The long-awaited new interchange at US-169 and 101st Avenue in northwest Brooklyn Park opened to traffic around 10 a.m. this morning. The new interchange features a new bridge to carry 101st Avenue traffic over US-169 along with new ramps and loops between US-169 and 101st Avenue. Work also included resurfacing of 101st Avenue between Jefferson Highway and Xylon Avenue and construction of multi-use trails, sidewalks and storm water drainage.
Construction of the new interchange began this spring in March. The new interchange will improve transportation and safety for local and regional traffic in the northwest metro region of the Twin Cities. It will also improve access to US-169 in Brooklyn Park, southern Champlin, eastern Maple Grove and Osseo as well as foster economic development along US-169 and MN-610.
Some additional landscaping and cleanup work will be completed in the spring of 2021.
Road work continues to be a critical service. MnDOT is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and all Minnesotans. Crews continue to follow the guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit 511mn.org
ROSEVILLE, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is seeking community feedback to plan future improvements for Highway 5/East 7th Street and Highway 61/Arcade Street in the city of St. Paul. This potential work will include pavement resurfacing, repairing sidewalks, driveways, and trails, updating curb ramps, replacing traffic signals, adding pedestrian lighting and other upgrades to improve accessibility for everyone who uses the road.
Community input will help shape future safety and accessibility upgrades along East 7th Street and Arcade Street, which are tentatively scheduled for 2024. The department will engage the community on various topics, including safety improvements, accessibility, and street design features.
MnDOT is offering a variety of ways for the public to share their input on the improvements amid social distancing:
- Online survey.
- Interactive online map.
- Virtual public meetings on Thursday, April 29, at 5 p.m. and Monday, May 3, at noon. (A recording of the public meetings will be posted on MnDOT’s project site for those unable to attend a live virtual meeting.)
Community input will influence MnDOT’s designs for future improvements on East 7th Street and Arcade Street. Individual feedback will be kept private, but major themes and recurring comments will be summarized in a public report. As designs are finalized during the next year, MnDOT plans to continue seeking feedback from the community.
INDOT will host a virtual meeting on May 19 to discuss some of the preliminary findings and recommendations for the state rail plan, which provides guidance on the improvement of freight and passenger rail investments in rural and urban areas throughout the Hoosier state. Federal law requires an update of INDOT’s state rail plan every four years.
The rail industry committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 19, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., for stakeholders interested in the development of INDOT’s state rail plan. The meeting will be held using the Webex virtual meeting platform. Rail industry stakeholders interested in attending the meeting can RSVP to INSRP@hdrinc.com by Wednesday, May 12 to receive a calendar invitation.
This will mark the third stakeholder meeting INDOT will host as part of its state rail plan outreach and engagement. So far, more than 100 rail stakeholder participants have attended the rail industry stakeholder meetings to provide important feedback for INDOT’s state rail plan development. INDOT received more than 1,000 completed responses for the state rail plan public survey in fall 2020, with majority of responses (60 percent) coming directly from the general public. The final state rail plan will be released in fall 2021.
As warmer weather approaches, motorcycles are becoming a common sight. In an effort to advocate for a safe riding season, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police have joined forces to kick off the latest “Ride Smart” safety campaign, reminding motorcyclists to have their bikes safety-checked to make sure they’re in proper running condition, prepare their high-visibility clothing and take advantage of the free motorcycle training classes throughout the state.
“Motorcycles are on the road for just part of the year yet account for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities, said Cynthia Watters, IDOT’s bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering. “To keep everyone safe, we urge drivers and motorcyclists to share the road, be alert, and to always ride sober. Motorcyclists are at an increased risk of injury or death when involved in a crash, so it is imperative that all riders ‘Ride Smart’ this riding season.”
Motorcyclists need an M-Class endorsement and a valid driver’s license to legally ride in Illinois. Successful graduates of an IDOT training course (age 18 or over) are issued a completion card, waiving the M-Class testing requirement at an Illinois Secretary of State licensing facility.
To protect themselves, riders should always:
- Wear personal protective gear on every ride, including high-visibility (Hi-Viz) clothing.
- Use eye protection, gloves, jackets, pants, boots and a U.S. DOT-approved helmet
- Remember to “Don’t Drink & Ride”
Illinois has offered free motorcycle training of all skill and experience levels since the Cycle Rider Safety Training Program began in 1976. The program is funded through license and registration fees. For more information, visit StartSeeingMotorcycles.org.
“As more and more riders are getting ready for the season, we encourage riders to perform a thorough safety inspection on their motorcycle, often referred to as a T-CLOCKS inspection,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “After the bike is roadworthy, it’s time to dust off the rider skill set with a quality rider training. And once riders head out, it’s important everyone share the roadway and make good choices behind the wheel and handlebar as they interact with each other in traffic.”
With the arrival of spring, the Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to be on the lookout for crews picking up litter and asking the public to do its part by properly disposing trash and saving taxpayers millions of dollars a year in unnecessary costs.
“While IDOT is committed to maintaining a positive impression of Illinois by having our maintenance teams collect litter from our roadsides, we need your help,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “If the warmer temperatures make you tempted to toss that food wrapper or pop can out your car window, please don’t. Trash is more than just an eyesore. It has real, negative impacts on both the environment and our communities.”
If you encounter maintenance vehicles and workers in litter pickup operations, slow down, move over and give them space – it’s the law.
Other litter facts:
- Last year, IDOT spent approximately $6.1 million on litter pickup, the equivalent of resurfacing 30 miles of road or purchasing 40 new maintenance trucks that also plow snow in winter.
- Items tossed onto the road cause distractions, crashes and even hurt people. They also put workers who have to pick them up later at risk.
- Littering is illegal, subject to a fine of up to $1,500. If convicted of littering on a highway, the violator may, in addition to other penalties, be required to maintain litter control for 30 days over a portion of that highway as well.
- Litter kills plants and animals.
- It’s unsightly – no one likes to live where there’s litter.
- Littering is a problem that’s easily controlled. Use a trash can instead.
- Remember: Think before you throw!
After limiting activities in 2020 due to COVID-19, IDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program is resuming normal operations. The program partners IDOT with volunteer groups to help keep the state’s non-interstate roadsides clean. Anyone can apply by completing an online application found on the IDOT website and “adopting” a two-mile section of highway.
Please email DOT.AAH@illinois.gov or call (217) 557-3224 if you have any questions or wish to join the 10,000 volunteers currently involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program.
Employee innovation recognized at IDOT
Work zone safety idea, electronic plans circulation win annual contest
While 2020 looked different for everyone, we were still hard at work coming up with original ideas that improve service for the traveling public and potentially save money for taxpayers. Those ideas were on virtual display during the Illinois Department of Transportation’s fourth annual Innovative Ideas Contest.
“Year after year, our employees continue to impress with their innovative solutions to common problems,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “In the midst of their daily work, our employees are always looking for ways to get their jobs done faster, safer and cheaper. I am proud to recognize their dedication and ingenuity.”
Ideas in two tracks— Operations and Technical —were submitted to IDOT’s internal selection committee. Projects were evaluated by size and scope of the problem, creativity in finding solutions, ability to be implemented statewide and potential to save time, money or other valuable resources. The winners:
Operations: District 3 Ashkum/Buckley Team Section’s rotating trailer-mounted attenuator (TMA) sign holder won top honors. While signs provide valuable traffic safety controls that help keep workers and motorists safe in work zones, not all TMAs come equipped with sign holders. This innovation adds a holder that attaches to the arrow board frame and keeps signs raised above the surface of the TMA. The holder features a unique design that allows it to rotate for easy access.
Technical: District 6’s Bureau of Project Implementation won for their electronic plan circulation process. This innovation uses cloud-based services to distribute plans department-wide, allowing for early and ongoing collaboration across all bureaus and with outside consultants. The process enables staff throughout the state to review and comment on planning documents in real time.
What are RRFBs? You may have unknowingly seen them in your community, often found near schools, parks or highly visited businesses. Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons are traffic control devices located at both ends of a crosswalk, increasing pedestrian safety by raising awareness for motorists.
Illinois law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. RRFBs help support this law by alerting motorists of pedestrians or bicyclists waiting to use or already proceeding in a crosswalk. RRFBs include bright yellow, flashing warning lights and yellow diamond-shaped pedestrian crossing signs facing both directions of traffic. Each RRFB, located at both ends of the crosswalk, consists of a push button that pedestrians use to activate the warning lights when they want to use the crosswalk. The lights prompt drivers to stop, offering pedestrians and bicyclists a clear path to cross the street more safely.
Before entering the crosswalk, pedestrians should always pause and look both ways to ensure vehicles have halted in both directions and cautiously move forward within the designated bounds. This flyer explains how RRFBs work in more detail.
Click here to learn more on how District 4 installed its first set of RRFBs in 2018.
District 8 is shoring up the dock of the Kampsville Ferry, which carries Illinois 108 across the Illinois River. The project will increase safety by providing a larger area for docking the barges. . Work consists of repairing and extending the existing sheet-pile retaining wall as well as installing mooring and reaction pile.
The project also includes installation of a river cell, which is a structure made from a sheet-pile wall formed into a circle and filled with concrete and rock. The river cell will help protect the dock area from floating ice, river debris and runaway vessels.
The $3.25 million project is expected to be completed by August.
In District 1, bridge deck patching and repairs to a stretch of Interstate 80 between Chicago Street (U.S. 52/Illinois 53) and Briggs Street, in Joliet, will begin April 19. The work is in advance of a bigger project to replace the eastbound I-80 bridges over Hickory Creek, Richards Street, Rowell Avenue/Canadian National Railroad, and westbound over Richards Street.
Overall, the work is another step in replacing the Des Plaines River bridges and larger improvements to I-80 in Will County—a cornerstone project in Gov. JB Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program, which will invest $33.2 billion in transportation infrastructure across all modes throughout the state. The estimated $1.2 billion project is included in IDOT’s current multi-year program.
Learn more about this project here.
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Effective January 9, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., Wisconsin's frozen road declaration will expand to include regions designated by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) as Zone 2 (View map: https://wisdot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=2e56b5b256124198b0be2c4815c42a18.) It means that effective Saturday, the frozen road law will apply to roughly the northern half of Wisconsin. The frozen road determination for the southern portion of the state will be made once conditions warrant.
The frozen road law allows heavier loads for trucks carrying logs cut crosswise (not including woodchips), and salt and sand for winter maintenance while cold weather allows.
WisDOT and county highway personnel monitor temperature forecasts, along with frost tubes -- liquid-filled devices under pavement -- to help determine when roads are adequately frozen to accommodate heavier loads. This video shows how WisDOT monitors field conditions to verify frost depths: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGvOoYYKAS0
The declaration is issued once the ground under highway pavement is frozen to a depth of at least 18 inches, allowing the maximum gross weight for trucks hauling logs or salt and sand for maintaining roads in winter to go up to 98,000 pounds on vehicles with a minimum of five axles (from the normal 80,000 pounds). Special permits for hauling the increased weights are not required in the declared zones, but vehicles must be legally licensed at 80,000 pounds to handle the increased weights. The higher weight limits do not apply to county or local roads unless authorized by the local agency having maintenance authority. Also, higher weights may not be transported on any highways or bridges specifically posted for lower weight limits.
The “Motor carrier/trucker” section of the WisDOT website contains comprehensive information impacting commercial motor vehicle operators including weight restriction programs and frozen road declaration. Customers can also check a recorded message on the Frozen Road Hotline at (608) 266-8417. Haulers with specific questions can contact WisDOT’s Oversize/Overweight Permits Unit at (608) 266-7320.
Keep Us Alive Drive 45 is our commitment to keep workers and motorists safe in work zones. Each year, many people are killed in construction zone accidents, both commuters and workers. Please abide the posted speed limit in work zones. When workers are present, it's 45 M.P.H. - It's The Law.
Join us in our pledge to increase awareness and promote safe driving in our work zones by displaying an orange ribbon. Together we can make our roadways a safer place to commute and work. With your help, we can see to it that a construction zone is not an end zone.