Northern Anoka County River Crossing Study
This planning study has now been completed, view the final report.
Overview of Rum River Crossing Study Findings
Anoka County and the Cities of St. Francis, Oak Grove and Nowthen have studied the County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 22 (Viking Boulevard) and CSAH 24 (Bridge Street) Rum River crossings to determine if they can handle the amount of future traffic anticipated, or whether a new river crossing may be necessary. The study has determined that improvements could be made at the existing river crossings to handle future traffic volumes.
Since the analysis of existing river crossing improvement scenarios did not show a need to test an additional river crossing, the study focused on identifying the future improvement needs on the existing river crossings at CSAH 22 and CSAH 24.
CSAH 22 - Although CSAH 22 is anticipated to be nearing congestion by 2030, a long-term access vision along this corridor was established so as land use changes occur, the vision can be implemented. Executing this vision may help reduce and/or delay the need for roadway expansion. A long-term access vision has been developed for CSAH 22 between approximately CR 66 (in the City of Nowthen) on the west and the BNSF Railroad (in the City of Oak Grove) on the east.
The access vision includes the application of Anoka County's access guidelines where feasible and also provides flexibility to address locations where strict application of the guidelines may not be possible due to existing land use, topography and/or natural features. The access vision considers the 2030 land use plans for the Cities of Oak Grove and Nowthen. As part of this process, areas where land use changes are likely to occur were discussed with the communities with the understanding that different segments of the corridor have different characteristics (e.g., undeveloped, potential for redevelopment, redevelopment not likely). Different access considerations and tools for guiding/permitting access within these areas have been developed and are included in Section IV of the study report.
The overall goal of the CSAH 22 long-term access vision is to provide a vision to transition the corridor over time, including direction on how to guide access decisions and potential locations for future supporting roadway systems to allow existing accesses to transition off of the CSAH 22 corridor.
CSAH 24 - The additional analyses conducted as part of the river crossing study for CSAH 24 included the consideration of an expansion of CSAH 24 from CSAH 24/28 to CSAH 9 as either a three-lane or four-lane roadway, along with the development of a long-range access management plan.
Reviewing the Right-of-Way Impacts
After reviewing the right-of-way impacts of a four-lane roadway section compared to a three-lane section on CSAH 24, the TAC recommended the expansion to a four-lane be dropped from further consideration due to the extensive impacts to existing homes, businesses, historic properties and park/natural areas. Therefore, the analysis continued with the consideration of an expansion of CSAH 24 between CSAH 24/28 and CSAH 9 as a three-lane roadway, utilizing the existing two-lane bridge.
Long-Term Access Vision
A long-term access vision has also been developed for the CSAH 24 corridor, assuming a three-lane roadway section and is included in Section IV of this report. The goal of the access management plan is to establish a vision for city leaders to use to guide/permit access along the corridor as land use changes occur over time. Similar to the CSAH 22 access vision, the Anoka County access management guidelines are applied where feasible and flexibility is provided at locations where strict application of the guidelines was not feasible due to existing land uses, topography and/or natural features. The goal of the long-term access vision is to provide a tool to transition the corridor over time, including direction on how to guide access decisions and potential locations for future supporting roadway systems to allow existing accesses to transition off the corridor.