City News

Posted on: January 2, 2018

Hanson Overpass Construction

Hanson overpass

Construction of the Hanson Boulevard Overpass will begin this year. Anoka County is leading the project which involves building an overpass to separate motorists and pedestrians from rail traffic, a tunnel under the bridge to nearby neighborhood streets and a pedestrian tunnel. The ideas for the vehicle and pedestrian tunnels came out of public comment meetings and were additions to the project.

These additions, combined with the complexity of relocating public and private utilities (sanitary sewer, watermain lines, fiber and telephone/cable), working within a busy rail line accommodating up to 80 trains per day and the possibility of weather delays has extended the construction schedule to two years. The good news, however, is that planning for a two-year construction cycle will ensure the roadway will not be closed over the entire winter of 2018-2019 in case of weather delays. Motorists should expect closures of the roadway during specific times in 2018 and 2019.

Utility work will begin in April or May. It is expected that Hanson Boulevard will not have to be closed at all in 2018. In 2019, the road will be completely closed for a period of time.

To learn more about this project, the public is invited to attend an open house event Thursday, February 22, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the Coon Rapids Civic Center, located at 11155 Robinson Drive. County staff will be on hand to discuss updated project timelines and answer questions. 

The project, which will cost approximately $25 million, will be paid for with 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 Hanson Boulevard grade separation was the number one funding priority for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) due to safety concerns, along with rail improvements in Moorhead and Red Wing-Sturgeon Lake Road at Prairie Island. The Hanson Boulevard crossing has one of the highest exposure rates (high potential for crashes to occur) in the state due to high traffic volumes competing with the high volume of trains. Staged trains frequently block the crossing for 6-8 minutes (best case scenario) to 25 minutes or more at a time, which is having a negative impact on public safety emergency response. The Hanson Boulevard crossing is part of the busiest segment of rail line in the state, with an average of 81 trains a day.

Anoka County Website - Hanson Overpass Information
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