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County Road 47 corridor study

County Road 47 in Plymouth

Hennepin County and the City of Plymouth are developing a long-term vision of the County Road 47 corridor — including short- to mid-term actions — using stakeholder feedback, technical engineering judgment and funding constraints.

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More about the corridor

County Road 47 is 4-mile roadway segment between County Road 101 on the west and Northwest Boulevard (County Road 61) on the east. The corridor primarily serves land uses in the City of Plymouth. However, it also accommodates travel to and from adjacent communities west and northwest of the corridor.

County Road 47 has a long history as a component of the Hennepin County roadway system. Portions of today’s alignment were first added to the county system in the 1920s. The road had a gravel surface until 1960 when it was extended to connect between State Trunk Highway 101 (now County Road 101) and County Road 61. County Road 47 was one of the last of the Hennepin County roads to be paved and improvements have been limited since the road is not eligible for either state or federal funding assistance. These funding challenges, coupled with the fact that the roadway serves a more local versus regional purpose, has resulted in the road having lesser priority in the county roadway system as compared to County State Aid Highways or other county roads that serve regional trips.

The purpose of the County Road 47 Corridor Study is to develop a long-term vision of the corridor and short- to mid-term actions using stakeholder feedback, technical engineering judgment and realistic funding constraints.

Reasons for a study

Some of the reasoning for the study:

  • Travel needs have changed significantly since the corridor’s initial construction as a two-lane rural roadway. The area has experienced strong residential growth, has added a new elementary school with direct access to County Road 47, and is now served by popular recreational uses throughout the corridor.
  • Multimodal linkages have been identified as an emerging need in the corridor to create connectivity between the various uses through safer and comfortable facilities for walking, biking and rolling.
  • Roadway geometrics and pavement condition are also being reviewed and monitored as the corridor evolves. Residents have mentioned discomfort entering onto County Road 47 due to limited sight distances.
  • Bypass lanes which were originally added to provide better access for left turning traffic to adjacent developments are now observed as contributing to uncertainty and ambiguity as drivers negotiate these areas, resulting in the demand for dedicated turn lanes.
  • The life of the pavement is reaching the threshold where some type of preservation / rehabilitation will be needed within the next few years.

Goals of a study

  • Develop short to mid-term actions for safety and pavement condition needs
  • Develop a long-term vision for the corridor if and when an opportunity for reconstruction appears
  • Provide a basis for further discussion for a possible jurisdiction transfer from the county to the city

For more information

To learn more about public engagement, read the 2020 corridor study report and get updates about this study, visit the City of Plymouth website.

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