December 21st, 2009
The New Rogers Flyover Ramp
Have you ever gone West on I-94 past Maple Grove and the interstate turns
into a parking lot? The I-94 Coalition is advocating for a 3rd lane on I-94
from Maple Grove to Monticello and this is just in the conversation stage.
However, help is on the way next year the when the new Rogers "Flyover Ramp"
will be constructed. If you see U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen thank him for
his help on securing this funding.
The I-94 west parking lot problem is caused by the narrowing of I-94 from 3
lanes to 2 at the 101 exit in Rogers. Aggravating the problem is the stop
light at the top of the ramp, causing a backup on the Rogers exit lane of
westbound I-94. The flyover will divert Highway 101 traffic on a ramp over
the South Diamond Lake Road intersection.
Drivers will now be given a choice either to bypass the main retail area of
Rogers or go to the retail area, but an additional stop light will be
required to do this.
The cost of the flyover ramp is estimated to be $10.7 million. Funding
sources includes $3.78 million in federal stimulus funds, another $4.98
million from federal funding and $1.645 million by the City of Rogers.
Who benefits from the new flyover ramp? Residents and business in St.
Michael, Albertville Monticello, Otsego, Elk River, and Zimmerman should all
have a shorter commute. In my opinion those that may see a negative result
from this is the businesses in Rogers because the new flyover ramp will
bypass them. When I questioned a MNDOT engineer about this he responded that
those who choose the flyover option aren't patronizing the businesses in
Rogers now. And that if they want to go to the businesses in Rogers, even
with the additional stoplight, it will be quicker without the delay sitting
on the exit ramp.
Osseo has never quite recovered from the reroute of 169 from their downtown.
Long Lake has suffered greatly from the new Highway 12 bypass. Such as it
goes with highway improvements of this nature. While they can benefit many
people everyday, local businesses can suffer. Its part of what makes
transportation decisions so challenging and political.