August 16, 2018 07:03 PM
A major highway in the southeast metro is getting a new name -- or a different name, anyway.
If you live in Inver Grove Heights, Sunfish Lake, West St. Paul, Mendota Heights or Mendota, you might use Highway 110 to get to work. The east-west route runs north of Interstate 494, stretches nearly five miles, and has been called Highway 110 since the mid-60s. Soon, that name will be going away for good.
The idea for a name change came up last year while a major resurfacing project along Highway 110 was underway. The folks at the Minnesota Department of Transportation said that's when the conversation turned to the problem of driver confusion near the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.
“So once you get near the airport, there’s Highway 55, Highway 110 and Highway 62 all coming together," said MnDOT engineer Molly Kline. "And from an east/west connection standpoint, [Highway] 62 carrying all the way through from I-494 in the west metro to I-494 in the east metro, does seem to make some sense."
Most people we've talked to have been unaware of the name change.
Sarah Schmalenberger lives in Mendota Heights and says she’s disappointed that she didn't know sooner.
"That’s kind of sad, I wish we would have been better informed," she said.
MnDOT says they’ve spent the last year notifying folks in the area. The new name is affecting about 40 to 45 residents and businesses along old Highway 110, who’ve been forced to change their address, even though they’re not moving anywhere new.
When traveling near the airport, over to the east side, drivers know it can be tough to figure out whether to exit at Highway 55, Highway 62 or Highway 110.
"Oh sure, I mean you have to live around here to know which exits to take," said Schmalenberger.
Folks in the area can still hang onto a piece of the Highway 110 name. Just last year, Mendota Heights City Council members sponsored an unofficial "name the underpass" contest to help publicize the opening of the new underground pedestrian tunnel beneath old Highway 110 near Dodd Road. From the numerous entries submitted, "The Hole in 110" was selected. According to city leaders, the unofficial name will stay put.
Meanwhile, drivers will still see the old Highway 110 signs next to the new Highway 62 signs for a while. MnDOT said they'll take the old signs down in about a year. And if you’re a collector, you might be able to buy one. There will be about 25 of the old Highway 110 signs available for a very small charge.
"The contact information on the project website will link you to us where you can get your name in the hat for one of those signs," said Kline.
The sign replacement project is costing about $30,000 dollars. It will be complete in the next week or so. Learn more about the project.
Updated: August 16, 2018 07:03 PM
Created: August 16, 2018 07:39 AM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company