1/15/2021 9:58:00 AM Highway 8 planning picking up speed as Chisago & Wyoming
invited to provide design input
Improvements to Highway 8, from Forest Lake to Chisago City, have been on the back-burner for so long, most people have given up on seeing any action. The first session of the “Highway 8 Task Force’ was in 2008.
A draft public improvements plan and statement of need came out of that. The roundabout at Hazelden in Center City and one at Hwy. 95 and Hwy. 8 have been built since. And, now it’s looking like the idea of spending serious money on this main artery is heating up.
After months of waiting out covid-19 gathering restrictions, the past few days city councils along the Hwy. 8 route have been getting virtual presentations from Chisago County Engineer Joe Triplett. He has taken a lead role in shepherding Highway 8 improvements through the multi-agencies involved in this commerce corridor. Triplett commented that he doesn’t want any local official overlooked or not given ample opportunity to contribute to this design effort. He said last week the layout isn’t being made “final” but it’s got to get to a point he can bring it to the state and local governments need to speak up now as to what future land use and zoning ideas they have.
Triplett is telling local leaders to commit to some form of highway layout and clarify— do they want a “blow through highway” or a road design with character.
Councils are being told they need to contribute their visions and concerns by the end of this month, so the planning can stay on track.
Wyoming City Council’s Internet discussion last week had council directing Wyoming City Administrator Robb Linwood to rally the city’s planning commission for some land use feedback and to put the highway on the city council work session agenda for January 13.
Triplett provided drawings of how various Wyoming intersections might be rebuilt. SRF has been consulting on layouts and local engineers and planners are also being consulted.
Affected areas with engineering possibilities sketched out, include Hamlet, Heath, Pioneer (Green Lake Trail) Juno Court, 276th, the lighted intersection near the Baptist School where Wyoming Trail and Ivywood blend, and Karmel Avenue, in Chisago City.
Karmel is depicted with both roundabout and non-roundabout designs. Both designs show a new frontage street from Karmel west to Deer Garden Lane.
The Baptist School/Hwy. 8 intersection has a stacking distance problem and can become congested It is shown potentially pushed well to the north, almost to the east-west Polaris non-through road.
Triplett sad he also expects questions about the proposed “reduced conflict intersection” rebuilds suggested by a “review committee” that has had input periodically. These types of intersections are used on other busy routes like Hwy. 65.