Brooklyn Park officials are hoping to get state funding for a new interchange on Highway 169 at 101st Avenue North. The city believes the interchange would have a positive impact on access to jobs.
"We still have about 1,100 acres of undeveloped land in the community," said Kim Berggren, Brooklyn Park's community development director. "We know that if we want to develop that land in a way that brings many more jobs to the community, we need really good transportation access."
The $31 million project is being called a critical link in Brooklyn Park's transportation puzzle. The city wants a clover leaf interchange and they have made their funding pitch to politicians in St. Paul.
"You don't get what you don't ask for," said Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde. "So we want to make sure we are there asking. We know it has some regional significance."
City officials believe that a new interchange will fuel job growth along the Highway 169 corridor, similar to what has happened along Highway 610, where 6,000 jobs have been created by new companies settling near the freeway.
Brooklyn Park hopes to add 15,000 more jobs, which is why the interchange is on the city's wish list..
"We know that if we want to be able to achieve those job goals we need that interchange at 101st," Berggren said. "So that transportation access is available to all those businesses."
The interchange would be close to Target's Northern Campus and could be a future home to other major companies.
"We don't just want Target," Lunde said. "Target's awesome, but we want someone else like Target. We want another headquarters or two."
Target owns 330 acres of land near the proposed interchange and would like to see additional business growth in the area. The interchange would also be a safer way to get on and off the highway and provide better access to the road.
Eric Nelson, reporting
March 30, 2017