President Joe Biden this week announced two Minnesota grant winners from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

One of the grants will be for $25 million and go to the Minnesota Department of Transportation to reconstruct eight bridges and rehabilitate two mainline bridges along Interstate 90.

The project will include ramp connections and traffic signal improvements near the bridges, construction of accessible multiuse sidewalks and trails, and replacement of stormwater infrastructure.

The project aims to better connect downtown Austin with neighborhoods north of Interstate 90 through improved bicycle and pedestrian lanes, while the interchange and traffic signal improvements will aim to improve safety.

A $10 million grant will go to Carver County to expand about 5 miles of U.S. Hwy. 212 from a rural two-lane undivided highway to a four-lane divided expressway between Cologne and Norwood Young America.

The project will reconstruct a 90-year-old roadway and reconfigure intersections in areas with high crash rates, such as the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 212 and County Road 51, which has seen three fatalities in crashes during the past five years.

The project aims to help freight movement for 12 major freight generators in the area since much of the congestion on the corridor is caused by crashes. It will expand the only section of U.S. Hwy. 212 that's still only two lanes.

The grants are part of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America competitive grant program.



Superior National Forest names new supervisor

The Superior National Forest has a new Forest Service supervisor.

Tom Hall, who previously served in legislative affairs in the Washington D.C. office of the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, replaces Connie Cummins, who retired in July.

Hall, based in the Duluth office, has also been a district ranger for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in northern California, and has forestry degrees from Colorado State University. In a news release, Hall said he was looking forward to helping the Forest Service, tribes and others "continue to manage the iconic landscapes in Northern Minnesota."

"I plan to continue to build on the relationships with the tribes, navigate and manage the complexities of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, ensure sustainable and science-based natural resources management occurs at the landscape scale, and enable the public to sustainably enjoy their federal lands," he said in the statement.

Northern Minnesota's Superior National Forest, which includes the Boundary Waters and is the eighth-most visited national forest in the nation, also has offices in Grand Marais, Ely, Cook, Aurora and Tofte.