As Woodbury prepares for a new mixed-use development at the southwest corner of Radio Drive and Bailey Road, the City Council on Wednesday approved plans for roadway expansion in the area.
Radio Drive will be expanded from two lanes to four from Bailey Road to Hargis Parkway, and a third pedestrian underpass will be installed near the Radio-Bailey intersection. (County staff is busy with other projects, so Woodbury is acting as the lead agency for the roadwork.)
Bielenberg Gardens, which calls for retail, commercial and residential growth across 200 acres at the site, “is really driving this project,” City Engineer Klayton Eckles said.
The developer wants to move forward with the work, and Woodbury is hoping to begin construction next May while also being cognizant of the coming roadwork on Woodbury Drive and timing the two projects to minimize the impact to traffic in the southern portion of the city.
Related: Woodbury Eyes Plans for New Mixed-Use Development
Related: Radio Drive Expansion Will be on Woodbury’s Schedule
The Radio Drive expansion is estimated at $3.02 million, with the city footing a third of the bill. Woodbury has received a grant for the cost of the pedestrian underpass. There will be landscaping upgrades and a median, and power lines on the east side of Radio Drive will be buried to “clean the site up,” Eckles said.
“It’s a significant project, even though it’s only a quarter of a mile,” he said.
Don Theisen, Washington County public works director, outlined why staff recommends a signal at Hargis Parkway and Radio Drive rather than a roundabout.
The county has learned lessons from the accidents at the Radio Drive-Bailey Road roundabout, Theisen said, and many of those same issues would crop up were a roundabout installed at Hargis Parkway.
Also, by 2030 projected traffic counts along Hargis Parkway would be only 20 percent of those along Radio Drive, he said.
While Theisen said the county is supportive of roundabouts in general, “they’re not black and white.”
In response to a question from Councilwoman Julie Ohs, Theisen said the signal at Hargis Parkway could be timed to coordinate with regular events like football games at East Ridge High School.