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Green Light 94!

State, Local Leaders Break Ground on I-94 Lane Expansion Project

June 30th, 2014
Courtesy of the I-94 Coalition

The I-94 Coalition invited state and local leaders to help them ceremoniously begin the new lane expansion project

St. Michael – Senator Amy Klobuchar, Representative Michele Bachmann, MnDOT Commissioner Charles Zelle, local elected officials, and the I-94 West Corridor Coalition gathered today to celebrate the beginning of a well-deserved I-94 lane expansion project that stretches about 3 miles from Highway 101 in Rogers to Highway 241 in St. Michael. The project is a part of the Corridors of Commerce Program and has been heralded by local officials as a perfect example of transportation dollars being spent to address crucial interstate needs around the state.

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“Transportation projects funded by the Corridors of Commerce initiative will reduce travel times, improve safety for Minnesota citizens, and help our businesses transport their products more efficiently,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “The number of projects from all over our state, which sought financing from this program, underscores the acute need for more transportation funding to meet the needs of our state’s growing economy.” (Governor Dayton was not able to attend due to his responsibility to the areas across the state affected by flooding.)

The project will add a westbound lane from Highway 101 to Highway 241, and an auxiliary lane eastbound from Highway 241 to Highway 101. MnDOT projects the cost to be between $32 and $37 million.

Transportation drives economic progress

Area leaders have advocated for this expansion not just because of the headaches it will relieve regarding congestion. Several local businesses have shared the financial ramifications of congestion on I-94, and both federal and local leaders have made the positive economic impact of the project a point of emphasis.

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“A little more than a year ago, this project was barely on the radar of statewide leaders. I made it one of my top priorities in my final term as the Representative of the Sixth District and I am proud to have been a part of the effort to ensure lane expansion on I-94. This project will increase mobility, enhance safety, create jobs and keep Minnesotans moving and I look forward to the continued expansion of the vital I-94 corridor all the way to St Cloud,” said Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Coalition is a ‘megaphone’ for I-94

MnDOT Commissioner Charles Zelle spoke briefly about the project and mentioned that the I-94 Corridor Coalition was essential in getting the project on the map and in front of the right people at the right time.

“This project is so very important to this part of the state, our economy and quality of life and to all traffic that moves on I-94 between the Twin Cities and points west,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “The I-94 coalition has been and will continue to be a strong and important champion for this corridor.”

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“To put it simply, this is a big day for our area. The positive impact that this project will have on commerce, safety, freight traffic and commuter traffic is undeniable. Many people have spent significant amounts of time and energy to add lanes to I-94. I can’t emphasize enough how fantastic it is to see all of this coming together,” Steve Bot, Chairman, I-94 West Corridor Coalition.

The project will officially begin in July, with a projected completion date of sometime in the fall of 2015. MnDOT has assured local leaders that a specific requirement was to keep 4 lanes open on I-94 at peak usage hours, so as not to disrupt current traffic volumes.

 

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Share a JamGram?

Congestion along the I-94 corridor has reached monumental proportions. On a stretch of road that could take you only 20 minutes to pass through often times takes almost three times as along. Minnesotans have spent countless hours trapped on a roadway that is a lifeline of commerce for the Upper Midwest and much of greater Minnesota. We are focused on expanding and improving I-94 from the Fish Lake Interchange to St. Cloud. Help us give the expansion project a ‘Green Light’ by submitting a JamGram or following us on Facebook – i94coalition, or Twitter – @GL94MN.
The Minnesota I-94 West Corridor Coalition is a coalition of dedicated local governments, private businesses, local Chambers of Commerce and other stakeholders affected by the transportation challenges facing Minnesota. We are taking a comprehensive approach to expanding the capacity of the corridor that will benefit communities and businesses along the entire corridor.
This is a way for you to share how I-94 affects you on a daily basis. Remember to share your JamGram on Facebook and Twitter too!
Look for I-94 West Coalition or Tweet @GL94MN.
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By submitting your JamGram either in writing or in a social media post, you agree to the I-94 West Corridor Coalition using your name, business, and story in all media and advertisements associated with the I-94 West Corridor Coalition.