Blue Earth County announces vision for 3rd Avenue Corridor

Blue Earth County announces vision for 3rd Avenue Corridor
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 6:11 AM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - From Highway 14 to its end at Riverfront, Third Avenue in Mankato runs through an area heavy with industry and homes.

Last night, city council members announced their vision for its future.

“Currently, a significant portion of the road is four-lane undivided roadway,” said Blue Earth County Engineer and Public Works Director Ryan Thilges. “And what we’re seeing is that recent studies have shown that perhaps we should consider a three-lane.”

For Thilges, the three lanes hold the same amount of traffic as a four-lane.

“[They are] markedly safer or much less prone to crashes because of the fact that you’ve got the protected left turn lane,” said Thilges.

Part of this project includes a 2016 corridor study, which involved moving the intersection a little further south -- to meet with Madison.

There’s an opportunity there to make it better for us and for the traveling public,” said Thilges. “But to also make it better for the owner of that property to make it more easily developable.”

Still Marissa Brostrom, Owner of Graif Clothing, says that even though that potential change may take a long time to occur, there’s excitement in the air.

“I mean, we just see the future of the potential of what it can bring to Mankato as far as—I don’t want to say, ‘tourist destination’—but a destination as far as, you know, the local community—what we can utilize more from Mankato.”

An in-person meeting for community comments will take place Mar. 16, from 4-6 p.m.