Oak Park Heights seeks safety barrier along South Frontage Road

The Oak Park Heights City Council is asking MnDOT to construct a safety barrier between Highway 36 and the South Frontage Road east of Osgood Avenue and west of Stagecoach road.

At its Nov. 6 meeting the council unanimously approved a resolution requesting a barrier system because “the construction of the new STH 36 roadway has resulted in high embankments and elevation changes between the STH 36 mainline and the south frontage roadway.”

Mayor Mary McComber brought the idea forward because a few residents had expressed concerns with the slope.

“I don’t want to wait until something happens and then say we should have (done something),” McComber said.

MnDOT disputes the need for a barrier.

St. Croix Crossing project manager Jon Chiglo pointed out that the area in question is a low-speed zone.

“The slopes are safe, so if vehicles do run off the road, there is nothing for them to hit within that clear zone,” he said. “By adding an obstacle, you could very well reduce the safety in that area, because right now there’s nothing for them to hit. … We try not to add barriers where we have safe designs already.”

For that reason, Chiglo said he didn’t expect MnDOT to add a barrier.

But McComber said she would still like to see a barrier installed and expects a written response from MnDOT.

In other council news:

At its Nov. 6 meeting the council also held public hearings on its street reconstruction plans. The council unanimously voted to move forward with the process.

Contact Jonathan Young at jonathan.young@ecm-inc.com

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