City Commits $10K to New MnDOT Study of Highway 36

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be studying preliminary designs to improve the intersections of Highway 36 and Century Avenue and Highway 36 and Hadley Avenue. The city council committed $10,000 to the study.

The Oakdale city council committed $10,000 to a new study of Highway 36 during its meeting Tuesday night.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be conducting a new corridor study of portions of Highway 36 to determine a long-term plan for traffic improvements. The study will specifically look at the intersections of Highway 36 with Highway 120 (Century Avenue) and Hadley Avenue. 

MnDOT conducted a corridor plan of Highway 36 in the 1990s, but since then the roadway has evolved beyond what the original study anticipated. 

The study will cost $200,000. MnDOT has budgeted $150,000 for its share and is seeking help from local agencies to cover the remaining $50,000. MnDOT is asking Oakdale, Washington County, Ramsey County and North St. Paul to contribute. 

The North St. Paul city council recently passed a resolution that does not support the corridor study. The resolution states the study should be completely funded by MnDOT and the study should also include Highway 120 (Century Avenue) from Highway 5 to I-694. 

City Engineer Brian Bachmeier recommended the city support the study since Hadley Avenue and Century Avenue intersect Highway 36.

"Staff recommends that we support MnDOT's plan to update the corridor plan for Highway 36," Bachmeier said. "We say that we have a role to play with our one street," he added, referencing Hadley Avenue. 

The $10,000 will come out of the engineering and operating budget. The study would wrap up by June 2013.

"I wholeheartedly support the devloping plan," said Councilman Stan Karwoski. "I hope the plan helps execute upgrades not only for the business development in that corridor...but just as importantly for the safety aspect of that interchange."

Bachmeier said that any improvements MnDOT proposes will need city consent.



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Daniel Barrett September 13, 2012 at 04:31 PM
If I recall correctly, NSP already committed $3 million of their state aid for local roads the last time 36 was worked on like 6 years ago, to complete the state owned road and remove access to their downtown. Ironically, funding their own downtown's demise. At that time it would've seemed common sense to go all the way to 694 with the project, because not doing so would necessitate enduring closure of 36 again a few years later. But as I understood it at the time, Wash county and Oakdale were not in a position to finance their portions to allow completion of the whole stretch. Predictably, the road will be closed again simply to do the extra half mile, when it would've been less expensive and less painful overall for residents and businesses with a one time closure. This is just bad communication and/or planning between all the parties; MnDot, NSP, Oakdale, Washington and Ramsey counties. Most of the blame being laid at MnDots feet for not dealing with the 120/36 intersection at the time, since they are both state highways. Oakdale has it right that their portion is limited to Hadley interchange, but might need to look at 50th St. on the north side of 36 as MnDot's idea will be remove exits or not bother with the businesses there as you saw in their treatment of Margaret St. in NSP - pretty much closed off all but one access, rendering it virtually useless. So yes, I understand why NSP doesn't want to fund it again.
Jay Hinker September 13, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Oakdale Engineer and City Council made a forward looking decision here. I agree with Mr. Barrett that MnDOT does fail to include sensible highway development in their planning; I credit that to Federal funding expiration dates or 'spending the money before it's gone' and, sometimes, to PissPoorPlanning. Take a look at Oakdale's connection to Woodbury at the Inwood/Radio Drive/I-94 overpass; confusion reigns over this North/South corridor that often influences drivers, unfamiliar with MnDot's design intent, to move across two lanes of traffic to access an I-94 entrance lane that's available from the lane they were already in. U-turns, no signal sudden lane changes, actual stops in traffic, and many close calls occur on and around this I-94 intersection. While I'm at it, who the hell approved statewide right turns, after stop, from 'any' arrowed lane even when it crosses two lanes of moving traffic. There's another fault with the I-94 Inwood/Radio Drive interchange. I've seen both MnDOT and Woodbury conduct traffic surveys of this I-94 overpass in the past few years since it was redesigned. Still, contentious driving conditions abound there mostly due to it's design and allowing two lane right turns after stop. I figure MnDOT traffic engineers DO NOT live in THAT AREA!
Linda Ziniel September 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM
I know this is a bit off the subject but... Maybe knowing the new Caribou will create more traffic issues - Oakdale is putting in their guilt $$$ share to help figure out what to do with the mess that's going to cause. Foot traffic crossing highways is just a dangerous situation in it's self, let alone adding a Caribou with the already DQ traffic. I know it's already passed/approved...but how stupid. I've seen more than 1 car cross 36 - then make a u-turn in the middle of Century to get to the DQ.


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