Belmont and Shoreline 2.jpg

The city of Mound gained a win earlier this month when Hennepin County approved safe crossing solutions on Shoreline Drive. (Elizabeth Hustad/Laker Pioneer file photo)

Hennepin County handed Mound a victory earlier this month when it approved the city’s fix for the often dicey downtown section of Shoreline Drive that includes the crossings at Belmont Lane and Auditors Road.

Expected in 2022 is a consolidated bike and pedestrian crossing at Auditors Road where the Dakota Trail traverses Shoreline Drive. The existing crosswalk at Belmont would be eliminated entirely.

“We’ve been waiting a long time and we finally got it,” said an exuberant Mound Mayor Ray Salazar, who described the safety problems in the area as “a concern and a worry.”

The city began working on safety improvements late in 2019 for the section of road that is currently defined by its sharp S-curve and resulting poor sightlines. Council initiated a study of the issue last fall, and that report came back in June this year recommending the consolidated crossing.

Because Shoreline is a county road, the city had needed Hennepin County’s approval for any work to be done on it. The consolidated crossing will likely retain the existing alignment of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail, which after crossing to the west side of Shoreline extends along the northern border of the Harbor District.

Additional safety improvements for the new crossing will be a center refuge island and a flashing beacon light that will signal when someone is waiting to cross.

With the consolidated crossing, the city intends to fully eliminate the looping strip of pavement called Auditors Road and which officials have long deemed a redundant thru-way. Removing Auditors Road would also feed into the city’s plans for improving the park space at the Harbor District, a separate project that officials began in earnest this year after previously securing a co-operative living development in the area.

Hennepin County’s approval for the new Shoreline Drive crossing had come in tandem with its upcoming resurfacing of Shoreline Drive, set to take place next year.

According to Mound city manager Eric Hoversten, Hennepin County has committed to working out the “geometry changes for the trail crossing and closure of Auditors Road from the east before or as part of the major resurfacing project.”

That resurfacing would “clean up Shoreline Drive from the ‘s-curves’ west of Mound Marketplace all the way east to the Interlachen intersection in Spring Park,” he said.

Also part of the larger project are under-the-roadway improvements for sewer and gas plus improved ADA ramps at intersection sidewalks.

Mayor Salazar iterated that although he and others have already been waiting years for improvements to Shoreline, another year didn’t seem so far off anymore. “One more year? We can do that standing on our head.”

Load comments