This colossal effort has been going on since March of 2022 and is huge in scope.
“This is one of the larger projects I’ve worked on over the years,” said MnDOT’s Kent Barnard.
Barnard has spent 33 years at MnDOT and knows that upgrading this major east-west highway is critical for the North Metro.
“This is really going to improve things for residents, business and the people that commute back and forth,” Barnard said. “The traffic, the travels from western Minnesota into the Twin Cities and back.”
After putting up with detours and gridlock, there is good news for those who travel on the busy highway.
“We are getting close to the end,” Barnard said. “We’re looking at substantially completing the work by December. Kind of a Christmas present for the people up here.”
MnDOT’s focus was on improving the road and construction was done in phases.
“We’ve completed one of the Rum River bridges,” Barnard said. “We’ve completed work at Fair Oak and Thurston on the bridges of highway 10 that cross those two road ways. We’ve done a lot of frontage road work. We’ve built sound walls in a number of places along the corridor.”
Soon US 10 will be a free-flowing concrete ribbon and commuting through Anoka will be a breeze.
“There will be no traffic signals until you’ve hit the city of Ramsey,” Barnard said. “But we’ve already begun work to take those two signal lights out at Sunfish Lake Boulevard and Ramsey Boulevard. Without having to stop for traffic signals, we’re going to increase the safety up here. We’re going to lessen congestion and we’re going to keep traffic moving at a good pace through here.”
Tab is $98 million
The tab for the US 10 makeover is $98 million, but MnDOT believes the price is justified because upgrades will reduce the hassle factor on the road.
“We call these corridors of commerce,” Barnard said. “It is a major interregional corridor, which means it goes from one part of the state to the other part of the state.”
Continuous work on US 10 created some disruptions for local businesses and neighborhoods, but most people saw the big picture benefits.
“Overall we haven’t gotten a lot of complaints,” Barnard said. “I personally think that this project was long overdue and the people here were really waiting for this to happen. It’s going to bring additional growth up in the area too. Both economic and possibly population.”
Final US touch ups, such as putting down grass, plants and clean up will happen next spring. MnDOT, Anoka County and the city of Anoka teamed up collaboratively to make the project happen.