U.S. Highway 52

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
froggie
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby froggie » April 24th, 2014, 6:27 am

To be fair, it's not a horrible trade-off. We get rid of a dangerous median crossing along 52, and the overpass can easily be repurposed for any long-term interchange design. About the only thing that would need to be done long-term is rebuilding the ramps for proper ingress/egress along a freeway-grade facility.

mattaudio
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby mattaudio » April 24th, 2014, 8:34 am

I agree, I'm glad to know there's a reason behind it. My main critique is that this is a bureaucratic outcome, not an engineering or cost-analysis outcome. The cost to build better ramp geometry would be minimal in terms of the scope of this project. And I bet that this interchange will see rebuilt ramps long before the sub-base becomes obsolete. So it may very well cost us more in the long run.

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Mdcastle
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby Mdcastle » May 10th, 2014, 8:20 pm

Went on a trip to see the US 52 projects and drive the new US 14 freeway for the first time.

ImageIMG_5479 by North Star Highways, on Flickr
New Cannon Falls Bridge

ImageIMG_5495 by North Star Highways, on Flickr
The Elk Run interchange. Seemed strange to see signals with just an occasional car now and then in the middle of the day, and none of the pedestrian pushbuttons worked.

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby mattaudio » July 1st, 2014, 11:54 am

Popup Interchange at Goodhue County 9, which just started this spring:

ImageUS 52 at Goodhue County 9 by mattaudio, on Flickr
ImageUS 52 and Goodhue County 9 by mattaudio, on Flickr

Also, the interchange at south Cannon Falls is moving along in its second season of construction. The bridge is complete, ramp grading is nearly complete, and paving is likely within the next month. No pics of that one.

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Mdcastle
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby Mdcastle » August 31st, 2014, 5:40 pm

Looking at the 2002 corridor management plan they had a "top ten" intersections as far as safety issues. Of those, only the two Koch refinery intersections (tied at #10) and MN 57 (#8) haven't been addressed, and with that all the traffic signals are soon to be gone. It seems one way to build momentum for interchange is for Mn/DOT to threaten to build a reduced conflict intersection (see County 9, 86, as well as the Nicollet bypass on MN 14).

Going forward I'd like to see Mn/DOT attempt to build a reduced conflict intersections at MN 57. Either the county comes up with money for a popup project for an interchange or the RCI gets built so we can leave that one along for a while. Next I'd like to see a focus on extending the existing freeway segments in either direction.

Going southward it's likely going to be expensive, eliminating the final intersection southbound north of 117th (at Inver Grove trail) will likely need an overpass over a railroad. The new County 42 interchange and 4-lane road eastward was about $45 million ten years ago (but I don't especially like the interchange design, I'd prefer 2 loops instead of 3 to not introduce a weave on northbound 52.

Going northward, the next step would be to remove the interchange at County 11 if they still intend to do that (they just built a roundabout so the ramps could co-exist with the new frontage roads), and build a new one north of town, the estimated cost was about $30 million, roughly what the south one (Elk Run) cost, and then extend start building the frontage roads from County 11 northward.

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby bubzki2 » September 2nd, 2014, 7:42 am

Notable: Cannon Falls interchange is live; all lights are now turned off. Single lane traffic, however, for the time being.

froggie
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby froggie » November 9th, 2014, 9:09 pm

What it looked like at CSAH 9 back in March. Looks a bit different now:

Image

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby mulad » November 10th, 2014, 6:22 am

Reminds me that I had managed to take a few photos of the CICAS-SSA dynamic sign installation a few years back:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mulad/set ... 742232764/

mattaudio
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby mattaudio » November 10th, 2014, 9:20 am

Having driven 52 a few times recently, it's truly disgusting how much work is going on at CSAH 9 but the end product will have substandard ramp geometry. I predict they will end up regrading the ramps within a decade. Other than maybe the cost of acquiring another acre or two of farmland, it doesn't really look like the "low impact" design is actually saving much money. But of course this is really being built with a substandard design because the special pot of money used for the popup project wouldn't have funded a "real" interchange.

It's also weird how the bridge is built over this dip in the southbound lanes. US 52 has always had weird grading, because it was upgraded to four lanes back in the 40s-60s. The southbound and northbound lanes often have different profiles and grades. Where this new CSAH 9 overpass is, the southbound lanes dip very fast. The bridge looks really strange as you go northbound on 52.

Also I drove through another one of those CICAS-SSA sign instlalations rcently, but I forget where. Maybe somewhere on US 61?

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby bubzki2 » November 10th, 2014, 9:56 am

mattaudio wrote: It's also weird how the bridge is built over this dip in the southbound lanes. US 52 has always had weird grading, because it was upgraded to four lanes back in the 40s-60s. The southbound and northbound lanes often have different profiles and grades. Where this new CSAH 9 overpass is, the southbound lanes dip very fast. The bridge looks really strange as you go northbound on 52.
When they were building this I thought for Sure they were going to grade the SB lanes under the bridge, as it looked like a truck would have clearance issues under the overpass. It has the clearance now, but I agree that it just looks plain weird.

mattaudio
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby mattaudio » November 25th, 2014, 8:36 pm

New interchange stings Cannon Falls businesses
http://www.postbulletin.com/business/ne ... TNNoMobile

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby bubzki2 » November 26th, 2014, 9:55 am

Growing pains? Or were the stoplights always a windfall that was only now taken away? I have to admit it isn't very appealing to stop now, especially since the interchange is so far from businesses. I have to imagine the impulse stops are down as a result of that.

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby nlt » November 26th, 2014, 9:56 am

mattaudio wrote:New interchange stings Cannon Falls businesses
http://www.postbulletin.com/business/ne ... TNNoMobile
I've been wondering why the owners of the motel on the west side of the former north intersection thought it would be a good idea to pour money into that place right before the intersection was closed. Surely this project was known to be coming for at least a couple of years.

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby mattaudio » November 26th, 2014, 10:05 am

I just hope the DQ survives... that's a great stop between MSP and Rochester. But you'd think they'd be more successful somewhere closer to the population center of town, which they weren't near before. The Faribault DQ is the same way... on the wrong side of a freeway, though at least that one has a trail connection into town.

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Mdcastle
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby Mdcastle » November 26th, 2014, 10:09 am

The overpass they want isn't going to do a whole lot for the highway oriented business having their access cut off. The thing to do would be for the city to buy them out and they can either take the money and retire to Florida or rebuild by the new interchange.

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby mattaudio » November 26th, 2014, 10:14 am

This does explain one major flaw in the entire concept of automobility: I'm sure this was the hot land in town when 52 was routed around downtown Canon Falls a half century ago. But then traffic increases, especially due to ingress and egress for that land, and the best plan from a transportation perspective is to build a new interchange and close all the existing accesses. Which then makes farm fields south of town the new hot land, and existing business areas become devalued blight.

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Mdcastle
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby Mdcastle » November 26th, 2014, 10:25 am

This is going to happen in Pequot Lakes too. The downtown area has aready been bypassed once, and now highway oriented businesses have sprung up along it, degrading traffic flow on the bypass. With the MN 371 expressway conversion the city has decided they want a bypass of the bypass now.

mattaudio
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby mattaudio » November 26th, 2014, 10:26 am

We should just have access management from the start. New interchange in the country or on the fringe of town? No development around it except in special circumstances.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby FISHMANPET » November 26th, 2014, 10:58 am

That DQ is in a prime location now. I always thought that was a weird place for the interchange, so far south of the existing business node, as if it was put their to foster future "growth." What was the reasoning for putting it there, as opposed to something closer to the existing intersection.

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Re: U.S. Highway 52

Postby RailBaronYarr » November 26th, 2014, 1:13 pm

For auto-oriented, quick-stop businesses for people who are absolutely traveling through with no intention to stop, we should do it like the Europeans do (plus some parts of our NE.. I've seen them around Boston). Basically an exit that is like a rest stop but with a gas station and variety of food choices. Gov't owns the land and leases it out to highest bidder(s) on a 5 yr (or whatever) basis. Cars/trucks get off, pull in, gas/food up, and get right back on. No turn lanes, no bottom-feeding development on the fringe of a community. Simple access road out the back to deliver supplies/etc. Here are some examples I've personally used. If you're on the road and really need to stop for something more than a gas station/restaurant would have (like emergency clothing or something), then an extra 5-10 minutes to where people actually live isn't going to kill us instead of demanding Targets and Walmarts be right up against freeway exits.

Of course, we've already got thousands of interchanges with more development and traffic than we know what to do with, so pragmatically speaking, I don't have a path to this design detailed out.


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