Transportation Economic Development program grants awarded
By MnDOT ATF Staff
On June 26, MnDOT announced its 2013 Transportation Economic Development program grant awardees. TED grants were awarded to five projects in the cities of Waconia, Minneapolis and LeSueur, and in Murray and Olmsted counties. Overall, the new TED grants will provide a total of $15.7 million dollars and leverage over $20 million in other public and private financing.
The 2013 TED solicitation drew 25 project proposals from all across the state. Projects were evaluated for their consistency with regional transportation system plans, the amount of other funding leveraged (including private-sector funding), and their potential impact on job creation and retention. Program restrictions resulting from decisions made during the 2013 legislative session limited the flexibility in project selection, according to MnDOT’s TED program manager, Matt Shands.
“Unfortunately, because our only source of funds this year was Trunk Highway Fund cash, we had to limit selection only to projects that required trunk highway-eligible improvements. The good news is that we were able to identify five very solid projects that met that criteria and that will support economic growth in their communities,” Shands said.
In the metro area, the City of Waconia will use its grant to improve Trunk Highway 5 through its core business district. The project will support many local businesses, including the Ridgeview Medical Center expansion, which is expected to provide 130 new jobs within two years after completion in 2015. The City of Minneapolis will use its grant to re-orient the ramp from westbound I-94 entering downtown from Fifth Street to Seventh Street. This improvement will improve the efficiency of the downtown’s one-way street network, provide a pedestrian and bike connection between Cedar-Riverside and downtown, and support economic development in the most densely concentrated employment center in the state.
In Greater Minnesota, Murray County was awarded a grant to provide a turn lane on Trunk Highway 30 in Slayton that provides more efficient and safer access to the Schmitz Grain facility, including a new fertilizer, seed and chemical facility scheduled to begin construction later this year. Olmsted County will use its grant to improve a substandard interchange at Trunk Highway 63 and CSAH 16 serving the Rochester International Airport and other local businesses. A grant was also provided for the City of LeSueur to construct a safer, more efficient intersection on Trunk Highway 169 serving the expansion of the existing Cambria manufacturing facility.