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Precedent Studies for Transitioning Highway Commercial Corridors from Rural to Urban Services and Land Uses

One of Scott County's main commercial corridors is U.S. Highway 169, which runs along the Minnesota River between Shakopee and Belle Plaine. MnDOT has slated the highway for future conversion to a freeway from the Twin Cities to Mankato, with limited access and grade-separated interchanges. At the time of this project, the corridor was guided for a mix of rural businesses, industries, and extraction uses. Two major regional investments were expected to dramatically change the nature of the corridor: the future TH 41 river freeway bridge connecting Highways 169 and 212; and a future regional wastewater treatment plant that will allow much of the highway corridor to develop with urban services and land uses in the future.

A student in urban planning researched precedent studies showing how similar rural highway corridors have transitioned to urban services, including the processes or organizational frameworks used to engage multiple jurisdictions, stakeholders, landowners, and business interests; visualization tools or other techniques used to engage the public in such planning efforts; appropriate interim land uses in a rural highway commercial corridor planned for future urbanization; and lessons learned from these efforts. Staff from cities and townships traversed by Highway 169 were invited to participate in the project. The findings from the project were used to formulate a comprehensive work plan and grant applications to undertake a major corridor study and public participation process.

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Scott County Department of Planning
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