Big changes are coming to Highway 55 and County Road 73.
Since the beginning of 2023, the City of Plymouth has been making plans to improve transit at two key corridors in the city, but conversations were happening long before the initial project design. “We first started having discussions probably at least three years ago, maybe even four,” Mayor Jeffry Wosje says.
The Station 73 Transit and Regional Improvement Program (TRIP) is tackling two key areas in the city: Highway 55 and County Road 73. The program plans to:
- Add bus platforms on Highway 55
- Enhance pedestrian safety by installing a trail underpass
- Pave the connections to the Bryant Lake Regional Trail System
- Add mobility features to Station 73, including wayfinding signage, a bike maintenance station, electric bike and scooter charging ports and a dedicated area for ridesharing
- Realign County Road 73 to improve traffic flow
- Relocate business driveways for improved accessibility
- Add a roundabout at the intersection of South Shore Drive and 10th Avenue N
Why the Change?
Mayor Wosje says that during his time on the city council, he noticed that transit corridors were identified in every part of the Metro with the exception of Plymouth and Maple Grove. “Myself and then-council member [Michael] Thompson championed the project,” Mayor Wosje says, noting that there are two major reasons for the change.
“One is, if we get all day bus service, we have residents that will have another option to get downtown,” Mayor Wosje says. The second part, he says, is connecting people outside the city to jobs. “If we can increase the pool of potential candidates for our businesses, those businesses are going to be much more successful,” Mayor Wosje says.
But aside from improving connections, there’s a safety aspect to Station 73 TRIP. “[We need] a safe way for pedestrians to cross the highway, i.e. the underpass to get from the north to the south or vice versa and not have to wait for and go through all the traffic lights,” Mayor Wosje says.
Making it Happen
The City of Plymouth is set to receive a $15 million RAISE Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help meet the estimated $26 million project cost. “Our public works department completed the application,” Mayor Wosje says. “It was Sen. [Amy] Klobuchar and her office that got it done and pushed for it.”
On April 1, Sen. Klobuchar and her team visited Plymouth City Hall to hear a more in-depth overview of how the grant funds will be spent. A Plymouth native herself, Sen. Klobuchar says she was familiar with the issues of Highway 55. “I [biked] the shoulder of 55 all the time,” she says.
So, when is construction set to begin and end?
- Start project design: January 2023
- Right-of-way acquisition completed: September 2024
- Start of construction: April 2025
- Planned completion of construction: November 2026
For more information and project updates, visit plymouthmn.gov