Work on Snelling Avenue put on pause for State Fair


With the Minnesota State Fair running Aug. 24 through Sept. 4, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has halted work on Snelling Avenue near the fairgrounds and all lanes and ramps in the area are open through the duration of the fair. courtesy of Minnesota Department of Transportation

It’s not every year that the Great Minnesota Get-Together means some potential relief from traffic congestion, but this year might be different.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Aug. 18 it was halting construction work on Snelling Avenue between Highway 36 in Roseville and Como Avenue in St. Paul during the Minnesota State Fair.

According to MnDOT, all lanes and ramps along that stretch of Snelling were open as of Aug. 23 — the day before the fair began — to accommodate the annual increase in traffic that happens each time the 12-day event gets going.

The State Fair runs through Sept 4., Labor Day, and MnDOT assured drivers that it would be getting back to work on Snelling once the festivities are over.

“Following the fair, we will finish some work including storm sewer cleaning, landscaping and sign replacement,” MnDOT said in a release, with emphasis on the “will.”

“This work will require non rush-hour lane closures or shoulder closures through the end of September.”

Work on Snelling between Highway 36 and Como began in April, reducing parts of the busy north-south route to single lanes. The $7.2 million project includes concrete repairs, turn lane additions and safety improvements through the 2.25-mile stretch of roadway that passes through Falcon Heights.

The work was needed. As a MnDOT project manager told the Falcon Heights City Council in January about the state of Snelling through the corridor, “[That] pavement is in really poor condition.”

For more information about the Snelling Avenue project go to www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy51snellingandhwy36.

 

— Mike Munzenrider

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