By Aaron Brom
Sun Press Newspapers
Construction has commenced for the Hwy. 101 overpass that will lift the highway over County Rd. 144 in Rogers.
The project will undergo three phases and is proposed for completion this fall, in one construction season.
“We’re starting the first phase with temporary signals at James Road and County Rd. 144, and at County Rd. 144/147th Avenue,” Rogers Public Works Supervisor John Seifert said.
During times of the project, County Rd. 144 traffic won’t be allowed to cross Hwy. 101, and Seifert said the temporary signals will help handle the load that will be rerouted. This closure is planned during the second phase from June to September.
“147th Avenue will be open for temporary full interchange movement,” he said. “Right now it’s just right-in, right-out.”
As part of the project, a stormwater pond is being constructed along the west side of Hwy. 101 between County Rd. 144 and 14th Avenue.
Hwy. 101 will eventually be lifted over a new “diverging diamond interchange” at County Rd. 144. Such designs are unique in that traffic will be routed to the left side of the intersection. For example, someone coming west from Rogers High School would enter a signalized intersection at Hwy. 101 that would divert the traffic to flow to the left side of the road, allowing for easier movement to Hwy. 101 south and avoiding the need for more traffic signals. Similarly, someone going east on Hwy. 101 would have easier access to Hwy. 101 north.
“Cross traffic wants to get on the mainline as quickly as possible,” Seifert said. “And the diverging diamond is a good interchange for left-hand turn lanes.”
He said the project wouldn’t be finished by the start of the school year in September, but is projected to be completed in October.
“The staging plan will be on our website,” he said. “And the Minnesota Department of Transportation has a page, too, that we’ll be linking to for commuters interested in the staging plan.”
When finished, northbound traffic will be a freeway from Rogers all the way to Elk River. Southbound will be a freeway until the South Diamond Lake Road intersection in Rogers.
Contact Aaron Brom at [email protected]