Co. Road H projects kick off 2016 construction season


When the I-35W interchange project is completed, the I-35W southbound loop will be closed and new features like roundabouts and new turn lanes will be added to help move traffic more efficiently. (submitted graphic)

Starting end of April, construction will take place on the I-35W interchange at County Road H in Mounds View. (submitted graphic)

Work will be done at the intersection of County Road H and Red Oak Drive in New Brighton to repair part of the sewer system. There are detours at Long Lake Road, Rice Creak Road and Silver Lake Road. (submitted graphic)

Road construction season 2016 is about to hit New Brighton and surrounding communities with two projects. 

Starting Monday, March 28, the intersection at County Road H and Red Oak Drive will be closed. 

Work will also begin on the Interstate 35W interchange at County Road H.

 

Sewer improvements

The intersection at County Road H and Red Oak Drive will be closed through mid-May. The Metropolitan Council Environment Services (MCES), operator of the metro-area wastewater collection and treatment system, is improving aging and deteriorating regional sanitary sewer facilities that service Fridley, New Brighton and Mounds View.

Excavation will take place on County Road H near the intersection of Red Oak Drive in order to make an emergency repair on the sanitary sewer “force” main, which is a pressurized main pipe that can carry water, sewage and other materials. 

In a flyer sent out to surrounding neighborhoods, MCES asked residents to use Silver Lake Road, Rice Creek Road and Long Lake Road as the primary detours around the intersection closure. 

 

Impact on local schools

The County Road H-Red Oak Drive intersection is near Sunnyside Elementary. Principal Nathan Flansburg said the school found out about the project two weeks ago. 

A MCES representative dropped off information to Sunnyside and sent a flyer with more information about the project. 

“We’re taking that information and sending that out to the entire school community, to make sure our whole school community has that information and not just the surrounding neighborhoods, which would be directly impacted,” Flansburg said. 

The school administrators were able to send an email right before spring break notifying families about the construction. 

Busses were rerouted to the back of the building earlier this year, making the parent drop-off and pick-up smoother. Parents will still be able to access Sunnyside from the Long Lake Road side of County Road H. The project shouldn’t greatly impact drop-off and pick-up, Flansburg said. 

Flansburg said those parents who normally arrive from the Silver Lake Road side to drop off their children, should make sure to give themselves a couple extra minutes this week.

“If they give themselves five extra minutes, they should be able to work their way around and be able to access school from the Long Lake side,” Flansburg said. 

Irondale High School Principal Eric Nelson sent out an email on Tuesday, March 22, letting families know about the upcoming project, including a link to a map showing the detours. 

Last year, Mounds View High School experienced construction-related issues when work was being done on three bridges over Interstate 35W surrounding the school: County Road F, County Road E and Highway 96.

A three-way stop at County E2 and Old Highway 10/Snelling Avenue North, was put in place to help with traffic. Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department deputies directed traffic at Old Highway 10/Snelling Avenue North, and Lake Valentine Road.

No word yet if Irondale has plans in place to help with the extra traffic this spring. 

 

I-35W Interchange

Work is also being done this year on the I-35W Interchange at County Road H in Mounds View and Arden Hills. The County Road H bridge spanning the interstate will be removed and replaced. 

Beth Engum, Ramsey County project manager, said the new bridge will accommodate the expected growth of the area as well has have pedestrian facility for linking up regional trails.

“It would accommodate growth not only because of the Rice Creek Commons redevelopment but because of regional growth,” Engum said. “We’ll also be able to get pedestrians and bicyclists safely across 35W.”

The current bridge is expected to come down toward the end of April or beginning of May. When that happens, Engum said there will be no way to get across I-35W in that area. 

From May to November, the area of County Road H from I-35W to County Road 10 will be closed. Drivers will still be able to go north and South on County Road 10 and west on County Road H.

“We will be able to maintain access to Mounds View businesses by providing a connection from 35W southbound to Program Avenue, so instead of driving in front of those businesses on H during construction, traffic will basically drive along them on Program during,” Engum said. 

When the project is completed, the I-35W southbound loop on County Road H will be closed. Engum said that area is a weaving issue. The widened I-35W northbound ramp will still be where it currently is. 

However, once the project is completed there will be an additional exit ramp from northbound I-35W that will give drivers direct access to County Road H. This new ramp will be more direct for people who want to go to Rice Creek Commons. 

Estimated cost of the project is $19 million and is expected to last from the end of April until November. Once completed, the new interchange will also allow traffic to move more efficiently and safely through the area. 

 

Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or hburlingame@lillienews.com.

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