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Two new roundabouts could come in 2016

Dale Road might be closed for a portion of 2016 and 2017, as a much-needed road reconstruction project takes place. 

An east-west corridor in the southern section of Woodbury, Dale Road is paved between Radio Drive andWoodbury Drive (aka County Road 19). Dale is a two-lane road that, in recent years, has started to deteriorate. A pavement assessment indicates that the west end of Dale Road is at the end of its useful life and the east has some pavement life left, but should also be replaced.

The road is expected to experience an increase in traffic during the coming years. Phase 2 residential housing developments are popping up to the north of Dale, and new developments are starting on the south side of the road, as well.

At the same time, the Phase 2 residential construction necessitates the extension of Pioneer Drive to the south to Dale Road. It is planned to eventually connect all the way down to Military Road. 

With all of those considerations, Woodbury Engineering and Public Works Deputy Director/City Engineer John Bradford said it became obvious that long-term improvements are necessary along Dale Road, from Radio Drive to Woodbury Drive. 

“The whole roadway is in pretty bad shape,” Bradford said, “so something needs to be done.”

The Woodbury City Council authorized preparation of the feasibility report in January, so as to develop options for Dale Road from Radio Drive to Pioneer Drive, and for the extension of Pioneer Drive to south of Dale Road. 

While a mill-and-overlay project would address the crumbling pavement issue along Dale Road, it would not address the expected traffic increases in coming years. The bigger picture calls for a full reconstruction of Dale, Bradford said, with construction of a three-lane roadway that allows for turn lanes and curb and gutter. 

“This is right on the border of the Phase 2 development, so we’re seeing enough pressure to warrant making full upgrades on that roadway,” Bradford said. 

Plans also include the construction of two roundabouts along Dale Road — one at the intersection of Dale and Pioneer Drive; the other a little further west, about half-way between Pioneer Drive and Radio Drive. 

The extension of Pioneer Drive from Dale Road to Military Road would be phased in as the development around it is constructed.

“Council did ask if we should go all the way to Military with it,” Bradford said, “but our recommendation at this time is not to, because no Woodbury residents would be served by that road at this point.”

Woodbury councilmembers revisited the proposed project at a Nov. 4 workshop. At the workshop, councilmembers directed staff to continue refining the design and bring back information about costs, traffic calming and median. A work session will be scheduled in January to address those issues, Bradford said. 

In the meantime, councilmembers will be asked to approve a resolution to approve a feasibility report on the project, a resolution to begin the design phase,and a resolution to start the easement acquisition process at the Nov. 18 meeting. 

Construction could begin next spring, but may also be scheduled in part over the 2016 and 2017 construction seasons. Those questions, Bradford said, will be answered during the design process. 

 

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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