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Hwy 65 Virtual Engagement

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    Minnesota State Highway 65 Improvements Project

    Welcome!

    Welcome! Thank you for joining our virtual open house. Click through to learn more about the future of Highway 65 and planned improvements. We encourage you to submit your feedback or questions at any time during the virtual open house.

    Learn more general information about Planning & Environmental Linkages (PEL) studies.

    Thrive on 65

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    Project Overview

    The City of Blaine, Anoka County, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) are planning for improvements to Highway 65 from 97th Ave to 119th Ave. Highway 65 is a vital link between the Twin Cities urban core and north metro communities.

    Overall Corridor Issues

    • Vehicle Safety:

      Fatal and severe injury crash rates on segments of Highway 65 are 8 times higher than the state average.
    • Vehicle Congestion:

      Congestion is expected to nearly double during peak hour travel times from 24 minutes to 40 minutes from south of County Road 10 to Bunker Lane Blvd by 2045.
    • Walking/Biking:

      Highway 65 is difficult to travel on or cross for people walking and biking.

    Environmental Justice

    What is environmental justice?

    Environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies.

    Learn more at the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

    Why does it matter on Hwy 65?

    This project is focused on environmental justice both in our public engagement strategy and in the way we are evaluating the impacts of our different alternatives (or solutions) for Hwy 65.

    Project Schedule

    Project Schedule


    Click the image above to enlarge.

    • Present

      Evaluating alternatives to select a preferred solution.

    • 2022

      Environmental review complete by end of 2022.

    • 2023

      Begin roadway design.

    • 2025

      Estimated substantial construction begins. Opening day to be determined as funding is secured.

    • Highway 65 was the focus of a Planning and Environmental Linkages Study (PEL) from 2018-2021.

    Planning Process

    Many possible alternatives (or solutions) have been evaluated for this stretch of Hwy 65. This section will walk through our evaluation process that led to selecting our proposed alternative.

    Corridor Sections and Focus Area

    We are now specifically focusing on solutions for section 2 which includes the stretch of Highway 65 from approximately 95th Ave NE to 117th Ave NE/Cloud Drive NE in Blaine, MN.

    Overall Corridor Map

    Focus Area map

    Problem Statement

    The problem statement for this entire stretch of Highway 65 includes two primary problems and one secondary problem.

    Primary Problems

    • Vehicle Safety:
      Does it reduce the number and severity of crashes?
    • Vehicle Congestion:
      Does it improve travel time & decrease delay compared to doing nothing (today and 2040 conditions)?

    Secondary Problem

    • Walking/Biking:
      Does it improve access and safety?

      Primary Problems

    • Vehicle Safety

      Does it reduce the number and severity of crashes?

    • Vehicle Congestion

      Does it improve travel time & decrease delay compared to doing nothing (today and 2040 conditions

    • Secondary Problem

    • Vehicle Safety

      Does it reduce the number and severity of crashes?

    Screening Process

    Three levels of screening occurred during the PEL process and narrowed down our options to four alternatives. Alternatives were evaluated based on how well they addressed our problem statement.

    • The "Regional Network - University Ave Extension" Alternative was not recommended in Level 1 screening.
    • The "Regional Network - Radisson RoadExtension" Alternative was not recommended in Level 1 screening.
    • The "Two-Way Frontage Road" Alternative was not recommended in Level 1 screening.
    • The "99th Avenue: Green T" Alternative was not recommended in Level 1 screening.
    • The "105th Avenue: Green T" Alternative was not recommended in Level 1 screening.
    • The "109th Avenue: SPUI" Alternative was not recommended in Level 1 screening.
    • The "Six-lane Arterial" Alternative was eliminated in Level 1 screening.
    • The "Freeway Alternative 1" Alternative was eliminated in Level 2 screening.
    • The "Freeway Alternative 2" Alternative was not recommended in Level 2 screening.
    • The "Superstreet" Alternative was eliminated in Level 2 screening.
    • The "Local Network" Alternative was eliminated in Level 2 screening.
    • The "One-Way Frontage Road" Alternative was not recommended in Level 2 screening.
    • The "No-build" Alternative was not recommended in final analysis.
    • The "Hybrid Freeway" Alternative became Alternative 2 and 3, which were both not recommended in the final analysis.
    • The "Freeway Alternative 3" Alternative became Alternative 1 and alternative 1a. Alternative 1a was recommended.

    Alternatives Evaluation

    Alternatives

    Alternative 1

    Alternative 1 Map


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    Alternative 1a

    Alternative 1A Map


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    Alternative 2

    Alternative 2 Map


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    Alternative 3

    Alternative 3 Map


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    Alternatives Evaluation

    The four alternatives were then evaluated against one another to see how well they addressed the area’s problems and what kinds of impacts they would have on factors like property impacts, environmental justice communities and wetlands.

    Criteria No Build: Do Nothing Alternative 1: 4-Lane Freeway with a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at 109th Ave Alternative 1A: 4-Lane Freeway with a Teardrop Interchange at 109th Ave and an underpass at 105th Ave Alternative 2: Hybrid Freeway Alternative 3: Hybrid Freeway with an Interchange at 109th Ave
    Is vehicle safety improved? Negative rating iconNegative Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood
    Are vehicles able travel along and across Highway 65 in less time? Negative rating iconNegative Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood
    Is safety and comfort for people walking and bicycling improved? Negative rating iconNegative Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood
    Does the concept minimize impacts to existing residences and businesses? Good rating iconGood Negative rating iconNegative Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay Poor rating iconPoor
    Does the concept minimize potential impacts to low income or minority groups? Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood
    Does the concept minimize impacts to wetlands? Good rating iconGood Poor rating iconPoor Poor rating iconPoor Negative rating iconNegative Negative rating iconNegative
    Does the concept minimize impact floodplains? Good rating iconGood Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay
    Does the concept minimize impact to parks? Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood
    Does the concept have risks related to disturbing contamined sites? Good rating iconGood Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay
    Does the concept increase impervious surface? Good rating iconGood Poor rating iconPoor Poor rating iconPoor Negative rating iconNegative Negative rating iconNegative
    Is the concept expensive to build? Good rating iconGood Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay Poor rating iconPoor Negative rating iconNegative
    Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood Good rating iconGood
    Level of travel impacts during construction Good rating iconGood Poor rating iconPoor Poor rating iconPoor Fair rating iconOkay Fair rating iconOkay

    Recommendation

    Alternative 1a is being recommended for construction. The benefits of Alternative 1a significantly outweigh the costs and it has the least amount of property impacts. Improving safety and comfort for people walking and bicycling will be emphasized during the next phase of design development.

    As this decision is finalized, it's important to hear from local communities. Your feedback is an important part of this process.

    Alternative 1a - Full Layout

    Key Factors for Recommending 1a

    It solves primary transportation issue: Vehicle Safety and Congestion

    • Improves safety similar to other alternatives
    • Improves congestion along and across Highway 65 similar to other alternatives

    It improves secondary transportation issue: Biking/Walking Comfort and Safety

    • Although the initial analysis suggests that 1A doesn't address this issue as well as Alternatives 2 and 3, designers can still look for ways to refine and improve the design to achieve better outcomes

    Other critical factors:

    • Alternative 1A has the fewest private property impacts
    • The cost to build Alternative 1A is substantially lower than Alternatives 2 and 3

    Traffic Flow Animation Video

    Check out this video to learn how traffic will move through the different intersection improvements.


    Section 2 improvements will...

    • Improve Traffic Flow
    • Reduce Crash Frequences by 42%
    • Reduce vehicle travel time by nearly 75% (from 15 to 4 minutes during morning peak travel times)
    • Reduce vehicle crossing time by up to 65% (some crossing reduced from 11 to 4 minutes)
    • Improve travel times by up to 5 minutes and cyclist travel times by up to 2 minutes
    • Improve safety and access to destinations for pedestrians and bicyclists

    Bike and Pedestrian Benefits

    Alternative 1a - Full Layout

    Alternative 1a map


    Click the image above to enlarge.


    • New north-south trail along low speed western frontage road from 99th Ave to 109th Ave
    • People walking and biking separated from mainline traffic on Highway 65
    • Shortens travel time to key destinations

    Safety Benefits

    Safety Problems on Highway 65

    Unusually high crash rates (compared to similar highways around the state)

    • 109th Ave intersection
    • Hwy 65 from 93rd Ave to 99th Ave
    • Hwy 65 from 99th Ave to 105th Ave

    Unusually high severe crash rate (fatal or serious injury crashes)

    • Hwy 65 from 99th Ave to 105th Ave

    Did you know?

    This section of Highway 65 (Section 2) averaged two fatal or serious injury crashes per year from 2013 – 2017.

    Safety Benefits of Alternative 1a

    What’s being done to address safety?

    • Separating Hwy 65 traffic from the local street traffic with bridges
      Fatal/serious injury crashes: 57%+ reduction
    • Constructing interchanges at 117th Ave, 109th Ave, and 99th Ave
    • Constructing an underpass at 105th Ave
    • Limiting direct access to Hwy 65 by closing Hwy 65 intersections without a traffic signal
    • Using frontage roads to direct traffic to newly designed entrance and exit ramps

    What are the models saying?

    • Alternative 1a vs. what’s out there today
      Total conflicts: 42% reduction Rear end conflicts: 42% reduction Crossing conflicts: 74% reduction Lane changing conflicts: 26% reduction

    Travel Time Benefits

    The map below demonstrates how travel time both along and crossing Highway 65 are projected to improve. In general, travel time on and across Highway 65 will improve by 40% in the morning rush hour and 22% in the afternoon rush hour once construction is complete. These travel time reductions demonstrate how the project will reduce the barrier Highway 65 currently creates in the community.

    Alternative 1a travel time benefits map


    Click the image above to enlarge.


    Noise Analysis

    As part of the next phase of the project, a noise study will be conducted along the Highway 65 corridor to determine whether receptors (defined typically as homes, apartments, parks, trails, schools, businesses) are impacted by noise. The analysis is based on noise levels experienced at commonly used outdoor areas. If noise impacts are identified as part of the noise study, then MnDOT is required to evaluate noise reduction measures such as installing noise barriers.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How does MnDOT determine if a noise wall should be proposed?

    Constructing a noise wall must be feasible and reasonable. Feasibility and reasonableness are determined by cost, amount of noise reduction, safety and site consideration. Noise mitigation is not automatically provided where noise impacts have been identified. Decisions about noise mitigation are made according to MnDOT’s noise requirements.

    Why does MnDOT conduct noise studies?

    MnDOT assesses existing noise levels and predicts future noise levels and noise impacts of proposed construction projects. If noise impacts are identified, MnDOT is required to consider noise mitigation measures, such as installing noise walls. All traffic noise studies and analyses must follow the requirements established by federal and state law.

    What happens if a noise wall is proposed?

    If the analysis determines that a noise wall should be proposed, property owners and residents will have the opportunity to vote for or against the installation of the proposed noise wall. Property owners, residents, businesses, churches, and schools adjacent or nearly adjacent to the proposed noise wall will all have the opportunity to vote. The final vote of property owners and residents will determine whether or not the noise wall is constructed.

    Next Steps

    You can expect to learn more about this process in the upcoming phases of the project.

    Where can I find more information about MnDOT’s noise requirements?

    Visit MnDOT’s noise website at: www.dot.state.mn.us/environment/noise

    Public Engagement Plan

    Focus for Public Engagement

    • 1 Remind people about the project process, problems and considerations
    • 1 High level explanation of alternatives and evaluation process
    • 1 Present the evaluation results and recommended alternative
    • 1 Ask for feedback/comments on Alternative 1a and process/evaluation

    Additional public engagement will occur as the project continues through design and construction.

    Engagement Activities To-Date

    2018-2021 Planning & Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study

    • Seven ethnography phone interviews
    • Three online surveys
    • One business community workshop
    • One in-person public open house
    • Two virtual open houses
    • Created flyers to be handed out to Blaine International Village residents
    • One live virtual public meeting
    • Five pop-up/in-person events
    • Four Public Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings
    • Three Local Officials meetings
    • Nineteen Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings

    2021-2022 Alternatives Analysis & Environmental Reveiw

    • Two bicycle & pedestrian-focused workshops
    • One Public Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting
    • One Local Officials meeting
    • Two door knocking sessions and neighborhood meetings at Blaine International Village
    • One in-person open house
    • One virtual open house

    Stay Connected

    Thank you for your interest in the Minnesota State Highway 65 Improvements Project!

    Share

    As the decision about the future of Hwy 65 is finalized, it’s important to hear from local communities. Your feedback is an important part of this process! Please pass along the link to this virtual open house to your family, friends and coworkers that use Hwy 65 in this area so they too can provide input.

    Learn More

    Go online to learn more: www.blainemn.gov/2634/MnDOT-Hwy-65-Corridor-Study

    Contact the Project Team

    Jon Haukass, PE • Director of Public Works (763) 324-3103 | jhaukass@blainemn.gov

    Jerry Auge, PE • Assistant County Engineer (763) 324-3103 | jerry.auge@co.anoka.mn.us

    Melissa Barnes, PE • North Area Manager (612) 499-8729 | melissa.barnes@state.mn.us

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