Feds award $8 million for Highway 169 interchange in Jordan

By Christine Schuster, SW News Media — Nov 17, 2021

A long-sought interchange project on Highway 169 in Jordan received an $8 million boost in federal funding, U.S. Rep Angie Craig announced last week.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s grant will support the construction of a grade-separated interchange at Highway 169 and Highway 282.

The grant marks a major influx of dollars towards Scott County’s efforts to improve the highway corridor.

The project, once completed, will replace the last signalized intersection within a 75-mile stretch of Highway 169, according to Craig’s office.

In a statement, Craig touted the project’s ripple effect on Minnesota and the global economy by improving the critical economic corridor in Scott County.

The interchange project is particularly vital for rural communities who rely on the corridor to transport agricultural commodities to barge shipping ports on the Minnesota River in Savage, Craig said.

In a statement, Jordan Mayor Mike Franklin said he’s thrilled about the investment, which demonstrates Highway 169’s evolution from a “sleepy country highway to a major thoroughfare for commerce.”

“There shouldn’t be a stop light in the middle of I-35, and 169 shouldn’t have one in Jordan, either,” Franklin said.

State and local agencies involved with the project applied for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant earlier this year.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that our Congressional representatives helped secure this funding,” Scott County Commissioner Barb Weckman Brekke, who represents the City of Jordan and its surrounding areas, said in a press release. “Our residents, businesses, and visitors will certainly see the benefit of this investment for generations, and our partnership with the city has been absolutely invaluable in this effort.”

Prior Lake City Councilman Kevin Burkart, who is chair of the Highway 169 Corridor Coalition, said Craig has been a champion for improvements to the highway.

“Our appreciation to Angie and her team is immeasurable,” Burkart said in a press release from Craig’s office. “They have been with us each step of the way as we move forward with this mission critical intersection improvement.”

The Highway 169 interchange is one item on a list of projects aimed at improving safety on Scott County’s overburdened freight corridors.

The region’s traffic is driven by Minnesota’s second busiest water port, the Ports of Savage.

In addition to the project planned for Jordan, several other projects are being planned or underway in Scott County to improve the flow of traffic surrounding the major shipping hub.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is set to break ground next year on an interchange project at Highway 13 and Dakota Avenue to improve safety near the port entrances, and several other projects are under review for Highway 13.

“Improving public safety and enhancing the efficient movement of people and goods throughout this region have always been two of our most significant priorities,” Scott County Board Chair Jon Ulrich said in a press release. “This federal grant funding is essential to moving this project forward and helping us realize that goal.”

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