County will seek funds from highway freight program for Highway 36 upgrade

Washington County will apply for a $3 million grant from the state’s Highway Freight Program for the planned Highway 36 and County State Aid Highway 15 (Manning Avenue) interchange project, after the County Board approved the application Aug. 15.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced the availability of the funds. The estimated cost of the Highway 36/Manning Avenue project is $25 million, which includes the cost of construction, right-of way acquisition, and engineering. The project is scheduled for 2019. It will be paid for with federal grants, state aid, state bonds, and local contributions.

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act created a new funding program that provides money to Minnesota to make improvements to the state highway system that benefits freight movement; $20.8 million is available in this year’s solicitation. All public roads, including county and city roads, are eligible for the money.