The finish line keeps getting pushed back for construction along Hanson Boulevard. The reopening of the road at the railroad tracks, which has been closed since March, is delayed once again. Wet weather followed by colder than expected temperatures created setbacks for the project.
The overpass will eventually move traffic on Hanson up over the railroad tracks north of Coon Rapids Boulevard. The new bridge will cut down on wait times for first responders who would sometimes get blocked by frequent trains and alleviate traffic jams for the roughly 30,000 vehicles that normally drive along the road every day.
The next major step is scheduled for Thursday, November 14, when crews will pour concrete for the bridge deck at 108th Avenue NW. Once poured, it takes up to 28 days to cure before the overpass can open for traffic. That could push the reopening of Hanson into December, and even then, it still won't mean the end of construction.
“Temperatures are just bad,” said Tim Himmer, the Coon Rapids public works director, during a City Council Meeting on Tuesday. “While the road will be paved and most of the curb work will be done... the sidewalk work can't be done. Then you're pushing snow and drainage on top of those big walls, you're creating issues with them. So we're going to narrow it down and save room for snow storage on the bridge itself.”
The latest estimate for the reopening could be late December, just before Christmas. When the road does reopen, only one lane will be available in each direction throughout the winter. More finishing work will be delayed until 2020. Next year crews will install new sidewalks and trails, finish curb work, and put in permanent traffic lights before Hanson can reopen two lanes of traffic in both directions.