Roads that didn't get built outstate

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Mdcastle
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Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby Mdcastle » December 3rd, 2013, 8:47 pm

With all the different metro freeway proposals that came and went, I thought it would be interesting to list some of the oustate proposals that didn't get built.

*I-35 in Duluth the original concept was to extend it all they way to the US 61 expressway. Also there was going to be a connection between the US 2/53 freeway in Superior and the Bong Bridge, which is why the Bong bridge is a freeway that just suddenly ends
*A Staples bypass. The city of Staples wanted the highway to stay in town, and cities normally get what they want, so to be able to handle the traffic US 10 was rebuilt in town as one-way pairs.
* The original 1950s concept for a Stillwater "High Bridge" was a two-lane bridge north of town. MN 96 was relocated to line up with it (This alignment was studied in the current project, but rejected for a number of reasons)
* There was a proposal to build the US 10 St. Croix bridge farther north as a high bridge.
* There was a proposal to extend the US 169 expressway from Onamia to Garrison. The project was sunk when the local Indian tribe refused the existing alignment option while they were coincidentally buying up massive quantities of land by the bypass alignment.
* MN 43 from I-90 to Winona was going to be 4 lanes, and there's an unused twin bridge that was built over one of the rivers.
* A Red Wing bypass was considered before focus shifted to improving US 52 rather than US 61
* There was a proposal to move US 8 south of the Chisago/Lindstrom area. This was shelved, but the present road still is a traffic and safety issue.
* A bypass was considered for Spicer, but the city opted for a 4 lane urban alignment instead,

mattaudio
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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby mattaudio » December 4th, 2013, 8:51 am

It seems so weird that the bridges for 43 were built, and now one of the bridge ends is up against a garage on private property.

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby mplsjaromir » December 4th, 2013, 9:01 am


Wedgeguy
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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby Wedgeguy » December 4th, 2013, 9:18 am

mattaudio wrote:It seems so weird that the bridges for 43 were built, and now one of the bridge ends is up against a garage on private property.
The plus is they have the ROW and even have parts of the road bed started for the other lanes. IT will be fairly easy to get this section into a 4 lane when the need arises.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby Mdcastle » December 5th, 2013, 7:41 am

The Wadena bypass can probably be added to the list. I don't think it's ever been officially shelved, but although it's the last gap in the US 10 four-lane there's not a strong local consensus to whether they want a bypass or a through-town alignment, and traffic is not that bad.

I do know about Froggie. We've met in person several times and even taken a short road viewing trip. With Steve Riner (the unofficial Minnesota Highway pages) who lives in New Mexico now we're three really hardcore "road geeks" from the state. I used to have my on pro-roads web site to balance all the anti-roads sites out there, that also had a lot of photography of abandoned infrastructure, it was called "North Star Highways" but I lost it when Comcast stopped offering web space.

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby mattaudio » December 5th, 2013, 9:24 am

I miss your website! I was actually trying to find something yesterday that I think was on it.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised to find out Froggie lives in my ward.

Finally, I think there's a lot more common ground than one might think by using the pro-road or anti-road dichotomy. I'd consider myself pro-road and pro-street, and anti-stroad. I'm against long stretches of 40-50 MPH stroads with stoplights. This is the true cause of service level degradation across our state, and usually the reason to build new bypasses. The problem is that we've let our roads become a mechanism for growth on the fringe of small towns, at the expense of regional mobility. Every driveway, every intersection, every stoplight takes a bite out of our system. Let the roads be roads, and let the traffic move! I bet we could agree on that.

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby mattaudio » December 5th, 2013, 9:40 am

Also, I had never driven west of Motley until this summer... Staples had a one-way couplet? That has now been reconstructed... 10 is a 4-lane urban section and 2nd St is the two lane local street with parallel parking.

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 5th, 2013, 10:25 am

If you ever drive by/through again, stop and grab a bite at Tower Pizza. Good stuff. I catch a dinner and movie in the old theater at least once a summer when my family goes camping near there. If you have even more time, head 7 miles east and 12 miles north and catch the pig races at the Bear's Den in Leader. /off-topic.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby Mdcastle » December 5th, 2013, 2:00 pm

I know this board has a mix of opinions about keeping traffic moving or not, and the merits of bypasses, as evidenced by the varying reactions to the US 14 expansion. It's more sites like Street.MN where they're 100% against anything that doesn't punish drivers even if there's no corresponding direct downside to pedestrians.

I was wrong about US 10 in Staples. A one way couplet was one of the proposals, but what actually got built was moving both directions 1 block south of the main business street where there was more room to expand to four lanes.

I still have all of the content of my old web site. Loosing the web space was the final blow, but there were additional ongoing issues in that the storage space was way to small to host a graphically based web site even by 2000 standards, I wasn't good at creating HTML so it always looked like an old Geocities page, and for a while I was unable to travel to gather more content. Now that Flickr has an outrageous amount of free storage space I'm kind of using my account there as some kind of continuation, but a lot of my older photos only exist as film or digital scans cut down to low resolution to try to squeeze them onto the old web site. Last year I finally organized all my old negatives and sent a number out to be scanned but I haven't really loaded the relevant ones onto Flickr yet.

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby mattaudio » December 5th, 2013, 3:15 pm

I hope you do! There's a shortage of "old" photos out there now that everyone is flooding the interwebs with new photos from their iphones.
\thanksalotnickmagrino

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby froggie » August 15th, 2014, 7:04 am

Sorry to necro this thread, but on the subject, there's one old highway proposal that fits in here that I've only found brief references to in the past.

Starting sometime in the '50s (possibly earlier) and lasting at least to ca. 1972, there was a proposal to build an east-west "Highway D" across northern Minnesota. I don't remember offhand where the termini were, but I believe it was somewhere along a Fargo-Duluth line, as it would've passed through southern Cass County (I noted this b/c my grandfather's cabin was in Cass County). I never got a photo of the newspaper map I saw because it was before my digital camera days...I believe I found the reference in the History Center library, but I never had the time to follow through when I was home back in April (had higher priorities for research).

I haven't found any more references to this highway proposal, but it is something that I'd like to research further.

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby xandrex » August 15th, 2014, 10:51 pm

I've often wondered why there wasn't any really great, direct way of getting from Fargo to Duluth (both are decent-sized metros, after all). I originally went to school in Fargo and would come home (to Duluth) on a fairly regular basis. The route seems more complex than it really should be, and huge stretches are entirely two-lane highways. It always sucked to get stuck behind a huge semi going 50 mph with no easy way to pass (too many blind spots and most traffic would flow at 65-70 mph when it could.

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby stp1980 » August 17th, 2014, 7:55 am

It seems that outstate corridors get upgraded to four lanes in piece- meal segments. I wonder if a better solution would be 'super-2s' in these areas with passing lanes every 10-15 miles. This way you don't overbuild roads that don't have the traffic volume on them to necessitate a full four lanes but you get the speed advantages and safety of a limited access freeway. Such as Duluth to Fargo or MN-23 or MN-60

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby froggie » August 17th, 2014, 5:35 pm

The piece-meal upgrade is the result of funding. Aside from Interstate construction, MnDOT hasn't ever really had a dedicated pool of funding to pay for upgrading major outstate corridors...hence the piece-meal fashion.

MnDOT has been adding reconstructing major corridors and adding passing lanes here and there already on some corridors. Hwy 12 past Delano out to Willmar was done in the early '90s. Hwy 2 between Grand Rapids and Proctor was done in the '90s. Since you mentioned Hwy 60, that was already rebuilt as a Super-2 between Windom and St. James way back in the '80s, so 4-laning is the next step. Hwy 23 has long needed 4 lanes between Willmar and St. Cloud, hence why there's been sections built (including the recent Paynesville bypass)....it's just that funding limitations have precluded MnDOT from building out more of the Hwy 23 corridor en-masse.

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby mattaudio » August 17th, 2014, 5:40 pm

There are plenty of super-two and short four lane sections in outstate MN. The two-lane segments usually involve fewer at-grate intersections. Things like frontage road, etc. Corridor preservation. This is more bang for the buck than grade separation. An example of this would be US 12 between Maple Plain and Willmar. A four lane example would be MN 60 in the southwest part of the state, which has had little four lane segments stitched together for decades.

One of my favorite segments (from a roadgeek perspective) is the short four-lane divided no-shoulder segment of US 63 north of Zumbro Falls.

Another thing - after driving back from up north today, I am now much more firmly convinced that stoplights are the true enemy of rural roads (especially highways of regional significance).

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Re: Roads that didn't get built outstate

Postby froggie » August 17th, 2014, 6:44 pm

One of my favorite segments (from a roadgeek perspective) is the short four-lane divided no-shoulder segment of US 63 north of Zumbro Falls.
This is a weird one. I'm not sure what MnDOT's predecessor had in mind with US 63...if I'm reading MnDOT's project logs right, it was built in 1938. Basically functions as a passing lane.
Another thing - after driving back from up north today, I am now much more firmly convinced that stoplights are the true enemy of rural roads (especially highways of regional significance).
MnDOT would generally agree, especially on the major corridors. Unfortunately, a combination of traffic volumes, a lack of funding for interchanges, and local demands often forces them to add rural signals.


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