Will more lanes be added the I-94 West corridor?
No definite answers were received, however, concerns were raised, during the Sept. 5 meeting
in Rogers with Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charles
More than 50 area leaders, business owners, and community
members from up and down I-94 West turned out for the Thursday meeting sponsored
by the I-94 West Corridor Coalition
and I-94 West Chamber of Commerce.
In the proposed draft 10-year work
plans on the MnDOT website, there is no funding allocated for additional lanes on the I-94 West corridor stretching
from the Rogers to St. Cloud. Some funding is identified in areas for
maintenance and/or replacing aging roadway.
“It is about funding, but also planning,” Zelle said of the
I-94 West Corridor, during the meeting, adding “more lanes isn’t the solution.”
“There is no one magic fix,” he said.
Several community members and area legislators voiced their
concerns about the I-94 West issues and MnDOT planning process.
“Over the years, I’ve been watching where MnDOT spends
Warren Limmer (R-Rogers, Maple Grove) told Zelle. “I keep seeing resources
going south. I get the impression we’re being neglected.”
Limmer said it is a “question of prioritizing.”
“I don’t always sense flexibility in the 30-year planning
process,” he said.
“The Met Council does have an impact,” Zelle responded,
stating the expectation that “it isn’t a hard line.”
Peppin (R-Rogers, Maple Grove) questioning the criteria process by MnDOT,
asking “what determines the order of projects?”
“I don’t have a clear understanding what makes a project
move up to number one on your list,” she said.
Other community members shared their concerns about the I-94
West Corridor, sharing stories of congestion, impacts of increased traffic from
areas outside of Minnesota—such as North Dakota due to the oil
The Minnesota State Highway Investment Plan for 2014-2033 is
broken down into three periods, according to the MnDOT website draft plan. The final document is anticipated to be
posted to the MnDOT website in September 2013.
A decision on whether a expansion on the I-94 West corridor
would be “funded by MnDOT and federal monies won’t be known until the 2014
Legislative session begins,” according to a recent
Press & News article.