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The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), along with Anoka County and the City of Blaine, are planning an improvement project for Highway 65. When completed, the improvements will be from 97th Avenue to 119th Avenue.

This stretch of Highway 65 links the Twin Cities urban area and northern metro communities. The goal is to make this stretch of roadway safer: crashes with severe injuries and fatalities are eight times more likely on this part of the road. It should also reduce congestion. Congestion is expected to nearly double during peak travel times by 2045, if no improvements are made. Finally, the improvements will make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to travel along or cross the road.

The pedestrian and cyclist safety measures will include a new north-south trail along a low-speed western frontage road, from 99th Ave to 109th Ave. They will not have to cross Highway 65 traffic, and travel times will be shortened. Highway 65 vehicle traffic will be separated from local street traffic by bridges. They’ll also construct an underpass at 105th Ave., and will close intersections without a traffic signal. Finally, MnDOT will use frontage roads to move traffic toward the new onramps and offramps.

The planning and evaluation stages took place between 2018 and 2022. During the planning and screening process, 14 different alternatives were reviewed, and narrowed down to four. MnDOT identified the best plan out of the four. Alternative 1a “significantly outweigh[s] the costs” and “has the least amount of property impacts.” Research suggested that this plan will improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists, reduce vehicle travel time by nearly 75 percent and reduce vehicle crossing time by up to 65 percent. Pedestrians should save up to five minutes and cyclists will reduce their travel time by up to two minutes. It also involves a “substantially lower” cost than other alternatives. Residents and local business owners were invited to comment, numerous surveys were conducted and open houses were available to inform the public about the new project.

The environmental review was completed by the end of 2022, and the roadway design will begin this year. MnDOT is evaluating the potential noise pollution to ensure homes, businesses, schools, parks and trails will not be unnecessarily affected. Construction should start in 2025, although the exact date is yet to be determined. 

Contact us if you have more questions about the project, any questions about the eminent domain process and/or if you want a personalized map of how your property may be impacted.