Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Hwy 47 and BNSF Railroad Crossing

Anoka

About this project

Highway 47 in Anoka project location map

Hwy 47 in Anoka project location map.

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We’re working to improve the Hwy 47 (Ferry St.) at BNSF crossing in Anoka. In 2016, MnDOT completed a study of safety issues at this crossing. The study recommended separating the highway and railroad crossing by constructing a bridge over the train tracks. In 2020 the State Legislature awarded bonding funds to make safety improvements. Our goal is to identify a safer crossing of Hwy 47 and BNSF Railroad crossing; the entire area from Pleasant St. to Garfield St. W will be part of the study area as we: 

  • Redesign the crossing by constructing a bridge either over or under the train tracks.
  • Explore some of the surrounding intersections and conditions that need improvements.

There are three parts to this project:

  • Evaluate the BNSF railroad crossing
  • Evaluate Martin St. and Pleasant St. intersections
  • Evaluate Hwy 47 alignment

Summary of work

In 2020, the State Legislature awarded bonding funds to make safety improvements at priority railway crossings, including this one.

  • Project work is being determined

The public will have several opportunities to provide input, review alternatives, and stay informed throughout the project. Sign up for project email updates to receive information.

Highway 47/Ferry Street in Anoka project schedule

Project schedule
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Public meeting information

On Wed, May 25, a public meeting was held at Anoka-Hennepin Education Service Center. The information from the meeting is shown below; please click on the drop-down headers to read about the challenges, priorities and recommended alternatives.

Highway 47 project process graphic

Hwy 47 in Anoka project process

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  • Evaluate the BNSF railroad crossing
  • Evaluate Martin St. and Pleasant St. intersections
  • Evaluate Hwy 47 alignment

BNSF Railroad crossing

We evaluated the Hwy 47 (Ferry St) and BNSF crossing and identified these challenges:

  • The intersection of Hwy 47 at the BNSF railroad crossing in Anoka has had many years of safety and delay issues. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Railroad Administration this crossing was deemed one of the highest needs for improvements due to:
    • Lots of vehicle and train traffic.
    • Trains traveling as fast as 75 mph.
    • Major property damages.
    • Serious injuries and fatalities.

These are our priorities in considering alternatives for the crossing:

  • Safety: Drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, trains
  • Traffic flow: Faster drive times, quicker for emergency services
  • Trail space: Multi-use, pedestrians, bicyclists

More than 1,000 people shared important feedback in fall of 2021. This feedback confirmed many of the same issues and problems that had been identified in the data analysis of traffic levels and crash rates.

Recommended Alternative

Proposed bridge aerial

Key elements

  • Two lane traffic bridge over railroad
    • Separates drivers from the trains on a bridge over the tracks.
    • Allows for future widening to four lanes
  • Sidewalk/trail also elevated over railroad tracks
    • Separates pedestrians and bicyclists from the trains on a bridge over the tracks.
    • Meets ADA compliance guidelines for grade (slope) of sidewalk.
Showing lanes and bicycle trail on the bridge
Proposed bridge profile

Scale not reflective of actual proposed bridge.


Dismissed alternatives

  • Roadway tunnel under railroad
    • Disadvantages: Issues of constructability, maintenance of railroad traffic, groundwater and contamination concerns.
  • Railroad overpass above traffic
    • Disadvantages: There are longer areas of impacts, including the train station and river bridges.

Intersections south of railroad crossing

We evaluated both Martin St. and Pleasant St. intersections south of the crossing and identified these challenges:

  • Proximity of roadway overpass of the railroad tracks.
  • Drivers experiencing backups and delays.
  • Anticipated increase in vehicles in the years ahead.
  • Safety of pedestrians and drivers at each intersection.

These are our priorities in considering alternatives for the intersections:

  • Maintain pedestrian access and crossings.
  • Support future capacity for the road.
  • Improve safety for drivers and pedestrians.
  • Maintain access for residents.
  • Minimize traffic impacts on surrounding neighborhoods.

Ferry St. at Pleasant St.

Recommended alternative

Map of Ferry St. at Pleasant St. Alternative 2

Alternative 2: Added independent left turn lanes
Key elements:

  • Left turn lanes are added for northbound, eastbound and westbound traffic
  • Southbound left turn lane is extended
  • Pedestrian access and crossings stay the same

Benefits:

  • Location of northbound and southbound turn lanes improve safety and operations at the intersection
  • Can accommodate future capacity


Dismissed alternative

Map of Ferry St. at Pleasant St. Alternative 1

Alternative 1: No traffic lane changes
Key elements:

  • Traffic lanes stay the same
  • Southbound left turn lane is extended
  • Pedestrian access and crossings stay the same

Disadvantages:

  • May not meet capacity needs in the future
  • Location of left turn lanes limits visibility


Ferry St. at Martin St.

Recommended alternative

Map of Ferry St. at Martin St. Alternative 3

Alternative 3: Access option

Key elements:

  • Access to Martin St. from Hwy 47 is maintained
  • Access from Martin St. to southbound Hwy 47
  • Improved pedestrian access with a Hwy 47 crossing with a pedestrian refuge median north of Martin St.

Benefits

  • Provides the most access to and from Hwy 47 compared to the other alternatives
  • Minimal traffic diversion through the neighborhood


Dismissed alternatives

Map of Ferry St. at Martin St. Alternative 2

Alternative 1: Minimal access

Key elements:

  • Access at Martin St. and Hwy 47 is replaced with a cul-de-sac
  • Limits access to the west to minimize property impacts

Disadvantages:

  • Results in largest rerouting of traffic through the neighborhood to and from Pleasant St. to access Hwy 47


Alternative 2: In only

Map of Ferry St. at Martin St. Alternative 2

Key elements:

  • Closes southbound and northbound Hwy 47 access to westbound Martin St.
  • Reduces property impacts while still allowing access to Hwy 47 southbound from Martin St. eastbound

Disadvantages:

  • Northbound left turn and southbound right turn vehicles would be rerouted to Pleasant St., resulting in increased traffic through neighborhoods


Alternative 4: Out only

Map of Ferry St. at Martin St. Alternative 4

Key elements:

  • Closes eastbound Martin St. access to Hwy 47
  • Reduces property impacts while still allowing access to westbound Martin St from Hwy 47


Alternative 5: Right in, right out

Map of Ferry St. at Martin St. Alternative 5

Key elements:

  • Closes access to northbound Hwy 47 from eastbound Martin St.
  • Provides more access to and from Martin St. compared to other alternatives

Disadvantages:

  • Northbound left turn vehicles would be rerouted to Pleasant St. and through neighborhood. Resulting in increase in traffic through neighborhoods.

Hwy 47/Ferry St road alignment

We evaluated the Hwy 47/Ferry St. road alignment and identified these challenges:

  • Speed limit range is inconsistent in the area
  • Multiple businesses and properties, and parks may be impacted
  • Roadway curves create safety issues

These are our priorities in evaluating the alternatives:

  • Minimize impacts on Rum River
  • Consider roadway curve improvements
  • Consider the impacts to businesses, properties, parks

Alternatives

Alignment 1

Map of Alignment Alternative 1

Key elements:

  • Requires relocation of main entrance of Alter Metals to Garfield St.
  • Does not change road curves or speed limit
  • Impacts to Rum River floodway and state-designated Wild and Scenic River
  • Minimal impact to Anoka County Fairgrounds property
  • No impact to Rum River South County Park resources


Alignment 2

Map of Alignment Alternative 2

Key elements

  • Major impacts to Alter Metals property
  • No impacts to Rum River floodway
  • Minimal impacts to Rum River state-designated Wild and Scenic River
  • Minimal impacts to Anoka County Fairgrounds property
  • Minimal impact to Rum River South County Park resources
  • Improves the road curve which eliminates the need for a lower speed limit


Alignment 5

Map of Alignment Alternative 5

Key elements

  • Some impacts to Alter Metals property
  • No impacts to Rum River floodway
  • Minimal impacts to Rum River state-designated Wild and Scenic River
  • Minimal impacts to Anoka County Fairgrounds property
  • Replacement of Rum River South County Park land required
  • Improves the road curve which eliminates the need for a lower speed limit


Graphic showing lanes and bicycle trail on the bridge
  • Proposed speed limit in the project area is 35 mph
  • Proposed road is a three-lane with turn lanes at intersections

Dismissed Alternatives

Dismissed: Alignment 3

Map of Alignment Alternative 3

Key elements

  • Major impacts to Rum River floodway and state-designated Wild and Scenic River
  • Impacts to Anoka County Fairgrounds property
  • Impacts to City well house
  • Replacement of Rum River South County Park land required


Dismissed: Alignment 4

Map of Alignment Alternative 4

Key elements:

  • Alternative minimizes impacts to Alter Metals property and operations.
  • Impacts to Rum River floodway and state-designated Wild and Scenic River
  • Impacts to Anoka County Fairgrounds property
  • Replacement of Rum River South County Park land required

Traffic impacts

All traffic impacts are tentative and weather dependent. MnDOT has identified several key issues in the area including the location of the Rum River, nearby businesses and the school district building. MnDOT is also aware of the need to maintain rail service during project construction.

Upcoming

All upcoming traffic impacts will be posted as details become available. Motorists can expect detours for Hwy 47 traffic.