Aerial view of the Smith/Dodd intersection in West St. Paul with downtown St. Paul visible in the distance.

Proposed Smith & Dodd Intersection Realignment

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The City of West St. Paul is moving forward with a realignment of the Smith & Dodd intersection thanks to $3.1 million of federal money.

Why: The intersection of Smith Avenue, Dodd Road, and Bernard Street creates three separate intersections that are too close together. It creates difficult sight lines, awkward pedestrian crossings, and congestion.

  • “Realigning the Smith Avenue and Dodd Road intersection allows us an opportunity to improve traffic safety here in West St. Paul and create a memorial to honor Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick, who was tragically killed at this very intersection just 8 years ago,” said West St. Paul Mayor Dave Napier in a press release from U.S. Representative Angie Craig, who helped secure the federal funding.

Doddway Redevelopment

Making entrances work better for redevelopment is another factor as this project has been spurred by the proposed redevelopment of Doddway Center.

  • Original plan: First proposed in 2021 by Paster Properties, the Doddway redevelopment plans included multi-story apartments with retail space on the first floor and a patio that incorporated Albert Park.
  • Progress: Paster recently submitted a revised concept plan to the city and hopes to move forward with planning this year. Public input could happen later this year, with construction potentially starting late 2024 at the earliest and more likely 2025.

Separate projects: The intersection realignment and potential redevelopment are two separate projects, with the intersection work happening regardless of current redevelopment plans.

The Intersection Plan

The city studied realignment in 2017 and came up with four options in the Smith/Dodd Small Area Plan. This effort will reexamine the options, but the city prefers the option that vacates portions of Dodd Road:

Smith/Dodd intersection realignment option 4 (Dodd is interrupted)
The city’s preferred realignment of the Smith/Dodd intersection.

Other intersection options:

Next steps:

  • Design: It all starts with a design contract, which the City Council will likely award on Monday.
  • Public input: The first opportunity for public meetings could come this fall (possibly in concert with the redevelopment plans), but nothing is finalized.
  • Timeline: Intersection construction is targeted to begin in 2025, but (again) nothing is final.
  • Final decision: Smith and Dodd are state roads, so MnDOT has final say on what alignment is approved.

Roundabouts: The 2017 options did include one with a roundabout, but it will depend on traffic counts. The available land also makes it difficult to fit a roundabout in.

Cost: The $3.1 million of federal money doesn’t cover everything. They reimburse up to 80% of construction costs, which means the city could pitch in $620,000 for construction, plus design costs.

What About…

  • Albert Park: The city will keep Albert Park, but it could be moved or even expanded, depending on the intersection options. Moving it will be dependent on redevelopment.
  • 1010 Dodd: A portion of the city-owned lot at 1010 Dodd (the southern corner of the Smith/Dodd intersection) will likely be used for the intersection realignment. This lot is the site of an informal memorial for Officer Scott Patrick, who was killed in the line of duty in 2014. A formal memorial is part of the federal funding, though an exact location will be part of the planning process.
  • Camelot Cleaners: The sale of Camelot Cleaners closed earlier this week. Developers proposed a 13-unit, boutique apartment with a restaurant on the main floor, but high interest rates have shelved those plans for now.

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