Safety improvements underway at Highway 36 intersection

March 05, 2019 10:53 PM

Construction is underway to improve the Hadley Avenue and Highway 36 intersection in Oakdale. 

It’s not an easy intersection to cross.

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“We’ve had bikers get hit,” said County Commissioner Stand Karwoski.

The crash rate, and severity, at the intersection is double the state average, according to county officials.

Karwoski has been working to improve the intersection for a decade, starting when he was an Oakdale City Council member.

“This will be a real critical improvement,” he said.

It’s about a $25 million project, which is expected to last two years. The county is offering the contractor $200,000 in incentives to finish the project in one year.

“Hadley will go up and over Highway 36,” said Wayne Sandberg, the county engineer.

He told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS drivers will use on and off ramps to access the highway. Roundabouts will also be installed.

“It’s one of our major bottlenecks in this region,” said Sandberg. “Anytime you have cars stopped at a busy road like this, you have a lot of rear-ended crashes and at the stoplight, we have a lot of t-bone crashes.”


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The Gateway Trail also crosses at the intersection. It will be protected in a tunnel.

“The ultimate solution will be a lot safer, a lot more efficient,” said Sandberg.

It’s is about nine miles from the St. Croix Crossing. Since the bridge opened to traffic, the intersection has seen a 20 to 25 percent increase in traffic.

“With the growth in Washington County, we're going to see another 20 to 25 percent over the next five or six years,” said Karwoski. “So really it's going to have 50 percent more traffic over the next five years than it did two years ago.”

The county is looking at how to make improvements along the corridor, hoping to focus on the intersection of Manning Avenue and Highway 36 next.

Karwoski and Sandberg were at the Capitol on Tuesday pushing the state for more funding for the Manning project.

In the meantime, detours will start at Hadley Avenue and Highway 36 this summer.

“We’re going to push this as fast as we can but it's going to be a tough summer and we're asking for people's patience as we work through this,” said Sandberg.

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