Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby mattaudio » May 28th, 2021, 7:25 am

The Snelling bridge is not new - it just got some renovation. It still has outer supports in addition to the median support. Not as much clear span as newer bridges often have. Plenty of space to add another lane with shoulders, maybe two more lanes per direction with substandard shoulders, but not a median station with a platform, double barriers, etc.

Mdcastle
Foshay Tower
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Joined: March 23rd, 2013, 8:28 am
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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Mdcastle » June 5th, 2021, 5:15 pm


*MNdible and Bakken are correct that once upon a time there was a plan to consolidate the 35th/36th ramps at 38th, along with a BRT station, and it did face substantial neighborhood opposition. But that was in the early 2000s, during what was technically a totally separate planning process. Planning for the "current" project picked up again around 2010-2011, and the planning effort was led by Hennepin County rather than MnDOT. The current project never even considered a station at 38th, nor moving the ramps away from 35th/36th. I can only speculate, but I'm guessing that was a combination of cost-cutting and not wanting to pick at a then-somewhat fresh wound at 38th from the previous round of planning.
If they couldn't get a consensus on the neighborhoods to agree to move the ramps last time, there's no reason for them to spend the money on another engagement and design process expecting a different result this time. So they've kind of punted on it- on the other hand they haven't spent the money to braid the Lake and 35th ramps, which would essentially end the idea of ever moving them. The official line is that dealing with the issue can wait until either sometime in the future or possibly never, since the new ramps will remove a lot of the traffic from the weaves.
Another piece that was dropped in the name of cost savings was a northbound 35W entrance ramp from Lake St. I believe the current project is being built in such a way that it could still be added someday. That said, I believe there won't be any appetite to touch this segment of 35W for at least 15-20 years. Since they just redid all of the bridges and ramps at 35th/36th, that goes for any hopes of a station at 38th as well. I wouldn't hold my breath.
Notable that there is that on-ramp from Franklin.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7711
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby mattaudio » June 6th, 2021, 8:44 pm

It would be better to have the BRT stop and freeway ramps at different locations anyways. Having them together at 46th is nasty.

Mdcastle
Foshay Tower
Posts: 909
Joined: March 23rd, 2013, 8:28 am
Location: Bloomington, MN

Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Mdcastle » June 7th, 2021, 7:15 am

My vague recollection is that local businesses were all gung-ho about the exit ramp to make it easy for people to drive to their businesses from the north, but they were substantially less enthusiastic about making it easy for people to get home once they had patronized their businesses. That and that the entrance ramp would require braiding but the exit ramp would not and the presence of the Franklin ramp be maintained meant the entrance ramp was dropped.

There's also something to be said for picking your battles. 35W north of 76th has 60 year concrete that's now 0-20 years old. It would be a big battle to redo that. 35W south of 76th has 30 year concrete that's now 60 years old. A good battle to fight would be to move operations to the center, including a centerline 98th Street station and left bus only entrance and exit ramps at 13 and American.


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