County Road 54, aka 20th Avenue, has become a well-traveled thoroughfare because of the explosive growth in the North Metro. Anoka County is weighing options and getting feedback from residents on exactly what to do.
“We hear a lot of the same types of comments,” said Jack Forslund from the Anoka County Transportation Department. “Travel speeds are too high. It’s not really necessarily safe for pedestrians or cyclists.”
The increasing volume of traffic on County 54 is why Anoka County is conducting a planning study and having open houses to find out what residents want to happen between 73rd and Birch Street.
“We really don’t know what the vision is yet,” Forslund said. “That’s why we’re doing the study. There’s been a lot of growth in that area over the past years and it seems to be ramping up. We like to do these studies well in advance of actually a reconstruction project to figure out what the road should be.”
State funding available
There are multiple options for what this corridor will look like in the future.
“Right now it’s a two-lane, high speed highway,” Forslund said. “As the area continues to urbanize it might need to be something else, like a curb and gutter, an urban section, which tends to have lower travel speeds…It’s a CSAH route which is a county state aid highway. It means that we get funding from the state to maintain it at a better level than our typical county road systems.”
Anoka County has been looking into this stretch of County 54 for years and wants to be proactive as Centerville and Lino Lakes continue to grow.
“We don’t have anything programmed,” Forslund said. “But we like to do this in advance to determine what kind of funding we need to obtain.”
Anoka County is also doing another study in Lino Lakes on County Road 49 between Lexington on the west and Lake on the east. It’s a similar process. There was an open house in August and one coming up in the next couple months. For more info go to www.anokacounty.gov.