Total project cost for the project is approximately $555,000. The TED award for this project of $250,000 came entirely from DEED Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure funding. The remainder of the funds were provided by Aitkin County.
This TED project is the reconstruction of a one-mile segment of Aitkin County Hwy 5 from Highway 47 to one mile north. This segment was originally a gravel-surfaced road that was restricted to five tons per axle during the spring road restriction period. This project involves reconstruction of the roadway to meet current state-aid standards with a non-restricted load capacity of 10 tons per axle during the spring road restriction period.
Before the project, this one-mile segment was deficient in structural strength, design speed, lane and shoulder width, and slopes within the roadway recovery area. This project will result in this segment being brought up to current state-aid safety standards and a right turn lane will be added to allow safe right turning movements from Hwy 47 to County Hwy 5.
Before this project, the annual average daily traffic on this segment was 235 vehicles per day. Upon completion of the project, it is projected that the annual average daily traffic will increase to 350 vehicles per day and heavy commercial traffic is expected to increase to approximately 45 vehicles per day.
Economic Development Impacts
The American Peat Technology, LLC is an expanding industry that is located adjacent to the segment being reconstructed. American Peat Technology started in 2004 and has steadily increased its payroll every year since. As this company relies heavily on shipping peat products throughout the country, it relies heavily on access to a 10-ton route to allow cost effective shipping of their project. In addition, this project will also increase the industry’s capacity to bring in fuel and biomass, which is needed to run this company.
This TED project will not only allow the American Peat Technology to cut their shipping cost and become more competitive in the market, but it will also attract other industries to Aitkin that require access to a 10-ton route.