Confusing White Bear Avenue intersection to get a redo

The five-way intersection at White Bear Avenue, Ames Place and Case Avenue should get a makeover this summer. St. Paul Public Works Department plans to turn Ames Place into a cul-de-sac. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Chuck Repke recalled a time years back when a car slammed into the side of a hair salon at the corner of White Bear and Case avenues.

It struck the building so hard that not only was the exterior wall of the building damaged, but the interior walls were also askew.

The incident happened when a southbound car on White Bear Avenue struck a vehicle exiting Ames Place, Repke said.

That’s just the kind of thing that the neighborhood surrounding the confusing intersection at White Bear Avenue, Case Avenue, and Ames Place is concerned about.

The five-way intersection has been on neighbors’ minds for over a decade, Repke said.

“It’s just not a safe intersection the way it is,” he said.

Dan Haak, manager of St. Paul Public Works Street Design and Construction division, confirmed the sentiment. “It’s kind of an awkward intersection,” he said.

Drivers coming towards White Bear Avenue from Ames Place encounter a stop sign just before the intersection of Case and White Bear avenues, and don’t know how to proceed through the intersection, Repke said.

Monica Beeman, who works in the traffic division at Public Works, said the intersection does not have a particularly heavy crash rate, but acknowledged that “the geometry of it is not great.”

But that should change this summer, when Ames Place will be turned into a cul-de-sac, rather than shoot traffic out into Case Avenue.

The roughly $150,000 project was approved by the St. Paul City Council on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

The work comes at the request of the District 2 Community Council, and will be done as part of a larger package of road construction slated for the area this summer.

The road reconstruction will include sections of Payne, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Weide, Walsh, Iowa, and Idaho. Details for the larger construction project are forthcoming from the city.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at Follow him on Twitter at @ESRPatrickLark.

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