Two significant road projects in the city of St. Peter were boosted by $1.25 million each in recent Local Road Improvement Program funding from the state of Minnesota.
In February 2021, the City Council, at staff’s recommendation, approved an application for the LRIP funding for three projects. Those projects were:
• The enhancement of Township Road 361 from Broadway Avenue to Traverse Road. This project would be done cooperatively with Oshawa and Traverse Townships and Nicollet County. Estimated cost is $1.6 million.
• The development of a new enhanced intersection at Sunrise Drive and Broadway Avenue in cooperation with Nicollet County. Estimated cost is $1.5 million ($2 million when adding Nicollet County’s share).
• Additional funding for the roundabout to be placed at the intersection of Old Minnesota Avenue and West St. Julien Street, which is receiving primary funding via federal Active Transportation Program funds. Estimated cost is $2.1 million.
The city received $1.25 million in LRIP funding for each of the first two listed, paying for about three quarters of each project. And while the Old Minnesota-St. Julien project did not get state funding, the federal dollars it already received will pay for 80% of that project.
City Administrator Todd Prafke and Public Works Director Pete Moulton were excited at the outcome from the LRIP applications.
“You may recall that, at the time you approved submission of the applications, we were very hopeful on one and really pretty doubtful on the others, so this is a very positive outcome,” City Administrator Todd Prafke told the council.
In an interview later, Moulton said, “For Township Road 361, we thought that would be a good chance for funding, because the townships applied. We didn’t think we’d get the Broadway-Sunrise funding, because we got Safe Routes to School funding the previous year. We just thought it wouldn’t be our turn.”
Now, the city can move forward knowing that three major road improvement projects have the funding for execution.
The Old Minnesota-St. Julien intersection, which is poised for a roundabout due to increased development and traffic in northern St. Peter, will likely see the last 20% paid by state municipal aid funding the city has in its coffers. It’s yet to be determined how the city will pay the remaining costs for the Township Road 361 and Sunrise-Broadway projects, but Moulton said it’s just a matter of pulling out the financials and picking the best funds to pull from.
With the LRIP funding, Township Road 361 and Sunrise-Broadway need to be under construction by 2023. With the federal funding, the Old Minnesota-St. Julien project needs to be under construction by 2024. What order the city decides to work on the projects will depend on a number of factors, including the work MnDOT is doing around the city and the progress of the new fire hall, slated for the northwest corner of the Sunrise-Broadway intersection.
“But, either way,” Moulton said, “there is no doubt these projects will lead to great things for the city of St. Peter.”