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Minnesota's Highway 169: A Case Study in Transportation and Economic Development


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During the 2017 National Regional Transportation Conference, Nicole Griensewic Mickelson shared the story of collaboration that led to Highway 169 improvements in Minnesota. This transportation project addressed resilience and economic development.

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Minnesota's Highway 169: A Case Study in Transportation and Economic Development

  3. 3. Nearly 70% of workers that live in Mankato-North Mankato MSA, work in the Mankato-North Mankato MSA 11.1% (4,396 workers) commute to the Twin Cities for work
  4. 4. Mankato-North Mankato MSA draws 14.4% of its workforce from the Twin Cities
  5. 5. US HWY 169 Flood Mitigation Project
  6. 6. Chris Sandeen
  7. 7. “It was a nightmare any time it flooded and you had to detour. You’re talking miles out of route, late deliveries, late pickups, angry customers and added expenses. - Wade Volk, Volk Transfer “Highway 169 is a major vein, if you will, connecting the agriculture growing in southwestern Minnesota to the markets in the Cities. The floods were definitely a hassle because it’s essentially our duty to get our commodities there, so the extra miles and time came directly out of our pocket.” - Brady Gaaswyk, Gaalswyk Brothers Trucking Co.
  8. 8. The Solution to the Problem
  9. 9. • Economic Development Significance of “Location”: The region’s location places it close to agricultural raw materials and midwestern markets. An excellent highway system provides connectivity to the adjacent Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. These characteristics all influence aspects of the region’s economy. • Infrastructure – Continued development of the region’s infrastructure is critical. Widening of truck barring roads, lengthening airport landing strips, and reinforcement of bridges are critical to moving products through the region.
  10. 10. &
  11. 11. Three major goals: 1. Minimize (or eliminate) flooding 2. Improve safety - reduce cross-median crashes 3. Economic development funding opportunity
  12. 12. Private Sector JOBS 500$10,000,000 Private Investments “This announcement is great news for the region and for our state and will help attract investment in the region. These funds will go a long way to improve critical transportation infrastructure so that Minnesota’s farmers and businesses can continue to use Highway 169 even during severe flooding” - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar “Highway 169 is critical to the movement of goods throughout south central Minnesota. I’ve seen firsthand what happens when floodwaters make it impassable and it’s not something we can afford to repeat. This is a smart, forward-looking investment that will help make sure Highway 169, and the economy of the region, isn’t disrupted by future floods. I’m very glad we’re finally going to get this done.” - U.S. Senator Al Franken “Highway 169 is a vital corridor for southern Minnesota families and businesses and is in dire need of repair. This is a smart investment that will rebuild critical infrastructure, create good- paying jobs, and help Minnesota’s economy grow. I’ve advocated for this project and am pleased it was chosen by the EDA on its merits.” - U.S. Congressman Tim Walz
  13. 13. Analyzing the Stopping Sight Distance over a concrete barrier within the 3D Model
  14. 14. 3D Model of the 100-Year High Water Flood Event with the Proposed Roadway
  15. 15. As a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, I understand that reliable transportation infrastructure is invaluable to the economic growth of a region. Communities along this corridor rely on Highway 169 for commerce and the safe movement of people throughout the region and to other parts of the state and nation. - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar