Plans coming together for Super One/Highway 33 intersectionLocal residents and business owners are invited to talk about plans to restructure the Cloquet intersection of Highway 33, Big Lake Road and Doddridge Avenue.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Local residents and business owners are invited to talk about plans to restructure the Cloquet intersection of Highway 33, Big Lake Road and Doddridge Avenue. At an estimated cost of $5.4 million, the 2014 project will involve substantial changes to the roadways surrounding the troublesome intersection, which sports significant traffic challenges, particularly during peak travel times.
Officials from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, city of Cloquet and Carlton County are hosting a question and answer session from 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at Cloquet City Hall to explain preliminary plans and get feedback on the roadway.
Cloquet City Engineer Jim Prusak said the time for public input into the plan is now.
“It’s a critical period in terms of public input,” Prusak said, explaining the state will ramp up design efforts when the new year starts. “As the project gets closer to the end phase of design, things get more difficult to change.”
While the intersection itself will be reconfigured to increase capacity and speed up/change the signal cycle (especially for the east- and west-bound lanes that currently take turns crossing the intersection), there will also be substantial changes to the roadway surrounding the intersection.
An intersection that Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande said is the site of the most accidents in Cloquet – where the Brenny- Dahl driveway and the shared entrance to L&M Supply and Premiere Theatres meet Highway 33 – will see some big changes. While southbound Highway 33 vehicles will still be able to turn left into the L&M Supply/movie theater entrance, northbound traffic will have to drive to a new turn site at Armory Road to get to Pine Tree Plaza or Pine Valley recreation area. As well, traffic exiting the Brenny-Dahl drive will only be allowed to turn right, although vehicles could access the northbound Highway 33 lanes by doing a U-turn at Washington Avenue or by turning at Big Lake Road, according to the project page on the MnDOT website (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d1/projects/hwy33cloquet/).
Others details on the MnDOT website include the following:
- The pavement on Highway 33 and about two feet of poor-quality soil below the pavement will be removed. The soil will be replaced with a sand/gravel material that will provide better drainage. The road surface will then be repaved. The new, smoother road surface should last for many years.
- The reconstructed intersection at Big Lake Road/Doddridge Avenue will include a through-lane, new right- and left-turn lanes for eastbound and westbound traffic and pedestrian signals. These improvements will improve traffic flow through the intersection.
The project team will be available to explain the project and address questions at the Dec. 18 open house at Cloquet City Hall, 1307 Cloquet Ave. Alternatively, people may contact Todd Campbell, MnDOT project manager, at 218-725-2744; Jim Prusak, city engineer, at 218-879-6758; or Wayne Olson, county engineer, at 218-384-9150.