|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||1||$993,050|
During Fiscal Year 2013, EDA invested $15,330,753 in 15 projects in the State of Minnesota. These projects are expected to create or retain 2,206 jobs and leverage $49,500,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates. EDA’s investments help Minnesota communities achieve bottom-up, locally-defined economic development goals and strategies.
EDA offers a complementary, balanced portfolio of grant programs designed to help rural and urban communities grow their private sectors and create jobs.
Investment Spotlight: Flood Prevention on Critical Transportation Corridor
Minnesota’s Interregional Corridors (IRC) system connects the largest regional trade centers in Minnesota with each other and with neighboring states and Canada. Comprised of some of the state’s most highly-travelled roadways, these IRC’s are of critical importance to Minnesota’s economy. U.S. Highway 169 is a critical link in this system, serving as the major transportation corridor for funneling freight across all of southern Minnesota. The corridor also serves as a vital link between the state’s agricultural production centers and ports and transit facilities necessary for exporting commodities.
U.S. Highway 169 has an extensive record of flooding in this region, flooding seven times in the last 20 years and forcing road closures and detours that crippled local businesses. As the only major highway serving the cities of Mankato and St. Peter, these detours took disproportionate toll on these communities. When the detours were in place, travelers, school children, commercial traffic, and emergency vehicles were forced to greatly extend their trips on two lane roads. The significant transportation delays along the corridor also proved costly for commodities exporters across the region. The floods significantly reduced traffic to the city of Saint Peter, reducing commerce in the usually busy business district and leading some businesses to estimate that the detour reduced sales by as much as 80 percent. Traveler safety and mobility are of the highest importance in any community, and if these necessities could not be provided, local officials expected that region’s population, and therefore its economy, would decrease significantly.
In 2013, EDA awarded $9.8 million in disaster funding to the Minnesota Department of Transportation to raise the grade of Highway 169 above the 100-year floodplain between Mankato and St. Peter. The project will protect this essential transportation asset, allowing freight and vehicle traffic through the region’s important arteries during disasters. Given the likelihood of freight traffic and population growth, and job growth associated with those factors, not only in the agricultural sector but in other growing regional clusters, access to Highway 169 during flood events will prove an important factor in the region's economic vitality.