State's asking how you'll deal with the roadbuilding mess

To help prepare for an exasperating road-building season this year in the south metro, the state is asking drivers to take part in a survey.

The state Department of Transportation, cities and counties will have lots going on during the warmer months this year.

There will be "several [big projects] along I-35, I-35E, I-35W, Hwy. 169, Hwy. 13, Hwy. 3, and Dakota County Rd. 5," the state warns, and "travelers will experience significant traffic impacts, such as extended lane closures."

The end result will be a smoother ride and longer road life, as well as other benefits, it adds.

The survey asks drivers about travel patterns, how the closures might change them, and whether you might change drive times to work or for other trips.

"Your input will help our construction project team and traffic control managers better plan for detours, signage and otherwise work to minimize inconvenience for you and other travelers," the agency says.

It should take about 10 minutes and can be found at The state is hoping for results by Feb. 18.

Questions on projects can be directed to Kirsten Klein at or 651-234-7506, and on the survey to Donna Koren at or 651-366-4840.


Event aims to keep food spending local

Farmers, gardeners and others will be on hand in a couple of weeks for an event designed to connect consumers with sources of seasonal fresh food produced locally.

Valley Natural Foods of Burnsville is sponsoring the event along with Homegrown South (www, whose mission is promoting fresh local produce.

Community Food Day is free and will be staged on March 2 at Nicollet Junior High, 400 E. 134th St., Burnsville.

Exhibitors include food producers, community gardens and folks engaged in Community Supported Agriculture, a system in which households subscribe to farm produce throughout the summer.

A discussion of the local food system will take place from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by an open house from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be free light refreshments.

The goal of the overall event is "networking opportunities for our community," organizers say, "empowering people to develop direct, consumer-grower relationships along with the knowledge and resources needed to build their own gardens."


Park-and-ride station plans being reviewed

Residents in the city of Carver are getting their first look at plans for new park-and-ride station with 400 parking spaces, a bus shelter and a new pedestrian underpass.

SouthWest Transit will provide bus service at the site at the intersection of Jonathan Carver Parkway and Ironwood Avenue.

The Carver City Council reviewed a concept plan for the park and ride last week, and a council committee is in the process of designing the new station's bus shelter. The city expects to kick off a resident participation process early in the spring, with construction to begin by summer and conclude in 2014.

Carver received $4.4 million in federal grants for the project in 2010 from a U.S. Department of Transportation fund to prevent congestion and improve air quality.

Those funds will cover the majority of the costs and can be used to help purchase the land, construct the facility and operate bus service for three years. The award does not cover engineering and design costs, which city officials estimate could total $2 million.

Carver recently annexed 36 acres from Dahlgren Township for the project and expects to use about six acres for the park and ride. The city and Carver County Community Development Agency plan to sell about 15 acres to developers for single-family homes and a small amount of land for retail development to help pay for the project.