Anoka County is planning to reconstruct a portion of Foley Boulevard in Coon Rapids in 2014.
The county has received federal funding to pay for most of the upgrade of Foley from 101st Avenue to Egret Boulevard.
The estimated cost of the work is $3 million and the federal grant will contribute $2.4 million, according to Doug Fischer, county highway engineer.
“Foley carries a high volume of traffic and has had a lot of accidents,” Fischer said.
There are presently two lanes in each direction on this stretch of Foley, but without medians for the most part.
That will change under the preliminary project layout found on the Anoka County Highway Department website.
A median will be constructed and access from side residential streets restricted.
The project will also include the reconstruction of the existing signalized intersections at 101st and Egret as well as separate pedestrian/bicycle facilities.
According to the preliminary layout map on the county highway department website, there will be full access intersections at 101st Avenue, 102nd Lane, 105th Avenue and at Egret.
But 102nd Avenue will be limited to right-in and right-out, so will 104th Avenue.
And there will be no access to Foley from 104th Lane, 105th Lane and 106th Avenue.
Where the current access to Foley is eliminated, the residential streets will become cul-de-sacs, Fischer said.
“Some people like them, others hate them,” Fischer said.
But residents affected by the project will have the opportunity to present their views at public information open houses that the county will schedule as the project engineering and design process moves forward, he said.
The first of those public information open houses could take place as early as later this year, Fischer said.
The Anoka County Board’s Public Works Committee earlier this month authorized Fischer to issue a request for proposals for preparations of an environmental document for the project.
According to Kate Garwood, county highway department multi-modal coordinator, there are several reasons why an environmental document is needed rather than a mere project memo.
These include the high number of crashes – 97 in two years – in this less than one-mile segment, the fully developed nature of the corridor and the variety of uses in the area including schools, freight facilities, transit services and a small commercial component, Garwood wrote in a report to the Public Works Committee.
The county is also seeking federal funding to reconstruct Foley from Egret to Northdale boulevards.
The county application for this project has been ranked first in its category in the metro area in the federal funding cycle for 2015-2016 construction, Fischer said.
That project will be more extensive because Foley is currently single lane in each direction in this segment and the upgrade would be to two lanes in each direction with a median that would limit access from residential streets, he said.
In addition, plans are to reconfigure and straighten out the Foley and Northdale boulevards intersection, he said.
“It’s a horrible, skewed intersection right now,” Fischer said.
“The projects will make Foley much safer.”
According to Fischer, the project to reconstruct Foley from Highway 10 to Northdale was split into two “because it never did score well” for federal funding as one project.
Foley Boulevard, north of Northdale, is a city collector street.
Peter Bodley is at email@example.com