Roadguy still has road construction on the brain, and he’s not the only one. For one thing, MnDOT unveiled its big list of summer highway projects today, and Minnesotans who have plans to drive anywhere between now and November can peruse the maps with trepidation — just how long is it going to take to get to Aunt Marilyn’s Fourth of July shindig THIS year?
Simply stewing about the Orange Barrels of Doom won’t do, of course — such matters must be discussed. Alert reader Andy, for one, e-mailed Roadguy yesterday:
Topic suggestion: The MnDOT plan to completely close Hwy. 36 in North St. Paul to shorten a project to seven months. I know the Crosstown disaster impacts a lot of people, but this 36 plan will mess up a chunk of the NE metro.
Indeed it will, as this story from Sunday’s Strib indicates. Curiously, an earlier plan for the Crosstown would have shut down sections of Hwy. 62 for extended periods. Check out this excerpt from a 2001 Strib article:
[MnDOT said] the eastbound lanes between Penn and Portland avenues would be closed for one year, eight months. The estimated three- to four-year closure of the westbound lanes is still under study.
Four years? Gee, I wonder why that didn’t fly.
The closing of Hwy. 36 apparently didn’t draw sufficient backlash to produce a change o’ plans, and a letter from Tuesday’s paper suspects money is at the root (click here and scroll down). Could be; if nothing else, Minnesota’s finances definitely aren’t what they were in 2001, when the state mailed out $791 million in rebates.
That’s ancient history, but if you have thoughts about total highway closings, the Hwy. 36 project, or any of the other upcoming road-construction chaos, please share below.