Rochester got ripped off by the Elk Run scam.

So about the Post Bulletin Coverage of Elk Run…

…it was wrong, or in the words of the Answerman “That’s so absolutely not true, it’s hilarious.”

Here is the Q&A in the Post Bulletin from April 12, 2016:

Dear Answer Man, I read something recently — I think it was in the Post-Bulletin, but now I can’t find it — that said because MnDOT stuck so much money into the Elk Run interchange on U.S. 52, the city of Rochester had to pay for construction of the 65th Street interchange. Is that true?

That’s so absolutely not true, it’s hilarious.

Except actually it is true. I know this because I took the time to do the research that no one else was willing to do.

I checked with Mark Bilderback and he also remembered that Rochester lost out on funding because of the insanity of Elk Run. Using the Minnesota Data Practices Act; I requested the scoring for Chapter 152 funds that were used.

Chapter 152 Greater Minnesota Interchange Program

 photo Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.41.40 PM_zps8kwklaun.png

The results were slightly different that I recalled but show how exaggerated and unreasonable development assumptions at Elk Run changed the results and prevented an award to the 65th street interchange.

An interchange in Sterns County was the top scorer regardless of scoring. That project requested and received $10 million.

There were 3 projects that tied for 2nd place:

  1. CSAH 19 & I-94 requested and received $5.44 million
  2. CSAH 12 & TH 52 (Elk Run) requested $20 million and received 100% of the remaining funds, $14.56 million
  3. 65th Street NW & TH 52 requested $10 million and received $0

If Elk Run had been evaluated fairly it would have scored far lower, 65th street would have received $10 million, and the remaining $4.46 million would have gone CSAH 24 & TH 52 at Goodhue.

As I have stated for years: the Elk Run scam cost Rochester taxpayers $10 million dollars. Those millions were later funded by our local option sales tax at the same time the Library was cut out by Greg Davids.


  1. Wasn’t there funding available for the 65th St project a few years before the Elk Scam? Didn’t the Council vote it down? Just wondering….

  2. First of all, no one forced the city to build that interchange, Mike…unless you count Menards…otherwise it was alllll the city council’s doing…so it’s perfectly correct for the Answer Man to say it’s “hilarious” that MnDOT’s decision-making “forced” the city to pay for that. MnDOT’s decision on Elk Run is a separate issue, despite your interest in shifting responsibility.

  3. I would agree that no one forced us to build that interchange. I hve never been a big fan of sprawl. However the point that MnDot’s flawed evaluation of Elk Run cost the city $10 million in funding is now irrefutable.

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