Robert Street viaduct reopened to traffic on Nov. 16
This concludes this year’s construction along Robert St., which included making repairs to the Robert St./George St. viaduct and the bridge over the Union Pacific railroad. Please note that the public artwork on the northeast viaduct wall was removed during construction and was put into storage for its protection by the city of St. Paul.
About this project
MnDOT is planning significant improvements to Robert St. between Annapolis St. and Fillmore Ave. in 2026-2027. Starting in 2020, MnDOT gathered input from the community on safety improvements, accessibility, street design features, and other topics to influence the agency’s designs for future improvements along the road. Community engagement opportunities will start again in spring 2023, which will influence design options for future road improvements on Robert St. Construction on the road is anticipated to begin in 2026-2027.
In the meantime, MnDOT has made several repairs along Robert St., including pedestrian improvements and minor repairs of the Robert St. Bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Paul in 2020 and repairs to the Robert St./George St. viaduct and the bridge over the Union Pacific railroad in 2022.
Summary of work
Began fall 2020: Test temporary curb extensions at the intersections of Baker St. and Robert St. and Isabel St. and Robert St.
Tentatively 2026-2027: Construction of corridor improvements
Complete: Repaired the George St. bridge and the viaduct between Cesar Chavez and King St. E, and repaired and resurfaced the Robert St. bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks
Complete: Micro-surface and restripe Robert St. between Annapolis St. (south of the Mississippi River) and 11th St. in downtown St. Paul (just south of I-94)
Complete: Repair Robert St. Bridge over the Mississippi River
The future of Robert St.
MnDOT is planning significant improvements to Robert St. between Annapolis St. and Fillmore Ave. in 2026-2027. As a part of this planning process, MnDOT sought community feedback to gather input on various topics, including safety improvements, accessibility and street design features. This engagement included an online survey, interactive comment map and a series of virtual public meetings in summer and fall 2020.
During the community engagement period, MnDOT received comments from more than 1,300 people along the corridor and across the Twin Cities metro area. Many people suggested pedestrian safety improvements, like improved sidewalks and crosswalks, and bicycle safety improvements, like adding a bike lane. Other recurring comments involved the need for reduced vehicle speeds, adding pullovers for buses, and adding more greenery, public art and improved lighting. A summary of community engagement activities and feedback has been compiled into a public report.
As MnDOT begins to develop designs for future improvements on Robert St., MnDOT will engage the community in spring of 2023, to provide additional input. Any future work along Robert St. will be completed in coordination with other public entities, including the City of St. Paul and the Metropolitan Council, to limit construction disruptions for residents, businesses and property owners.
Pedestrian safety pilot project
MnDOT installed temporary safety features at the intersections of Baker St. and Robert St. and Isabel St. and Robert St. in October 2020.
These temporary safety features, called curb extensions (or bump-outs or bulb-outs), visually and physically narrow the roadway. This creates shorter crossings for pedestrians and increases visibility for people walking and driving. Curb extensions will not take any parking away or affect access to driveways, but may make parking near the corner more difficult.
The goal of this project is to test the curb extensions before committing to them as a long-term design improvement at the intersection. While the curb extensions are in place, MnDOT is evaluating pedestrian and driver behavior and determining the impact they have on traffic, such as pedestrian usage and vehicle speeds.
There is currently no specific date for the removal of the extensions, but they will be maintained by MnDOT for the foreseeable future.