Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Highway 13

Savage, Burnsville

Design concepts

These design concepts were shared at the Oct. 8 virtual open house. Hear more about these design concepts by watching the Oct. 8 virtual open house recording.

Developing a long-term corridor vision for Hwy 13

To develop a long-term corridor vision, we first needed to define the characteristics of improvements for Hwy 13:

  • Access: Should an intersection be a primary (full movement) or secondary (limited movement) access point?​
  • Type of intersection: Should the intersection be at at-grade (street level), grade-separated (above street level) or a combination of both (hybrid)?
  • What local road improvements​ are needed?
  • What is the footprint of all of the above that will be  used to secure environmental approval?

The Hwy 13 long-term vision will leave flexibility for using a combination of intersection types and will allow a more streamlined process for future projects.

Developing design concepts

Corridor evaluation process

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The process we used to develop the design concepts includes:

  • Reviewing and evaluating corridor access
  • Developing design scenarios and evaluation criteria
  • Refining design concepts and comparing them against the evaluation criteria

During all steps in the process, we frequently collected stakeholder and community feedback.
We also kept key considerations in mind:

  • Improve flow for drivers and freight haulers
  • Improve access for people that walk and bike
  • Reduce risk of crashes
  • Consider property and environmental impacts and cost

Corridor visions under consideration

We have three defined types of corridor visions under consideration:

  • At-grade: High-capacity at-grade (street level) intersections, access closures and supporting road improvements
  • Freeway: Grade-separated (above street level) interchanges, access closures and supporting road improvements
  • Hybrid: mix of high-capacity at-grade intersections and grade-separated elements, access closures and supporting road improvements

Review and evaluation of corridor access

We reviewed the intersections along Hwy 13 to determine if they should be a primary intersection with full movement or a secondary intersection with limited movement. We considered the spacing of intersections, the local road network and access to key areas (Ports of Savage, downtown Savage and Nicollet Ave.). Our recommended access scenario includes:

  • Primary intersections at Dakota Ave., Quentin Ave., Chowen Ave., Nicollet Ave.
  • Secondary intersections at Lynn Ave., Washburn Ave.
  • Intersections that remain the same are Hwy 169, southbound Hwy 13, Hwy 5, I-35W
  • Proposed local connections to the south would be made at either Quentin Ave.  or Chowen Ave.
  • New frontage roads on the north side of Hwy 13 would be installed between Dakota Ave. and Quentin Ave; and between Lynn Ave. and Chowen Ave.
Map of recommended access scenario

Recommended access scenario
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Design concepts between Dakota Ave. and Washburn Ave.

We have developed four design concepts for Hwy 13 between Dakota Ave. and Washburn Ave.:

 All concepts include a grade-separated interchange at Dakota Ave.

View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave. to Washburn Ave. design concepts (PNG)

6-Lane At-Grade: Superstreet
6-Lane At-Grade: Superstreet

6-Lane At-Grade: Superstreet
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Highlights of 6-Lane At-Grade: Superstreet
  • Requires six lanes on Hwy 13
  • At-grade design between Quentin Ave. and Washburn Ave.
  • More traffic signals with simpler phasing
  • Traffic signals at Quentin Ave., Princeton Ave., Lynn Ave., Glenhurst Ave., Chowen Ave., Beard/Zenith Aves., Washburn Ave.
  • Pedestrian crossings at-grade
  • Estimated cost: $70-90 million

Opportunities: Reduced conflicts, accommodates all movement, maximizes green time for drivers on Hwy 13, most direct access of all options, less cost
Challenges: Delays on local streets, more indirect movements, pedestrian crossings at-grade, potential for crashes

View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave. to Washburn Ave. design concepts (PNG)

4-Lane hybrid
4-Lane hybrid option

4-Lane hybrid
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Highlights of 4-Lane Hybrid
  • Requires four lanes on Hwy 13
  • Mix of at-grade and grade-separated design between Quentin Ave. and Washburn Ave.
  • Includes partial grade-separation using “High-T” intersections (like Hwy 101 and Hwy 13 intersection)
  • High-T intersection to the south at Quentin Ave. and Chowen Ave.
  • High-T intersection to the north at Lynn Ave. and Washburn Ave.
  • Pedestrian crossing grade-separated near Beard Ave.
  • Estimated cost: $115-150 million

Opportunities: Works like a freeway for drivers on Hwy 13, pedestrian crossing is grade-separated
Challenges: Connections across Hwy 13 are more indirect, more structures, less familiar design, higher cost

View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave to Washburn Ave. design concepts (PNG)

4-Lane Freeway: Option 1
4-Lane freeway option 1

4-Lane freeway option 1
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Highlights of 4-Lane Freeway: Option 1
  • Requires four lanes on Hwy 13
  • Includes variety of grade-separated intersections between Quentin Ave. and Washburn Ave.
  • High-T intersection to the south at Quentin Ave.
  • Interchange at Chowen Ave.
  • Overpass at Washburn Ave.
  • No access at Lynn Ave.
  • Estimated cost: $90-120 million

Opportunities: Works well for operations and safety, familiar design
Challenges: Fewer direct access options to Hwy 13; no direct access to downtown Savage at Lynn Avenue; relies more on frontage roads

View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave to Washburn Ave. design concepts (PNG)

4-Lane Freeway: Option 2
4-Lane Freeway: Option 2

4-Lane Freeway: Option 2
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Highlights of 4-Lane Freeway: Option 2
  • Requires four lanes on Hwy 13
  • Includes variety of grade-separated intersections between Quentin Ave. and Washburn Ave.
  • Split diamond interchange at Quentin Ave. and Lynn Ave.
  • Split diamond interchange at Chowen Ave. and Washburn Ave.
  • Estimated cost: $115-150 million

Opportunities: More direct access options to Hwy 13, improved safety
Challenges: More structures, higher cost, weaving concerns east of Washburn Ave., unfamiliar design

View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave to Washburn Ave. design concepts (PNG)

Design concepts for Nicollet Ave.

We have developed three design concepts for the Nicollet Ave. and Hwy 13 intersection:

 View an evaluation summary of the Nicollet Ave. design concepts (PNG)

6-Lane At-Grade: Traffic Signal
6-Lane At-Grade: Traffic Signal

6-Lane At-Grade: Traffic Signal
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Highlights of 6-Lane At-Grade: Traffic Signal
  • Requires six lanes on Hwy 13 to add capacity and maintain efficient signal operations
  • At-grade design
  • Grade-separated pedestrian crossing to the east of intersection
  • Estimated cost: $12-15 million

Opportunities: Lowest cost and familiar design
Challenges: Pedestrian may continue to cross at intersection

View an evaluation summary of the Nicollet Ave. design concepts (PNG)

4-Lane Hybrid: Quadrant Intersection
4-Lane Hybrid: Quadrant Intersection

4-Lane Hybrid: Quadrant Intersection
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Highlights of 4-Lane Hybrid: Quadrant Intersection
  • Requires four lanes on Hwy 13
  • Grade-separated: Nicollet Ave. will go over Hwy 13
  • New roundabout on Nicollet Ave., south of Hwy 13
  • New traffic signal intersection on Hwy 13 to new service road (behind Cub Foods) that connects to roundabout
  • New traffic signal intersection on Nicollet Ave., north of Hwy 13; connects to new service road that goes directly to north I-35W
  • Pedestrian trail on Nicollet Ave. bridge between Orange Line station and Burnsville Transit station; no at-grade interaction with vehicles
  • Estimated cost: $23-29 million

Opportunities: Middle-range cost and improved safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers
Challenges: Confusion with roundabouts, unfamiliar design, less direct access between Nicollet Ave. and Hwy 13

View an evaluation summary of the Nicollet Ave. design concepts (PNG)

4-Lane Freeway: Single-point roundabout
4-Lane Freeway: Single-point roundabout

4-Lane Freeway: Single-point roundabout
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Highlights of 4-Lane Freeway: Single-point roundabout
  • Requires four lanes on Hwy 13
  • Grade-separated: Nicollet Ave. will go over Hwy 13
  • New roundabout on Nicollet Ave., over Hwy 13; accommodates all movement to/from Nicollet Ave. and Hwy 13
  • Access to/from Nicollet Ave. and Hwy 13 provided by traditional ramps and loops
  • Partial grade-separated pedestrian crossing
  • Estimated cost: $42-55 million

Opportunities: Improved safety for pedestrians
Challenges: Highest cost; confusion with roundabouts

View an evaluation summary of the Nicollet Ave. design concepts (PNG)

Design concepts for Dakota Ave.

We have developed three design concepts for the Dakota Ave. and Hwy 13 intersection:

 View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave. design concepts (PNG)

Option 1: Buttonhook
Option 1: Buttonhook

Option 1: Buttonhook
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Highlights of Option 1: Buttonhook
  • Grade-separated: Hwy 13 goes over Dakota Ave.
  • Eastbound Hwy 13 uses “buttonhook” on and off ramps east of Dakota Ave.
  • Westbound Hwy 13 off ramp located near Vernon Ave. and uses new frontage road on the north side of Hwy 13 between Vernon Ave. and Dakota Ave.
  • Railroad tracks are not grade separated
  • Lowest cost

Opportunities: Accommodates freight acceleration and maneuverability, good freight vehicle storage, safer railroad crossing, low cost
Challenges: More travel distance and maneuvering movements to access the ports, least flexibility for construction, and some right-of-way impacts

View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave. design concepts (PNG)

Option 2: Tight Diamond
Option 2: Tight Diamond

Option 2: Tight Diamond
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Highlights of Option 2: Tight Diamond
  • Grade-separated:  Hwy 13 goes over Dakota Ave.
  • Eastbound Hwy 13 uses typical on and off ramps to/from Dakota Ave.
  • Westbound Hwy 13 off ramp located near Vernon Ave. and uses new frontage road on the north side of Hwy 13 between Vernon Ave. and Dakota Ave.
  • Railroad tracks are not grade separated
  • Middle range of costs

Opportunities: Accommodates freight acceleration and maneuverability, good freight vehicle storage, less travel distance and maneuvering movements to access the ports, safer railroad crossing, most flexibility for construction, minimal right-of-way impacts
Challenges: Middle range of cost

View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave. design concepts (PNG)

Option 3: Shifted Dakota Overpass
Option 3: Shifted Dakota Overpass

Option 3: Shifted Dakota Overpass
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Highlights of Option 3: Shifted Dakota Overpass
  • Grade-separated:  The relocated Dakota Ave. connection would go over Hwy 13, east of its current location, and fit between the railroad tracks on the north and the existing frontage road on the south.
  • Eastbound Hwy 13 uses typical on and off ramps
  • Westbound Hwy 13 off ramp located near Vernon Ave. and uses new frontage road on the north side of Hwy 13 between Vernon Ave. and Dakota Ave.
  • Railroad tracks are not grade separated
  • Middle range of costs

Opportunities: Accommodates freight acceleration and maneuverability, good freight vehicle storage, average travel distance,  safer railroad crossing, good flexibility for construction
Challenges: Middle range of costs, freight access to ports must use frontage roads to go over Hwy 13 which will slow maneuvering movements, frontage road grades will require retaining walls which will impede south side business visibility from the highway, some right-of-way impacts

View an evaluation summary of the Dakota Ave. design concepts (PNG)