Douglas Drive Corridor Project

The City of Golden Valley and Hennepin County are partnering to reconstruct Douglas Drive (County Rd 102) between Olson Memorial Hwy (Hwy 55) and Medicine Lake Rd (County Rd 70). The major reconstruction activity will take two years to complete and is being led by Hennepin County.

The project will improve driver and pedestrian safety as well as traffic efficiency, issues identified in the Douglas Drive Corridor Study. The estimated project cost is about $20 million, with Golden Valley responsible for roughly $9.5 million. Hennepin County will pay for about $10 million of the roadway work, design, and right-of-way acquisition.

Easement Acquisitions

The City and its consultants worked with many property owners along the corridor to purchase the necessary permanent and temporary easements for the project. These easements were essential and will provide the adequate space for construction of the corridor improvements.

Project Timeline

2017

Construction to be completed

2016

Construction to begin

2015

Complete final design
Construction underway

2013

Douglas Drive Preliminary Project Memorandum

Public notice and opportunity for comment:

Begin early right-of-way aquisistion

2012

Preparatory work begins

2011

Preliminary layout design approved by Hennepin County and TLC

City holds open house for community input

2010

Douglas Drive Corridor Study report approved

2008-2009

City begins research and collects input at two
workshops for residents

2015 Utility Construction

To minimize delays and road closures during roadway reconstruction, private utility companies worked on their systems in 2015. This included reconstruction or relocation of CenterPoint Energy, Xcel Energy, CenturyLink, Comcast, and other private utility company distribution systems. Each company performed its own work under the general supervision of the City, County, and their consultants. The County served as the permitting authority and administered and monitored construction permits for each of the utility companies.

Most of this private utility work used trenchless technologies such as directional boring to decrease impacts to traffic, minimize impacts to home and business owners, and result in a shorter duration of utility construction. The majority of the utility construction was in the boulevard between the existing curb and gutter and property lines.

As part of the utility construction in 2015, Xcel Energy placed its overhead distribution system underground, resulting in removal of the power poles along Douglas Dr.

Preliminary Design and Municipal Consent

In 2010, a $1,050,000 grant from Transit for Livable Communities enabled City staff to begin preliminary design work for the road project, guided by the community’s long-term vision for the Douglas Drive Corridor.

As design work began, the City analyzed each street segment and major intersection with traffic forecasts to identify safety, capacity, speed, and pedestrian issues. The resulting preliminary layout design includes accessible sidewalks on both sides of the roadway for its entire length, dedicated on-street bike lanes, and lane realignments and traffic control improvements to encourage redevelopment opportunities. The new infrastructure is designed to last another 50 years with basic maintenance.

Transit for Livable Communities and Hennepin County approved the preliminary layout design in summer 2011. In October 2011, the City held one last open house for community input on the emerging design plans. Additional meetings will be held as the construction date gets closer.

In November 2011, the Golden Valley City Council authorized Municipal Consent for the Douglas Drive preliminary layout design, marking the transition from planning to final design. Two conditions for Municipal Consent, that staff evaluate lane and boulevard widths, have been met. Once Municipal Consent is authorized, the major design elements are set. This means the City has addressed all major design topics and can begin preparing detailed construction plans.

In April 2013, the City of Golden Valley entered into an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to begin preliminary right-of-way acquisition under the Transit for Livable Communities funding. The City will be entering into an agreement with Hennepin County in late 2013 to continue acquiring right-of-way for the project.

Franchise Fees

Golden Valley is paying for its share of the cost with Xcel Energy franchise fees. Because of levy limits on property taxes, funding this project through utility franchise fees is the most feasible payment option. The Xcel Energy franchise fee does not affect bills from CenterPoint Energy, Comcast, Qwest, or any other utility company. The costs of the reconstruction may fluctuate due to inflation and other variables over the years. The franchise fees will remain in effect until all costs can be repaid.

For more information about the Douglas Dr project or the franchise fees, call Public Works at 763-593-8030.

Past Douglas Drive Improvements

Douglas Drive project map for 2010In 2010, a stretch of Douglas Dr from Golden Valley Rd to the northern City limits was resurfaced and re-striped, bringing it from four lanes to two lanes with a center turn lane.

These changes reduced turning conflicts and provided space for bike users off the sidewalks and out of traffic lanes, all issues that were identified in the City’s Douglas Dr Corridor study.

To accommodate the lane reconfigurations and some intersection improvements, Hennepin County also placed an asphalt overlay on Douglas Dr from St Croix Ave north to 51st Place in Crystal. The City of Golden Valley also sealcoated Douglas Dr between Golden Valley Rd and St Croix Ave.