Minnesota Congressman John Kline issued the following statement after the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced approval of Goodhue County's request for the critical funding needed for a modified overpass plan for Highway 52 and Goodhue County Road 9.
"This is what can happen when we roll up our sleeves and work together at the local, county, state, and federal levels," said Kline, who has been working with MnDOT Commissioner Charles Zelle and previous Commissioner Tom Sorel on the dangerous 52-9 intersection for years. "I am pleased we found a solution Minnesotans deserve and construction can now begin to make Highway 52 safer for all travelers."
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, there have been more than 80 crashes - some fatal - over the past dozen years at the intersection of Hwy. 52 and Co. 9. The intersection is considered to be one of the most dangerous in the state, and officials from virtually all levels of government have been trying to work toward a commonsense solution ensuring safety at one of the state's most dangerous intersections.
In May, with frustrations of nearby communities at an all-time high, Kline organized a meeting with concerned citizens, stakeholders, and local, state and federal transportation officials. The objective was to bring everyone together and convey to MnDOT, which is responsible for disbursing 92 percent of federal funds received by the state, the shared desire to make this intersection a top priority for the state of Minnesota. At the meeting, MnDOT unveiled a new solution - a modified overpass plan for 52 and CR 9 that would allow Goodhue County to later make the intersection a "full" or a "quadrant interchange" if funding became available.
John Kline is the Chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. He also serves on the House Armed Services Committee. He and his wife, Vicky, live in Burnsville.