After a decade of planning, discussion, approval and recession, Monticello is finally getting a new bridge over Interstate 94.
Fallon Avenue, which runs along the city’s eastern edges and, in turn, Monticello High School, has long been thought away to connect “old Monticello” – or the area near CentraCare Hospital and Monticello Middle School – to “new” Monticello – or the areas that grew around the current high school.
An open house on the project is set for Thursday, May 24. Residents will see drawings for the new overpass, as well as plans for three roundabouts along the route, including Chelsea Avenue, Seventh Street and Washington Street.
In the 1990s, under the Monticello City Council and others’ leadership, the city pressed for funding for a bridge over Interstate 94. Why? Traffic on Minnesota Highway 25 was already becoming unbearable for those who had to use the road for local traffic, and an alternative was needed.
The idea won federal approval, with the state also allowing Monticello to use its right-of-way to create an overpass – without on or off-ramps – at Fallon.
Some of the traffic pressure was alleviated with commercial growth on the east side. Fenning Avenue came in thanks to projects such as Target and Home Depot, and Seventh Street has become a thoroughfare for those moving between Highway 25 and Fenning who don’t want to use the freeway.
However, as city leaders expected, local traffic is still getting caught in the shuffle. Thousands of trips per day could be saved from those two arterial roads with the addition of the new bridge.
Here’s a look at the project:
The construction timeline is post-Memorial Day through November 2018, weather permitting. Detours will be posted in several areas during construction. The project is occurring in phases, so detours will be adjusted depending on the work being completed.
Additional information will be provided at the open house and will be available at www.ci.monticello.mn.us/