Highway 55 and Douglas Drive Changes
For pedestrians and bicyclists in Golden Valley, the intersection at Hwy 55 and Douglas Drive can be a challenge to cross, especially for students at the Perpich Center for the Arts, many of whom are dropped off by Metro Transit buses on the north side of 55. The problem is, the school is on the south side. Golden Valley Assistant City Engineer RJ Kakach says, “So they have to cross 6, 6 plus lanes of traffic on a very busy intersection to get to school on time. What we were seeing was kinda students trying to skirt in between cars on a, on a no-walk sign, um students getting stuck out in the median between north and south 55, east bound, west bound traffic. The solution? “The improvement that we’re looking at is actually installing a tunnel, underneath, a pedestrian tunnel beneath 55 on the east side of Douglas Drive, where pedestrians would be able to cross under the highway safely, separated from traffic obviously, and arrive at their destination, actually on either side of the highway from either direction.” Of course the tunnel could be used by any pedestrian or bicyclist looking to get across Hwy 55, or access the Luce Line Trail. The project would address another problem as well; the frontage road is built too close to Hwy 55 to allow for proper cuing of vehicles at the intersection. Kakach says, “The proposed solution would be to extend the throat of the intersection as it approaches the signal at 55 on the south side of Douglas Drive, and also put in a mini roundabout to help with traffic flow coming into the intersection.” Planning for the project is going on now, and construction is expected to start in 2023, with completion in 2024. You can find more information at bit.ly/douglas-55.