Downtown Highway 41 Project
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What is being built?

Project Overview

The Downtown Highway 41 Project will help the City of Chaska achieve its vision of downtown revitalization that reflects and celebrates its historic character, traditional small town atmosphere, and values. The vision for Highway 41 through downtown Chaska is a two-lane road with turn lanes that better balances roadway needs with the pedestrian space. The addition of streetscaping, pedestrian/bicyclist connections, and gathering spaces will create a more comfortable and inviting environment for all users. These improvements will preserve and enrich the downtown ambience while making it a popular destination and hub of the community.

Planned Improvements

The Downtown Highway 41 Project incorporates several key changes, including:

  • Reconstruction of Highway 41 (Minnesota River bridge to Walnut Court)
  • Reconstruction of Chaska Boulevard (Highway 41 to Yellow Brick Road)
  • Addition of three public parking lots east of Highway 41 (north and south of City Square Park)
  • Addition of downtown streetscaping and wayfinding elements
  • Improved and additional pedestrian connections and spaces
  • Pedestrian tunnel under Highway 41. The pedestrian tunnel under Highway 41 between 5th Street and Chaska Boulevard will provide a valuable connection for downtown visitors and residents. Final design of the tunnel is pending. Open a large view of the pedestrian tunnel visualization (pdf).
  • Addition of an enhanced pedestrian crossing on Highway 41 at Walnut Court
  • Upgraded public utility lines

Project Benefits

  • A safer and more welcoming environment for pedestrians and bicycle users
  • Improved ADA accessibility
  • A revitalization of downtown that will benefit existing businesses and attract new businesses
  • Safer and more reliable routes for all transportation modes

Video Visualization

Watch the video below to get an idea of what Downtown Chaska will look like after construction of the project.

Project History

Founded in 1852, Chaska has a historic downtown with many 19th century structures remaining. Today, it is an active and evolving economic center and regional attraction home to more than 175 businesses. Highway 41 bisects Downtown Chaska, providing local access and circulation as well as connections to the greater Twin Cities metro area. Highway 41 also serves as one of the four Minnesota River crossings in the southwestern metro area.

The highway’s existing four-lane divided roadway with parking on the northbound lanes leaves little room for sidewalks, which makes downtown uninviting to non-motorized travel. Highway 41 does not have left turn lanes at intersections within downtown. The lack of left turn lanes creates major disruptions to the main roadway, causing cars to weave over a lane to avoid getting stuck behind turning vehicles. Safety, pedestrians, parking, speed, environment, access, and mobility are among the numerous concerns by the businesses, property owners, and public.

2015-2017: Identifying Potential Improvements

The purpose of the study was to identify a vision for transportation system improvements to address existing issues and future growth. The study area included Downtown Chaska and adjacent areas to the north, west and east. Completed in 2018, the study report summarizes findings, provides recommendations, and outlines a plan for project implementation. Visit the study website at www.highway4161.com.

STUDY DOCUMENTS

2018-2022: Funding and Designing the Downtown Highway 41 Project

We are now moving forward with one of the projects identified in the study – the Downtown Highway 41 Project. Project partners assembled a funding package for this project between 2018-2020. With funding secured, we are now ready to construct the project.

2022-2023: Construction