I-90, Highway 218 project to begin in 2009

Published 11:23 am Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The City of Austin is working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation on traffic improvements near the Target strip mall area.

Slated for completion in 2009, construction will include installation of a new traffic control signal with street lights, emergency vehicle pre-emption and signing on Interstate 90 North ramps at state Highway 218 (14th Street Northwest).

City engineer Jon Erichson noted during a city council meeting Monday that the particular intersection as well as Interstate 90-Fourth Street Northwest were found to be the lowest performing intersections in the city.

Email newsletter signup

When Wal-Mart was going to build in Austin, a traffic study was conducted, targeting the Highway 218 intersection as contributing to congestion. Erichson said the intersection was also studied when Menards was considering moving to the area, and that the city is taking advantage of available Mn/DOT funding.

The new lights will be similar to the Fourth Street Northwest intersection, Erichson said, and a pedestrian crossing will also be added. An underpass was not found to be feasible.

Mn/DOT will be responsible for all construction costs; the city must pay electrical bills, re-lamping, painting crosswalks and other upkeep.