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Highway 13 and Nicollet A view of Highway 13 near Nicollet Avenue, 2019.
Highway 13 and Cliff RoadIntersection of Highway 13 and Cliff Road, February 2020.
Highway 13 and Nicollet AvenueHighway 13 at Nicollet Avenue, November 2020 - photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Welcome to Burnsville signHighway 13 entering Burnsville from Savage. Photo Randy Monnens.
Bus ramp being constructedJuly 7, 1977 Dakota County Tribune:

Heavy machinery has been used to clear this path for the special bus ramp being constructed from Highway 13 to Interstate 35W...
Highway 13 and Highway 65Burnsville looking east on Highway 13 at Highway 65 (Lyndale Avenue) 1956.
Highway 13 and Highway 65Looking north on Highway 65 (Lyndale Avenue) and Highway 13. Year 1956.
Highway 13 and Highway 65Highway 65 (Lyndale Avenue) and Highway 13 in 1956.
Lost Highways - Williams Drive, Old County Road 34 were originally Highway 13Map showing the original route of Highway 13 between Burnsville and Savage.
Deadpioneer's Minnesota Historic Highways (online).
Highway 13Hiway 13 heading toward County Road 5, photo 2019.
Overpass, roundabout planned for Highway 13 and Nicollet 2021April 16, 2021 Burnsville Eagan Sun/Thisweek News

by John Gessner

A grade-separated interchange with a roundabout is proposed for the congested intersection of Highway 13 and Nicollet Avenue in Burnsville.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation proposes to lower Highway 13 and run Nicollet over it, with a roundabout immediately south of the highway in the Heart of the City.

A short road section looping east from the roundabout would connect to a new signalized intersection on 13 east of Nicollet. The intersection would carry less traffic than the signalized intersection at Nicollet and be further from ramps to Interstate 35W, improving safety, said Chris Chromy of Bolton and Menk, a MnDOT consultant.

The $30 million project is one in a series planned for the Highway 13 corridor between Nicollet Avenue in Burnsville and Highway 169 in Savage.

In Burnsville, MnDOT is also proposing a $25 million grade separation at Chowen Avenue, with the highway on top and a roundabout diamond interchange; and a $25 million overpass for Washburn Avenue.

The first project in the corridor — improvements for safety and freight access at Dakota and Yosemite avenues in Savage — is funded and scheduled for 2022.

Nicollet Avenue could be next, Chromy told the Burnsville City Council at a work session Tuesday.

“When is always contingent on when we can find the money to do it,” he said. “$30 million is a lot of money.”

The city has submitted the project to 2nd District U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, whose office is seeking project ideas in anticipation of possible massive federal infrastructure spending.

“So we do want that jobs plan to get passed,” Mayor Elizabeth Kautz said of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan.

Burnsville has for years tried to get federal funding for a pedestrian overpass at Nicollet and 13. Continued development of new housing in the Heart of the City, the forthcoming addition of a bus rapid transit station at the southwest corner of the intersection and the Burnsville Transit Station north of the highway have raised demand for a safe pedestrian crossing.

A trail is planned for one side of the Nicollet overpass, Chromy said.

“The whole pedestrian factor in this particular plan is by far the most appealing and exciting for me,” Council Member Dan Kealey said. Crossing 13 on foot, bike or in a wheelchair appears to be a “harrowing experience,” he said.

Kautz said pedestrians must cross four lanes to get to the middle and then have to wait for another light cycle as heavy volumes of traffic roar by.

“I feel anxious for them,” Kealey said. “It’s terrible.”

If the project gets federal funding, a pedestrian overpass probably won’t, Burnsville Public Works Director Ryan Peterson said.

“We’re talking a lot about the pedestrians, but that is a really poorly functioning intersection for vehicles as well,” he said, calling 13 and Nicollet a “failing” intersection.

According to MnDOT, the Highway 13 corridor is plagued by traffic that exceeds capacity, causing congestion and delays; higher-than-average crash numbers at several intersections; unsafe and inefficient movement of trucks; and poor pedestrian and bike access.

MnDOT and other agencies began studying corridor improvements in 2019.
Highway 13 at Lyndale AvenueThen and Now Highway 13 looking toward Savage. Cross Road then Lyndale Avenue, now Interstate 35W.
Highway 13 at Lyndale AvenueHIghway 13 and Old Lyndale, now interstate 35W, now looking toward Lakeville.
Interstate 35W and Highway 13Highway 13 and Interstate 35W photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Interstate 35W and Highway 13Interstate 35W and Highway 13 looking toward Buck Hill - photo compliments of the City of Burnsville.
Highway 13 at Lyndale AvenueHIghway 13 and Lyndale Avenue, now Interstate 35W looking toward Bloomington.
Highway 13 at Lyndale AvenueThen 1953 and Now 2020 - Highway 13 and Lyndale Avenue (now Interstate 35W) looking toward today's Nicollet Avenue.
Intersection of Highway 13 and County Road 5Photo Randy Monnens showing County Road 5 at Highway 13, October 2021.
Lost Highways - Williams Drive, Old County Road 34 were originally Highway 13Source: Deadpioneer's Minnesota Historic Highways


Highway 13's original alignment at the Scott County line was on Williams Drive (former County Road 34) in what is now Burnsville. In 1941, a new highway was constructed north of Williams Drive along what is now Highway 13's eastbound lane. Although it was probably planned as a new alignment for Highway 13, the new road ended up being marked as an eastern extension of State Highway 101 instead. The two highways met just east of the modern junction of Highway 13 with County Road 5. In 1960, Highway 13 was upgraded to four lanes at the just completed I-35W interchange. The new four-lane section of Highway 13 was constructed to merge directly onto old Highway 101, and Highway 13's route was moved off of Williams Drive. Highway 101 and Highway 13 shared the highway to Savage until 1963, when Highway 101's route was truncated at the west junction in Scott County. Williams Drive became County Road 34, but was eventually turned back to the city of Burnsville.

Today, Williams Drive serves as a typical suburban drive, with little to indicate that it was once a trunk highway. It has been significantly widened and repaved since being bypassed in 1960. The eastern end of Williams Drive was realigned to intersect County Road 5 a few blocks south of modern Highway 13 at some point in the late 1970's. A section of the eastern end of the old alignment remains as "Old Co Rd. 34 Place", accessible via either Penn or Morgan Avenues.
Highway 13 and River Hills DriveThe intersection of Highway 13 and River Hills Drive, 2019 photo.
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