MnDOT Hwy 65 Study
MnDOT, in partnership with Anoka County and the cities of Blaine, Ham Lake, and Spring Lake Park, began a far reaching study in July 2018 of the Hwy 65 corridor. The study will examine a range of cost effective roadway alternatives to address capacity, access, mobility, and safety issues between Bunker Lake Boulevard in Ham Lake and County Road 10 in Spring Lake Park.
A focus on planning and environmental analysis will speed the start of any future projects in the study area. This study includes elements of the environmental process that will lead seamlessly into future projects which will shorten project development.
Results from previous studies along Highway 65 are out of date due to the increased business development and increases in population along the corridor. Previously developed solutions are too expensive to construct with current funding levels.
No specific construction projects are currently identified or funded within the study limits.
MnDOT and project consultant HDR are holding monthly meeting with corridor stakeholders. Through these meetings and the corridor study one or two roadway alternatives will be brought forward for funding consideration.
Current Study Status
The project team looked at dozens of potential solutions for Highway 65 and used community input to help identify the options that best address the primary problems of the area – vehicle safety and vehicle congestion. The team identified three potential corridor options that will move forward into the final study report.
Current City Efforts
The City of Blaine, Anoka County Highway Department, and MnDOT recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an engineering consultant to complete the environmental review of proposed intersection improvements on Highway 65 from 99th Avenue to 117th Avenue. This is a federally required process of outreach and evaluation of options to reach a single preferred corridor alternative. Completion of this process must be done before federal or state grants can be accepted for further design or construction costs. The selected consultant will create preliminary designs of each intersection based on the final selected alternative. The environmental review and preliminary design work will begin in May and take 12-18 months to complete.
The City will work with the consultant on a final design for the intersection at 99th Avenue including a frontage road for the west side of 65 from 99th Avenue to the north. The County will work to develop a final design for the intersection of 109th Avenue.
The City and County have secured a number of grants for the early stage of the projects. Construction of the west frontage road could begin as early as the fall of 2022. Additional funding is being sought at the state legislature during this session and will be needed before construction of either intersection can move forward. Intersection construction could begin as soon as 2024 or 2025 depending on state and federal funding availability.