Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Highway 252/I-94 Environmental Review

Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis

Frequently asked questions

General

I already gave feedback about Hwy 252 and I-94, how is this different? Will feedback given during the Environmental Assessment (EA) be considered?

Yes, MnDOT and our partners are now preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Hwy 252/I-94 project. Public engagement from the Environmental Assessment (EA) portion of work will help inform this EIS process. Engagement will be conducted again regarding the roadway options being considered, the methods for deciding which options should move forward in the process, and other project considerations. The EIS process includes more detailed analysis and requires public engagement be conducted again from the first step through the preferred alternative being selected.  

How will this project conduct equitable community engagement?

We are conducting a parallel process to the EIS termed an Equity and Health Assessment (EHA) of the Hwy 252/I-94 project area. Information gathered from this process will help shape the Hwy 252/I-94 project alternatives as well as determining the existing conditions of equity and health in the Hwy 252/I-94 project area, identification of potential equity and health benefits and objectives and impacts of project alternatives for use in the project’s EIS. The EHA process is notable because it provides an opportunity to augment and enhance the EIS processes and analyses guided by federal and state regulation.

Furthermore, every component of EIS engagement will be guided by an expectation and desired outcome that is equitable and accessible for all involved.

Transit

How will transit considerations be incorporated into this project?

A Transit Feasibility Study is part of the EIS process. The study is assessing transit needs and potential improvements to bus service in the Hwy 252/I-94 study area.

This study is examining four primary transit options along the I-94 and Hwy 252 corridors:

  • Concept A includes Highway BRT service along I-94 and I-694 to Maple Grove Transit Station.
  • Concept B includes Highway BRT service along I-94 and Hwy 252 to Northtown Transit Center in Blaine.
  • Concept C includes up to 3 new station(s) along I-94 in North Minneapolis, as well as connecting local and express bus service improvements.
  • Concept D includes local and express service improvements with no new stations.

Each of these options is being evaluated to determine if they are compatible with Hwy 252 and I-94 project alternatives being developed through the EIS process.

Walking, rolling, biking

How will considerations for people walking, rolling, and biking be incorporated into this project?

The Hwy 252/I-94 EIS will assess the walking, rolling, and biking experience and how it can be improved with any future project along these corridors. Walking, rolling, and biking improvements will be evaluated for impact and feasibility as part of the project alternative analysis and evaluation steps. The impact analysis will use criteria for safety – such as crash frequency and severity; mobility – such as crossing times; and access – such as distance between crossings.

The EIS process will evaluate how any potential project effects people living in the neighborhoods, especially minority and low-income populations. The EIS will also evaluate a potential projects impact on community cohesion, which is evaluating how land is used in a way that promotes connection and balance in neighborhoods. Both considerations are closely connected to bicycle and pedestrian issues as we work to create a safer and healthier transportation network for households without a car, people who have different abilities, and people who choose to bike and walk.

Design

Is this project going to be a grade-separated freeway? Are other previous options still in play?

Previous studies have been completed for the Hwy 252 and I-94 corridors. Significant analysis was completed, and many alternatives were reviewed and developed as part of the previous studies. The current EIS process will consider the previous analysis and alternatives. However, new alternatives and ideas will also be considered and developed because no decisions have been made yet regarding corridor improvements or what the roadway should look like or how it should operate.

Through iteration and refinement, project alternatives are identified in the early EIS phases (Scoping phase) to arrive at a reasonable and representative range of project alternatives that first look to avoid, second minimize, and third mitigate impacts to the environment and community resources.

What will construction phasing look like?

Without a preferred alternative identified construction phasing cannot be determined yet. What we do know is that developing phasing for the project is important to understand if it can be built as one large project or if it is more practical to build the preferred alternative as smaller individual projects over time that build up to the complete preferred alternative.

Environmental

How will the EIS process review air quality impacts to show the residents air quality will not be worse because of this project?

The EIS process will include reporting on Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSATS) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) for the region. The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether the project is likely to increase or decrease MSAT emissions compared to existing conditions and a no-build alternative or doing nothing. We look at the Greenhouse gas impacts of a project's construction and the project’s potential for future traffic.

In addition, We will also conduct a project-level analysis of carbon monoxide levels. This is required because of the high-volume intersections on the Highway 252 corridor that are considered Carbon Monoxide hot spots.   CO hot spot analysis is conducted to help the region remain below thresholds for carbon monoxide pollution.  Air quality does not affect everyone equally. Health inequities result in some populations being more vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution.

How will this project maintain and protect the surrounding environment? How will noise be factored into the study?

EIS process identifies how the proposed project can respect and enhance surrounding communities by avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating potential negative impacts.

We follow a highly structured, data-driven, and collaborative process to determine if a transportation project should include noise walls or some other type of noise relief. This process has three steps: field measurement surveys, noise modeling, and noise reduction analysis. We determine if noise walls are possible and reasonable. A noise wall is possible if there are no physical or safety reasons why it cannot be built and the noise wall reduces sound by at least 5 decibels. Once it is established that a noise wall is both feasible and reasonable, property owners and residents who receive a 5-decibel or more reduction in sound are invited to vote for or against the proposed noise wall.