Jun 6, 2012 at 8:32 am
ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) - St. Cloud regional road projects could get a big boost over the next few days as St. Cloud mayor Dave Kleis is leading a delegation from the Area Planning Organization to Washington DC.
The group is traveling to the Capitol to make the local case for transportation dollars to help handle area traffic infrastructure needs. Kleis says the annual fly-in to talk with local congressional leaders has generated some positive results in the past.
"We usually get favorable help from our congressional members," Kleis said. "Usually we prioritize locally so we don't look at each individual city or county...we do that regionally and give that to our members of congress as to what's the most important piece of transportation in this area."
The APO represents the three-county St. Cloud metro region and is currently working on the area transportation plan for 2013 through 2017. The group is tasked with mapping out long term transportation needs including maintenance and upkeep of current system.
"But you also have to build based on the growth that we have," Kleis said. "You need to make sure that you have the capacity, and that is what we are going out there to lobby for."
Possible projects on the table include repaving I-94 from Highway 75 to the Stearns/Wright county line, an interchange on 15 at 33rd Street South in Waite Park, and the Beaver Island Trail.
The estimated price tag for the proposed plans is likely to reach nearly $224 million. Kleis says it is important to take our case to Washington.
"We send most of our dollars to Washington. We just want to make sure we get some of it back in the form of roads and bridges and opportunities to move transportation in this area."
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