MnDOT studies plan to remove stoplights from Highway 252

As part of a $163 million study, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is studying traffic patterns on Highway 252 and I-94 in the north metro and looking the possibility of eliminating stop lights and adding MnPass lanes. 

According to MnDOT 60,000 drivers drive on the 3.5 mile stretch of Highway 252 every day. According to MnDOT’s Statewide Crash Cost Ranking, five of the top 100 most dangerous intersections in the state are on Highway 252. Their analysis comes from crash data and the cost those crashes have on infrastructure. 

One of those intersections is on Highwy 252 at 66th Ave. in Brooklyn Center near where 252 connects to I-94. The intersection is ranked as the second most dangerous in the state. 

“That intersection is really tight and dangerous, so people are trying to merge on people are trying to beat the yellow light,” Brooklyn Park resident Terry Artmann said. 

“There’s a lot of development a lot of things changing up here and we have to keep up with it,” said Kent Bernard with MnDOT. 

One proposal for Highway 252 includes converting it from a highway to a freeway. That would mean eliminating four stop lights and replacing at least some of the intersections with interchanges. 

“I think now is the time to start moving forward with it. We have a lot of areas in the Twin Cities that need to be updated and changes made, and the time has come for 252 and 94,” Bernard said. 

Changes to 252 could also include adding extra lanes of traffic or a MnPass lane. Bernard said these changes are up for discussion and could be necessary because of population growth in the region. 

“As the population grows, the traffic grows, and the demands on our roads get more and more. We need to do things to improve safety, decrease congestion and improve the reliability of the roadway,” Bernard said. 

Right now, MnDOT is still studying Highway 252. They’re looking at impacts for public transportation, pedestrian traffic and bike traffic. They estimate it will eventually cost between $280 million and $325 million to make changes to the corridor. Construction wouldn’t start until 2023. 

MnDOT says they want to hear from the public before making final decisions on the plan. There is another public meeting for the project on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center and on Thursday, Aug. 15 at the Folwell Rec Center in Minneapolis. 

After those meetings, MN DOT will post an online survey to gather more input. You can find more information here.