North Frontage Road Realignment Plan at Osgood Moves Forward with Land Acquisition

The North Frontage Road realignment project is moving forward.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 9 approved the acquisition of land to realign the North Frontage road at Highway 36 and Osgood Avenue in Oak Park Heights.

The roadway’s current intersection with Osgood Avenue will be closed, and the intersection will be moved north to align with the northern entrance with the Walgreens parking lot.

The roadway will travel west through the Fury Motors land, and then turn south at Oren Avenue North (just east of Joseph’s), and reconnect with the current North Frontage Road.

The realignment project is a partnership with MnDOT and the city of Oak Park Heights.

A future agreement with MnDOT will outline its 50 percent cost share, according to a Washington County news release. The county and the state will each spend $200,000 on the project.

The acquisition comes after the city of Oak Park Heights agreed to the realignment plans, and ownership of the road after the St. Croix River Crossing is built.

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County officials believe the realignment will ease congestion, increases public safety and be a key access to local businesses along the North Frontage Road.

Jim Leonard, co-owner of Fury Motors, has pushed for the realignment as the dealership is planning an $8 million redevelopment of the former Denny Hecker site at Osgood and Highway 36.

In the name of economic redevelopment, the city of Oak Park Heights purchased the two houses near the Fury Motors site for about $500,000. The city is considering the creation of a tax-abatement district for the area to recoup the funds that have been put into the project.

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