Douglas Drive, Winnetka Projects May Cause Traffic Delays
May 29, 2015
Two big construction projects may cause traffic delays this summer, and motorists should be aware and prepared to take alternate routes as needed. Currently, westbound Golden Valley Rd is closed both west and east of Douglas Dr, and Douglas Dr will be closed between Golden Valley Rd and Phoenix St the weekend of June 6-7. Starting the first week of June, expect numerous lane shifts and closures at Winnetka Ave and Hwy 55.
Douglas Drive Utility Work
In preparation for next year’s reconstruction of Douglas Dr, private utility companies are working on their systems within the road right-of-way during 2015. This includes reconstruction or relocation of CenterPoint Energy, Xcel Energy, CenturyLink, Comcast, and other private utility company distribution systems.
CenterPoint Energy is currently the most active utility company within the corridor. Crews have been working over the last several weeks to replace CenterPoint’s gas transmission lines between Golden Valley Rd and Medicine Lake Rd. Work will continue through the end of July, and CenterPoint is providing regular project updates online.
CenturyLink will begin putting its aerial facilities underground beginning the second week in June because the power poles that currently carry these lines are being removed as part of the project. Relocation of these facilities will take approximately one month. In mid-June, Zayo Communications crews will begin relocating a fiberoptic line in conflict with the reconstruction project. This work will take approximately one month to compete.
Removal of the power poles also requires both Comcast Cable and Xcel Energy to underground all of their transmission and service lines. In addition, Xcel Energy needs to install transformer and switching cabinets at grade level to accommodate these operations. Neither company has yet determined a schedule for this work.
To allow construction crews to work in the shoulder and boulevard on Douglas Dr, lane shifts are being used on between Golden Valley Rd and Medicine Lake Rd, as necessary, throughout the summer and fall.
Westbound Golden Valley Rd is closed both west and east of Douglas Dr, and traffic detours are in place to route drivers accordingly. The westbound closures will remain in place for up to three weeks while CenterPoint performs important integrity inspections on the new pipe. Eastbound Golden Valley Rd will remain open during this time. See map above for detour.
During the weekend of June 6 and 7, Douglas Dr will be closed between Golden Valley Rd and Phoenix St. This will be in addition to the current westbound closures already in place on Golden Valley Rd. See map at right for detour, and plan your route accordingly during that weekend.
Hwy 55/Winnetka Intersection Upgrade
The City of Golden Valley has partnered with MnDOT and Hennepin County to reconstruct a portion of the intersection at Hwy 55 and Winnetka Ave to reduce overall motorist delay in both the morning and evening rush hours. By adding a southbound through lane, the signal system can handle dual protected left turns for both northbound and southbound traffic turning onto Hwy 55. Construction is anticipated to begin the first week of June and be completed by the end of August.
The first phase of work will replace the existing signal system and take approximately one month. Lane shifts will be required on both Winnetka Ave and Hwy 55 to accommodate installation of the new signal. Construction of the new southbound lane on the south side of Hwy 55 will begin in late June or early July.
The Winnetka Ave and Hwy 55 intersection already experiences a high level of delay during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Delays as a result of the construction are expected to be significant, particularly during the rush hours. Motorists are encouraged to find alternate routes during these times if possible. See map at right for alternate route.