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Rice Street to fully reopen to traffic between Vadnais Boulevard and Gramsie Road June 25

Rice Street between Vadnais Boulevard and Gramsie Road in Shoreview and Vadnais Heights will reopen to traffic in both directions the afternoon of Tuesday, June 25.

Lane closures have been in place on Rice Street since April 17 due to flooding from Lake Vadnais and the surrounding watershed.

Crews have cleared debris from the roadway and inspected the road and its underlying structures to determine that it’s safe to fully reopen to traffic.

In mid-July, Ramsey County Public Works will raise the height of a short stretch of pavement on Rice Street near the railroad bridge to prevent future flooding issues. The project is expected to take about one week to complete, and Rice Street will be closed while the work is underway. A detour route will be posted. Additional information – including the work schedule – will be posted to our website once available.

The eastbound I-694 exit ramp to Rice Street, westbound I-694 entrance ramp from Rice Street, and westbound I-694 exit ramp to Rice Street remain closed for construction of the I-694/Rice Street interchange.

Previous updates

June 13

Rice Street between Vadnais Boulevard and Gramsie Road has reopened to northbound traffic only as of June 13.

There is still standing water in the southbound lane that creates a safety risk for motorists. The timeline for reopening the southbound lane remains dependent on weather conditions and water levels.

Over the past two months, Public Works has discussed, evaluated and tested several solutions to the flooding issues on Rice Street – including sandbags, pumping water off of the road, pumping water from West Vadnais Lake into East Vadnais Lake, holding back water upstream and patching low spots on the road. These are not feasible solutions for several reasons including weather conditions, the road’s location, safety concerns and how water moves through the watershed.

We’re currently evaluating raising the height of the road to reduce the chance of future water issues on Rice Street. Raising the road is challenging because we need to maintain enough clearance below the railroad bridge to accommodate commercial truck traffic. If this is possible, the work to raise the road will likely take place this construction season.

Thank you for your continued patience and please drive safely.

Update on I-694/Rice Street interchange ramps

  • The eastbound I-694 off-ramp to Rice Street and the westbound I-694 on-ramp from Rice Street closed in mid-March as part of the I-694/Rice Street interchange reconstruction and are on track to reopen in late August.
     
  • The westbound I-694 off-ramp to Rice Street is currently expected to remain closed through October. The ramp closed in April due to the flooding on Rice Street and related traffic safety issues.

    Over the past two months, the construction team was able to begin site work next to the ramp ahead of schedule. This ramp was originally expected to close for several months starting in August as part of phase two of the interchange reconstruction. Keeping the ramp closed now will prevent the need for another closure this year and allow Xcel Energy to relocate the existing gas main and electric lines

May 28 update

Rice Street between Vadnais Boulevard and Gramsie Road will fully close to north and southbound traffic again beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 29. Floodwaters are currently covering both traffic lanes following Monday’s heavy rainfall.

Water levels on and near the road are expected to continue to rise in the coming days; it takes about two weeks for water levels to crest in the watershed following significant rain.

The timeline for reopening the road remains dependent on weather conditions and water levels.

Public Works continues to assess solutions to keep water off the road so Rice Street can safely reopen to traffic. We’ve discussed, evaluated and tested several solutions – including sandbags, pumping water off of the road, pumping water from West Vadnais Lake into East Vadnais Lake, holding back water upstream and patching low spots on the road. These are not feasible solutions given recent weather conditions, the road’s location, safety concerns and how water moves through the watershed.

We’re currently researching if it’s possible to safely raise the height of the road. Raising the road is challenging because we need to maintain enough clearance below the railroad bridge to accommodate commercial truck traffic. If this option is possible, it will take several weeks to complete.

Thank you for your patience and please drive safely. Contact 651-266-7100 with questions about the Rice Street closure.

May 8 update

Rice Street between Vadnais Boulevard and Gramsie Road has reopened to northbound traffic only.

The timeline for reopening to southbound traffic remains dependent on weather conditions and water levels. Public Works is continuing to assess solutions to keep water off the road so it can safely reopen to traffic in both directions.

The westbound I-694 ramp to Rice Street, which also closed in April due to flooding, remains closed.

April 17 - original closure

Rice Street between Vadnais Boulevard and Gramsie Road closed April 17 in both directions due to flooding caused by rising water levels in Lake Vadnais.

Local traffic should use alternate routes during the closure.

Rice Street will remain closed until flood waters recede and the road is safe for travel. The timeline for reopening the road is dependent on weather.

I-694/Rice Street interchange detours

Due to the flooding, new detours are in place for the I-694/Rice Street interchange construction project.

  • Westbound I-694 ramp to Rice Street
    The westbound I-694 ramp to Rice Street is closed due to flooding on Rice Street. Traffic is detoured on westbound I-694 to Lexington Avenue, then south on Lexington Avenue to County Road C, then east on County Road C to Rice Street.
     
  • Eastbound I-694 ramp to Rice Street
    Traffic is detoured east on I-694 to I-35E south to Little Canada Road, then west on Little Canada Road to Rice Street.
     
  • Westbound I-694 ramp from Rice Street
    Traffic is detoured south on Rice Street to County Road C, then west on County Road C to Lexington Avenue, then north on Lexington Avenue to I-694.

View detours on interactive map

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2019 - 12:55 p.m.