Sep 28, 2021 Council Meeting and River Crossing Presentation Update

Agenda (Click to open)

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Work Session (River Crossing Presentation by MDOT)

Sometime last year the Minnesota Legislature directed the Department of Transportation to perform a feasibility analysis on the Mississippi river crossings. The primary goals were to identify the locations and sources of congestion and define potential solutions to improvement. A recommendation was NOT part of this analysis.

I was involved in the meetings where methodologies and some of the detailed analysis were presented. This work session allowed the MDOT to present a summary of that information to the rest of the council.

The result of this analysis was 4 concept plans and their associated benefit/cost ratios.

Of the 4 concepts presented, there were 2 that stood out:

  1. (concept 2) Improvements to Highway 10, 610, and the Rogers 101-94 interchange (A flyover for southbound 101 to 94 east).
  2. (concept 4) A new river crossing right through the middle of our city (Vicksburg - Zanzibar - Dayton Parkway 4 lane expressway)

Each of these had roughly the same price tag ($250M).

The river crossing had a number of problems:

  • Extremely disruptive. This is not an improvement of current roads, this would be a new bridge(s) over the Mississippi and allocation of a significant amount of land to the 5 mile long and 160 foot wide road.
  • While safety wasn't studied, MDOT clearly felt this solution would be less safe.
  • Community support is almost nonexistent.
  • Slightly less benefit/cost ratio. In other words, concept 2 had a projected larger benefit.
  • This would (at least in my lifetime) dump all of the crossing traffic onto the river road. At least until the connection from the bridge to 94 was complete.

This crossing gets periodically pushed by various communities it'll benefit (Champlin and Ramsey). It was even pushed by one of our previous councils. In my discussions with residents I have noticed there is almost no support for a four-lane road going through our city.

Another reason to always pay attention to the council members you're voting for.

If you want more details on this study, feel free to contact me.

Item G (Water Trail Study)

This item had come before the council before, but we had decided then to sit on it for a bit. The $50k study would look at ways Dayton can provide residents with a more cohesive park, trail, and water trail system throughout the city. While I think we could have done this without contracting an outside firm, it sounds like a study such as this can be a good tool to pull in grant money to implement some of the amenities defined by the study.

Items H & I (The Cubes Distribution Center at French Lake)

This was to clean up some of the loose ends on this development. This is a roughly 1M square foot distribution center located just north of the new interchange. This project took a few months to get the details hammered out between the developer, planning commission, and council. It is one of many that will flow into the interchange area, but it's likely to be the largest.

The main concern that remained was the amount of truck traffic expected by the facility. The traffic study that was performed estimated a maximum of 30 trucks per hour (at peak) but it is likely to be far less. Most, if not all of this traffic will flow in/out of the facility to either 81 or the 94 interchange.

Item K (Capital Improvement for Fire Stations)

These were upgrades to a number of items in the two fire stations. They had long been planned and budgeted for.

Item L (West French Lake Road Improvements)

West French Lake Road has been in the queue to get updated for a while. To completely upgrade the entire road would be millions of dollars. Instead, what the city is doing is upgrading the road in sections as the money becomes available from the adjacent commercial developments. The portion along the Graco property is being done by Graco as they build their facility. The section alongside and partially to the north of the Cubes facility will get upgraded as that facility progresses. I believe there are 2 more sections that will be completed as those properties build out.

Item M (Dayton Highlands Plat)

This was a property split that made 5 lots out of a 2.5 acre piece.


As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.