Public invited to weigh in on Highway 10 options

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is digging deep into its tool box to find solutions for improving traffic flow and safety on Highway 10.

The public is invited to an open house Wednesday, Feb. 26, 6-8 p.m. at Green Haven Golf Club in Anoka where they will get a look at a first round of concepts for upgrades.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is conducting a Highway 10 access study, focusing on the corridor from the western boundary with Sherburne County to the Rum River in Anoka. File photo

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is conducting a Highway 10 access study, focusing on the corridor from the western boundary with Sherburne County to the Rum River in Anoka. File photo

This is part of a Highway 10 access study looking at the corridor from the western boundary with Sherburne County to the Rum River in Anoka, according to Paul Jung, MnDOT project manager in the north metro.

While the ideal solution would be to turn Highway 10 into a full freeway, that project comes with a $300 million price tag.

“We can’t just throw up our hands and say we don’t have $300 million so we’re not going to do anything,” Jung said.

In the past 10 years there have been four pedestrian fatalities in the corridor, and nine motorist fatalities, according to Jung. Three of those pedestrian fatalities happened in the last two years, elevating concerns about safety along Highway 10.

Instead, MnDOT will look at lower cost alternatives to keep traffic flowing safely.

Jung said while timelines are not in place, those upgrades could come in the next three to 10 years.

MnDOT has been working with the cities of Ramsey and Anoka, along with Anoka County and consulting firm Bolton & Menk, which has looked at traffic configurations from across the United States to come up with ideas that would work in the north metro.

“We’ve developed a number of concepts addressing congestion and safety issues on Highway 10,” Jung said.

But citizen input is a critical part of the project.

“It’s very important we don’t work on this in isolation,” Jung said.

What the public looks at Wednesday is far from the final designs. Jung said they will take the feedback gathered at the open house to fine tune a set of recommendations for the corridor. Final designs will be presented at an open house later this spring.

“The more feedback we get from people who use Highway 10 every day the better we will be able to tailor this plan to those who live, work and drive in the corridor,” Jung said.

The open house will include a brief presentation at 6:30 p.m. with small group discussions and opportunity for input to follow around 7 p.m.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com

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