Interstate 494

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Lancestar2

Interstate 494

Postby Lancestar2 » June 21st, 2012, 5:09 pm

Does anybody have any information or updated information they like to share regarding 494 expansion around the 35W area? Also any links or info about the construction of 169&494 intersection? It's been so long since people said a peep about these transit projects that I actually miss talking about them! Maybe somebody will share their idea of unclogging the congestion in this area. :)

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Wedgeguy » June 21st, 2012, 5:43 pm

Info on the 169/494 interchange is at 511.org under current work. The 35W/494 I have not seen anything on .

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby eluko » June 21st, 2012, 11:32 pm

I know they're going to be repaving it this summer between 34th and Hwy 100 along with a new median and a westbound auxiliary lane in a couple locations.
As for 35W, the newer plans for the interchange call for a "turbine" design but will likely be tied with the Lakeville BRT project according to Elkins: http://current.mnsun.com/2012/06/what-d ... -and-when/

Here's a look at what the turbine will look like:
Image

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 22nd, 2012, 7:47 am

eluko wrote:I know they're going to be repaving it this summer between 34th and Hwy 100 along with a new median and a westbound auxiliary lane in a couple locations.
As for 35W, the newer plans for the interchange call for a "turbine" design but will likely be tied with the Lakeville BRT project according to Elkins: http://current.mnsun.com/2012/06/what-d ... -and-when/

Here's a look at what the turbine will look like:
Image
That is really smart! And I thought Flyovers were genius!!

I thought I also heard that I-494 was adding a 4th lane in each direction between Hwy. 100 and I-35W, and this was just the first phase, with phase II being (likely) I-35W to 34th Ave.....whenever those funds free up.

I didn't know WHEN this was supposed to happen though.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby LRV Op Dude » August 20th, 2012, 2:00 pm

Blog: Old-Twin Cities Transit New-Twin Cities Transit

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AKA: Bus Driver Dude

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby twincitizen » August 20th, 2012, 3:22 pm

Another render of "Phase One" of the turbine interchange + BRT at American BLVD.

It seems the turbine can be built in phases and is significantly cheaper than what they're doing at 494/169.

http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/cityhal ... th_brt.pdf

The Orange Line, if built correctly, should be a BFD. If the station areas are walkable, this should draw a lot of people who are currently driving or taking slow local buses.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby seanrichardryan » August 20th, 2012, 8:35 pm

MNDOT has never been very good with building things "in phases".
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby mulad » January 15th, 2013, 9:08 am

According to Finance & Commerce, the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce is pushing for an expansion of I-494 from 2 to 3 lanes each direction. The remaining segment runs from Olson Memorial Highway in Plymouth up to East Fish Lake Road in Maple Grove. Mn/DOT is pushing the idea of dynamic shoulder lanes that would only open up during congested periods. According to the F&C article, that's estimated to cost $34 million, though the Mn/DOT project page says $50 million. The environmental work and some design is already done, but it's not currently programmed for construction.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Suburban Outcast » January 16th, 2013, 4:02 am

mulad wrote:According to Finance & Commerce, the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce is pushing for an expansion of I-494 from 2 to 3 lanes each direction. The remaining segment runs from Olson Memorial Highway in Plymouth up to East Fish Lake Road in Maple Grove. Mn/DOT is pushing the idea of dynamic shoulder lanes that would only open up during congested periods. According to the F&C article, that's estimated to cost $34 million, though the Mn/DOT project page says $50 million. The environmental work and some design is already done, but it's not currently programmed for construction.
MnPASS is probably focused on the 35E/Cayuga addition that is about to be built soon for the time being. That could be the next MnPASS addition though, probably as the first phase for a HOT setup from Rogers down to 394, which could keep going through the loop all the way to TH 77. Didn't they have some grand plan for 494 between TH 100 and 77 where it would be like a Texas-esque freeway, given the number of lanes and C/D setup, with the interchange of 35W looking similar to the just built US 169 interchange?

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby beykite » January 16th, 2013, 8:18 am

That was the original 494 study they did, the documents are somewhere on Bloomington's website. It included flyover interchanges at 100 and 35W as well as eliminating the interchange at Nicollet and widening 494 including C/D lanes.My guess is thats pretty much been shelved indefinitely. The 35W-494 interchange will probably end up looking like the picture eluko posted up near the top, but who knows how long it will be before construction.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby min-chi-cbus » January 16th, 2013, 8:49 am

Good -- I prefer the turbine to the flyover....so much more efficient-looking!

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby mattaudio » January 16th, 2013, 9:04 am

I think stacks are usually preferable as they involve less curve and wider turning radii than the proposed design, but multi-level stacks are eyesores for the adjacent community and also they require more care (cost) when removing snow in cold climates like ours. I think the factor that tipped the scales from stack to turbine is that Bloomington/MnDOT will be able to phase it in.

I think I had brought it up before, but I think the stretch between 62 and 494 is prime territory for aux lanes (4th lane each way) between the system ramps to both freeways. As some may recall, this stretch was only four lanes with a grassy median until the late 90s, but even then the third lane northbound wasn't fully utilized as it exited at 66th St until the commons were redone. Anyways, this project which redid the 66th St underpass and built a completely new roadbed between 76th and 66th seemed shortsighted in two ways: 1. Noisewalls and gantry signage preclude any sort of cost effective expansion to include an aux lane as described above (unless sacrificing the shoulder) and 2. The 66th St bridge was designed without provisions to create a center BRT platform. The ramps have bus stops so buses can exit 66th, stop, and get back on the highway... but they would need to weave from the center HOT lanes to the outside and back between 46th and American Blvd.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby min-chi-cbus » January 16th, 2013, 12:51 pm

I wonder if 66th doesn't have the ability to have HOT access because it would be too dangerous or complicated to merge buses on or off of 66th, since it's so close to the 62 Commons?

Since it just recently expanded from 2 lanes in each direction to 2.5 to 3 full lanes, let's just wait and see what traffic looks like before expanding even further. I'm not sure what traffic flows like in this area now that the 3rd lane is open in both directions, but it wasn't gridlock before, and when it was it has more to do with bottlenecks further downstream than in this particular spot.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby mattaudio » January 16th, 2013, 1:12 pm

That point isn't related to mainline capacity, but rather that we just invested in a new bridge/ramps/interchange system a decade ago without leaving any center ROW for a center-running BRT stop. If there was, it would be a no-brainer stop at this time. My guess is the primary constraint to stopping Orange BRT buses at 66th would be the weaving out of the HOT lanes.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby beykite » February 2nd, 2013, 12:36 am

A bill has been introduced for the 77th street underpass https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.p ... n=0&y=2013

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby twincitizen » February 2nd, 2013, 8:43 am

I'm not sure I fully understand the utility, but people in Richfield will be excited. As far as I can tell it would connect 77th to the 24th Avenue exit ramp. What I don't understand is why that is worth several million dollars (I think I read $20MM somewhere, and that was a few years ago). Presumably the connection will bring airport and MOA dollars to Richfield businesses, maybe even get a hotel built in the SE corner of the city.

Referencing a discussion we had recently that was lost in the abyss:

I still think that the speed limit on 77th is too high (40). I drove the entirety of 76th/77th from Edina to Cedar last week, here's what I found:
From France Ave to Penn, it's 30MPH and feels pretty safe. Still a 4-lane road.
From Penn to Lyndale it's 35MPH and kinda dangerous behind Shoppes at Lyndale (Best Buy store, Petsmart, etc) with lots of peds trying to cross directly into the shopping center. Evidence: http://goo.gl/maps/1wk0P
East of Lyndale it becomes 40MPH and is scaled up a bit with medians and turn lanes. This is also the less busy portion of the road, due to east Richfield not being as commercial. 40MPH means people are driving closer to 45 or 50. There are tons of apartments, many lower income, between 77th and 494. For those folks heading north or just trying to get to a bus stop on the other side of 77th, that is a very dangerous crossing.

I'd really like it be scaled back to 30MPH between Penn & Lyndale, and 35MPH from Lyndale to the future underpass.

EDIT: That was post # 494 for me. 8-)

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby mister.shoes » February 4th, 2013, 9:28 am

Up at the other end of 494, MNDot has a "plan." And yes, the Strib comments section is exactly as fun—already—as you would expect it to be.
The problem with being an introvert online is that no one knows you're just hanging out and listening.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Viktor Vaughn » February 4th, 2013, 11:21 am

Star Tribune wrote:In conjunction with a $34 million to $40 million road improvement project, MnDOT will widen the shoulders in both directions next year between Hwy. 55 and East Fish Lake Road. The shoulders will serve as additional lanes during peak traffic periods and can be opened to ease congestion caused by a crash, said Scott Pedersen, the west area manager for MnDOT.
So rather than add a MnPass Lane or a general purpose lane, MDot is just widening the shoulder and opening it up to general traffic for free during rush hour?

If I understand this correctly, I don't like it at all. Once there are three general purpose lanes, it will be very difficult (politically) to turn one of them into a MnPass lane.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Suburban Outcast » February 4th, 2013, 1:49 pm

Viktor Vaughn wrote:
Star Tribune wrote:In conjunction with a $34 million to $40 million road improvement project, MnDOT will widen the shoulders in both directions next year between Hwy. 55 and East Fish Lake Road. The shoulders will serve as additional lanes during peak traffic periods and can be opened to ease congestion caused by a crash, said Scott Pedersen, the west area manager for MnDOT.
So rather than add a MnPass Lane or a general purpose lane, MDot is just widening the shoulder and opening it up to general traffic for free during rush hour?

If I understand this correctly, I don't like it at all. Once there are three general purpose lanes, it will be very difficult (politically) to turn one of them into a MnPass lane.
I agree, I live near 35E and I think people would whine if they were able to use the new 4th lane for general purpose and then have it turn into a MNPass lane later on. While I think the entire beltway should have 3 lanes in each direction, I would like MNPass lanes in certain parts so at least if people think they are entitled for wider freeways, they realize there is a cost to it unless you carpool.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby mulad » February 4th, 2013, 2:01 pm

Yes Viktor, I believe you interpreted the plan correctly. I'm not entirely sure whether that's a good idea either, though it kinda sorta in theory narrows the road when there isn't a large enough demand.

At least a portion of the MnPASS HOT lanes are considered "priced dynamic shoulder lanes" (PDSL) -- I don't see a huge reason why dynamic shoulder lanes couldn't be converted to PDSL at some point, other than the fact that HOT lanes have specific places where you're supposed to enter/exit, and those need to be laid out appropriately so drivers can get in/out of them near ramps.


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