North Mankato has been awarded another large chunk of money to help with the 2-million dollar overhaul of Commerce Drive.

The grant of 700-thousand dollars from the MnDOT Area Transportation Partnership (ATP) Program will go towards reconstructing the roadway in 2019.

City Administrator John Harrenstein says the funds are on top of the 900-thousand dollars the city has already received from the Federal Surface Transportation fund. 

“That really helps to get the project done as well as reducing the impact on the tax levy, annual CIP (Capital Improvement Program) borrowing. We’re excited for it. Commerce Drive is well traveled.”

It’s estimated that 11-thousand 500 vehicles per day travel on Commerce Drive, between Roe Crest Drive and Lor Ray Drive.

City Officials are in the midst of the planning process for the corridor and are still formulating ways to address access points and pedestrian issues.

“It will not be a complete full reconstruct, the water and sewer will remain. There will be some storm improvements. They will grind down the road completely, so the base will be completely rebuilt, but the underground utilities will stay.”

During public engagement meetings last fall, residents express interest in seeing more options along Commerce Drive which included better connections to recreational amenities like the Highway 14 trail and Caswell Complex.

On Thursday, the Planning Commission will review housing, parks and trails and transportation sections of the plan at 7 p.m.

The plan for Commerce Drive is expected to be finished in May.