Local elected officials, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Representative Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul) and Senator Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) held a wide-ranging discussion on the status of transportation projects in the Maplewood, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Willernie, and Oakdale area Monday, with a focus on funding and the need to move up Highway 36 interchange improvements in the MnDOT priority lists.
“If we want our region to succeed, we have to keep up with the key infrastructure investments necessary to make sure people are connected to their community and their jobs,” said Senator Wiger. “It is important that local, county, state, and federal officials work together to make sure those important projects like Highway 36 are given the priority they need from MnDOT.”
MnDOT project manager Adam Josephson said eventually the highway department would like to rebuild Highway 36 to go underneath Century Avenue without disturbing the Gateway Trail pedestrian bridge. However, the department is prioritizing road preservation projects, so this kind of funding is getting harder to find. It was also noted that there is a pressing need for improvement to Highway 120 near Century College. Josephson said plans are in place for a re-paving of Highway 120 by Century College this summer. Tentative future plans call for signals or a roundabout at the college.
One Highway 36 project that will be happening in 2022 is the re-pavement of 13 miles of the highway from Edgerton to Stillwater Road. Project manager Ryan Coddington said there would be lane closures as the work goes forward.