The American Public Works Association – Minnesota Chapter (APWA-MN) recognized the City of Anoka, Anoka County, and MnDOT at the chapter’s fall conference for the Highway 10/169 Improvements project. This influential project, a decade in the making, received APWA-MN’s Project of the Year award for improving Anoka’s quality of life through roadway improvements to the city’s major corridor.
In the 1930s, Highway 10/169 was expanded to a 4-lane expressway. Downtown Anoka was bypassed in 1964 which constructed the expressway on its current alignment, and the roadway has remained virtually unchanged since then. Meanwhile, Anoka County has grown from 85,000 people to more than 350,000 in that same period. For decades, the highway corridor has been severely congested, experienced extremely high crash rates, and served as a barrier to pedestrians and bicyclists. All local trips were forced to travel on Highway 10/169 due to no continuous local connections. In the prior 10 years, more than 1,100 crashes were recorded on this one-mile stretch of road, with more than 325 people injured, including 2 fatalities. The Fairoak Avenue intersection had a crash rate more than five times the state average. Pedestrians and bicyclists had an extremely limited network of accommodations and their exposure to traffic was extremely high, creating unsafe conditions for all modes.
The Highway 10/169 corridor through the City of Anoka had been studied numerous times since the 1990s, resulting in no actual change due to the high price tag and lack of a shared vision. In 2013, MnDOT hired Bolton & Menk to complete a corridor study that achieved regional needs while providing community improvements supported by all partners, MnDOT, and Anoka County.
After the study was completed in 2014, the City of Anoka moved forward on their goal to develop a singular vision all parties could support, as well as develop a funding plan to execute these improvements. In just two years, all funding for this $85 million project was realized through continuous advocacy, numerous competitive awards, and commitments from project partners.
With the city leading the project, the community’s values are prominently featured in the design. The project greatly enhances community connectivity by providing a new, continuous roadway network on both sides of the highway. This investment greatly reduces traffic crashes, improves local circulation and connectivity, provides pedestrian accommodations, and allows Highway 10/169 to operate safely and efficiently.
Learn more about Bolton & Menk’s commitment to improving Highway 10/169!