Ramsey County, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the cities of Arden Hills and Shoreview completed construction of the roundabouts at County Roads H and I along I-35W last month as part of an effort to improve Rice Creek Parkway and Old Highway 8.
Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman said the roadways being improved are important to Ramsey County’s transportation and ease of access.
“[These are] the first roundabouts that are on the Ramsey County roadway system,” he said. “We do ask our residents to be careful and drive slow as they’re learning the new process and the new intersections. I know we’re putting them all over Ramsey County [where] we can increase safety for cars as well as pedestrians and bicycles. Right here, these roads are going to be the main access into Rice Creek Commons, a project we’ve been working on for several years.”
Huffman said the development will attract enterprise and housing.
“By the end of the development, it will have thousands of houses, businesses, employees, visitors – it will be a hub of activity here in northern Ramsey County. These roads are central to that.”
Arden Hills Mayor David Grant said the new roundabouts will provide easy access to the freeway for businesses and residents.
“Rice Creek Commons, the proposed development, is estimated to increase the size of the city of Arden Hills by 40 percent,” he said. “If you look out over the [field], it may be hard to imagine that this space will contain neighborhoods, parks, walking trails, businesses and a town center. This development has been in the works a long time. Rice Creek Commons will bring more people and more traffic into and through our city. Road improvements like these assure residents that we are adequately preparing for this transformation, and keeping public safety concerns at the top of our mind.”
Grant said the city eagerly anticipates additional roads and sewer infrastructure construction in 2019 with housing construction to start in 2020.
“This field of dreams here in Arden Hills is nothing short of a miracle,” he said. “It’s been a major undertaking involving numerous partners to date. [The improvements] will bring great benefits for our city, county, our residents and our commercial partners.”
Construction will resume this year to improve sidewalks, trails and lighting.