The goal of the roundabout is simple – cut down on gridlock that delays drivers every day.
“Anybody who’s been through that intersection during rush hour knows it’s a congested mess,” said Stefan Higgins, Blaine’s Assistant City Engineer.
Backups are common around the junction of highway 65 and 99th Avenue, and nearby Baltimore Street. Putting in a roundabout is expected to make traffic flow better.
“It’s just kind of a struggle to get cars through there,” Higgins said. “Cars on westbound 99th tend to queue up, up and around the corner onto the north leg of Baltimore Street.”
MnDOT grant funds project
The roundabout will reduce crashes, create a seamless journey for everyone and blend in with highway 65.
“This is designed taking into account the future highway 65 plans,” Higgins said. “The roundabout itself will work when 99th becomes a grade separated interchange. Highway 65 will go up and over 99th. There will be an on and off ramp from northbound highway 65 to 99th that will work in conjunction with the current roundabout we’re building.”
Blaine received a $1.5 million grant from MnDOT for this project and construction is expected to finish in November of 2023. It’s all part of the city’s “Thrive on 65” mantra as ugrades to this road continue.
“It’s not going to completely solve everything,” Higgins said. “But once the highway 65 project is done, then it will work very efficiently.”
While construction takes place, the 99th Avenue and Baltimore Street intersection will be shut down. Baltimore Street from 94th Lane NE to 99th Avenue will also be closed.