157_4f1701fc2c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/LyGeFk)IMG_0494 (https://flic.kr/p/LyGeFk) by North Star Highways (https://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 21, 2018, 08:12:27 PM
I was surprised MN 110 has not been changed to MN 62 yet
Yeah, signs have been up for a couple of weeks now. Haven't tried to get a good photo while driving on it #safety

I found this picture on reddit, which isn't specifically of the sign changes but does include one in the background. This is old MN-110 at Dodd Rd/MN-149, and you can see by the lack of fading around the 62 shield that MnDOT just removed the old 110 shield and put a new MN-62 one on the same green panel.

(https://i.redd.it/iz20d34viah11.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 21, 2018, 08:37:07 PM
The signs on old 110 itself are patch jobs, but all-new signage with exit numbers was added along the MN 55 duplex. The mileage for the exits is based on MN 62.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 21, 2018, 10:06:33 PM
Exit numbers...?

[citation needed]
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on August 22, 2018, 09:04:02 AM
The Vikings have a sponsorship deal with chewing tobacco?  Losers.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on August 22, 2018, 11:49:52 AM
The Vikings have a sponsorship deal with chewing tobacco?  Losers.

I hope you're just being sarcastic, because it's derived from the Scandinavian word skål (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/skål) meaning, roughly, "cheers!" Has nothing to do with the company by that name.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on August 23, 2018, 11:04:35 AM
I should've used an emoji.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: n0ax on September 06, 2018, 01:08:24 AM
Looks like Scott County has selected a contractor and produced visualizations of the US-169 freeway conversion from TH-41 to CSAH-14 https://www.scottcountymn.gov/1778/US-169-TH-41CH-78-Interchange-Design-Pro (https://www.scottcountymn.gov/1778/US-169-TH-41CH-78-Interchange-Design-Pro). According to their website, stage one construction should begin sometime this September...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on September 06, 2018, 03:42:08 AM
Exit numbers...?

[citation needed]

I can concur.  MN-55 West (Hiawatha) is Exit 115 (though the exit number is only posted on westbound 62), Bloomington Rd. is 116A, 5 West is 116B, 5 East is 116C, and 55 East/13 South is 117.  Also, the gore signs on Crosstown Commons for the left exits off 62 West to 35W South and 62 East to 35W North got the exit numbers 111A and 111B respectively.  And so far that's all for exit numbers on 62.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 06, 2018, 08:46:04 AM
Saw the exit numbers for myself this past week while I was back on vacation.  And it wasn't just 62 I saw exit numbers for....need to start a log to keep track of what does and what doesn't on the non-Interstates now...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: discochris on September 09, 2018, 07:12:29 PM
I was in Brainerd this weekend, and I noticed a green Minnesota Business 371 sign. I'd never seen a sign like that before. Is this new, or are there others?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 09, 2018, 07:16:05 PM
I was in Brainerd this weekend, and I noticed a green Minnesota Business 371 sign. I'd never seen a sign like that before. Is this new, or are there others?

Those were installed when that section of 371 was relocated onto the bypass around 2000. There's also signed BUS MN 23 in Willmar, but those are white signs with green numbers for some reason.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 09, 2018, 09:05:38 PM
^ Because the business route in Willmar is not a state highway and was signed locally before MnDOT created design specs for a business shield.  Business 371 in Brainerd is still a state highway, though that may change once the current reconstruction plan is finished.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on September 11, 2018, 05:51:11 AM
Saw the exit numbers for myself this past week while I was back on vacation.  And it wasn't just 62 I saw exit numbers for....need to start a log to keep track of what does and what doesn't on the non-Interstates now...

The ones I know of are:
US-52 through Rochester (the first non-interstate to get numbers)
US-169 Shakopee to Hennepin CSAH-1
MN-62 Fort Snelling to Mendota Heights, the left exits at Crosstown Commons

What others did you see?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 11, 2018, 10:27:00 AM
52 at 55 also had an exit number.  As do the first few exits on 610 coming off 94, but I believe that was intended as part of constructing that last segment west of County 81.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 11, 2018, 02:48:44 PM
Others with exit numbers:
US 10/61 along the duplex
10 at 35W (north junction)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 11, 2018, 02:51:12 PM
^ Not every interchange (CR 19 for example), but yes I recall a few of the 10/61 interchanges too.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on September 12, 2018, 01:33:04 AM
Others with exit numbers:
US 10/61 along the duplex
10 at 35W (north junction)

Cool... and the 10 at 35W one is understandable, since they're making sure left exits are properly signed.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 12, 2018, 04:14:46 AM
A thing I have yet to see are any expressway exits or "standalone" exits numbered.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on September 12, 2018, 04:43:12 AM
A thing I have yet to see are any expressway exits or "standalone" exits numbered.

MNDoT told me on Facebook that they would eventually number most of those, too.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 18, 2018, 03:39:44 PM
The latest batch of 2-lanes being increased to 60 is going into effect. MN 4 and MN 48 are two of those being upgraded this week.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on September 20, 2018, 10:49:46 PM
I was surprised MN 110 has not been changed to MN 62 yet

Yeah, signs have been up for a couple of weeks now. Haven't tried to get a good photo while driving on it #safety

We were on it on 8/12 NB 35E crossing MN 110 and it still said 110, no sign of 62.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: invincor on September 21, 2018, 09:15:16 AM
I drove through that area a few times on Labor Day weekend, and by then it was all "62" as far as I could see.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: WhitePoleRD on September 29, 2018, 06:29:55 PM
I have a question about US 69 (and to a lesser extent US 65)-

I know that 35 is only a few miles away but I wonder why 69 was never extended along MN 13. To me it only makes sense. The end of 69 kinda just hangs in Albert Lea.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 29, 2018, 08:47:50 PM
The end of 69 is at what was formerly US 16.  MnDOT, whatever the case was, had no interest and saw no reason in (re)extending* 69 when 16 was decommissioned.


* - prefaced with a (re) because US 69 originally ended at US 65 in/near downtown Albert Lea.  Not sure exactly when it was changed to its current terminus, but evidence suggests ca. 1939.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on September 30, 2018, 02:50:55 AM
The Met Council and MnDOT are studying freeway to freeway interchanges to determine where investments will be targeted in the next 20 years: https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/Planning-2/Transit-Plans,-Studies-Reports/Highways-Roads/Freeway-System-Interchange-Study.aspx (https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/Planning-2/Transit-Plans,-Studies-Reports/Highways-Roads/Freeway-System-Interchange-Study.aspx)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on September 30, 2018, 04:17:15 AM
I have a question about US 69 (and to a lesser extent US 65)-

I know that 35 is only a few miles away but I wonder why 69 was never extended along MN 13. To me it only makes sense. The end of 69 kinda just hangs in Albert Lea.

My personal speculation is that Albert Lea wanted one highway number from I-90 to downtown and since MN 13 goes north of I-90 (all the way to St. Paul), MN 13 won out. You could extend US 69 to I-90, but then you would have to waste a number on the short connector between 69 and 65. If 69 goes downtown, you make people take 2 highways to get to downtown Albert Lea from I-90. One other thing to keep in mind is that you can't go straight north from downtown Albert Lea to I-90 because there is a lake there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 30, 2018, 06:58:30 AM
^ You sort-of can do it directly via Bridge Ave.  Plus, most of Albert Lea's commercialization over the past 30 years as been at the 90/Bridge Ave interchange.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: WhitePoleRD on October 01, 2018, 11:53:10 AM
I have a question about US 69 (and to a lesser extent US 65)-

I know that 35 is only a few miles away but I wonder why 69 was never extended along MN 13. To me it only makes sense. The end of 69 kinda just hangs in Albert Lea.

My personal speculation is that Albert Lea wanted one highway number from I-90 to downtown and since MN 13 goes north of I-90 (all the way to St. Paul), MN 13 won out. You could extend US 69 to I-90, but then you would have to waste a number on the short connector between 69 and 65. If 69 goes downtown, you make people take 2 highways to get to downtown Albert Lea from I-90. One other thing to keep in mind is that you can't go straight north from downtown Albert Lea to I-90 because there is a lake there.

Sorry I should have been much more specific. I'm talking about taking out MN 13 altogether and replacing it with US 69 to West St. Paul.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on October 01, 2018, 04:30:24 PM
^ You sort-of can do it directly via Bridge Ave.  Plus, most of Albert Lea's commercialization over the past 30 years as been at the 90/Bridge Ave interchange.
And all that was well after they removed US 16 from Minnesota. I suspect at the point in time when they eliminated US 16, much less usage of the Bridge Ave. exit occurred than today.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: discochris on October 10, 2018, 10:44:16 PM
I noticed coming from Duluth this weekend that Thomson has been removed from the Thomson - Esko exit sign.
I had to look up why. Apparently, Thomson merged with Carlton back in 2013. Why did it take so long to remove it from the sign?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on October 13, 2018, 11:50:03 PM
Of particular interest maybe to High Plains Traveler (who has an entire page on his website devoted to a rant about this), one of the gantries on eastbound I-94 at the 494/694 Fish Lake Interchange is down for replacement. We shall wait with bated breath to find out if they actually put control cities on the new sign.

Yep. For those keeping score, one of the most important decision points for traffic coming into MSP has no control cities whatsoever.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on October 14, 2018, 04:13:24 PM
Yep. For those keeping score, one of the most important decision points for traffic coming into MSP has no control cities whatsoever.

Yeah, the twin cities suck at putting destinations on freeway signage.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 29, 2018, 10:53:01 PM
A bit out of the blue, but I discovered this evening that MnDOT has an upcoming project to reconstruct and widen I-94 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/i94/montitoclearwater/index.html) between Clearwater and Monticello.  The driving need (pun intended) is pavement reconstruction...but the segment has a high enough traffic volume that it will require 2 lanes in each direction during construction...traffic simulations suggest that going with a single lane would result in peak period backups of up to 5 miles, and summer weekend backups approaching 20 miles.  For this reason, they plan on permanent widening in order to provide space to maintain 2 lanes each way during construction.  The permanent widening does not have a large cost differential over temporary widening, and MnDOT has long-range plans for a 6-lane cross-section on this segment of I-94 anyway.

The environmental documentation covers this reconstruction/widening all the way to Albertville (where widening from there to MN 241 will begin next year), but it appears they didn't have funding to do it all.  As it is, the Clearwater-Monticello project will be design-build.

I know the project manager personally and have sent her an email asking for a few clarifications.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on October 30, 2018, 03:12:00 AM
A bit out of the blue, but I discovered this evening that MnDOT has an upcoming project to reconstruct and widen I-94 (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/i94/montitoclearwater/index.html) between Clearwater and Monticello.  The driving need (pun intended) is pavement reconstruction...but the segment has a high enough traffic volume that it will require 2 lanes in each direction during construction...traffic simulations suggest that going with a single lane would result in peak period backups of up to 5 miles, and summer weekend backups approaching 20 miles.  For this reason, they plan on permanent widening in order to provide space to maintain 2 lanes each way during construction.  The permanent widening does not have a large cost differential over temporary widening, and MnDOT has long-range plans for a 6-lane cross-section on this segment of I-94 anyway.

The environmental documentation covers this reconstruction/widening all the way to Albertville (where widening from there to MN 241 will begin next year), but it appears they didn't have funding to do it all.  As it is, the Clearwater-Monticello project will be design-build.

I know the project manager personally and have sent her an email asking for a few clarifications.

Glad I do not drive this corridor often with almost 40 miles of construction planned.  But when it's finished 94 will be three lanes in each direction up through Clearwater.  Wouldn't be surprising to see a Corridors of Commerce project in the future complete the last few miles of three lanes in each direction up to Saint Cloud.

Heard recently that the "Brockton interchange" will be a diverging diamond interchange as well (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94rogers/ (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i94rogers/))
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 30, 2018, 08:07:58 AM
Not continuous.  There will be a gap between Albertville and Monticello.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on October 30, 2018, 08:14:41 AM
Not continuous.  There will be a gap between Albertville and Monticello.

When you email the project manager, ask her about the plan to fill in this gap between Albertville and Monticello as well.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 30, 2018, 01:54:06 PM
Got a response.  The most relevant section is posted below, with my clarification notes in bold and parenthesis:


The project was originally programmed as an unbonded concrete overlay (i.e. standard pavement reconstruction). We had been looking at MOT (Maintenance of Traffic) for some time and needed to keep two lanes open during construction. There really isn’t a capacity need west of Monticello. There was a bill in the legislature last year requiring any temporary widening on freeways to be made permanent. The bill didn’t pass but politics played into top management’s decision for the third lane.  The pavement west of Monticello is in terrible shape and we needed to address it now.  The segment from Albertville to Monticello isn’t in the program til 2025 +/- .



Further on in the email, it was noted that there is no funding identified yet for the Monticello-Albertville segment so that "2025" is just a placeholder.  She seems confident that politics will force/demand some sort of funding be made available to address the gap.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on November 02, 2018, 12:14:52 AM
So this is yet another unbonded concrete overlay rather than an actual reconstruction down to the earth.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 02, 2018, 08:45:14 AM
Hard to say what it is now.  But a full reconstruction would probably be more than their budget covers.

I also don't think what MnDOT terms as an "unbonded concrete overlay" is as bad as you're making it sound.  They usually strip down at least to the base for such projects, from what I've seen.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: n0ax on November 02, 2018, 11:53:20 PM
Does anyone know why most of the ILCS (intelligent lane warning signs) on i-35W have gone down. I remember reading some time ago that the sign manufacturer went bankrupt and MnDOT was looking for another supplier, but I can't seem to remember the exact document...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 03, 2018, 07:01:32 AM
First I've heard of that.  The obvious ones are down due to the reconstruction project, but I recall the others still working when I was in town over Labor Day.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: n0ax on November 04, 2018, 09:37:39 PM
Ok, I found the document, so apparently MnDOT is attempting to get rid of them in most places and cannibalize the signs for absolutely necessary areas, replacing the rest with more frequent DMS. I don't know the exact reasoning regarding why MnDOT thinks more frequent DMS is a substitute for ILCS deployment, considering several of their own studies years ago indicated that DMS was not a suitable replacement for ILCS signs.
https://www.pcb.its.dot.gov/t3/s170404/s170404_Variable_Speed_Limits_Systems_presentation_mcclellan.ppt
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on November 07, 2018, 10:00:40 AM
The 2019-2028 Capital Highway Investment Plan (CHIP) was released this morning.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/10yearplan/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on November 14, 2018, 09:58:05 PM
https://streets.mn/2018/11/14/along-old-highway-61-to-duluth-a-phototour-part-one/
Part 1 of 3 of a phototour of Old Highway 61
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on November 19, 2018, 02:32:06 PM
I have a question about US 69 (and to a lesser extent US 65)-

I know that 35 is only a few miles away but I wonder why 69 was never extended along MN 13. To me it only makes sense. The end of 69 kinda just hangs in Albert Lea.

My personal speculation is that Albert Lea wanted one highway number from I-90 to downtown and since MN 13 goes north of I-90 (all the way to St. Paul), MN 13 won out. You could extend US 69 to I-90, but then you would have to waste a number on the short connector between 69 and 65. If 69 goes downtown, you make people take 2 highways to get to downtown Albert Lea from I-90. One other thing to keep in mind is that you can't go straight north from downtown Albert Lea to I-90 because there is a lake there.

Or 65 could end at South Albert Lea and 13 could be extended to that point, with 69 coming out at North Albert Lea.  A BL35 would take care of any confusion.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 19, 2018, 03:10:17 PM
There already is a BL35. It follows US 65 between the two 35 junctions.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on November 19, 2018, 03:34:17 PM
that Albert Lea wanted one highway number from I-90 to downtown

If I have my history right, I-90 in Minnesota was completed in the same year that US-16 was truncated.  This means that, when US-16 in Albert Lea became MN-13, I-90 was still pretty much a brand-new highway.  In that case, I'd say your speculation makes a lot of sense.


65 could end at South Albert Lea and 13 could be extended to that point, with 69 coming out at North Albert Lea.  A BL35 would take care of any confusion.

There already is a BL35. It follows US 65 between the two 35 junctions.

Not to mention that—if I'm understanding things correctly—US-69 would no longer reach Albert Lea, and traffic heading there would have to switch route numbers at I-35 for seemingly no reason.  US-69
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 06, 2018, 05:17:34 PM
$20 million federal grant for the Can of Worms project in Duluth awarded today. Good deal.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 06, 2018, 07:46:28 PM
Still a lot to go to fully fund it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on January 05, 2019, 11:51:16 AM
Within the next week or two I'm going to begin deleting photos from my Flickr account in order to get under the new 1000 photo limit in an organized fashion (I need to delete about half of them, I'll probably start with the older stuff). At this time I have no intent of adding significant new content, I'm not sure if I'll eventually just shut down the entire thing and use some other platform for hosting random content. I still don't have access to Wordpress for that purpose as I'd have to sign up for an Earthlink email account to recreate the address I had when I created my account there, (or else I could leave it abandoned and actually figure out how to register a top level domain for a new account). It's been a year now and I haven't bothered as I've directed my energy towards writing articles, many of them roadgeek related, for the streets.mn blog where I get more exposure than a personal Wordpress site. 

All my road related photos are on a flash drive I have at home so nothing is going to be gone irrecoverably.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/26956281@N02/albums
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on January 06, 2019, 04:41:59 AM
I noticed today that MnDOT is installing new alternate I-35 route designations.

(https://i.imgur.com/RQSxYO1.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/crJrK24.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/YGIQcZi.jpg)

They were posted on almost every exit from the Iowa border to the Elko/New Market exit. I don't think either I-90 exit or the US-14 exits had them. There are probably others.

Some of them were missing the yellow tab on top, such as this one from the NB offramp to MN-251. Note that they have the wrong direction installed on this one.

(https://i.imgur.com/lZxzthK.jpg)
I apologize for the belated response to this, but I was doing some semi-aimless driving in Southern Minnesota and it would be nice if there was one specific route one should follow. It appears if you exit I-35, you are just supposed to make a right, unless you are to go southbound onto US 65, which is the only place I remember where you are to turn left. There's also no coordination with Iowa because US 65 is the alternate route, but then you get to Iowa and there is no alternate route, or emergency detour route, for I-35 there. I also find it weird the county road east out of Glenville has the alternate route making a random left turn on it. I find the way they did things rather random and haphazard.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on January 06, 2019, 04:44:40 AM
I apologize for the belated response to this, but I was doing some semi-aimless driving in Southern Minnesota and it would be nice if there was one specific route one should follow. It appears if you exit I-35, you are just supposed to make a right, unless you are to go southbound onto US 65, which is the only place I remember where you are to turn left. There's also no coordination with Iowa because US 65 is the alternate route, but then you get to Iowa and there is no alternate route, or emergency detour route, for I-35 there. I also find it weird the county road east out of Glenville has the alternate route making a random left turn on it. I find the way they did things rather random and haphazard.

It seems that the alternate route is specifically tailored for each exit from I-35, so I'm not sure that what you're suggesting is the intended function (as MnDOT envisions it). I didn't follow any of them very far beyond the interchange, so I can't say this for certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if the alternate routes were only signed as the alternative from one interchange to the next.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 06, 2019, 09:05:19 AM
I believe MnDOT is making it flexible to adjust to different situations or different segments that may need closing.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Great Lakes Roads on January 24, 2019, 04:05:52 AM
Around 5300 miles of two-lane roads in Minnesota will get an increase to 60mph from 55mph!!  :clap: :clap: :clap:

Article:
https://kstp.com/news/mndot-minnesota-highway-speed-limit-increase/5220316/?cat=13154
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 24, 2019, 08:38:09 AM
Most of that mileage has already gone to 60.  The 5,300 figure is the total from the 5 years of study.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 24, 2019, 09:18:53 AM
Someone on Facebook speculated some months ago about any parts of MN 61 going to 60, which it appears the route was exempted from the study entirely. That doesn’t surprise me, although I think the majority of the route in Cook County (roughly from Taconite Harbor to the border) could handle 60. The Lake County portion, probably not suitable.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on January 24, 2019, 01:02:55 PM
My hunch is safety problems with deer and moose would preclude it even in Cook County.  I recall from my high school days a couple of high-profile moose-car crashes between Grand Marais and the border where the driver was killed on scene.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 24, 2019, 05:18:59 PM
I think the only portion of MN-61 that should be 60 (or 65) should be the expressway portion between Duluth and Two Harbors. Any other portion should have a maximum speed limit of 55.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The High Plains Traveler on February 18, 2019, 12:34:26 AM
MN-61 wasn't exempted from the study. It was a "discretionary" route that exists in only MnDOT District 1, and wasn't put on the schedule of studies. Rather, like other single district routes, the District was to do it sometime during the five years study.

That said, I was surprised that almost all but the lower 23 miles or so east of Two Harbors was designated to go to 60. I wasn't surprised that the part east of Grand Marais did, but there is a lot of side road traffic west of there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 15, 2019, 03:19:02 PM
Minnesota and Wisconsin are targeting 2028 to replace the I-535 bridge between Duluth and Superior.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/traffic-and-construction/4585132-blatnik-replacement-officially-scheduled-2028
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Rothman on March 15, 2019, 03:21:02 PM
Minnesota and Wisconsin are targeting 2028 to replace the I-535 bridge between Duluth and Superior.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/traffic-and-construction/4585132-blatnik-replacement-officially-scheduled-2028
I will miss the truss.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on March 15, 2019, 03:37:40 PM
The truss was nice, but I have no problem with replacing a fracture-critical span.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mgk920 on March 17, 2019, 12:32:05 PM
Agreed, although very picturesque, trusses are 'too efficient' for most of the uses that they had been put to in the past.

A friend once told me a common 'internal' adage within the field while he was doing a stint as a volunteer firefighter - "Never trust a truss".

Mike
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on April 04, 2019, 02:04:16 PM
MnDOT announced 2019 projects this morning: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/19/04/04-construction-kickoff.html (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/19/04/04-construction-kickoff.html)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 04, 2019, 09:24:19 PM
MnDOT announced 2019 projects this morning: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/19/04/04-construction-kickoff.html (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/19/04/04-construction-kickoff.html)

Your cliff notes summary: avoid I-35W. All of it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2019, 06:32:27 AM
^ May want to add I-94 up to St. Cloud to that list.  Especially on weekends.

On vacation so haven't done my usual major project breakdown.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on April 15, 2019, 07:58:20 PM
Minnesota and Wisconsin are targeting 2028 to replace the I-535 bridge between Duluth and Superior.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/traffic-and-construction/4585132-blatnik-replacement-officially-scheduled-2028

They're waiting on Wisconsin?  Eh, better grab a chair, MnDOT.
This is going to be one of those projects where someone is gonna have to score a big wad of federal money in order for it to happen on schedule.

It will be interesting to see what type of design ends up getting used.  Be nice if we ended up with a better interchange situation on the WI end of the new bridge, too.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: SSOWorld on April 15, 2019, 09:50:58 PM
Minnesota and Wisconsin are targeting 2028 to replace the I-535 bridge between Duluth and Superior.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/traffic-and-construction/4585132-blatnik-replacement-officially-scheduled-2028

They're waiting on Wisconsin?  Eh, better grab a chair, MnDOT.
This is going to be one of those projects where someone is gonna have to score a big wad of federal money in order for it to happen on schedule.

It will be interesting to see what type of design ends up getting used.  Be nice if we ended up with a better interchange situation on the WI end of the new bridge, too.
At the rate they're going, WisDOT is going to become IDiOT north well before then :popcorn:
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 06, 2019, 09:50:31 PM
For the Can of Worms project, part of Lower Michigan St. will be repurposed to become southbound I-35 with the northbound lanes shifted to the current southbound carriageway. Work is also expected to take place year-round, which is rare for a non-emergency project.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/4609091-can-worms-work-will-go-year-round
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on May 07, 2019, 07:45:02 AM
Minnesota and Wisconsin are targeting 2028 to replace the I-535 bridge between Duluth and Superior.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/traffic-and-construction/4585132-blatnik-replacement-officially-scheduled-2028

They're waiting on Wisconsin?  Eh, better grab a chair, MnDOT.
This is going to be one of those projects where someone is gonna have to score a big wad of federal money in order for it to happen on schedule.

It will be interesting to see what type of design ends up getting used.  Be nice if we ended up with a better interchange situation on the WI end of the new bridge, too.
At the rate they're going, WisDOT is going to become IDiOT north well before then :popcorn:

WisDOT has a large (high cost) bridge program that has always been supported and funded by politicians on both sides of the aisle: https://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/projects/6yr-hwy-impr/state-hwy/largebridge.pdf (https://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/projects/6yr-hwy-impr/state-hwy/largebridge.pdf).  This program funded Wisconsin's share of the Red Wing and St. Croix crossing.  I doubt it will be an issue obtaining funding for this project from WisDOT.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 07, 2019, 10:10:08 AM
For the Can of Worms project, part of Lower Michigan St. will be repurposed to become southbound I-35 with the northbound lanes shifted to the current southbound carriageway. Work is also expected to take place year-round, which is rare for a non-emergency project.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/4609091-can-worms-work-will-go-year-round

Temporary measure during construction so they can maintain 2 lanes in each direction.  Lower Michigan will go back to being a local street at the end of the project.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 04, 2019, 11:32:11 PM
Part of MN 67 shut down in Yellow Medicine County due to a fault line rupture splitting the road in two. The May picture is pretty dramatic compared to the “before” in April.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/minnesota.cbslocal.com/2019/06/04/mndot-expanding-fault-line-forces-parts-of-highway-67-to-close-near-granite-falls/amp/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on June 05, 2019, 12:36:42 AM
I don't think that's being caused by an actual fault line (in the geologic sense of the word). What a horribly written article.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Bickendan on June 07, 2019, 06:26:17 AM
I don't think that's being caused by an actual fault line (in the geologic sense of the word). What a horribly written article.
I was going to say... earthquakes up in Minnesota seems rather unlikely.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 07, 2019, 07:23:03 AM
Very unlikely, but not unheard of (https://www.minnpost.com/environment/2018/12/yes-there-are-earthquakes-in-the-land-of-10000-lakes/).

That said, whatever caused the road buckling on Hwy 67 does not appear to have registered on the USGS...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on June 11, 2019, 07:55:30 PM
Given the location, I can safely assume the roadbed is merely slumping down a very steep slope above a bend in the Yellow Medicine River.
MNDOT's 511 places the problem right here:
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=44.73254,-95.45300&z=15&t=U (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=44.73254,-95.45300&z=15&t=U)

One look at the topo and there can be little doubt.  Lay-people using jargon inappropriately, I bet they only said "fault" because the road happen to fail in a uniform line along the road centerline.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 30, 2019, 08:31:13 PM
Both MN 43 spans over the Mississippi at Winona will be open as of 7/1 as the long rehabilitation project on the original bridge finally ends with a ribbon cutting.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/06/30/winona-celebrate-completion-bridge-project?fbclid=IwAR0nK-XIdAuRHvwYrwTvOzgSItYY04DbG5LhTsxuCnr9PsWDWlb972g26ZM
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: discochris on July 29, 2019, 04:29:28 PM
Driving through North St. Paul yesterday I was wondering why MN-120 hasn't been turned back. It's mostly just city streets. Is it because neither Ramsey or Washington county would agree on who would take it?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 29, 2019, 08:11:43 PM
Probably moreso they want MnDOT to rebuild the road before they'll take it over.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 30, 2019, 02:35:22 PM
MN’s new slowpoke law goes into effect Thursday, although I don’t see how it’s different than the previous law that existed (and it already seems clear it won’t be heavily enforced). It’s not a keep right except to pass law, which Minnesota does not have.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on August 07, 2019, 04:44:34 AM
Driving through North St. Paul yesterday I was wondering why MN-120 hasn't been turned back. It's mostly just city streets. Is it because neither Ramsey or Washington county would agree on who would take it?
Well, the section of former MN-120 just south of I-94 was turned back about 10 years ago.  It's officially two county highways...Washington has the northbound lane, and Ramsey has the southbound lane.  Originally after being turned back, each direction was only signed as its county's number.  Later on, new signage signed both directions with both highway numbers.

In a similar vein, I always thought that Portland and Park Avenues in Minneapolis from E 46th St northward should be signed with both 33 and 35, given that they're one-way streets.  *heh*
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 15, 2019, 04:13:47 PM
An interesting "outsider" look at road turnback, focusing on MN 277 which will he officially handed over to Chippewa County tomorrow.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/09/14/highway-277-minnesota-cease-exist?fbclid=IwAR03zZnrHVH_FS_qZRXUYBCscRR44L0hLx4ivJ1r844AsF1uj1JcUbEoj5A
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on September 15, 2019, 07:50:33 PM
An interesting "outsider" look at road turnback, focusing on MN 277 which will he officially handed over to Chippewa County tomorrow.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/09/14/highway-277-minnesota-cease-exist?fbclid=IwAR03zZnrHVH_FS_qZRXUYBCscRR44L0hLx4ivJ1r844AsF1uj1JcUbEoj5A

Well shit. There goes another one I didn't get (my own) pictures of. :-( The picture in the article is nice, though.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 16, 2019, 08:43:00 AM
An interesting aside...last time I was in Chippewa County, I noticed that MN 277 was on the half of the county that used all square county route shields, while the western half used all pentagon shields.  1st Ave (CSAH 6, and also MN 29 north of MN 40) was the dividing line.  I do not know if this is still the case.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on October 03, 2019, 08:27:54 AM
Heard yesterday that a number of Corridors of Commerce projects awarded last year (https://www.dot.state.mn.us/corridorsofcommerce/2018projects.html (https://www.dot.state.mn.us/corridorsofcommerce/2018projects.html)) received no where near enough funding to actually build them... Yikes!   :-|

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on October 03, 2019, 07:21:37 PM
Where did you hear that?

Not that I'm entirely surprised.  But it would be nice to look up sources & details.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 17, 2019, 10:11:59 PM
Apparently, there's a new half-interchange (https://www.hwy212interchange.com/) on 212 in Chaska, at a newly-designated CSAH 44.  Word is the interchange opened this weekend.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 17, 2019, 10:45:16 PM
Apparently, there's a new half-interchange (https://www.hwy212interchange.com/) on 212 in Chaska, at a newly-designated CSAH 44.  Word is the interchange opened this weekend.

That must have popped up really late in the construction schedule.

(Obligatory mention of MN 41 getting a nice promotion on the map :D )
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Roadguy on November 18, 2019, 09:00:29 AM
Heard through conversation that FHWA is pushing MnDOT to upgrade their steel traffic signal poles and mast arms to meet updated wind loading standards. The last update was made in 1993 and since then the only significant change has been in 2009 to go with a galvanized (silver) finish instead of a painted finish.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on November 18, 2019, 09:38:59 AM
Apparently, there's a new half-interchange (https://www.hwy212interchange.com/) on 212 in Chaska, at a newly-designated CSAH 44.  Word is the interchange opened this weekend.

That must have popped up really late in the construction schedule.

It's what Monte would call a "pop-up project".  The project was initiated by Carver County but led by Chaska.  MnDOT mainly provided some financial and technical support.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 04, 2019, 01:23:30 PM
Speaking of "pop-up projects", Washington County is pursuing a new interchange at MN 36 and CSAH 15/Manning Ave (https://www.co.washington.mn.us/2662/TH-36-and-Manning-Avenue-Interchange).  Construction on a 5-ramp par-clo (the current interchange concept) is proposed for 2021.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on December 04, 2019, 02:05:33 PM
Speaking of "pop-up projects", Washington County is pursuing a new interchange at MN 36 and CSAH 15/Manning Ave (https://www.co.washington.mn.us/2662/TH-36-and-Manning-Avenue-Interchange).  Construction on a 5-ramp par-clo (the current interchange concept) is proposed for 2021.

Good.
That whole MN 36 corridor should be a freeway out to the river, despite what those whiners in Oak Park Heights think.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 04, 2019, 10:46:37 PM
Speaking of "pop-up projects", Washington County is pursuing a new interchange at MN 36 and CSAH 15/Manning Ave (https://www.co.washington.mn.us/2662/TH-36-and-Manning-Avenue-Interchange).  Construction on a 5-ramp par-clo (the current interchange concept) is proposed for 2021.

Good.
That whole MN 36 corridor should be a freeway out to the river, despite what those whiners in Oak Park Heights think.

Agreed, but I'll also settle for everything inside 694 being one before they finish the OPH mess.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on December 05, 2019, 01:30:35 AM
That whole MN 36 corridor should be a freeway out to the river, despite what those whiners in Oak Park Heights think.

Supposedly, due to the traffic increase from the new bridge causing jams at the lights, they want the freeway now.  But I haven't heard anything official to that effect.

Too little too late, NIMBYs
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on December 05, 2019, 09:14:40 AM
That whole MN 36 corridor should be a freeway out to the river, despite what those whiners in Oak Park Heights think.
Agreed, but I'll also settle for everything inside 694 being one before they finish the OPH mess.

I think I'd literally be shocked to death if such a project breaks ground in the next fifteen years.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on December 05, 2019, 09:20:34 AM
That whole MN 36 corridor should be a freeway out to the river, despite what those whiners in Oak Park Heights think.
Agreed, but I'll also settle for everything inside 694 being one before they finish the OPH mess.

I think I'll literally be shocked to death if such a project breaks ground in the next fifteen years.

I think there's only 2 intersections left to convert within the beltway...and one can simply be de-accessed.  The intersection near the Fleet Farm just got interchanged this past summer.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on December 05, 2019, 09:26:08 AM
I think there's only 2 intersections left to convert within the beltway...and one can simply be de-accessed.  The intersection near the Fleet Farm just got interchanged this past summer.

I didn't know that about the Hadley Ave intersection! Good to know.

But the MN-120/Century Ave intersection is not going anywhere for a while, most likely. I wouldn't be surprised if construction of an interchange was holding up any final MN-120 turnback agreement.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: mgk920 on December 05, 2019, 10:45:17 AM
I think there's only 2 intersections left to convert within the beltway...and one can simply be de-accessed.  The intersection near the Fleet Farm just got interchanged this past summer.

I didn't know that about the Hadley Ave intersection! Good to know.

But the MN-120/Century Ave intersection is not going anywhere for a while, most likely. I wouldn't be surprised if construction of an interchange was holding up any final MN-120 turnback agreement.

The latest Streetview images there (2019-June) show the bridge under construction.  Also, the street layout is shown as the 'labels' overlay to the Google aerial image.

Mike
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on December 06, 2019, 02:23:56 AM
The latest Streetview images there (2019-June) show the bridge under construction.  Also, the street layout is shown as the 'labels' overlay to the Google aerial image.

Mike

From what I could see from a vantage point at I-694, it looked like the bridge was finished and open, though there's still some construction going on.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: n0ax on December 10, 2019, 01:41:49 AM
Was driving home on EB 494 today, and it looks like MnDOT has put up temporary concrete jersey barriers in the center median between 169 and E Bush Lake Rd. I'm guessing MnDOT put them up due to the sorry state of the high tension cable barrier after some icy days?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: EpicRoadways on December 10, 2019, 08:44:09 PM
The dreaded TH-23/US-10 cloverleaf "interchange" (if you even want to call it that) reconstruction seems to have been pushed back to 2023, but with more substantial improvements than originally anticipated.

https://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/stc/index.html

Very interesting that the proposal calls for a folded-diamond interchange as opposed to a DDI, six-ramp, or SPUI; I'm a little skeptical that the proposed interchange can even handle that much traffic. Also interesting is the plan to construct an overpass at 4th Avenue SE just to the south of the interchange, which I hadn't even realized was proposed. Disappointingly, the horrendous signal at Saint Germain Street remains just north of the interchange, which is arguably more dangerous than the interchange itself. At least the folded diamond design provides more space to decelerate before the intersection. Still hopeful that maybe MNDOT will figure something out to eliminate that signal before construction actually starts.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on December 10, 2019, 08:53:26 PM
TH-23/US-10 cloverleaf "interchange" (if you even want to call it that)

Why shouldn't I?  It is an interchange.

Disappointingly, the horrendous signal at Saint Germain Street remains just north of the interchange, which is arguably more dangerous than the interchange itself.

…which is apparently part of "Inset B".  Do you have a link to a detailed map of that, or are we left to our imagination?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: EpicRoadways on December 10, 2019, 09:21:54 PM
…which is apparently part of "Inset B".  Do you have a link to a detailed map of that, or are we left to our imagination?
https://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/stc/pdf/prelayout.pdf
-The intersection remains as-is with the exception of new pavement and a new signal system.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 10, 2019, 10:17:58 PM
A few notes on that US 10/MN 23 interchange:

- What's planned is not all that different than what was conceptualized 15 years ago.
- The reason for a folded-diamond is two-fold.  First, traffic volumes have been fairly stagnant over the past 15 years (despite growth in the St. Cloud region as a whole) and MnDOT feels a folded-diamond will adequately serve traffic.  Second, and more importantly, a folded-diamond won't get in the way of any potential improvements that may happen at St. Germain in the future.
- Addressing the signal at St. Germain is not part of this project due to funding limitations and right-of-way & frontage road constraints.
- The reason for doing the MN 23 interchange and not doing something at St. Germain instead is because the MN 23 bridges over US 10 need replacement.
- Full disclosure:  I know the project manager and have traded correspondence with her on this project.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on December 11, 2019, 10:57:53 AM
The reason for a folded-diamond is two-fold.

I see what you did there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 11, 2019, 11:52:21 AM
Unintentional, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 12, 2019, 02:35:28 PM
A project to convert US 8's western terminus into a loop rather than a flyover just wrapped. I've been trying to find out why they did that since the flyover seemed to work fine. It does give a little more space on I-35 between the US 8 and the Broadway interchanges, I guess.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Rothman on December 12, 2019, 02:57:07 PM
Huh.  That is bizarre.  I'd have the same question.

Did someone really want to pay the property owner on 235th St some ROW money?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on December 12, 2019, 07:17:19 PM
A project to convert US 8's western terminus into a loop rather than a flyover just wrapped. I've been trying to find out why they did that since the flyover seemed to work fine. It does give a little more space on I-35 between the US 8 and the Broadway interchanges, I guess.

I thought it was in preparation of making it a full interchange (i.e. with access to US-8 from I-35 SB)?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Rothman on December 12, 2019, 08:01:18 PM
A project to convert US 8's western terminus into a loop rather than a flyover just wrapped. I've been trying to find out why they did that since the flyover seemed to work fine. It does give a little more space on I-35 between the US 8 and the Broadway interchanges, I guess.

I thought it was in preparation of making it a full interchange (i.e. with access to US-8 from I-35 SB)?
Wow.  Finally.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 14, 2019, 09:10:14 AM
Even without the desire for a full interchange at US 8, the former flyover created a very serious weaving issue to the Broadway off-ramp, especially during morning rush.

And since the bridge needed replacement anyway, they figured a realignment to improve ramp spacing was in order.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on December 18, 2019, 06:26:12 PM
The state's second set of APL signs are going up at the 35E/W Forest Lake split. I got a pic of the one they had installed when I went through yesterday. What I find curious is there are two other similar junctions where they just replaced signs at US 52/MN 55 in Inver Grove as well as the Burnsville split, but used styles similar to the ones MnDOT has used for years (just with more emphasis on the EXIT ONLY parts) rather than APLs.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on December 30, 2019, 08:43:10 PM
The Star Tribune has an article about several projects in the Twin Cities that have been funded by MNDoT. Here's a link:

http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-department-of-transportation-awards-18-million-in-grants-for-highway-projects/566572072/

Among the projects that will be built are:

An interchange on MN-36 at Manning Avenue

Grade Separation on MN-13 in Savage

An interchange on I-94 at Dayton Parkway in the northwest metro
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on December 31, 2019, 02:48:23 AM
The Star Tribune has an article about several projects in the Twin Cities that have been funded by MNDoT. Here's a link:

http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-department-of-transportation-awards-18-million-in-grants-for-highway-projects/566572072/

Among the projects that will be built are:

An interchange on MN-36 at Manning Avenue

Grade Separation on MN-13 in Savage

An interchange on I-94 at Dayton Parkway in the northwest metro

I like the Savage one...the freewaying of MN-13 continues apace...  😄
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on December 31, 2019, 04:50:24 PM
I did a deeper dive into that Savage one.  While a grade separation, I'd stop short of calling it a freeway-grade interchange.  The proposed north/eastbound off-ramp is basically a right turn lane into a buttonhook.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on December 31, 2019, 08:10:11 PM
Nothing really shocking here. All projects that we knew about slowly lurching along.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 04, 2020, 01:19:15 AM
A fun light historical read about I-90 in southwest Minnesota (ignore the inaccurate points about the national route at the end of the article)

https://www.dglobe.com/community/history/4845063-Column-Life-is-a-highway-%E2%80%94-all-3020-miles-of-it
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 10, 2020, 12:38:05 AM
A couple weeks ago I saw the new 60 MPH zone on MN 61, which starts at the Lafayette Tunnel (second tunnel) northbound rather than after Silver Bay. Despite saying the limit was likely going into effect last spring they didn't get to changing the signs until around Thanksgiving, which left me wondering if maybe they decided not to increase the limit after all.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on January 20, 2020, 03:49:22 AM
Today's Star Tribune has an article about the deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats over transportation funding.

http://www.startribune.com/how-to-pay-for-roads-and-bridges-funding-battle-to-continue-at-state-capitol/567127032/

Both the Republicans and Democrats have some good ideas, but the two parties are so polarized that I don't see any legislation passing this year.

One thing which SHOULD be a no brainer would be to take the sales tax revenue from auto parts and car rentals out of the general fund, and dedicate it 100% to road and transit improvements, but doing so would require Democrats to raise taxes elsewhere or cut spending, so that idea is a non-starter.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on January 21, 2020, 01:44:07 AM
I noticed that the new interchange they built on MN-36 at Hadley Avenue didn't get its exit number (11A).

So much for "all new exit sign projects will have exit numbers"...  🤦🏻‍♀️
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 21, 2020, 06:11:11 PM
Is Minnesota going to number all of their freeway and expressway exits like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa have?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on January 21, 2020, 06:17:28 PM
Is Minnesota going to number all of their freeway and expressway exits like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa have?

Given major inconsistency in doing so, my guess is it will be several decades if ever.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on January 22, 2020, 02:01:43 AM
Is Minnesota going to number all of their freeway and expressway exits like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa have?

Given major inconsistency in doing so, my guess is it will be several decades if ever.

I was told by them (via their Facebook) that they're doing it during sign replacement projects or new construction.  That's why Exits 1 & 2 on MN-610 have numbers but the rest of the stretch doesn't.  I guess interchange conversion doesn't count as "new construction".

US-52 is kinda spotty on numbers between Rochester and MN-55.  About 50/50  Though Rochester area itself has them. That Rochester stretch was the first non-Interstate in Minnesota to get exit numbers.

US-10/61 around I-494 has a 3-mile stretch with exit numbers (based on US-61's mileage).

US-12 west of I-494 just got numbers...but the exit to CSAH-6 (the western terminus of the freeway portion) still remains unnumbered.

US-169 has exit numbers in the Shakopee area.  I trust the new interchanges they are constructing to extend the freeway will have numbers too.\

MN-62 has exit numbers on its concurrency with MN-55.

Just about every left exit gained a number in the last few years as well.

So it's happening...it's just really inconsistent.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DandyDan on January 23, 2020, 04:17:33 AM
MN-62 has exit numbers on its concurrency with MN-55.
I was recently in the Twin Cities area and thought it was unusual that MN 62 has gone from not being east of the Mendota Bridge to having MN 55 exit from it in Mendota Heights.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on January 24, 2020, 01:11:16 AM
MN-62 has exit numbers on its concurrency with MN-55.
I was recently in the Twin Cities area and thought it was unusual that MN 62 has gone from not being east of the Mendota Bridge to having MN 55 exit from it in Mendota Heights.
Yeah, that's new as of August 2018.  MN-110 was renumbered to be an extension of MN-62.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on January 27, 2020, 01:14:36 PM
62 also has exit #s at the 35W interchange, but I don't believe anywhere west of there.

Is Minnesota going to number all of their freeway and expressway exits like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa have?

Given major inconsistency in doing so, my guess is it will be several decades if ever.

I was told by them (via their Facebook) that they're doing it during sign replacement projects or new construction.  That's why Exits 1 & 2 on MN-610 have numbers but the rest of the stretch doesn't.  I guess interchange conversion doesn't count as "new construction".

US-52 is kinda spotty on numbers between Rochester and MN-55.  About 50/50  Though Rochester area itself has them. That Rochester stretch was the first non-Interstate in Minnesota to get exit numbers.

US-10/61 around I-494 has a 3-mile stretch with exit numbers (based on US-61's mileage).

US-12 west of I-494 just got numbers...but the exit to CSAH-6 (the western terminus of the freeway portion) still remains unnumbered.

US-169 has exit numbers in the Shakopee area.  I trust the new interchanges they are constructing to extend the freeway will have numbers too.\

MN-62 has exit numbers on its concurrency with MN-55.

Just about every left exit gained a number in the last few years as well.

So it's happening...it's just really inconsistent.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on January 28, 2020, 01:23:05 AM
62 also has exit #s at the 35W interchange, but I don't believe anywhere west of there.
Only the left exits though.  Most of the left exits got numbers, including Exit 236 on US-10.

AFAIK, Exit 63 on MN-5 (MSP Airport) is the only left exit w/o an exit number tab at this time.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on February 13, 2020, 04:31:12 AM
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the cost of converting Ayd Mill Road in St Paul into a three lane road, with one lane for bikes and pedestrians, has increased to $7.5 Million. The article also says Ayd Mill Road burns up 1/3 of the city's pothole budget every year. Here's a link to the article:

http://www.startribune.com/cost-for-fixing-ayd-mill-road-in-st-paul-soars-to-7-5-million/567806142/

My favorite quote in the article is that one St Paul city council member questions the plan, and says “We’ve seen numerous times where, when we rush through a project, we tend to make a lot of mistakes,” he said. “This doesn’t give us a lot of confidence.”

Personally, I think St Paul should invest the money to keep it a 4 lane quasi-freeway, and invest the money to make sure the pavement is durable. I know that's too much to hope for.......

Here's a link to another article, from last summer, about Ayd Mill's problem plagued history. It really should have been a four lane freeway link between I-94 and I-35E, but politicians avoided making the tough decisions required to do so.

http://www.startribune.com/st-paul-mayor-pitches-green-option-for-crumbling-ayd-mill-road/558253492/?refresh=true
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on February 14, 2020, 10:10:38 AM
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the cost of converting Ayd Mill Road in St Paul into a three lane road, with one lane for bikes and pedestrians, has increased to $7.5 Million. The article also says Ayd Mill Road burns up 1/3 of the city's pothole budget every year. Here's a link to the article:

http://www.startribune.com/cost-for-fixing-ayd-mill-road-in-st-paul-soars-to-7-5-million/567806142/

My favorite quote in the article is that one St Paul city council member questions the plan, and says “We’ve seen numerous times where, when we rush through a project, we tend to make a lot of mistakes,” he said. “This doesn’t give us a lot of confidence.”

Personally, I think St Paul should invest the money to keep it a 4 lane quasi-freeway, and invest the money to make sure the pavement is durable. I know that's too much to hope for.......

Here's a link to another article, from last summer, about Ayd Mill's problem plagued history. It really should have been a four lane freeway link between I-94 and I-35E, but politicians avoided making the tough decisions required to do so.

http://www.startribune.com/st-paul-mayor-pitches-green-option-for-crumbling-ayd-mill-road/558253492/?refresh=true

Yeah, it's 2/14 and apparently people are going to ride bikes to work.  they should connect it to I-94 and remove all exit ramps (entrance ramps only).  Problem solved.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on February 17, 2020, 02:51:12 AM
Wasn't Ayd Mill Rd originally supposed to be a re-routed MN-51?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 17, 2020, 03:04:56 AM
Wasn't Ayd Mill Rd originally supposed to be a re-routed MN-51?

That wouldn't have been allowed because the legislative route definition of MN 51 requires it to be on Snelling south of 94, unless that clause was added for the purpose of keeping it off Ayd Mill.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: MNHighwayMan on February 17, 2020, 01:08:04 PM
Wasn't Ayd Mill Rd originally supposed to be a re-routed MN-51?
That wouldn't have been allowed because the legislative route definition of MN 51 requires it to be on Snelling south of 94, unless that clause was added for the purpose of keeping it off Ayd Mill.

My understanding is that that is exactly the reason it is worded that way.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on February 18, 2020, 07:28:05 AM
^ That is correct.

Early 1960's plans had a full freeway Ayd Mill from 35E and directly tying into Snelling just north of Marshall, then continuing north along Snelling.  It's reasonable to conclude that this was originally intended as a MN 51 freeway.

The legislation that specifically keeps 51 on Snelling south of 94 was enacted in the mid-70s and was championed by Ayd Mill freeway opponents.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on February 19, 2020, 11:52:31 AM
Why on earth you'd want all that traffic on Lexington instead of Ayd Mill is beyond me
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on February 20, 2020, 01:22:44 AM
I gather MN-51 was meant to be a freeway corridor at one point, simply due to the portions that *were* built (Ayd Mill Rd (proposed), Pierce Butler to Como, County B to County C, (mostly) Hamline to 694)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on February 21, 2020, 10:13:28 AM
MNDoT announced a major reconstruction of Highway 61. Two areas will be rebuilt: the stretch through Grand Marais, and another stretch further north, through the Grand Portage Indian Reservation.

Here's a link to an article about the project:

http://www.startribune.com/major-roadwork-is-coming-to-north-end-of-the-north-shore-this-summer/568064292/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on February 21, 2020, 11:07:43 AM
I had known about the planned Grand Marais rebuild for a couple years, but the Grand Portage part is news to me. The reconstruction through Grand Portage is much needed.

I was partially surprised the Grand Marais stoplight at 61 and Broadway wasn't planned to be replaced with a roundabout, but the hilly terrain of Broadway may have had something to do with keeping the stoplight. In any case, "the stoplight" is a key part of local directions and situational awareness. Probably ROW acquisition costs as well.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 02, 2020, 11:21:19 PM
I was thinking about that Grand Portage project over the last few days and how I had never heard of it until now, and I realized it was probably something that couldn't happen until Cook County finally put money into rebuilding decrepit County 17/old US 61 since it's the only viable detour route (the only possible detour route, period) for much of that stretch. That project wrapped up last fall.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on March 04, 2020, 06:12:22 AM
^ According to the project website, the work is being done while maintaining traffic on 61.  There are short bypasses at a few bridge/culvert work sites, but they are not using County 17 for a detour.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 05, 2020, 08:47:40 PM
Minneapolis and St. Paul will be collaborating to lower speed limits cities-wide next week.

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-st-paul-to-lower-speed-limits-together-this-spring/568524002/?fbclid=IwAR1VBwuuO0ECKoNnb_2xOOAyt93sSKli3s1DX6HWRHlMmXa5XJaK1bo4QUU
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on March 06, 2020, 03:36:48 AM
Minneapolis finally agreed to purchase the KMart on Lake Street yesterday. It will close on June 30, and be torn down soon afterward so Nicollet Avenue can be re opened north of Lake Street. Allowing the KMart to sever one of the main north / south streets in Minneapolis when it was built in the late 1970s is one of the worst mistakes Minneapolis has ever made.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on March 09, 2020, 03:13:44 AM
Minneapolis finally agreed to purchase the KMart on Lake Street yesterday. It will close on June 30, and be torn down soon afterward so Nicollet Avenue can be re opened north of Lake Street. Allowing the KMart to sever one of the main north / south streets in Minneapolis when it was built in the late 1970s is one of the worst mistakes Minneapolis has ever made.

I'd love to see "Eat Street" extended to 31st!  😊
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: texaskdog on March 09, 2020, 12:15:06 PM
Minneapolis and St. Paul will be collaborating to lower speed limits cities-wide next week.

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-st-paul-to-lower-speed-limits-together-this-spring/568524002/?fbclid=IwAR1VBwuuO0ECKoNnb_2xOOAyt93sSKli3s1DX6HWRHlMmXa5XJaK1bo4QUU

"progress"
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 12, 2020, 02:53:10 PM
Minneapolis and St. Paul will be collaborating to lower speed limits cities-wide next week.

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-st-paul-to-lower-speed-limits-together-this-spring/568524002/?fbclid=IwAR1VBwuuO0ECKoNnb_2xOOAyt93sSKli3s1DX6HWRHlMmXa5XJaK1bo4QUU

"progress"

And just in. 20 MPH on residential streets, 25 on city arterials, 30 elsewhere. The big problem I think is Minneapolis really wants to do something about Lyndale, but can't because that's CSAH.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: bschultzy on March 12, 2020, 09:09:26 PM
Minneapolis and St. Paul will be collaborating to lower speed limits cities-wide next week.

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-st-paul-to-lower-speed-limits-together-this-spring/568524002/?fbclid=IwAR1VBwuuO0ECKoNnb_2xOOAyt93sSKli3s1DX6HWRHlMmXa5XJaK1bo4QUU

"progress"

And just in. 20 MPH on residential streets, 25 on city arterials, 30 elsewhere. The big problem I think is Minneapolis really wants to do something about Lyndale, but can't because that's CSAH.

And Minneapolis puts basically zero resources into traffic enforcement. This is going to be an expensive re-signing and nothing else.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 15, 2020, 01:00:14 PM
Exit numbers added to most of US 212 between 62 and 494, and the infamous “END 212/BEGIN 62” has been replaced by a more appropriate “JCT EAST 62”.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 29, 2020, 01:39:43 AM
On my way back from Duluth and I must've briefly passed through a time warp back to 2007, because I saw this on SB I-35. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor:

[img width=800 height=455]http://i.imgur.com/3osWYLR.jpg[/img

Contractor error on a replacement sign?

Edit to replace hasty gas station upload with straightened and cropped version of picture.

The error MN 361 sign is now gone. Appears they are replacing that entire assembly yet again, as a result of I-35 road work in that area.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 02, 2020, 08:31:49 PM
The 2020 project list dropped today, including:
-rebuild/widens of I-94 from 494/694 to MN 101, and from MN 25 to MN 24
-three major projects continuing on I-35W, rebuilding the Minnesota River bridge, 46th St into downtown, and the MnPass lane from MN 36 to Lexington
-rebuild of the eastern 94/494/694 interchange, but only upgrades to the existing leaf with no flyovers being added
-US 14 from Owatonna to Dodge Center 4-laning filling in the expressway gap
-interchange on US 169 at 101sr Ave in Brooklyn Park, extending the freeway segment a little further north

The I-35 Duluth project has been postponed a year due to cost increases.

https://www.dot.state.mn.us/construction/index.html
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 03, 2020, 11:56:39 AM
Quote
-rebuild/widens of I-94 from 494/694 to MN 101

More specifically, while the project includes a full rebuild from 494/694 to 101, the lane addition is specifically between 610 and 101, partially in conjunction with the new Dayton interchange that is also being built.

One you didn't mention for 94:  rebuilding and widening in Wright County from 241 to the Albertville interchange complex (more specifically CSAH 37 westbound and from CSAH 19 eastbound).

(and yes, I realize I said "specifically" three times, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on April 03, 2020, 12:29:24 PM
-rebuild of the eastern 94/494/694 interchange, but only upgrades to the existing leaf with no flyovers being added

Booooo!
That junction should have higher speed ramps from SB -> EB and WB -> SB.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 03, 2020, 01:33:11 PM
Not in the budget.  The main driving force behind that project is the need to replace the 494/694 bridges over 94.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: midwesternroadguy on April 05, 2020, 07:19:52 AM
Other than funding concerns, why was the stretch of I-94 between CSAH 19 and TH 25 left out?  Challenges of expanding the road through MnRoad?  I have concerns about a new bottleneck at peak times. 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 05, 2020, 09:09:15 AM
^  I know the project manager and have talked to her about that.  It really is "funding concerns" why Monticello to Albertville is thus far left out.  She also said they're trying to locate funding to complete that gap sooner rather than later.

Clearwater to Monticello is happening primarily because of the need to replace the existing pavement.  But volumes are too high to run single-lane through that stretch, so the reconstruction will take out the median to add additional lanes in order to keep 2 lanes each way.  And will open to 3 lanes each way once construction is complete.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on April 23, 2020, 06:03:40 AM
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the cost of converting Ayd Mill Road in St Paul into a three lane road, with one lane for bikes and pedestrians, has increased to $7.5 Million. The article also says Ayd Mill Road burns up 1/3 of the city's pothole budget every year. Here's a link to the article:

http://www.startribune.com/cost-for-fixing-ayd-mill-road-in-st-paul-soars-to-7-5-million/567806142/

My favorite quote in the article is that one St Paul city council member questions the plan, and says “We’ve seen numerous times where, when we rush through a project, we tend to make a lot of mistakes,” he said. “This doesn’t give us a lot of confidence.”

Personally, I think St Paul should invest the money to keep it a 4 lane quasi-freeway, and invest the money to make sure the pavement is durable. I know that's too much to hope for.......

Here's a link to another article, from last summer, about Ayd Mill's problem plagued history. It really should have been a four lane freeway link between I-94 and I-35E, but politicians avoided making the tough decisions required to do so.

http://www.startribune.com/st-paul-mayor-pitches-green-option-for-crumbling-ayd-mill-road/558253492/?refresh=true

Yeah, it's 2/14 and apparently people are going to ride bikes to work.  they should connect it to I-94 and remove all exit ramps (entrance ramps only).  Problem solved.
b
Last night, St Paul voted to switch Ayd Mill Road to a three lane parkway, with one lane reserved for bicycles. The Star Tribune article (see the link below) says the city knows removing a lane will increase the number of people using city streets at peak hours, but they went ahead with the project anyway.

https://www.startribune.com/st-paul-s-ayd-mill-road-will-get-a-greenway-in-2020/569871822/
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on April 23, 2020, 02:22:03 PM
There's been a debate about just how much traffic diversion there would be.  And the diversion wouldn't be to residential side streets anyway....it'd be mainly to Lexington.

Also, volumes north of Grand Ave are within the 4-to-3 threshold range.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on May 06, 2020, 02:04:50 PM
Anoka County is looking for funding to remove the final two traffic signals on US 10 through Ramsey, at Ramsey Boulevard and Sunfish Lake Boulevard. Building interchanges at these two intersections would cost $138 Million, but it would eliminate a major bottleneck. Here's a link to a Star Tribune article:

https://www.startribune.com/ramsey-seeks-138m-to-remove-traffic-lights-bottlenecks-from-hwy-10/570238422/

According to the article, the last two traffic signals on US 10 in Anoka are already due to be replaced with interchanges, and upgrades are also planned for the US 169 / US 10 interchange in Elk River.

It sure would be nice to get the two interchanges in Ramsey built.....
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on May 06, 2020, 02:14:44 PM
Anoka County is looking for funding to remove the final two traffic signals on US 10 through Ramsey, at Ramsey Boulevard and Sunfish Lake Boulevard. Building interchanges at these two intersections would cost $138 Million, but it would eliminate a major bottleneck. Here's a link to a Star Tribune article:

https://www.startribune.com/ramsey-seeks-138m-to-remove-traffic-lights-bottlenecks-from-hwy-10/570238422/

According to the article, the last two traffic signals on US 10 in Anoka are already due to be replaced with interchanges, and upgrades are also planned for the US 169 / US 10 interchange in Elk River.

It sure would be nice to get the two interchanges in Ramsey built.....

It can't come soon enough, in my opinion.  I've always disliked that stretch through Anoka and Ramsey because of the stoplights.  It wasn't too terrible the last time I was there, but that might have had something to do with the fact that it was -19 degrees and Christmas break...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on May 07, 2020, 11:39:43 AM
Anoka County is looking for funding to remove the final two traffic signals on US 10 through Ramsey, at Ramsey Boulevard and Sunfish Lake Boulevard. Building interchanges at these two intersections would cost $138 Million, but it would eliminate a major bottleneck. Here's a link to a Star Tribune article:

https://www.startribune.com/ramsey-seeks-138m-to-remove-traffic-lights-bottlenecks-from-hwy-10/570238422/

According to the article, the last two traffic signals on US 10 in Anoka are already due to be replaced with interchanges, and upgrades are also planned for the US 169 / US 10 interchange in Elk River.

It sure would be nice to get the two interchanges in Ramsey built.....

I see there are still an appreciable number of driveways with direct connections. Are there plans to add frontage roads or otherwise address the driveways?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 07, 2020, 09:44:47 PM
A problem with that area is a lot of the businesses with those driveways are older and located right on top of the road where adding frontage roads won’t be feasible, unless they’re routed behind the businesses and new connections to them added on that side, or the businesses purchased and razed. Adding any frontage roads will be complicated further by the railroad line on the north side.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on May 08, 2020, 03:05:55 PM
Anoka County is looking for funding to remove the final two traffic signals on US 10 through Ramsey, at Ramsey Boulevard and Sunfish Lake Boulevard. Building interchanges at these two intersections would cost $138 Million, but it would eliminate a major bottleneck. Here's a link to a Star Tribune article:

https://www.startribune.com/ramsey-seeks-138m-to-remove-traffic-lights-bottlenecks-from-hwy-10/570238422/

According to the article, the last two traffic signals on US 10 in Anoka are already due to be replaced with interchanges, and upgrades are also planned for the US 169 / US 10 interchange in Elk River.

It sure would be nice to get the two interchanges in Ramsey built.....

I see there are still an appreciable number of driveways with direct connections. Are there plans to add frontage roads or otherwise address the driveways?

A problem with that area is a lot of the businesses with those driveways are older and located right on top of the road where adding frontage roads won’t be feasible, unless they’re routed behind the businesses and new connections to them added on that side, or the businesses purchased and razed. Adding any frontage roads will be complicated further by the railroad line on the north side.


The STrib article says some of the money is being sought to "re route adjacent roads". I hope this means they are planning to address the issue of all the driveways, because once US 10 becomes "free flowing", it would become even more dangerous for people to enter and exit the driveways.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on May 08, 2020, 03:15:28 PM


Anoka County is looking for funding to remove the final two traffic signals on US 10 through Ramsey, at Ramsey Boulevard and Sunfish Lake Boulevard. Building interchanges at these two intersections would cost $138 Million, but it would eliminate a major bottleneck. Here's a link to a Star Tribune article:

https://www.startribune.com/ramsey-seeks-138m-to-remove-traffic-lights-bottlenecks-from-hwy-10/570238422/

According to the article, the last two traffic signals on US 10 in Anoka are already due to be replaced with interchanges, and upgrades are also planned for the US 169 / US 10 interchange in Elk River.

It sure would be nice to get the two interchanges in Ramsey built.....

I see there are still an appreciable number of driveways with direct connections. Are there plans to add frontage roads or otherwise address the driveways?

A problem with that area is a lot of the businesses with those driveways are older and located right on top of the road where adding frontage roads won’t be feasible, unless they’re routed behind the businesses and new connections to them added on that side, or the businesses purchased and razed. Adding any frontage roads will be complicated further by the railroad line on the north side.

The STrib article says some of the money is being sought to "re route adjacent roads". I hope this means they are planning to address the issue of all the driveways, because once US 10 becomes "free flowing", it would become even more dangerous for people to enter and exit the driveways.

Fixed your formatting.

Gotta be meticulous with those nested quotes.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on May 09, 2020, 04:43:23 PM
Some notes:

- A number of the properties on the north side of 10 between Armstrong and the Anoka line have already been purchased by the city, including 9 of the properties between Ramsey Blvd and Sunfish Lake.

- The current plan for a frontage road on the north side of 10 between Ramsey Blvd and Sunfish Lake calls for moving the westbound 10 lanes more into the median and using part of the existing westbound lanes footprint for the frontage road.  This would minimize some of the property impacts that TheHighwayMan394 mentioned.

- The current plan, with preliminary approval last fall from both the Ramsey City Council and Anoka County Transportation Committee, is for a tight diamond interchange at Ramsey Blvd with Ramsey bridged over both 10 and the railroad.  Ramsey would also be realigned west of its existing alignment to meet 10 more perpendicularly (not unlike what was done at Armstrong).  The westbound ramps would be folded to the west.

- The preliminary plan at Sunfish Lake Blvd is for Sunfish Lake to be bridged over both 10 and the railroad with a pair of buttonhook ramps on each side.  The eastbound ramps would intersect with Riverdale Dr just west of the Comfort Suites, while the westbound ramps would intersect with the frontage road which would become a backage road behind Plants and Things.  This backage road would then curve to become a frontage road going east and tie into the upcoming frontage road in front of the Anoka Technical College that is being built as part of the Thurston interchange project.

- One more frontage road is proposed, along the south side of 10 east of Tungsten St.

- The $138 million cost estimate mentioned in the Strib article is for all of the above, including the rail separation at Sunfish Lake.  However, the Anoka County Transportation Committee's support for a rail separation at Sunfish Lake is contingent on finding funding in the next couple years.  If that doesn't happen, they may rescind their support for the Sunfish Lake rail separation and instead support a lower-cost alternative that keeps the Sunfish Lake at-grade rail crossing and instead bridges 10 over Sunfish Lake.  As noted above, the city fully supports rail separation at Sunfish Lake, as does BNSF.

- I'm not sure if this is included in the $138 million figure, but the city supports connecting the separate segments of McKinley St together, including the Anoka segment and also tying it into Jaspar St to become a local street alternative on the north side of the railroad.

- Lastly, while researching the above, I found a county-led feasibility study for an "add-a-lane" project (https://www.anokacounty.us/DocumentCenter/View/22767/US-10-Add-a-Lane-Feasibility-Report) on US 10 between Round Lake Blvd and Hanson Blvd.  This project, currently unfunded, would add a 3rd lane in each direction on US 10.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on May 11, 2020, 02:05:23 PM
Thank you for all those details!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: EpicRoadways on May 14, 2020, 09:32:47 PM
I finally got bored enough in quarantine today to go check out progress on MNDOT's $350 million reconstruction and widening of I-94 from Clearwater to Maple Grove. The last time I drove this section was a couple of months ago, before any major work began. I figured I'd share some general observations about the project, considering it's both MNDOT's most expensive undertaking and longest work zone (even though it's technically three different work zones, they all pretty much function as one). For reference, I drove both directions of I-94 from the MN-15 interchange in St. Cloud (Exit 167) to the Weaver Lake Rd. interchange in Maple Grove (Exit 215). I'm not going to go into detail about the project itself (you can look upthread for more information), I just wanted to share some outsider observations as someone who drives this stretch of roadway semi-regularly when there isn't a global pandemic :)
Dynamic Message and Traffic Systems:
Given the major traffic impacts this project will have on I-94 between St. Cloud and the metro, MNDOT temporarily installed a crapload of ITS equipment that provides real-time travel information to drivers. The first of these signs eastbound is just prior to the MN-15 interchange at MM 167; westbound I'd imagine it's somewhere along the I-94/694 duplex but I don't know for sure.
Eastbound, the display method is a combination of temporary movable dynamic message signs and an existing permanent system that was put in maybe seven or eight years ago, which is weird because MNDOT has permanent dynamic signage spaced every couple of miles throughout the project limits. Westbound, the display method is almost exclusively temporary DM signs, as permanent dynamic signage is sparse beyond the MN-101 interchange.
The temporary signs only display the time to the next major interchange ('TIME TO MN-25/ X MINUTES'), while the existing ITS systems display two interchanges in MNDOT's more typical time-to/destination format.

Lane Changes/Shifts: One of the reasons that I chose to take this drive today is because of a number of changes to the traffic pattern that have happened over the past few weeks. The most notable of these being an express/local lane setup on the eastbound lanes from MN-101 to I-494 in which the left two lanes are shifted to westbound roadway, which is being run in a 3 lanes WB/2 lanes EB configuration to allow crews to work on the two leftmost lanes of the eastbound carriageway.
The other eastbound lane is reserved for the three local exits between MN-101 and I-494; MN-610, Maple Grove Pkwy, and Weaver Lake Rd. This change just took effect two days ago so I'm assuming there's some issues left to be worked out, but the process of getting into the local lanes was a little confusing. I along with a half-dozen other drivers assumed that the local lane began right at the MN-101 interchange and would continue as a single lane through the interchange, but we were surprised to find that the righthand lane was in fact still an exit only lane and the entire EB carriageway was closed between the gore point and the point of merge (I suppose to allow this section to be reconstructed first). In other words, the lane drop from three to two lanes at MN-101 is still, unfortunately, a thing.
 While the MN-101 exit was technically signed properly as right lane exit only on the overhead signs, MNDOT could stand to install another temporary sign a mile or so before the gore point that says 'MN-101/RIGHT LANE/EXIT ONLY' or something along those lines to avoid confusion since the permanent BGS's aren't always trusted in road construction zones. I also hope that temporary lighting is on the way for the express/local split because I'd imagine it only gets more confusing at night with all those lane shifts in such a short span.  Beyond that little misconception (which, like I said, nearly all local travelers were dealing with), the exit for the local lanes was actually signed well (again, this traffic pattern has only been in place for two days so I had no idea what to expect signage-wise for the local lanes).
Traffic:
Traffic was flowing super well in both the express and local lanes at 3PM on a Thursday, which was impressive. Westbound, despite there being no major lane shifts or new traffic patterns traffic was backed up from I-494 to just beyond MN-610, which isn't too out of the ordinary. Aside from that and the approach to the eastbound lane shifts west of MN-101 traffic was flowing normally.
Other Notes (No Particular Order):
The majority of the major work going on at this point is from MN-101 to I-494, where I can see grading beginning for the new Brockton Lane interchange as well as the new fourth lane. Crews were just beginning to tear up some of the old pavement eastbound around MN-610.

The CASH 19 to MN-241 section through St. Michael is also progressing quite nicely, though most of the work is concentrated to the CSAH 19 bridge and MN-241 interchange/new loop ramp.

The only evidence of work on the MN-24 to MN-25 section was grading in the median for the future third lane between MN-25 and CSAH 8. Eastbound traffic was reduced to one lane from the CSAH 8 Hasty interchange to MN-25, again with no traffic impacts. There's no evidence of work from MN-24 TO CSAH 8 yet.

BOTH rest areas within the project limits (the Enfield rest area between Clearwater and Monticello and the Elm Creek rest area in Maple Grove) are signed as being open to trucks only, despite the MNDOT website only indicating that the latter is closed to autos.

The project limits except for the aforementioned MN-24 to CSAH 8 are signed at 60MPH (if there was a drop to 50 at Maple Grove Pkwy where the road normally drops from 70 to 60, I didn't see it, so I think it's all posted at 60).

I wish I could've gotten pictures, but I see no way that I could have managed that at 60+MPH unless I had a dash cam or was riding as a passenger. Maybe later in the project. Overall I'm impressed with the way construction is progressing, and it seems to be staged in a way that will cause minimal impact to traffic. Really my only complaint is the temporary signage at the MN-101 interchange, which I'm sure will be modified in no time.

Aaannnddd I'm just now realizing how much I've typed... this is quite the ramble. Read at your own risk  :-P
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 15, 2020, 11:06:45 AM
A section of MN 244 has been turned back between MN 120 and downtown Willernie. I’m supposing MnDOT and Washington County couldn’t agree on the remainder of it yet.

What’s fun though is the MN 120 north end is still a four-way endpoint as Washington County 12, which replaced that section of 244 ends there.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 25, 2020, 01:12:52 PM
MnDOT is using an express/local setup on I-94 eastbound between MN 101 and 494/694 during construction, and it’s already been causing a fair share of confusion and accidents. It’s going to be a long summer.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on May 25, 2020, 03:08:55 PM
MnDOT is using an express/local setup on I-94 eastbound between MN 101 and 494/694 during construction, and it’s already been causing a fair share of confusion and accidents. It’s going to be a long summer.

Do you have a diagram and/or a link to where I can find an illustration of the setup?

WSDOT used an express/local setup on I-5 through Tacoma (WA) during a construction project, and it took a good 6-8 months before I was no longer seeing as much last-second swerving. The problem was the temporary use of those plastic giveaway bollards...drivers would routinely drive over them to reach their exit. Eventually, the freeway was restriped and concrete barriers put up.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: rte66man on May 26, 2020, 02:40:27 PM
MnDOT is using an express/local setup on I-94 eastbound between MN 101 and 494/694 during construction, and it’s already been causing a fair share of confusion and accidents. It’s going to be a long summer.

OkDOT is doing the same thing on WB I44 at the I235 reconstruction. Poorly signed and very confusing.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 04, 2020, 09:41:45 PM
I-94
(https://i.imgur.com/4U4nobf.jpg)

Stillwater lift Bridge 5 minutes after opening

(https://i.imgur.com/otMa2mk.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 04, 2020, 09:54:18 PM
Is that I-94 shot from Maple Grove Pkwy?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on June 17, 2020, 10:51:52 AM
Yes

(https://i.imgur.com/RK2xP3e.jpg)

The I-35W traffic camera at 110th Street is essentially a web cam for the I-35W Minnesota River Bridge construction.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on June 17, 2020, 04:41:02 PM
Am I the only one whose first thought was "holy crap, the image quality of traffic cams has improved infinitely"?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on June 17, 2020, 10:54:51 PM
Regarding last month's discussion on US 10/169 in Ramsey (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6510.msg2497094#msg2497094), it was announced that the project has received a $40M INFRA grant (https://www.hometownsource.com/abc_newspapers/news/government/40-million-grant-secured-for-highways-10-169-improvements/article_20858dfc-b0e7-11ea-8b1f-7b87cb9f263a.html).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on July 15, 2020, 10:13:52 AM
So it appears MnDOT is giving up on the idea of the EZ-Pass people being able to accept ISO-1800 6C, so they're just going to start issuing EZ-Pass compatible active transponders to new MnPass customers and any existing customers that want one starting next summer as well. Presumably MnPass will also be able to work in Florida now that Florida is doing the same thing. I will finally get one if I can use it in Florida and Chicago.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/mnpass/mnpassnews.html#otherstates

 
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 15, 2020, 02:58:01 PM
So it appears MnDOT is giving up on the idea of the EZ-Pass people being able to accept ISO-1800 6C, so they're just going to start issuing EZ-Pass compatible active transponders to new MnPass customers and any existing customers that want one starting next summer as well. Presumably MnPass will also be able to work in Florida now that Florida is doing the same thing. I will finally get one if I can use it in Florida and Chicago.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/mnpass/mnpassnews.html#otherstates

That's interesting, but seems to be more of a "nice to have" than a "need" since we don't have full-size toll roads. Trying to entice new customers if they can use their passes elsewhere?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: DJ Particle on July 16, 2020, 01:32:24 AM
So it appears MnDOT is giving up on the idea of the EZ-Pass people being able to accept ISO-1800 6C, so they're just going to start issuing EZ-Pass compatible active transponders to new MnPass customers and any existing customers that want one starting next summer as well. Presumably MnPass will also be able to work in Florida now that Florida is doing the same thing. I will finally get one if I can use it in Florida and Chicago.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/mnpass/mnpassnews.html#otherstates

That's interesting, but seems to be more of a "nice to have" than a "need" since we don't have full-size toll roads. Trying to entice new customers if they can use their passes elsewhere?

It's what I've been waiting for all these years.  I'll likely finally buy one.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: EpicRoadways on July 28, 2020, 03:19:10 PM
It seems MNDOT's first attempt at constructing a signalized RCI at MN-65 and Viking Blvd in the north metro last year has turned out to be quite a disaster. I can't say I'm surprised.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/residents-want-change-at-dangerous-hwy-65-intersection-in-east-bethel/ar-BB17i1p3?ocid=spartan-ntp-feeds
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: JREwing78 on July 28, 2020, 07:31:53 PM
It seems MNDOT's first attempt at constructing a signalized RCI at MN-65 and Viking Blvd in the north metro last year has turned out to be quite a disaster. I can't say I'm surprised.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/news/residents-want-change-at-dangerous-hwy-65-intersection-in-east-bethel/ar-BB17i1p3?ocid=spartan-ntp-feeds

There's a number of factors at play here. Stoplights on a road posted for 65 mph is ambitious. Two lanes turning right is ambitious. Pushing nearly 30,000 vpd on MN-65 and 6000 vpd on Viking through this intersection is ambitious. Expecting idiot American drivers to navigate this while maintaining lane discipline - that's just laughable.

I think you can Band-Aid this by not allowing turns on red. But ultimately, yes, an overpass is needed here.
I think a RCI being asked to handle that level of traffic in a ostensibly rural area is asking a lot.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 28, 2020, 10:23:08 PM
Anoka County 22/Viking Blvd has steadily grown into a fairly heavily trafficked corridor across north central Anoka County as the metro has fanned outward, and although it’s still entirely two-lane, new stoplights have popped up at a couple intersections along it in the last several years, and then the RCI replacing the previous standard signal at MN 65.

I agree that banning turns on red should help for the moment. I know MnDOT probably wanted a cheaper solution than a full interchange, but unfortunately sometimes there’s just no way around it.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 28, 2020, 10:35:55 PM
^ I would argue, given recent studies in conjunction with the Met Council, that MnDOT's preference would be for an interchange at 65/Viking.  They just can't afford to build one at the present...
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on July 29, 2020, 01:46:07 PM
Signage would suggest that RTOR is only permitted from the right lane. If the issue may lie with the double right turns, this should have prevented issues with people blindly turning without ensuring it's clear. In practice, I'm not usually a fan of such restrictions as they tend to increase traffic in the lane that allows turns on red, but that's not to say that it might not be effective in reducing/preventing crashes.

In practice, making a hard right turn from a stop is no different from the original intersection. The original lacked slip lanes, and did not have any NTOR signage.

If I had to suggest a change, probably eliminate turns on red for both lanes, and change the signals to red arrows to further enhance the change. MN law may not have separate rules for red arrows, but when used elsewhere, they do seem to reduce the number of cars turning on red, even when the law allows it. Here in WA, for example, I do see slightly fewer cars turning on red with a red arrow. I don't know if this is because of a high number of CA transplants, but it's something I've noticed.

Some better markings may be in order as well. I'm thinking edge markings for all movements, rather than just an extension of the white line.

As a side-note, I have no reason to believe signal placement is problematic. MN always does quite well in this department. My only suggested change might be to add near-side signals to all approaches for both sides of each stop line, especially for the Viking Blvd approach if NTOR is implemented. Pulling back the stop line may also help. It would make an "illegal" turn on red that much more awkward.

As another side-note, why was this intersection rebuilt? Traffic issues? Because safety does not appear to have been a major issue.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on July 29, 2020, 05:33:38 PM
The problem doesn't seem to be the right turns; it's the Michigan left U-turns that are causing the problems. It was an aging intersection that had grown more congested on Viking; there was also a large dip on Viking crossing between the MN 65 carriageways that had an advisory speed of 20 MPH on a road posted at 55, not that you were likely to get through the intersection with a green light long enough to go 55 anyway. Having gone through the intersection fairly frequently before it was rebuilt, and having driven through it once since it reopened, I can see why it's causing problems for some.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on July 29, 2020, 06:14:48 PM
Quote from: jakeroot
MN law may not have separate rules for red arrows,

Section 169.06 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.06), Subdivision 5, Subsection 3iii covers red arrows.  To summarize, turning on a red arrow is prohibited in Minnesota unless specifically signed that turns on red are allowed.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: EpicRoadways on July 29, 2020, 07:12:57 PM
It's interesting to me that RTOR is an issue at this intersection. I drive through a similar situation at the MN-15/CSAH 120 DDI in St Cloud almost daily and I don't think I've ever seen anyone turn right on red (or left on red in the other direction, for that matter) at the dual turn lanes despite it being permitted. While it doesn't surprise me that the Viking installation is (was?) permitted RTOR, it surprises me a little bit that people would actually use it in practice.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: jakeroot on July 30, 2020, 01:03:08 PM
The problem doesn't seem to be the right turns; it's the Michigan left U-turns that are causing the problems. It was an aging intersection that had grown more congested on Viking; there was also a large dip on Viking crossing between the MN 65 carriageways that had an advisory speed of 20 MPH on a road posted at 55, not that you were likely to get through the intersection with a green light long enough to go 55 anyway. Having gone through the intersection fairly frequently before it was rebuilt, and having driven through it once since it reopened, I can see why it's causing problems for some.

So, with regard to the Michigan left U-turns, is it that left turns are permitted on red, and drivers are misinterpreting speeds when attempting to make the left turn? Or turning into the incorrect lane?

For the record, while the Michigan left U-turns might be the problem, the photo in the story clearly shows a crash at the double right turn. Hence my earlier position and comment.

MN law may not have separate rules for red arrows,

Section 169.06 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.06), Subdivision 5, Subsection 3iii covers red arrows.  To summarize, turning on a red arrow is prohibited in Minnesota unless specifically signed that turns on red are allowed.

Thank you. Still can't keep track of where it's permitted, versus where it's not. MN struck me as a state that would have permitted it. Don't ask why!

It's interesting to me that RTOR is an issue at this intersection. I drive through a similar situation at the MN-15/CSAH 120 DDI in St Cloud almost daily and I don't think I've ever seen anyone turn right on red (or left on red in the other direction, for that matter) at the dual turn lanes despite it being permitted. While it doesn't surprise me that the Viking installation is (was?) permitted RTOR, it surprises me a little bit that people would actually use it in practice.

If TheHighwayMan394's comment above is any indication, it doesn't seem to be the double right turn (although, from the story, crashes do still occur there).

I know around my area (Seattle), NTOR restrictions are generally quite rare, so it would not be unusual to see traffic turning on red from both lanes at a similar installation. Are NTOR restrictions pretty typical in MN at double right turns?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: skluth on July 30, 2020, 11:35:07 PM
If the intersection was going to be signaled anyway, I don't understand why a continuous-flow intersection wasn't built since they don't have funds for a full interchange. The one pictured is the design from INDOT at the intersection of U.S. 31 and SR 135/Thompson Road on the south side of Indianapolis mentioned on the Indiana Notes thread. I've used one at MO 30 and Summit Road SW of St Louis several times when I lived there. It's not that much more expensive and easily handles both the through and cross-traffic. There is more than enough room in the median to build one. It looks like Minnesota took the cheapest route possible regardless of whether it would work.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50155477603_483a6d54b8_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on August 03, 2020, 02:44:53 PM
In news that isn't strictly road related, but will have a HUGE impact on the transportation system in the Twin Cities, MnDoT announced today that they are not going to build the Blue Line light rail extension from downtown Minneapolis to Target's north campus near the 610 / 169 interchange on its previously planned alignment, due to "an inability to work with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad", whose tracks parallel the preferred alignment for about eight miles. Here's a link:

https://www.startribune.com/hennepin-met-council-abandon-route-for-bottineau-blue-line/571994512/

What the article doesn't say is that BNSF stopped cooperating with Hennepin county about the Blue Line extension after the county blocked a proposed link between the Canadian Pacific and the BNSF that would have reduced congestion in a BNSF yard, but increased the number of trains going through some of the same communities that the Blue Line extension was planned to pass through. Here's a link to a discussion about the controversy:

https://streets.mn/2019/07/01/the-blue-line-extension-in-limbo/

Personally, I think that the BNSF's unwillingness to cooperate with Hennepin County about the blue line extension was definitely affected by the county's unwillingness to help BNSF with their connection to the Canadian Pacific. Hennepin County won the battle, but they may have lost the war.

However, although I strongly supported the Twin Cities' light rail system pre-covid, now, I strongly question whether the money being spent on it is the best use of transportation dollars. Many people who started working from home due to covid will never resume working in offices. This will significantly reduce rush hour traffic, and it also reduces the need for an expensive light rail line; thanks to people working from home, the Twin Cities' freeway system is going to have a lot more capacity.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: M86 on August 04, 2020, 02:13:58 AM
Section 169.06 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.06), Subdivision 5, Subsection 3iii covers red arrows.  To summarize, turning on a red arrow is prohibited in Minnesota unless specifically signed that turns on red are allowed.
I was in the Twin Cities area recently, and was at a dual right turn lane, in the inner lane, with a cop next to me. It was in Chaska at Jonathan Carver Pkwy & Chaska Blvd. I stayed in that lane until it turned green! Looking on Streetview, it looks like the intersection doesn't have red arrows.

You never know all of the laws of other states!
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 04, 2020, 09:59:40 AM
The county could solve some of the Blue Line issue by running it down the middle of Bottineau/CSAH 81.  81 does *NOT* need to be 6 lanes.  The sticking point, though, would still be getting it from Robbinsdale to Target Field.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 04, 2020, 03:14:22 PM
Too bad we just finished rebuilding the entire length of Bottineau. And I agree that BNSF smelled blood in the water and is out for revenge. If you kick someone in the groin chances are they're going to kick you back rather than cooperate with you. Schoolkids know this. Hennepin County commissioners don't seem to.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on August 05, 2020, 10:12:30 AM
Trying to figure out where/how this BNSF/CP connection would have gone.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 06, 2020, 10:24:15 AM
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Crystal,+MN/@45.047828,-93.3557451,504m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x52b33698653e30f3:0xf0c5e9963f833bdd!8m2!3d45.0327425!4d-93.3602286

Where CP Rail and BNSF tracks cross in Crystal. CP sends oil trains easttbound that enter the BNSF Northtown Yard to continue farther east on the BNSF system. BNSF wanted to build a connection between the west and south legs so rather than entering the over-capacity Northtown Yard oil trains would be diverted southeast along the Monticello subdivision, coincidentally where light rail would go, then northeast along Target Field entering the BNSF downtstream from the yard
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on August 18, 2020, 03:04:15 PM
Only for the humor of it, at the end of the Two Harbors Expressway on MN 61 there is a short piece of two-lane road posted at 55 between the end of the expressway and the edge of town. Last time I was there, the speed limit on this piece had been upped to 60 MPH southbound only while it remained at 55 northbound. I wonder if perhaps it fell strictly under the mandated 55 MPH road studies. Anyway, MnDOT did some sign replacement in the region and the entire stretch is now back at 55.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on August 25, 2020, 11:14:04 PM
Stillwater Loop Trail Time Lapse that I did
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: STLmapboy on August 26, 2020, 09:43:23 AM
If the intersection was going to be signaled anyway, I don't understand why a continuous-flow intersection wasn't built since they don't have funds for a full interchange. The one pictured is the design from INDOT at the intersection of U.S. 31 and SR 135/Thompson Road on the south side of Indianapolis mentioned on the Indiana Notes thread. I've used one at MO 30 and Summit Road SW of St Louis several times when I lived there. It's not that much more expensive and easily handles both the through and cross-traffic. There is more than enough room in the median to build one. It looks like Minnesota took the cheapest route possible regardless of whether it would work.
Yeah, Gravois/Summit is the only CFI in my area and it works fine. MN should look into it. Are there any CFIs yet in MN?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on August 26, 2020, 11:37:50 AM
Stillwater Loop Trail Time Lapse that I did
I get a kick out of the 'hill climbing lane' on the Wisconsin side of the path.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 02, 2020, 03:19:44 PM
Saw the new completed diamond interchange between US 14 and MN 15 just outside New Ulm on Monday. I feel like I'm wrong about this but I think this is the first full interchange between (for now) 2 two-lane roads in the state, but even when US 14's expansion is complete, MN 15 is the priority movement.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on September 02, 2020, 03:53:26 PM
I feel like I'm wrong about this but I think this is the first full interchange between (for now) 2 two-lane roads in the state, but even when US 14's expansion is complete, MN 15 is the priority movement.

Are you not counting MN-23 @ Kandiyohi CH-5 (https://www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/hwy23kandi5/index.html)?  I drove through this interchange on October 6 and 8, 2017 (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=21268.msg2264805#msg2264805).
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 02, 2020, 04:11:21 PM
Saw the new completed diamond interchange between US 14 and MN 15 just outside New Ulm on Monday. I feel like I'm wrong about this but I think this is the first full interchange between (for now) 2 two-lane roads in the state, but even when US 14's expansion is complete, MN 15 is the priority movement.

Third such interchange.  MN 55/MN 28 outside Glenwood has existed as a diamond since the '70s.  And then there's US 12/Hennepin CSAH 6 on the Long Lake Bypass.

kphoger:  MN 23/CSAH 5 doesn't count because it still involves a left turn off EB 23 to access CSAH 5.  It's basically a 3/4 intersection combined with an eastbound on-ramp.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on September 02, 2020, 04:22:09 PM
And then there's US 12/Hennepin CSAH 6 on the Long Lake Bypass.

How did I forget that one?  Driven through it many times.  Oh, yeah, it's because the Jersey barrier makes me forget it's still really just a two-lane highway.

I'm trying to remember...  Was the barrier original to the construction, or did the interchange survive for about a year without one?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on September 02, 2020, 06:34:54 PM
So what were they thinking making 15 the through route when 14 is the future expressway?
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 02, 2020, 09:34:15 PM
Quote from: kphoger
I'm trying to remember...  Was the barrier original to the construction, or did the interchange survive for about a year without one?

Barrier in the immediate footprint of the CSAH 6 interchange is original to construction.  Barrier beyond the interchange is more recent...within the past couple years.

Quote from: Mdcastle
So what were they thinking making 15 the through route when 14 is the future expressway?

Probably because you have CSAH 21 as a "fourth leg" of the junction and it's far easier to make a diamond interchange than to make something favoring US 14's through movements.  Traffic counts also show that there's almost as much traffic on 15 North as there is on 14 East.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: kphoger on September 03, 2020, 09:27:42 AM

And then there's US 12/Hennepin CSAH 6 on the Long Lake Bypass.

How did I forget that one?  Driven through it many times.  Oh, yeah, it's because the Jersey barrier makes me forget it's still really just a two-lane highway.

I'm trying to remember...  Was the barrier original to the construction, or did the interchange survive for about a year without one?

Barrier in the immediate footprint of the CSAH 6 interchange is original to construction.  Barrier beyond the interchange is more recent...within the past couple years.

Yep, thanks!  That totally jives with my experience driving it, plus GSV I've looked at since then while discussing the corridor on this forum.

I've never driven the corridor since the barrier was extended.  I wonder how many of you guys have ever done what I've done once or twice:  successfully passed someone along the super-2 section west of Wayzata.  Traffic is always thick on that highway, but there has been one or two occasions when I've been able to pass—I think I even remember passing multiple vehicles at a time there once.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: triplemultiplex on September 03, 2020, 08:33:13 PM
I wonder how many of you guys have ever done what I've done once or twice:  successfully passed someone along the super-2 section west of Wayzata.  Traffic is always thick on that highway, but there has been one or two occasions when I've been able to pass—I think I even remember passing multiple vehicles at a time there once.

A feat never to be repeated since they added that jersey barrier.  No one will match you.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: skluth on September 05, 2020, 06:35:05 PM
Quote from: Mdcastle
So what were they thinking making 15 the through route when 14 is the future expressway?

Probably because you have CSAH 21 as a "fourth leg" of the junction and it's far easier to make a diamond interchange than to make something favoring US 14's through movements.  Traffic counts also show that there's almost as much traffic on 15 North as there is on 14 East.

It's a bit surprising the junction just to the east of the interchange on US 14 wasn't removed and CSAH 21 redirected to directly connect to itself west of the interchange by building a longer interchange bridge on MN 15 to cross both US 14 and CSAH 21.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 06, 2020, 12:05:37 AM
^ Not sure of the need.  Would have added a bit of cost.  And then there's the question of how to connect 14 and 15 to 21.  Might also be a grade issue with the SB off-ramp from 15.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Mdcastle on September 27, 2020, 10:30:32 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/XAuP3qi.jpg)
New 14 coming along nicely.

Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: Papa Emeritus on September 27, 2020, 07:47:10 PM
On Tuesday, MnDoT will be having a virtual open house from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM, to discuss possible upgrades to MN-65 in Spring Lake Park, Blaine, and Ham Lake.

You need to pre-register at bit.ly/hwy65mtg to attend

More information about possible alternatives is on the Star Tribune's website: https://www.startribune.com/mndot-seeks-ideas-to-unclog-hwy-65/572556631/

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, actually gets built.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 27, 2020, 09:40:16 PM
The decrepit leaf at County 10 that remains from the US 10 days definitely needs to be rebuilt/reconfigured.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: froggie on September 27, 2020, 11:06:23 PM
^ It will, but not in the way one would expect.

There are two options being considered at County 10.  One would replace the cloverleaf with a standard diamond, with County 10 as the "through route" (and, thus, two more signals on 65).  The second option would expand out both routes through the interchange footprint into what is effectively a pair of one-way roads, all crossing at-grade.  Kinda like how the ramps all intersect at a volleyball interchange except it's the mainlines intersecting.  Not sure I like either option.

Next, 87th would be bridged over 65, with the intersections at 85th and 89th converted into a right-in or right-out in a way to effectively make an "interchange" centered on 87th but with all "loop ramps".  For example, northbound 65 would have a right-in only at 85th and a right-out only at 89th.

There are two options at US 10.  Both options retain the existing EB 10 off-ramp and signal to 65.  Both options also include a grade-separated U-turn ramp from northbound to southbound located at approximately the equivalent of 92nd Lane.  This U-turn ramp would serve both the WB 10 to SB 65 and NB 65 to WB 10 movements.  The U-turn ramp would also tie into the ramps going to/from a 93rd Lane interchange.  Where the options differ is in the SB 65 to EB 10 access.  One option would retain the existing loop ramp, but connect it directly to the SB to WB ramp and the ramp coming off 93rd.  In other words, SB 65 traffic would exit at 93rd, then continue across 93rd to access either direction on 10.  The second option would remove the loop ramp and instead add a displaced-left-turn located approximately at the existing WB off-ramp terminal.  The video simulation suggests that the proposed SB on-ramp from 93rd would also tie into the signal system here, so that traffic from 93rd can access EB 10.

There are three options between 93rd and 117th.  All three would build what is fundamentally a tight-diamond interchange (mentioned above) at 93rd.  Option 1 is basically similar to a traditional freeway, with tight diamond interchanges at 109th (albeit with the NB off-ramp exiting at 105th) and 117th, and a modified interchange with NB ramps at 99th and a pair of SB buttonhook ramps at 103rd connecting to a new west side frontage road between 99th and 109th at Ulysses St.  Option 2 is called the "Hybrid Freeway", and the easiest way I can explain it is a series of grade-separated RCUTs.  One-way service roads would be built on each side of 65 between 93rd and 117th, with a series of access ramps between the 65 mainline and the service roads.  Each cross-street would T with the service roads, but a series of grade-separated U-turns would be built to provide access across 65.  The U-turns would be located at 97th, just south of 101st, 107th, 113th, and 117th.  Option 3 is similar to Option 2 but the through movement on 109th would be retained with an underpass under 65.  Given the evaluation rankings, I would expect Option 2 to be the leading contender on this segment.

Finally, we have Bunker Lake Rd.  There are also three options here.  All three would close the SB RIRO at 139th and also build a frontage road on the east side of 65 between 131st and 133rd in order to close both RIRO intersections on NB 65.  Option 1 at Bunker Lake is a tight-diamond interchange.  Option 2 is an RCUT.  Option 3 is similar to the "grade-separated RCUT" mentioned above.  The evaluation rankings make the RCUT the likely decision.
Title: Re: Minnesota Notes
Post by: KCRoadFan on September 27, 2020, 11:51:26 PM
Saw the new completed diamond interchange between US 14 and MN 15 just outside New Ulm on Monday. I feel like I'm wrong about this but I think this is the first full interchange between (for now) 2 two-lane roads in the state, but even when US 14's expansion is complete, MN 15 is the priority movement.

Something else I wonder about New Ulm: does MNDOT have any plans afoot to take MN 15 off of Broadway through town and route it along US 14 instead? I don't think there are, but if they were to do so, through traffic on MN 15 approaching town from the south would presumably be directed to turn east on 20th South Street to