Railroad Crossing Improvements and Reconstruction of Humboldt Avenue North

Long Post – it is important!  Also,additional information will be available for viewing in the Webber-Camden office:

Public Notice:

Hennepin County Department of Transportation – Minnesota State Aid Project 027-657- 007, Railroad Crossing Improvements and Reconstruction of Humboldt Avenue North (CSAH 57) for approximately 600 feet, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Hennepin County).

Information regarding the proposed railroad crossing upgrade and road reconstruction project, and its de minimis impacts to the Webber Memorial Parkway (Park) is available for public review at the Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association offices located at 4600 Humboldt Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and at Hennepin County Department of Transportation offices located at 1600 Prairie Drive, Medina, Minnesota.

As a recreational resource, the Park is subject to Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966. The Section 4(f) process is simplified when there are only de minimis impacts to Section 4(f) properties. In this case, the Federal Railroad Administration has reached a de minimis determination of the project’s Section 4(f) park impacts, and requires a public notice with comment period, and concurrence of their de minimis determination by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) president to satisfy the Section 4(f) process.

State Aid Project 027-657-007 will replace the 36 year-old flashing signal lights and gates at the USDOT #688936B railroad crossing along Humboldt Avenue North (CSAH
57) in Minneapolis. There are two pairs of tracks: the gates and signals of each pair of tracks will be replaced with modern gates and signals, and trackside sensors to provide more efficient response and improved safety to varying train speeds, and will limit gate operations when trains are not present. This project also includes the design and reconstruction of CSAH 57 and the railway to integrate raised center medians into the new roadway. The project does not extend beyond existing sidewalks and right of way, but does include milling and resurfacing of CSAH 57 for approximately 600 feet. The road portion of the project includes a slight widening of the road on the south end to allow for the raised median and expected on-road bike trails, along with modification and replacement of curbing and sidewalks, all of which are on Park property.

The de minimis impacts to the Park include a short length of diminished boulevard width and the replacement of the curbing and sidewalk which will require the removal and replacement of three boulevard trees, and temporary rerouting of bicycle and pedestrian activities during construction.

The following mitigation by Hennepin County is proposed by the project sponsor:
1. Replacement of three mature boulevard trees (maples ranging from 12 to 16 inches DBH) to the complete satisfaction of the Park’s forestry department in species, size and location.
2. All construction within the limits of the Park will be returned to its current condition, including, but not limited to:
a. Removal of all construction materials, and
b. Re-establishment of all soil and turf disturbed during construction activities.

3. Any rerouting of pedestrian traffic during construction will be addressed with advanced signing and notification.
4. The duration of construction will be minimized to reduce the adverse impacts to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Under Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966, the Park is considered a Section 4(f) resource. A review of the project impacts and proposed construction show that, in FRA’s opinion, the impact to the park will be minimal and will not adversely alter or affect the use of the Park’s facility.

Consistent with Section 4(f) requirements, an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed de minimis finding will be provided as part of the environmental process. The 30-day public comment period is will begin on April 14, 2017 and go through May 14, 2017.

The public may comment on the proposed de minimis impacts and mitigation plan in writing to Hennepin County Transportation DES. The designated County contact is Mr. David Jaeger, who can be reached at (612) 348-5714 or david.jaeger@co.hennepin.mn.us. Written comments will be accepted through May 14, 2017, and should be sent to Mr. Jaeger by e-mail or by U.S. Post to Hennepin County Department of Transportation, 1600 Prairie Drive, Medina, MN 55340. The County will coordinate with MPRB staff in responding to substantive comments.