One of Scott County’s main commercial corridors is U.S. Highway 169, which runs along the Minnesota River between Shakopee and Belle Plaine. MnDOT has slated this highway for future conversion to a freeway from the Twin Cities to Mankato, with limited access and grade-separated interchanges. Currently, the corridor is guided for a mix of rural businesses, industries, and extraction uses. Two major regional investments will dramatically change the nature of this corridor: the future TH 41 river freeway bridge connecting Highways 169 and 212; and a future regional wastewater treatment plant that will allow much of the highway corridor to develop with urban services and land uses in the future. This report discusses several case studies showing how similar rural highway corridors have transitioned to urban services, including the processes or organizational frameworks used to engage multiple jurisdictions, stakeholders, landowners, and business interests; visualization tools or other techniques used to engage the public in such planning efforts; appropriate interim land uses in a rural highway commercial corridor planned for future urbanization; and lessons learned from these efforts. The findings from this project were used to formulate a comprehensive work plan and grant applications to undertake a major corridor study in 2010–2011.
This project was supported by a grant from the Community Growth Options (U-CGO) program, a joint project of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, with funding from the McKnight Foundation.
Precedent Studies for Transitioning Highway Commercial Corridors from Rural to Urban Services and Land Uses.
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.
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