St. Michael and Albertville residents, as well as the hundreds of thousands of vehicles that use Interstate 94 through the area each week, will soon have a bit more room to move.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Gov. Mark Dayton announced the expansion of Interstate 94 from St. Michael’s Highway 241 interchange through the Wright County Highway 19 interchange in Albertville, with construction slated for 2020 (at the earliest) at a cost of roughly $56 million.
Here’s the report:
“This project will expand Interstate 94 from four to six lanes in between Highway 241 in St Michael and County Road 19 in Albertville. The proposed project is envisioned to not only improve the capacity of the interstate by adding a third lane in each direction there will be interchange improvements at Highway 241 and at County Roads 37 and 19 in Albertville. The project will reduce travel delay by more than 330 hours per day, eliminate slightly less than $1.0 million in crash costs annually, and make trips on the corridor much more reliable.”
St. Michael City Administrator Steve Bot and Albertville City Administrator Adam Nafstad were both given credit for submitting the plan, along with Otsego’s City Administrator, Adam Flaherty. The submission includes the widening of Interstate 94 to six lanes (three in each direction) and significant improvements to the interchanges at Highway 241 (St. Michael), County Highway 38 (Albertville/Otsego) and County Highway 19 (Albertville).
“It’s a huge victory for our community,” said Albertville city council member Rob Olson. “The I-94 Coalition deserves a huge thank you for working so hard on securing the much needed funds to add capacity to I-94.”
The I-94 expansion received the second largest score of any “outstate” project, behind only the U.S. Highway 169 freeway project through Elk River. That project, which would eliminate traffic signals through Elk River from just north of the U.S. Highway 10 interchange through 197th Avenue Northwest, was also approved. It’s scheduled to begin construction as early as 2022, to the tune of more than $157 million, according to MnDOT.
Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature created the Corridors of Commerce program in 2013 to invest in projects that support commerce in the state, but that are not already considered in the state’s transportation investment plan. Awards have included the expansion of Interstate 94 between Rogers and Albertville, which was completed in 2016. Since its initial year, the program has provided more than $330 million to dozens of projects across the state. For more information about the program, and to view the submitted project recommendations, visit www.mndot.gov/corridorsofcommerce.