The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

June 12, 2013

A busy road agenda for Blue Earth County officials

County engineer has long list of needed projects

(Continued)

If County Road 17 is under construction next year from Mankato Ford to County Road 12, and if 12 is shut down for construction of the roundabout there, east-side traffic could be even more snarled. So the new plan is for Mathiowetz to get both the Mankato-side work and the Eagle Lake end done this year.

“You’ll start to see work there soon,” Forsberg said. “... I tell staff we’ve got a tiger by the tail, let’s do our best to hang on to it.”

CR 12 going south

Environmental studies are underway on the fifth stage of the County Road 12 project, which is to serve as the new north-south thoroughfare on Mankato’s far east side and will be heavily used by truck traffic at the planned Wal-Mart distribution Center. After completing the northern end of the project, including the new interchange at Highway 14, the county is looking to extend the road to Mankato’s southeast side to hook up with Highway 83.

The next phase could cost nearly $10 million, and Forsberg is hoping for millions of dollars in federal and state grants. The environmental and preliminary design work will allow a specific route to be identified and the right-of-way to be preserved for construction if funding is identified in coming years.

Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges recently warned the Mankato City Council that the county was likely to push the city to provide financial backing for the project. Hentges said the city would have to decide whether the County Road 12 extension was a priority compared to other possible improvements, such as the extension of Adams Street in the city’s expanding east-side industrial area.

CR 90 roundabout

Beginning in 2017, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking to spend $9.5 million for improvements to Highway 22 between Mapleton and County Road 90 just south of Mankato. Forsberg said that would be a smart time to add a roundabout at Highway 22 and County Road 90, which serves as the southern bypass of Mankato and currently relies on a stop sign at Highway 22.

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