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County increases commitment for 52/9 interchange

The Goodhue County Board voted unanimously to commit 20 percent of the cost to build an overpass at Highway 52 and County Road 9 at a meeting Tuesday morning.

The board previously discussed committing 15 percent, or around $1.5 million, but Minnesota Department of Transportation officials revealed the cost of participation with the project would be 20 percent, Public Works Director Greg Isakson said.

Preliminary design work on the interchange also has increased the estimated cost of the project from $8 million to $11 million, Isakson said. Part of that increase is because of an added 20 percent contingency to plan for unforeseen expenses.

"At this point it would look like the county's commitment would be somewhere around $2.2 million," Isakson said. But he cautioned that total could go up as the project progresses.

The county's commitment would match a possible state grant of up to $10 million for the project. County commissioners approved staff to apply for the grant at a meeting April 2.

Commissioners reiterated the importance of an interchange at Highway 52 and County Road 9, a crash-prone intersection south of Cannon Falls.

"I think this is our No. 1 priority right now in transportation for this county," Commissioner Ron Allen said.

Commissioner Jim Bryant said he was frustrated with the lack of leadership at the state and federal level to build an interchange, and called on residents to write their legislators.

"This (grant) is the only thing we have out there today to fund that interchange," Bryant said, "and we're taking the lead on it."

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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