Every day, thousands of cars pass through the intersection of Highway 252 and 66th Avenue in Brooklyn Center. It's a well-traveled road that's gained notoriety for all the wrong reasons.
"We see too many accidents, too much property damage, we see too many deaths from traffic accidents there as well," said Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Willson. "It's been a concern for some time."
But there's a plan that's been in the works to build an interchange at the intersection and install a pedestrian bridge farther up the road at 70th Avenue. The plan requires millions of dollars and the city just received some help from the Metropolitan Council.
Highway 252 isn't the only road on the list to receive money. Brooklyn Boulevard would see significant improvements as well. If all goes as planned, a one-mile stretch of Brooklyn Boulevard from Bass Lake Road to I-694 will also become a safer place for motorists and pedestrians, but that all depends on whether city officials can secure even more funding from other sources.
However, the federal dollars secured by Brooklyn Center is just one step in a long process.
"The estimate is that it's going to be something like $35 million to do that whole thing," Willson said. "So we're gonna have to partner with the state, MnDOT, Met Council, other revenue streams in order to make that $35 million happen."
Considering that it's a matter of public safety, Mayor Willson is hopeful that the projects will come to fruition.
"I would say I'm optimistic, but that depends on the funding," Willson said. "And we all know that funding can fall apart at any point in time."
Mayor Willson says the road projects are slated for construction in 2021, provided that they receive the needed funding.
Jan. 26, 2017