Answer: Without an interchange at Highway 52/65th Street, adjacent interchanges would not have enough capacity to accommodate future year 2035 traffic volumes. An interchange at this location, along with other local road improvements and auxiliary lanes, will help to balance the future traffic volumes between interchanges and avoid overloads at the Highway 52/55th Street interchange.
Engineering design and environmental documentation for the Highway 52/65th Street Interchange project have been completed and the project is proposed for construction in 2013.
Answer: The approximate distance between 55th Street and 65th Street is one mile and the approximate distance between 65th Street and 75th Street is one mile. Since this area of Rochester is considered a developing area in an urban setting, the 65th Street interchange meets Mn/DOT’s access spacing guidelines. However, a complete system of frontage roads and/or auxiliary lanes along Highway 52 becomes more important when interchanges are closely spaced, to minimize weaving and congestion on the mainline of the freeway.
Answer: The current interchange configuration will not be able to accommodate the projected year 2035 traffic volumes on 55th Street. A new single-point interchange configuration, coupled with additional through-lanes and turn lanes in each direction on 55th Street will provide the needed capacity for the future traffic volumes.
Answer: Realignment of the East Frontage Road (Bandel Road) is needed to provide more distance between the Highway 52/55th Street interchange and the intersection of 55th Street/East Frontage Road (Bandel Road). The increase in distance will allow additional turn lane storage and more efficient traffic flow on 55th Street.
Answer: Currently, there are no plans for construction of a west frontage road along either the Clearwater Road or Chateau Road alignment within the NRTS 2035 timeframe. This decision was made based on public input, examination of social impacts of the west frontage road, and further evaluation of auxiliary lanes on Highway 52 between 55th and 65th Streets as a project alternative that provides acceptable traffic operations without construction of a west frontage road.
Answer: Highway 52 is considered a high priority regional corridor, with the main purpose of providing efficient connections between regional trade centers (i.e. Rochester to the Twin Cities). The safety, efficiency and capacity of this corridor are considered vital to the economic health of Minnesota. As this corridor becomes congested and less safe for travel, the cost of transporting goods and services between the trade centers increases. By introducing local trips, additional weaving on the freeway is created which decreases speed and safety along Highway 52.
Answer: The construction of the recommended improvements is not anticipated to adversely affect air pollution in the area. Air pollution is typically at its worst when vehicles experience delays and are forced to idle. They NRTS shows that recommended improvements will actually reduce vehicle hours and vehicle miles traveled, thereby reducing delays and minimizing air pollution within the study area.
Answer: The NRTS has been completed and project phasing/staging was developed as part of the NRTS and will be documented in Technical Memorandum 6. Environmental document(s) will be prepared on a project by project basis.
Answer: The City of Rochester had set aside funds for the construction of the ramps at the 65th Street interchange and for 55th Street improvements in the proximity of Highway 52. However, funding for remaining improvements needs to be identified and secured.