MN Highway 7

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
twincitizen
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MN Highway 7

Postby twincitizen » November 18th, 2012, 8:55 pm

This $26MM project looks to begin construction in April. An astonishing amount of the budget, about 45%, is being paid by St. Louis Park. Peculiar for a state highway interchange.

F&C story (unlocked) : http://finance-commerce.com/2012/11/st- ... roject-ok/

SEH project site: http://www.sehinc.com/online/stlouispark

"Highway 7 sees an average of 35,000 vehicles a day and is expected to see 40,000 vehicles a day by 2031. Louisiana Avenue sees 11,500 vehicles a day north of Highway 7 and 13,100 south of Highway 7. Those numbers are forecast to grow to 13,700 and 20,900 vehicles a day, respectively. [ED: That much? Even with Southwest LRT running?]
The anticipated growth is one of the reasons city officials opted to include roundabouts – a first for the city.

Olson said they are expected to move traffic better, preventing a widening of Louisiana Avenue that would have been needed to accommodate left-hand turns."

If you scroll down the SEH page, you can find the multitude of design alternatives "no longer considered". I happen to find this stuff pretty fascinating, not sure how that happened. I also love all the silly names for highway interchanges: buttonhooks, tight diamonds, and SPUIs.

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby seanrichardryan » November 18th, 2012, 9:49 pm

Wait, I didn't realize they were putting an LRT station in the Sam's Club parking lot? That rail bed is grade separated by about 14 feet.
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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby beykite » November 18th, 2012, 11:16 pm

One interchange closer to a turning 7 into a freeway. I hope they do as well of a job as they did on Wooddale, I was worried they'd overdo that one but it ended up great. This will be the most pleasant stretch of 7 to drive!

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby Ubermoose » November 19th, 2012, 4:07 pm

seanrichardryan wrote:Wait, I didn't realize they were putting an LRT station in the Sam's Club parking lot? That rail bed is grade separated by about 14 feet.
I believe the station is on the south side of the tracks, not on the Sam's Club side.

It is amazing how many people I have talked to concerning the roundabouts at this interchange who are very afraid to use them and will probably try to avoid them. I don't understand the fear.

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby twincitizen » November 20th, 2012, 11:40 am

The fear of roundabouts is astonishing, especially in 2012. Do these people not get out of SLP? There are roundabouts EVERYWHERE now. They work.

However, I'm glad I got to "practice" on some very low traffic, low speed roundabouts before encountering the larger variety involving the intersection of two 4-lane roads.

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby Wedgeguy » November 24th, 2012, 8:23 am

I drove thru that intersection this weekend. With the wetlands and the future SWLRT, that is going to make for one compact and tight intersection.

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby Ubermoose » June 5th, 2013, 2:11 pm

I see on the St. Louis Park Patch that they broke ground on this today. Last night I saw them taking down a billboard in the area and there seemed to be a lot of preliminary work near Sam's Club a couple of weeks ago. I am more excited about the changes to W Lake St and Walker.

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby David Greene » June 5th, 2013, 2:40 pm

beykite wrote:One interchange closer to a turning 7 into a freeway. I hope they do as well of a job as they did on Wooddale, I was worried they'd overdo that one but it ended up great. This will be the most pleasant stretch of 7 to drive!
Wooddale is pretty bad for anyone on the LRT trail. Poor sightlines, busy traffic that ambiguously (and wrongly) stops for bikes, etc. Traffic has already pass over the rail crossing and doesn't expect to see bikes just past it.

SW LRT is going to fix that up in the Wooddale station area. The plans look really nice.

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby Mdcastle » June 5th, 2013, 4:37 pm

The accident rate in Richfield actually went up when the roundabouts were put in. They interviewed some drivers and one of them said he was so scared of it that he sped up to go through it as fast as possible.

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby twincitizen » June 5th, 2013, 5:14 pm

One of the problems with the Portland-66 roundabout is that those streets are signed 35MPH (probably designed for 40), while the roundabout itself has a recommended speed of 15MPH. I feel like everything would go a whole lot smoother if both Portland and 66th had traffic calming and their speed limits lowered to 30MPH on the approaches. Also, they could use larger signs alerting people to go 15 through the roundabout, and post them well before encountering the intersection.

I drive through that intersection at least twice a day during peak hours. Even more if I drive to lunch like a true suburbanite (which I avoid at all costs). Actually the busier it is, the safer it is, because people are actually going the posted speeds or less and properly yielding to cars in the roundabout.

The worst behavior I've seen is
A. changing lanes while proceeding through
B. making a left turn (i.e. 270 degrees around) from the OUTER lane, nearly causing the car in the inner lane (going straight) to hit them. I wouldn't be surprised if that's one of the more common accidents in 4-lane roundabouts, besides low-speed rear-endings.

It's true that roundabouts usually don't reduce net accidents. They greatly reduce severe accidents and nearly eliminate fatalities. That's probably worth a couple extra paint scrapes and minor fender benders.

If the weather is nice next week, I'll be going through twice/day on my bike for Bike to Work Week.

twincitizen
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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby twincitizen » June 5th, 2013, 5:36 pm

seanrichardryan wrote:Wait, I didn't realize they were putting an LRT station in the Sam's Club parking lot? That rail bed is grade separated by about 14 feet.
It sounds like someone at Methodist Hospital (or SLP) put on their thinking cap and the station will no longer be in the Sam's Club parking lot. LRT will use the spur line to distance itself from Sam's Club and the Hwy. 7/Louisiana intersection. Presumably the LRT track will be grade separated over Louisiana, but the existing (abandoned?) freight spur is at-grade. The station appears to be fully east of Louisiana and not a split-platform like many CCLRT stations.
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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby nordeast homer » June 5th, 2013, 9:12 pm

I wonder if the hospital will send its shuttle to the LRT stop when it's up and running?

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papazim
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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby papazim » June 6th, 2013, 7:12 am

The proposed LRT crossing at Louisiana under this scenario is an at-grade crossing, as are the two crossings of Oxford.

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Re: Highway 7 / Louisiana Interchange Project (St. Louis Par

Postby Anondson » August 16th, 2013, 3:19 pm

Looks like the pilings are being driven now to begin elevating TH 7. Related, just south of this work, the city is asking that some of the "betterment fund" be used to pay for moving the Louisiana station adjacent to Methodist and remove the wye rail interchange.

http://stlouispark.patch.com/groups/pol ... provements

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MN Highway 7/ Louisiana Interchange Project

Postby seanrichardryan » January 17th, 2014, 1:17 pm

Sat at the light on 7 this morning and watched the backhoes digging. They are now working on the north pile driving and footing. The soil being was steaming in huge piles. Kinda neat.
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Re: MN Highway 7

Postby Ubermoose » January 21st, 2014, 11:09 am

I have been amazed at the number of pilings going in. It seems like a lot more than other bridge projects I've observed, and the pilings seem to be going quite a way west of the bridge site as well. Does anyone have any understanding of why that would be? I haven't found a lot of detail about the construction on MNDot's or SLP's pages on the project.

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Re: MN Highway 7

Postby Mdcastle » January 21st, 2014, 6:08 pm

The mainline needs retaining walls on each side due to how close the ramps are. Maybe for that?

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Anondson
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Re: MN Highway 7

Postby Anondson » January 21st, 2014, 8:49 pm

Maybe the Riley Tar superfund site being in this location limits how this is elevated across this low former swamp?

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Re: MN Highway 7

Postby Mdcastle » January 22nd, 2014, 8:50 am

The contractor's web site has a lot of details.
http://www.sehinc.com/online/stlouispark

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Re: MN Highway 7

Postby seanrichardryan » January 22nd, 2014, 9:08 am

Certainly does! Thanks. What's missing from those rendering are semi-trucks, lots of them move through here.
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