I-694/Rice Street Interchange

I-694/Rice Street Interchange proposed design
I-694/Rice Street Interchange proposed design

Ramsey County now has full funding to design and reconstruct the interchange at I-694 and Rice Street adjacent to the communities of Shoreview, Little Canada and Vadnais Heights. The project goals are:

  • Improve traffic operations along Rice Street through the interchange area.
  • Prioritize the most vulnerable users to ensure that all users have equitable safety and mobility through the interchange
  • Improve economic development opportunities in underutilized sites.

The project team anticipates beginning construction in 2019. The project schedule is as follows:

  • Final design complete in July 2018.
  • MnDOT and Federal Highway Administration plan review and approval in September 2018.
  • Construction begins early 2019.

Traffic simulations

These video simulations represent projected traffic volumes in 2040 on the Rice Street corridor for the morning and afternoon rush hours. 

Experience roundabouts

A short video demonstrates the experience of using multi-lane roundabouts from the perspective of the pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist.

Why roundabouts?

The preferred alternative includes roundabouts since this is the most safe, efficient, and cost effective way to address the growing volume of traffic in the area while minimizing the impact to adjacent properties. Roundabouts are a means of intersection control that have gained in popularity and acceptance in recent years. When deciding how to design an intersection, roundabouts are evaluated and compared to other means of intersection control, such as a traffic signal. What roundabouts do provide over other means of control includes the following:

Increased safety 

When replacing stop signs or traffic signals, roundabouts have shown an 89% decrease in fatal crashes, a 74% decrease in life-altering injury crashes and a 39% decrease in all crashes. While roundabouts will have vehicle crashes they are generally less severe than at other intersections due to lower vehicle speeds and one-way traffic flow. Roundabouts have shown a 30 to 40% decrease in pedestrian crashes; and a 10% reduction in bicycle crashes. Navigating a roundabout is easier for pedestrians and bicyclists as oncoming traffic is only from one direction, and there are multiple refuge points on the medians of the roundabout.

Improved traffic flow experience 

More traffic can be accommodated and with less delay at roundabouts than at other intersection designs. Studies have shown that vehicle delays are reduced by 20 to 30%. Roundabouts can also function in close proximity to each other without creating traffic backups experienced by other intersections.

Improved access roundabouts 

These types of roundabouts allow for additional access to the intersection, which may not be feasible with other intersection types. Roundabouts are designed to accommodate all vehicle types traveling through the intersection, including large semi-trucks.

Learn more in this Minnesota Department of Transportation video about multi-lane roundabouts.

Benefits of the interchange

Additional videos, maps, meeting summaries and fact sheets are available on the Rice Street/I-694 Interchange Analysis and Design project website.