Not too long ago, our south-of-the-river local politicians were applauding and backslapping each on the expeditious process by which they were able to have MnDOT add an additional lane to the northbound lane on the 169 bridge during the spring flood, and this extended into the summer. Welcome, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, and it is now gone.
Anyone commuting north in the morning and south in the evening knows how poorly designed both sides of the corridor are from the Bloomington Ferry Bridge to 494. When MnDOT was asked if a third lane is a possibility, they say they would have to study the social, economic and environmental impacts of adding a third lane. Plus, the agency would have to come up with the money, and unfortunately, MnDOT does not have the funding to expand Hwy. 169 at this time (Star Tribune, Aug. 12).
Seriously? Given how important this access is to our community (with 98,000 vehicles/day), I would challenge our politicians to immediately take up this effort, get funding and make this happen before Eden Prairie/Bloomington are able to pass a law that prevents a study from happening. Anyone familiar with the light rail line proposal will understand this sarcastic comment.
Keep in mind, our neighbors to the north will not play nice, as they have already ensured the current corridor is conveniently designed so their city does not become a drive-through suburb. Ever notice how extra lanes are designed only for on/off ramps specific to the suburban access? While the cities will argue a drive-through suburb will depress their property values, lower the tax revenue base and put pressure on their community, I disagree.
How about we stop the insanity of the annual spring re-striping effort and get a permanent solution in place to alleviate the commuting congestion issues?