The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 27, 2014

Roads: As Mankato heads east, County looks south

Local governments compete for millions in federal funds

(Continued)

Under the tentative funding proposal, the $9 million project would be 80 percent federally funded (the $5.9 million in TIGER grant funds plus nearly $1.2 million in traditional federal transportation funds provided to the region.) The remainder would be funded by local governments with the city and county each contributing about $1 million.

Hentges, meanwhile, would prefer to prioritize city funding on the Adams Street extension.

"We just see this, from the city's standpoint, as a more immediate higher priority for our development," he said.

Much of the developable land adjoining the county's proposed roadway is zoned for residential development, and the biggest shortage of land is for industrial projects, according to Hentges.

The industrial park north of Highway 14, with the soon-to-be-constructed Wal-Mart distribution center taking 165 acres and several large projects also buying land, is close to being full. A lot of open land is available east of Adams Street, which would be the main east-west road serving the developable land south of Highway 14 and north of Madison Avenue/County Road 17.

That land could be developed as commercial, industrial or service businesses, according to Hentges. The problem is that Adams currently dead-ends at the new apartment complex east of the Hilltop Hy-Vee and the WOW! Zone.

"We look at it as having a lot of economic development potential," Hentges said of the land east of Adams.

Along with extending the road and utilities nearly three-quarters of a mile east to County Road 12, the project would include an intersection — possibly a roundabout — at County Road 12 and a smaller roundabout at Haefner Drive (which leads to the Hy-Vee/Gander Mountain shopping area).

Hentges said it would be difficult to extend Adams Street piecemeal as projects develop. With the Wal-Mart distribution center scheduled to open next year near the northwest quadrant of the Highway 14-County Road 12 interchange, Hentges is expecting a lot of interest in the land at the southwest quadrant for a large truck stop or other related development. That can't happen, though, because there is no sewer and water service to the area.

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