The Minnesota Senate on Thursday approved a $1.36 billion infrastructure bonding bill that will deliver funding to critical statewide infrastructure, roads and bridges, and sewer and water systems. Several projects championed by Senator Mike Goggin (R-Red Wing) for Goodhue and Wabasha Counties were also included in the bill, including funding for the long-overdue rail grade separation in Red Wing, for sewer and water extension to Hok-Si-La Park and shoreline structure improvements at Ohuta Beach in Lake City, and for Jefferson Drive improvements in Zumbrota.
In total, Senator Goggin delivered more than $14.6 million for vital infrastructure improvements in Goodhue and Wabasha Counties.
The bill also provides full conformity to Section 179 of the federal tax code, retroactive to the 2018 tax year for qualifying property and effective immediately for all other property. This is a major reform that will allow farmers and other small business owners to deduct large equipment purchases. Section 179 conformity has been a top Senate Republican priority for several years.
“Southeast Minnesota came away in really good shape in the Senate’s bonding bill,” said Sen. Mike Goggin (R-Red Wing). “Competition is fierce — there are a lot of projects around the state worthy of funding. I lobbied hard for these projects, and I am glad everyone recognizes their value. In addition, getting full Section 179 conformity is a massive victory for farmers and small business owners across the state.”
STURGEON LAKE ROAD OVERPASS – RED WING
The city of Red Wing will receive $10 million to plan and construct an overpass at Sturgeon Lake Road. There is only one entry point to Prairie Island, which is typically blocked during the day due to heavy train traffic. Seasonal flooding is also a concern. This high-priority rail crossing will dramatically improve safety and lead to more effective traffic management and better access to the island.
OHUTA BEACH BREAKWATER SHORELINE – LAKE CITY
The city of Lake City will receive $1.05 million to design and construct a new breakwater on Lake Pepin located at Ohuta Beach. The location of Ohuta Beach leaves it open to damage and debris associated with the prevailing winds across Lake Pepin. There is also limited public access for boat access and fishing at this site. The beach will be protected by the breakwater, which will also provide additional water-oriented recreation access for fishing and boat tie-up for the public users of Lake Pepin. This project will create a new 280-foot breakwater at Ohuta Beach in Lake City at Ohuta Park to protect the beach from the prevailing winds. It will also provide additional public access to the lake for water-oriented recreation such as fishing or boat tie-up.
HOK-SI-LA PARK SEWER AND WATER EXTENSION – LAKE CITY
Lake City will receive $587,000 design and construct water and sewer connection to Hok-Si-La Park regional park. Connecting the park to City water and sewer services will allow for additional improvements to the park, while removing the need for on-site septic in close proximity to Lake Pepin. This project will extend water and sewer to Hok-Si-La Park from the northernmost connection point of the City’s distribution and collection.
JEFFERSON (OLD U.S. HIGHWAY 52) DRIVE IMPROVEMENTS – ZUMBROTA
Zumbrota will receive $3 million to design and reconstruct a segment of Jefferson Drive (Old U.S. Highway 52) and the adjacent trail in Zumbrota, including a culvert extension and replacements or improvements to side street connections, pedestrian crossing facilities, storm sewers, drainage, sanitary sewers, and water lines. The project will provide significant safety upgrades for this heavily trafficked road, which is used frequently by busses and first responders in addition to typical traffic flows.
LOCAL ROADS AND BRIDGES
In addition, the bill calls for $5 million for township road improvement grants, as well as $3 million for safe routes to school infrastructure improvements, $84 million for state road construction, and additional road and bridge funding for small communities, especially in Greater Minnesota – namely, $30 million for local bridge replacement and rehabilitation and $70 million for local road improvements.
The Senate’s bonding bill totals $1.365 billion in general obligation bonds, plus $300.3 million for trunk highway bonds, and focuses on key infrastructure needs that will get Minnesotans working, preserve the state’s assets, and stimulate the economy.