A contractor will proceed with final designs for a realignment of streets between Oak Park Heights and Bayport as part of the St. Croix River Crossing after the Washington County Board of Commissioners approved a contract amendment Wednesday.
The intersection of County State Aid Highways 21 and 28, or Stagecoach Trail and 56th Street, respectively, will be rebuilt by the county in tandem with the new river crossing project and hopefully provide more structure to a high-traffic area.
“Right now, it’s a no-man land,” said Cory Slagle, county Public Works engineering and construction manager.
The intersection, adjacent to the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater, currently is a “Y” shape that can confuse drivers. The new design establishes a “T” intersection with traffic control on 56th Street, which runs east-west. Stagecoach Trail runs north-south and will not have traffic control at that intersection. The new design also adds left turn lanes.
Minnesota 95 east of Stagecoach Trail can currently be accessed at three points by 56th Street and Pickett Avenue, which runs through 56th Street. The new design establishes a single access point to MN 95, which is reached from Stagecoach Trail by a curved 56th Street and Pickett Avenue connection.
Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) is the contractor selected in 2012 to complete preliminary designs for the realignment at a cost of $105,500. The amendment approved by the Board of Commissioners adds $223,000 to SEH’s contract to finalize the new design, which will tentatively start construction in spring 2014 and be finished that fall.
SEH worked on the realignment project when it was first developed in 1996. At that time, the county’s project was delayed when the river crossing project was challenged in court.
Along with left turn lanes, better road geometry and a single access point to MN 95, project goals include improved safety and mobility, improved pavement conditions, added pedestrian facilities and American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.
Slagle said after the new river crossing bridge is completed, traffic may change around the realignment.
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