Breaking News
More () »

Millions in federal funding going to Highway 65 improvement projects

The 105/109th Avenue overpass project was awarded $15 million from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

ANOKA COUNTY, Minn. — When it comes to Minnesota roads, potholes are front and center right now.

But some experts say the state's entire infrastructure is crumbling and is severely underfunded. In fact, last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers graded just the state's roads a D+. 

But now, a new influx of federal funding is giving more projects than ever the green light to start construction. 

Called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, it's the largest long-term investment ever and provides $550 billion over fiscal years 2022 through 2026 to fix roads, bridges, mass transit, water infrastructure and broadband.

In Anoka County, engineer Joe MacPherson calls Highway 65 one of the most troublesome stretches in the metro, full of back-ups and long wait times.

"I would say very dangerous and frustrating," said MacPherson. "Ultimately, at the end of the day, we want to make sure we have a safe corridor."

The intersection at 109th is particularly dangerous. It's where a semi-truck blew a red light last summer and killed the driver of an SUV. 

MacPherson says the plan to overhaul and fix just that area costs $89 million, but the county has since received about $15 million from Biden's infrastructure law.

"It is a big deal," said MacPherson. "It gives us an opportunity to go after these types of projects and so, it's a catalyst to bring in other funding."

The project would raise Highway 65 to go over the intersection at 109th, adding a roundabout underneath to control traffic coming on and off the ramps. 

It's all part of a larger plan to eventually upgrade the entire highway that MacPherson says hasn't seen improvements for decades despite the booming growth in surrounding cities. The entire overhaul of Highway 65 costs about $163 million.

In all, Minnesota will receive $45 million in federal money. It will fund 33 more projects than expected throughout the state that'll now get the go-ahead to start construction in the next four years. It includes safety improvements at hundreds of intersections, as well, including 109th.

"There are so many needs throughout the state, no matter what community you go to, any money coming in is going to be well spent," said MacPherson.

Anoka County still has to secure another $75 million before it can start construction at 109th. MacPherson hopes construction will start in 2026.

Watch more local news:

Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist:


Download the free KARE 11+ app for Roku, Fire TV, and other smart TV platforms to watch more from KARE 11 anytime! The KARE 11+ app includes live streams of all of KARE 11's newscasts. You'll also find on-demand replays of newscasts; the latest from KARE 11 Investigates, Breaking the News and the Land of 10,000 Stories; exclusive programs like Verify and HeartThreads; and Minnesota sports talk from our partners at Locked On Minnesota. 


Before You Leave, Check This Out