Sometimes you need to invest money to make money.  That's the general idea behind a recent allotment of funds by the Minnesota Department of Transportation that are aimed towards "improv(ing) transportation infrastructure that supports economic growth".

Eight road construction projects located throughout the state got the green light from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.  Total investment cost is $18 million, with funding coming from the State of Minnesota's Competitive Transportation Economic Development program (TED).  A cooperative program, TED targets transportation infrastructure projects that create economic development opportunities and jobs.  To accomplish that, MNDOT has collaborated with the Department of Economic Development, local government, and private sector partners.


In general, the spending by the state is tied towards jobs - both current and future.  Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher explains:

"This round of Transportation Economic Development funding will help communities throughout the state capitalize on strategic economic opportunities.  The projects create new connections to current and future jobs, improve safety, and support efficient routes for commercial haulers to move goods.  Four of the projects are in the Twin Cites Metro area, and four in Greater Minnesota will improve connections for people and improve each of the communities."

Here are the project details for the Twin Cities Metro area:

  • Carver County:  ($3 million) Improvements to Highway 41/County Road 10 intersection in Chaska, enhance mobility and safety on both highways and make other improvements to support local and regional economic development.  An anticipated 130 new jobs will be created within the next five years.  Total cost of the road projects is $19 million.
  • City of Blaine: ($4.6 million)  Construct new section of frontage road west of Highway 65 between 99th Avenue and 109th Avenue as part of  a larger corridor improvement.  The project could support new commercial development and up to 535 new jobs.  Total cost of the road projects is $111 million.
  • City of Burnsville:  ($3.1 million)  Construct ramp from southbound I-35 W to Buck ill Road and County Road 42 near the Burnsville Redevelopment Area.  The exit ramp will support redevelopment in the area and as many as 350 new jobs in the next five years. Total cost of the road projects is $5 million.
  • City of Maple Grove:  ($5 million) Complete the westbound Highway 610 to eastbound I-94 connection included in the original Highway 610/I-93 interchange design.  The project will improve access to a rapidly developing area and support 10,000 new or existing jobs within five years.  Total cost of the road projects is $54 million.

Here are the project details for the Greater Minnesota area - including the Duluth area:

  • Carlton County:  ($400,000) Construct a reduced conflict intersection at the highway 210/County Road 61 intersection, located between Carlton and Cloquet.  The project will improve safety and access to a commercial area, a transit garage on the Fond du lac Indian Reservation and a new Justice Center located near the site.  The project will retain or help create an estimated 23 new jobs in the area.  Total cost of the road projects is $520,000.
  • Douglas County: ($1.19 million)  Install a roundabout at the I-94/Highway 27/County Road 46/County Road 45 intersection in Alexandria to improve heavy truck access and reduce crashes. The intersection provides access to many businesses, and the Alexandria Airport is located nearby. The project may help attract 188 new jobs to the location. This work is contingent upon completion of an Intersection Control Evaluation.  Total cost of the road projects is $1.7 million.
  • City of Monticello:  ($469,000) Improve the Highway 25/Broadway Street (County Road 75) intersection in downtown Monticello to eliminate a larger-vehicle bottleneck and support redevelopment in downtown. May assist in attracting 110 new jobs in downtown Monticello. Total cost of the road projects is $670,000.
  • Wadena County:  ($350,000) Realign the Highway 10/County Road 92 intersection in Wadena to improve access to the new Tri-County Health Care Facility. The project will improve sight distance, add turn lanes and support the regional nature of the new hospital and clinic, and may help attract 86 new jobs to the location. Total cost of the road projects is $500,000.

According to officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, an additional $2 million in TED funding for projects in Greater Minnesota will be made available in mid to late 2022.

Additional details and complete background information on each of the included projects is available on the Minnesota Department of Transportations website.


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