For 2011 I will be serving as chair of ROCOG (Rochester-Olmsted Council of Governments). This working group includes representation from Rochester, Olmsted County, Smaller Communities in Olmsted County, Townships, the School District, and often has individuals from MNDOT and other organizations present.
One topic that we got an update on today was the interchange at Elk Run. My readers know that I am highly skeptical of the Elk Run Project. When their figures indicate that in a relatively short time they would have more retail than the Mall of America and households representing about 100% of the County’s projected growth my BS detector went off.
Still the decisions have been made an I am going to share how the interchange is likely to be designed.
Here is the MN-Dot Website for the project. The project will cost $34.3 million dollars.
The interchange will be a relatively new (to Minnesota) design called Diverging Diamond Interchange. This is a more efficient and less costly design. (Yes, 34.3 million is less costly).
The project is paid for by:
- Greater Minnesota Interchange Fund: $14.6 million
- Statewide Corridor Funds: $10 million
- MN-DOT: $2.6 million
- Olmsted County: $8.5 million ($2 million federal, ~$4.875 Rochester Taxpayers, ~$1.625 non-Rochester, my guesses)
- 250 acres ($3.65 million) Pine Island
This is supposed to generate 182 jobs in biotechnology or Pine Island must repay a prorated portion of the 3.65 million. The greater Minnesota Interchange Fund was targeted for economic development so a total of $18.25 million dollars are targeted to generate these 182 jobs. That works out to just over $100,000 per new job.
I will only say that I hope I am wrong and this interchange is highly successful. However the fact that the property owners in this area are not even paying their taxes is not a good sign.