Interstate 494

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
MNdible
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby MNdible » February 4th, 2013, 2:16 pm

Wasn't there a "promise" to eventually convert the whole beltway to three lanes? I'd guess that's why this is being handled this way.

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Suburban Outcast » February 4th, 2013, 2:34 pm

MNdible wrote:Wasn't there a "promise" to eventually convert the whole beltway to three lanes? I'd guess that's why this is being handled this way.
Probably, basically this stretch is the only remaining part of 494 that isn't at least 3 lanes each way. If they expand 694 between 35W and 35E, it will only leave about 10 miles left on the beltway that hasn't been expanded (and probably wont be until years from now (2025-2030?), given they just reconstructed it with a concrete overlay).

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby twincitizen » April 24th, 2013, 7:45 pm

A bill has been introduced recently to fund the 494/35W turbine interchange and American Boulevard BRT Station.

Why isn't anyone advocating for pedestrian bridges in this area? Penn and Lyndale are a mile apart and it's not like you can walk along 35W to get to American Boulevard Station. On top of that, Penn & Lyndale bridges are both SPUIs and are incredibly hostile to pedestrians.

Funding for a Knox Avenue pedestrian bridge should absolutely be included the American boulevard station money. Actually no, it should have been included in the 2012-3 construction project on 494.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Mdcastle » April 28th, 2013, 4:11 pm

Given the dollar amount it would only be the first phase of the interchange. These pork barrel bills tend to go nowhere anyway.

beykite
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby beykite » April 28th, 2013, 6:02 pm

I think the idea and hope is that they get included in the overall bonding bill isn't it? Hopefully this gets going sooner or later, phase one alone would be such a huge improvement.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby twincitizen » May 1st, 2013, 10:24 am

Aparently Bloomington's "active living by design"/alternative transportation plan calls for bike/ped bridges at both Bloomington Avenue and Chicago Avenue. It also calls for replacing the current, lonely 2nd Ave ped bridge since it isn't ADA compliant. Nothing for west Bloomington in the cards though, except for the new Xerxes bridge, which is supposed to be bike/ped friendly. I guess my vision for a Knox Avenue ped bridge will have to be pushed on the Orange Line people as planning for American Blvd Station ramps up.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Mdcastle » May 11th, 2013, 11:18 am

There's been noises about a vehicle bridge at Nord Ave for as long as I can remember, but I haven't heard anything recently.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Mdcastle » May 18th, 2013, 11:12 am

I took a look at the Bloomington alternative transportation plan.

I like it and I'd wish they'd get the Minnesota River Trail and the Old Cedar Bridge done already. I like to bicycle and rollerblade around the Chain of Lakes, Hyland Park, West River Road, etc and will continue to do so, but it would be nice to also be able to go on rides right from my house which is near Kennedy High School.

downfall
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby downfall » February 12th, 2014, 8:54 pm

MnDOT is reconsidering the dynamic shoulders in Plymouth and looking at adding the full third lanes.

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/245226201.html

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Suburban Outcast » February 13th, 2014, 1:42 pm

I think if we are going to expand freeways around the metro, that they should be MnPass lanes at least. Even with 35E and the expansion project near my house. It gets bad, but honestly people are just impatient so at least instead of having just 4 clogged general purpose lanes, they are least giving you the opportunity to have a faster commute with the MnPass lane (for a small cost). I mean let's face it, everyone sucks at driving (and I am not saying I am any better), so there will always be somebody clogging the roads during rush hour no matter the width (may it be accident or not). You may widen the roads, but that just allows more idiots on the road. Even on 35 going up north or back down to the cities, there is a back road most of the way (County Highway 61/US 61) that I take whenever road construction or traffic is heavy and it seems to work fine, so with cabin traffic (as some Strib commenters said) most freeways like 494/94 have alternative routes if the freeway traffic is going as slow as the speeds on local roads.

Regardless, I don't really think 3-lanes aren't going to make a difference in congestion after 5-10 years, but at the same time I'm fine with the entire beltway having at least 3-lanes each way (including MNPass or not).

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby min-chi-cbus » February 13th, 2014, 11:01 pm

I'm as urbanist as the rest of you, but some freeway expansions are perfectly acceptable to me, and this is one of them. Another one includes I-94 expanding to 3 lanes in both directions beyond Rogers, preferably to Big Lake. Also, another project that really needs to happen sooner is I-494 expanding to 4 lanes in each direction between Hwy. 100 and 34th Avenue near the MOA. I know they're doing some of that right now (I-35W to Hwy. 100?), but they need to get it done, as I-494 is an extremely busy expressway night and day, weekday and weekend, and there are tens of thousands of jobs along that short stretch of real estate. Finally, a pipe dream project that "needs" to happen someday is the expansion of Hwy. 62 to three lanes in each direction from Hwy. 169 to I-35W.

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Tcmetro
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Tcmetro » February 13th, 2014, 11:07 pm

If I was to put together a wishlist of freeway projects: 3-laning both 62 and 169, 252 and 110 conversion to freeways, Ayd Mill extension to 94, and probably a slew of managed lanes and BRT stations.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby min-chi-cbus » February 13th, 2014, 11:27 pm

While we're at it, conversion of Hwy. 52 to a freeway or even an Interstate from the Twin Cities to Rochester.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Suburban Outcast » February 14th, 2014, 3:00 am

I'm fine with expansion, it's just in certain areas like this one, a MNPass lane versus a general purpose lane would be beneficial in my opinion. I think the freeway is still going to be clogged with the future AADT, but a MNPass lane would at least allow people the option for a faster commute for a small price, or for free if they are carpooling. I know carpooling isn't feasible for everyone, but if we can promote it and encourage it, it would be a bonus.

I'm not against roads, I'm just for better long-term transportation planning.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 14th, 2014, 10:12 am

Suburban Outcast wrote:I'm not against roads, I'm just for better long-term transportation planning.
Exactly. It's more likely and reasonable to add a lane as MnPass (why not have users pay for their new infrastructure since they're not currently paying for what's there) rather than just add a lane and hope the legislators/DOT folk change their rules about "taking away" lanes and turning them to HO/T lanes.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby uptowncarag » February 14th, 2014, 4:18 pm

min-chi-cbus wrote:While we're at it, conversion of Hwy. 52 to a freeway or even an Interstate from the Twin Cities to Rochester.
And Hwy 55 west out of downtown doesn't have to be a freeway but ramps similar to what is being constructed on hwy 7 should have been put in. Stoplights on major roadways have to go.

downfall
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby downfall » April 28th, 2014, 4:14 pm

General purpose third to be added to I-494 from MN 55 to I-94.

http://www.dot.state.mn.us/newsrels/14/ ... vings.html

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby mattaudio » April 28th, 2014, 4:20 pm

So transportation dollars *are* fungible when there's political will to add capacity.

I'd also be curious to know what they mean by "The Red Wing bridge project realized $20 million in cost reductions by adjusting the design to meet future capacity needs." Do they mean a downward adjustment? I've followed the Red Wing project a little and I'm not sure exactly where costs could have been reduced other than the design of the span (which, to my knowledge, is planned to be a plain steel girder structure).

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Mdcastle
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Re: Interstate 494

Postby Mdcastle » April 28th, 2014, 4:34 pm

It depends on which dollars. Most of the St. Croix Crossing and Red Wing Bridge dollars are from the general highway fund and could go to just about anything. Contrasted when politicians play highway engineer and implement pop-up projects, the dollars for these like the MN 60 expressway completion or some of the new US 52 interchanges can't be used for anything else.

I have an email to Mn/DOT asking for more information, but the lighting engineer there is the only one that's good about returning them.

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Re: Interstate 494

Postby froggie » April 29th, 2014, 5:13 am

According to the Red Wing City Council presentation from 2 months ago, it was decided to go with a 2-lane Red Wing bridge replacement instead of a 4-lane. That's likely where the ~$20M in "cost reduction" came from.

As for the 494 project, the previous project rendition was going to add a PDSL (Priced Dynamic Shoulder Lane), similar to what exists on northbound 35W from 42nd to 26th St.


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