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POLL: Will Dangerous Intersection Become Safer After Reconstruction?

Nearby business owners have said the reconfigured Hudson Road/Century Avenue intersection won't be safe, and will make it more difficult for customers to get to them. MnDOT says the new arrangement will make the dangerous intersection safer.

Here's a little information on a proposed reconstruction of the Hudson Road/Highway 120 (Century Avenue) intersection:

What’s happening?

The intersection of Hudson Road and Highway 120 consistently ranks in the top 200 statewide for crash rates, according to a Minnesota Department of Transportation fact sheet. MnDOT has come up with a design it says will make the intersection safer. At the new intersection:

  • Traffic would not be able to travel west on Hudson Road across Century Avenue (Highway 120).
  • Traffic could no longer turn left onto Century Avenue from Hudson Road.
  • Cars that want to continue heading west on Hudson Road at Highway 120, or to get onto Interstate 94, would have to turn right onto Century Avenue and then make a U-turn at Innovation Boulevard.

Construction is planned this summer.

What do supporters say?

The proposed changes to the intersection will make it safer and cut down on weaving, causing traffic to flow better, according to a MnDOT fact sheet.

“Many crashes have occurred at this intersection, with a majority of these crashes being right angle crashes involving vehicles from Hudson Road making a through movement or left turn,” according to the fact sheet.

What does the opposition say?

Businesses on Hudson Road just west of Century Avenue have said they oppose the project because customers will have a harder time getting to and from their establishments.

A manager at Precision Tune Auto Care told the Star Tribune that the changes will cost him customers.

The president and CEO of nearby St. Paul Harley-Davidson, said in in January that the reconstructed intersection will be less safe than it is now.

“This isn't a solution, but a grave problem and only one that will jeopardize the safety of hundreds of motorists that utilize this intersection daily to gain access to the freeway on motorcycles, in automobiles and in load hauling trailers,” he said in the letter.

Randall Johnson March 02, 2012 at 12:37 PM
The crashes will move north one intersection, to where all the U-turns will take place. The intersection needs a fix, but this isn't it. A stop light would be a better solution.
Jeanne Gehrman March 02, 2012 at 03:05 PM
U-turns as a safety measure? What a joke. Large trucks that can't make a U-turn will have to turn left at Conway Avenue. A couple of 18 wheelers waiting to make left turns there will create a good case study of traffic gridlock on northbound Century Avenue. Not to mention the increase of diesel fumes from those idling trucks. There's a residential area immediately adjacent to the east side of Century at that intersection. Then the trucks get to make another left turn from Conway, through a divided, 4 lane road at McKnight in order to access westbound I-94. That'll keep things fun when you add the traffic from 3M during rush hours. A quarter of a mile south, that tangled mess at McKnight & Old Hudson Road is another joke. Eighteen wheel trucks in the mix will really add to the fun. Brilliant!!
Kim Utecht Prayfrock March 02, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I don't understand the thinking on this. It should be a stoplight. I've seen accidents and way too many close calls at this intersection.
Fred Matson March 03, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Turn right, then U-Turn? Someone is looking for a cheap solution. Stoplights would work fine. Look at North St. Paul's use of the stoplight on Century Ave and Anchor Bank. Century Ave traffic is stopped now and then for maybe 15 seconds to let traffic cross Century safely. Stoplights can control the problem intersection at Hudson Road. But, the real solution, but costly, I suppose, is to isolate high volume 3M traffic, which does nothing more than come and go, from other local traffic. Certainly 3M engineers can help state highway dept engineers design a system which routes 3M traffic to and from I94 on its own private highway system and allows Hudson Road and Century Avenue to function for local traffic as intended. 3M ought to consider sharing in the cost of this. Employees and visitors would be impressed with a system which shoots to and from 3M grounds over Century Avenue to join I94.
Dixie March 05, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Forcing traffic to make a u-turn is a terrible solution.

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