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Signs at I-94 will spell it out


Work will begin early next month to install new overhead traffic signs along one of Woodbuy's busiest roadways.

The joint project by Washington County and the City of Woodbury will affect the heavily traveled northbound stretch of Radio Drive near the entrance ramps for Interstate 94. Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures, county engineer Kevin Peterson said.

"There are signs there now, but they will be larger and clearer," he said.

A pair of new overhead signs south of the Radio Drive/Interstate 94 interchange will designate exclusive lanes for the east and west entrance ramps. The I-94 east sign will also flag Woodbury Lakes Drive, the hidden frontage road to Woodbury Lakes mall that splits right from the interstate entrance ramp.

Planners hope the new signs will help reduce last-minute lane changes by confused motorists headed north on Radio Drive.

New signs will also be installed along Hudson Road west of Radio Drive, designating respective lanes for I-94 west to St. Paul or I-94 east to Hudson, Wis. It should help drivers sort out which of the three left-hand turning lanes to use, Peterson said.

The overhead sign at Third Street north in Oakdale will be also replaced.

InSite Contracting will perform the work, which should be complete by early July. At their Feb. 28 meeting, the Washington County Board of Commissioners approved the low-bid contract with InSite for $98,163.32. They also approved a cooperative agreement with the City of Woodbury, which will pay $27,820 towards the total $143,684.32 project cost. Washington County will contribute the remainder with $115,864.32 in state aid.

In 2015, the traffic count on Radio Drive south of I-94 was 36,500 vehicles per day, making that stretch the second-busiest segment of county road in Washington County. It's only going to get busier as more new businesses move into the new 100-acre City Place. Sierra Trading Post and Whole Foods are set to open in the spring.

"It's getting very exciting to see the development near City Place but it's also presenting a lot of challenges," County Commissioner Lisa Weik of Woodbury said.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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