Officials from Blaine and Anoka County invited lawmakers from the state and federal level to take a closer look at a dangerous stretch of State Highway 65, which cuts through Blaine.
"Five of those intersections (between 93rd Avenue and County Road 14) are the most congested, dangerous and deadly intersections in the entire seven county region,” Blaine City Councilmember, Julie Jeppson said. “Right through the middle of our city."
According to Blaine Police Chief, Brian Podany, the Blaine Police Department reported an average of ten calls a day for accidents out on Highway 65.
"We are on track to eclipse over 3,500 calls this year alone, on Highway 65 in Blaine, and that is staggering," Podany said.
The City of Blaine, Anoka County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation have been working on plans to improve access and safety on Highway 65. The improvements would include overpasses at major intersections, which would also improve traffic flow.
According to Minnesota Department of Transportation, north area manager, Melissa Barnes, the section of Highway 65 that runs from Spring Lake Park to Ham Lake has more priority intersections than any other section in the region.
"Right now to travel the entire corridor from Ham Lake to Spring Lake Park, during the busiest periods can take 40 minutes,” Barnes said. “After these are built, 10 minutes."
"There are three alternatives that were developed with this project,” Anoka County Engineer, Joe MacPherson said. “We're steamrolling ahead. There's been money secured already, there's still a ways to go. We're going to be ready if that money hits the ground."
The reconstruction project has already secured $23 million dollars to date, with an estimated cost of $163 million dollars. Blaine Mayor, Tim Sanders said that funding applications have been made at both the state and federal level, to push the project forward.
"This project is a significant project and there are many phases to it,” Sanders said. “But it's critical that it starts now, it's critical that shovels go into the ground here in the next year."
For more information on the planning process, check out the Hwy. 65 project website.