Hwy 212 among areas of focus for transportation group
Lyon Co. Board hears highlights on Marshall Area Transportation Group activities
MARSHALL — There’s a lot of room for improvement on southwest Minnesota’s highways — and local transportation advocates have had an active year, Marshall Area Transportation Group Chairman David Sturrock said this week.
On Tuesday, Sturrock gave Lyon County commissioners an overview of the MATG’s activities over the past year. The group is an advocate for transportation improvements in the Marshall area, which often means supporting major highway corridors in southwest Minnesota.
Sturrock said MTAG is part of the Minnesota Transportation Alliance, as well as coalition groups supporting the Minnesota Highway 23, U.S. Highway 14 and U.S. Highway 212 corridors.
In September, MATG organized a regional meeting with the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s District 8 to talk about ways to improve Highway 212. Sturrock said there’s been a lot of progress made on Highway 212 in Carver County, where construction to expand part of the highway to four lanes has begun.
“But what happens beyond that?” he asked.
The regional meeting, held in Granite Falls, talked about ideas for improving remaining two-lane sections of Highway 212.
“Our perspective to begin with was talking about passing lanes,” or turn lanes, Sturrock said. The group also thought funding options like a Corridors of Commerce grant could be used to help improve Highway 212.
Last year, MATG also spoke up when southwest Minnesota wasn’t represented in a series of regional meetings by the Minnesota Transportation Alliance, Sturrock said. Organizing an extra regional meeting meant legislators could hear about issues affecting area roads and highways, he said.
MATG is also planning community education work in the future, Sturrock said. This year, the group is planning to hold a lunch for members of shipping businesses in the area, where the Minnesota Department of Transportation can present its findings from a recent freight study.
“It’s an update of an earlier study,” that was conducted several years ago, Sturrock said.
On Tuesday, county commissioners also approved a $3,000 funding request for 2022 from MATG.
Sturrock said MATG currently has an account balance of about $41,000, which is used to help fund projects like road and safety studies. MATG funding was used in 2014 to help study safety improvements on Minnesota Highway 23 in Marshall, Sturrock said.