TH 12 in Minneapolis to 59th Ave N in Brooklyn Center

From the "Study Report on Uncompleted Interstate Segments in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area", a study ordered by the 1975 Minnesota Legislature that directed the Metropolitan Council, the Transportation Advisory Board, and the cities involved to review the then-uncompleted segments of Interstate Highway within the 7-county metro area and make recommendations on those segments.


History of the Project

In 1949, the Minnesota Highway Department (MHD) had studies for improving TH 169 (Lyndale Ave North).  The plan proposed was for a new expressway along the bank of the Mississippi River through what was then largely undeveloped land.

With the advent of the Interstate Highway Program, the route was given a designation of I-94.  The location public hearings were held in March, 1957

A preliminary plan for a 6-lane divided Interstate highway was submitted to the Minneapolis City Council and received approval in 1962.  Field reconnaissance and studies by the Minneapolis Housing and Redevelopment authority had suggested I-94 should follow Lyndale Ave from Hennepin Ave northerly to a point north of 7th St N which served as a major traffic route from the northwest.  From this point, I-94 would continue northeasterly to junction with proposed I-335 at the Plymouth Ave vicinity, then proceed north and be located just west of Washington Ave.  This was considered a favorable location in that it did not create any small satellite communities east of I-94 but separated residential districts to the west of Washington Ave from the existing and potential industrial areas to the east of Washington Ave.

In April of 1964, the Park Board had granted approval of this alignment through North Mississippi Park in a letter from the Superintendent and the Secretary of the Board of Park Commissioners to the Department of Highways.  In 1968, however, the plan was declared unacceptable by the Minneapolis Park Board due to what they felt was excessive encroachment on park land.

MHD then initiated a series of studies in an attempt to find a solution acceptable to all concerned.  In the meantime, several of the proposed diagonal freeway transportation corridors were eliminated from the metropolitan system and one of them, the Northwest Diagonal, that would have connected the Central Business District in Minneapolis to US 52 in the vicinity of the Lowry Ave and Broadway Ave intersection was also eliminated.  In 1969, the plan was revised to provide 8 lanes to accommodate the anticipated 1990 traffic volumes since the Northwest Diagonal was removed from further consideration.

MHD prepared four studies (Study 5, 7, 9, and 10) of alternate paths through the vicinity of North Mississippi Park and Charles Weber Park (40th Ave N to 53rd Ave N).  The alternates were discussed at the public hearing held in March, 1972.  Alternate Study 7 was the plan that was approved by the Minneapolis City Council in May, 1972.  This layout approved by Minneapolis was the segment from 40th Ave N to 59th Ave N.  The Draft EIS was prepared and circulated in March, 1972.

There were many meetings held with the Minneapolis Park Board to work out the details through the North Mississippi Park.  The proposed interchange at 45th Ave N was moved northerly to make a split interchange between 49th Ave N and 53rd Ave N.  This plan (Layout 10) was approved by the Minneapolis City Council in August, 1974.  A memorandum of intent was signed by the Mayor of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis City Council president, the Minneapolis Park Board chairman, and the Minnesota Highway Commissioner in August, 1974 that established the guidelines for the final details on the park problem.

In the meantime, work had been progressing in the segment from the Hawthorne Interchange to 40th Ave N.  The plan presented at the April, 1972 Design Hearing was generally a depressed section and from the comments received at the hearing, additional studies were made to lower the grade of the mainline freeway further in several areas and a complete noise analysis was made for the project.  The Draft EIS was signed and circulated in February, 1975 for this segment.


Description and Current Status

Project Limit: TH 12 in Minneapolis to 59th Ave N in Brooklyn Center
Project Length: 6.3 miles
Costs Remaining: $72 million
Costs per Mile: $11.4 million/mile
ROW Acquired: N/A
Homes Acquired: N/A
Homes to be Acquired: 213 Living Units*
Basic Design Proposed by MHD: Freeway (full access control)
Transit Provision: Preferential bus access ramps with freeway metering to be implemented as need is demonstrated.
Access: At TH 55, Broadway Ave, Dowling Ave, and 49th/53rd Aves N.
Traffic Volumes: (2000 forecasts)  70,000 - 110,000 vehicles per day
Estimated Completion of Draft EIS Completed in two segments:
Hawthorne Interchange (TH 12) to 40th Ave N - February, 1975.
40th Ave N to 59th Ave N - March, 1972.
Estimated Completion Date of Project 1981

Values, amounts, dates, etc. given above may change during the project development.
Traffic forecasts from Bather, Ringrose and Wolsfeld (BRW) computer output, medium values.
* - 23 buildings involving 104 living units being coordinated with the Minneapolis Housing & Redevelopment Authority.

The location/design public hearing and location approvals have been received.  The Draft EIS has been circulated for the project.  Data is being collected for special studies involving air, noise, and water quality.  It is anticipated the Final EIS and the 4(f) Statement for the entire segment will be accepted in the spring of 1976 so that Design Approval can be received in April, 1976.  Once design approval is received, the remaining parcels of right-of-way may be obtained.  Some preliminary construction projects will be let in the late Fall of 1976 and 1977 with the major construction being performed in 1978.  It is anticipated the freeway will be open to traffic in 1981.  The current design proposed is basically an 8-lane divided freeway from the Hawthorne Interchange (TH 12) to Dowling Ave (38th Ave N) and a 6-lane divided freeway from Dowling Ave to 61st Ave N.  As the number of buses using I-94 increases, the Metropolitan Transit Commission has noted the need for preferential bus access and freeway metering in the future.  There are provisions for exclusive bus ramps and provisions for future metering in the future.


See my I-94 Page
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Page last modified 13 January, 2008