Work on the Hanson Boulevard Grade Separation (overpass)
project has been in full gear this summer.
If you have driven in this area, you have likely noticed the
changing landscape as several homes were demolished to make way for the new
overpass, and traffic lanes have been reconfigured in the area. Anoka County
worked with property owners to acquire land needed for the project, and worked
to minimize impacts as much as possible. The general contractor is onsite,
working on relocation of private utilities. Although lines such as gas, cable TV and electricity have been installed
and are already being utilized, newly installed phone lines will not be functioning
until late December of 2018, which is when all required phone line splicing is
scheduled to be completed.
The relocation of these utilities is necessary as they would
be in direct conflict with the proposed bridge overpass construction. In addition to the private utilities, public
utilities such as sanitary sewer and watermain will also begin to be addressed
in 2018 as casing pipe will be installed underneath the railroad tracks to
accommodate new sanitary and water lines.
Work this fall will also consist of storm water retention
pond construction and storm sewer installation, where possible. Actual road work will consist of service road
construction of both sides of Hanson Boulevard and some work on Hanson
Boulevard itself on the southern portion of the project. Only minimal and/or
short duration closures may be required to complete this work. A watermain connection that occurs on the
north end of the project will require a full weekend closure for some time in
2018, but no date has been established as of the time of this publication.
The actual full closure of Hanson Boulevard and the overpass
construction will not begin until 2019. During the winter of 2018-2019, the
roadway will be open to the public. But as soon as the weather permits in the
spring of 2019, Hanson Boulevard will be closed to traffic in both directions
so the overpass construction can begin. The alignment of the roadway will
change slightly and the road will be elevated.
The project involves not only the grade separation
(overpass) but frontage roads being built on the south side of the bridge that
will connect neighboring side streets. A pedestrian tunnel will also be built
for a park trail corridor south of the railroad crossing.
The project, which will cost approximately $25 million, is being paid for thanks to state funding along with partnership funding from CTIB (Counties Transit Improvement Board, 30%), Anoka County (10%), the City of Coon Rapids (5%) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (5%). The grade separation will allow the separation of train, vehicle and pedestrian traffic, which will enhance public safety and improve emergency response times.
For more information about the project, visit www.anokacounty.us/2565/Hanson-Blvd-CSAH-78-Railroad-Grade-Separ.