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Overhaul of Highway 13 and County Road 5 planned for 2013 - (2011 article)

By Clare Kennedy, Burnsville Patch Staff
Dec 8, 2011

After years of stalls and false starts, the intersection at Highway 13 West and County Road 5 will have a major makeover.

The Burnsville City Council has pledged $6.3 million to the $44.2 million project, plus a portion of any unanticipated cost overruns—a burden the city will share with Dakota County.

"It's a lot of money, but I would argue that we're getting a bargain," said City Engineer Ryan Peterson.

Once complete, the intersection's stop light will be gone. In its place will be a loop, which will capture traffic in the southbound lanes of Highway 13 West and redirect it—north into the Minnesota River Quadrant, south onto County Road 5 or onward to Savage. Also, frontage roads will be realigned and three access points to Highway 13 east of the interchange will be closed permanently.

Officials hope the loop reduces conflict between the north- and south-bound lanes while making the flow of traffic more efficient.

The project will directly impact a number of nearby businesses. Dakota County is working to secure land from , , Valvoline Oil, an auto glass company and a carpet seller. All will have to vacate their current sites by early 2012, Peterson said. Work on the project will begin in spring 2013 and could be finished by the end of that year, Peterson said.

The city has long sought to revamp the intersection, which Peterson described as one of the most dangerous and congested in the city. Officially, the project got its start in 2005, when the city embarked on a preliminary study. However, Peterson said the interchange has been on the city's to-do list since the mid-1990s.

The project languished for lack of funding until the federal government and the Minnesota Department of Transportation agreed to pitch in. Under the current agreement, the total cost will be split between Burnsville and four other political entities. MnDOT bears most of the cost: The agency will contribute $19.5 million to the project, while the federal government is contributing $9.6 million. At this point, Dakota County's contirbution will be $8.8 million.

The Dakota County Community Development Agency will also be responsible for just $200,000 of the total cost. The county and city, though, will pay any cost overruns.

"I remember when (the cost was) was $25 million, then it went up to $40 million and now it's $45 million," Council Member Dan Kealey said. "It seems like every year we wait, there's a few million added onto it."

When asked about the apparent increase in the project's cost, Peterson said such run-ups are typical when a project moves from proposal to reality and that purchasing private property in the path of construction accounted for some of the increased cost.

Council Member Dan Gustafson invoked the name of late — a longtime proponent of the project who died in March — and praised Peterson and others for their persistence.

"We didn't think it was ever going to happen. I think Charlie would be really happy to see this," Gustafson said. "It's a huge, huge project and hopefully it will get the Minnesota River Quadrant will be kick started."

changes.pdf co_rd_5_coming.pdf CR5Hwy13ConstructionUpdate_040513.pdf MNDOT_Burnsville_114.JPG MNDOT_Burnsville_126.JPG
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