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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 29, 2002
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 17-02

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mineta Announces $2.9 Million Grant for US 212 in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS--U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, joined by U.S. Congressman Mark Kennedy of Minnesota, in Minneapolis today announced that Minnesota will receive $2.9 million in a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) discretionary funding grant for US 212 in the Twin Cities area.

"President Bush in his State of the Union address highlighted the need to get the economy growing again," Secretary Mineta said. "This project will help to provide safer and more efficient movement of people and goods not only in the Twin Cities area but throughout Minnesota, which borders our largest trading partner, Canada."

US 212 is a new 18-mile freeway from I-494 in Eden Prairie to Cologne through the cities of Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska and Cologne in Hennepin and Carver counties. Construction has been completed on part of the road, from I-494 to CSAH 4 in Eden Prairie, with right of way and other work under way or planned for the rest of the road. The estimated cost of completing the project is $175.6 million.

"The funding for Highway 212 will help relieve congestion so we're not stuck in traffic and away from our families," said Congressman Kennedy. "It also helps keep rural communities connected to cities - both large and small."

The US 212 project is eligible for funding under the National Corridor Planning and Development Program and the Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program, commonly known as the borders and corridors programs. The programs, which are funded from a single source, are among several discretionary funding categories administered by the FHWA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. FHWA discretionary funds are made available to projects after being selected by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation based on criteria established by federal law and USDOT regulations and procedures. Congress also makes decisions on many grants.

The borders and corridors programs provide funding for planning, project development, construction and operation of projects that serve border regions near Mexico and Canada as well as high-priority corridors throughout the United States. Under the corridors program, states and metropolitan planning organizations are eligible for discretionary grants for corridor feasibility and planning, multi-state coordination, environmental review, and construction. Under the borders program, border states and metropolitan planning organizations are eligible for grants for transportation and safety infrastructure improvements, operation and regulatory improvements, and coordination and safety inspection improvements in a border region.

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