The project was awarded $8.4 million in TED trunk highway bond funding, and is being matched with $2.5 million in city funds from a local option sales tax, $1 million from Stearns County, and $500,000 from the City of Waite Park.
This project will construct a new interchange at State Trunk Highway 15 and 33rd Street South (project map) located in the southwest portion of the St. Cloud metropolitan area, which is experiencing significant increasing in land development, traffic, and population.
This project will provide a fully functional east-west roadway that will accomaodate the current and projected traffic needs in the area. The project will greatly improve access to the state Trunk Highway system at TH 15 and to the interstate system at I-94.
The limited access from the Trunk Highway network currently forces travelers to choose between two poor routes in order to reach the prime business sites near the project site. The first requires an additional six mile curcuitous route north beyond the project area along TH 33 to the 2nd Street intersection and then to double back along County Road 74. The other requires a similar detour from the I-94/CSAH 75 intersection and then reversing direction for three miles westerly to the project area. These routes create congestion on the city street network, and contribute to safety concerns.
Economic Development Impacts
The City’s Joint District Plan identifies land adjacent to the project area as the primary growth area in the region due to the availability of existing wastewater infrastructure. Many current local businesses have expressed support for the project and anticipate future job growth as a direct result. Lumber One, a developer and home-builder in central Minnesota has invested $3.5 million in land near the project site and plans to add 15 additional employees once their new facility is operational. Crowne Pointe Development, who represents local businesses such as Marcus Theaters, Arby’s Restaurant, and Cabella’s have indicated that their businesses will be able to expand with the proposed interchange, adding up to 125-150 new employees.