Project aims to improve safety at 140th Street and Cedar Avenue
Dakota County and Apple Valley city officials are planning to construct a pedestrian overpass at the busy intersection of 140th Street and Cedar Avenue.
The overpass will cross Cedar Avenue on the north side of its intersection with 140th Street. The project aims to improve pedestrian safety in the area. The county has been looking at a pedestrian overpass there since Cedar Avenue was reconstructed in 2013, said Joe Morneau, Dakota County senior transit specialist.
“It’s a pretty high volume intersection and there’s some visibility issues between motorists and pedestrians,” he said.
Apple Valley High School is less than a mile to the west of 140th Street, and its attendance area includes portions east of Cedar Avenue.
Morneau said the project also addresses a secondary concern with traffic volume at the intersection.
“We have signal coordination along Cedar. If a pedestrian requests a longer walk cycle with the intersection, that extends the green light and can throw off the coordination amongst the signals,” he said.
The Dakota County Board awarded a $332,468 bid to KEH Inc. for design engineering services for the project on Feb. 25. The entire cost of the project is estimated to be $4.07 million with the county contributing about $3.46 million and the city contributing an estimated $610,000, according to Morneau.
According to County Board documents, public involvement in the process will, at minimum, include direct communication with stakeholders within the project area, two open house meetings, the creation and maintenance of a project website and targeted social media postings.
Morneau said they expect to wrap up the communications in May.
“Typically right now at the county with projects like this we do a combination of online engagement as well as in person. We would expect to have an open house in May,” he said.
The county anticipates the design work to be completed by the end of this year, the County Board documents said. Morneau said the county usually gives itself one year for the design work and another year to work out any issues with right-of-way, easements or acquisitions it has. The earliest that construction could start is 2022.
Morneau said it’s too early to say how long the project could take because the design process isn’t finished.
“One priority here is to minimize any disruption to traffic,” he said.
In recent years Apple Valley city officials have discussed constructing a pedestrian overpass to cross over Cedar Avenue at the 147th Street bus station. The city has submitted a request this year for the project to be included for funding in a state bonding bill. Morneau said the county supports the city’s efforts to pursue the project.
When asked why the county and city are moving forward with the overpass at the 140th Street intersection first, Morneau said this project is a higher priority because of the intersection’s safety issues.
“There’s some urgency with the 140th bridge. We’re seeing a pretty somewhat significant safety issue we’d like to address soon,” he said.
Patty Dexter can be reached at email@example.com.