If you've been stuck in traffic at Rice Street and I-694 and been frustrated by the traffic gridlock, you're not alone.
State 42B Rep. Jason Isaacson knows about the problem and wants to end "the frustrating bottleneck."
The first-term DFLer said he has introduced a bill to secure funding to replace the existing Rice Street bridge over I-694 with a new one. The projected price tag: At least $2 million. (Isaacson's district includes that section of Roseville north and east of County Road C and Snelling Avenue.)
Isaacson submitted the following letter to the editor:
"District 42B is home to many large companies that provide good jobs for hundreds of Minnesotans. Even better, many of these companies are either currently expanding or plan to do so in the future.
If small and medium-sized businesses are the engines that drive economic growth, our state government should make smart investments to make sure their employees can get to and from work as safely and efficiently as possible.
That’s why I introduced legislation that secures funding to replace the Rice Street bridge over I-694.
Many Minnesotans know the Rice Street and I-694 interchange as a frustrating bottleneck. Ever-growing congestion is leading to longer commutes for our workforce. It’s clear that the area has outgrown its infrastructure, so I believe we must build for the future.
My legislation ensures the bridge replacement project proceeds as planned. It appropriates $2 million from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to help prep the Rice Street bridge for future construction.
The next step will be securing bonding funds for the project’s final phase, which will widen the bridge just like the Victoria Street bridge to the west.
More and more complaints
Every day, I hear from more and more constituents and businesses who tell me that greater efficiency is needed to get people to work in Shoreview. I plan to work hard to build support to get the job done so we can put people back to work and allow businesses to continue expanding in the future.
As the legislative session continues, please continue sending me your thoughts, ideas, comments, and feedback. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-7153, by email at email@example.com, or by postal mail at 545 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155."