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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Rochester City Council could act Monday on a staff recommendation to approve a contract for the design of a new park and ride.

The proposed site is located on the west side of the southbound Highway 52 on-ramp from 75th St NW.

city of Rochester design
city of Rochester design


The recommendation is to award the $256,530 contract to Kimley-Horn and Associates.

Plans for the project stalled last year when funds were left out of the city’s construction budget. The estimated cost was put at $2-million.

Staff says the operation would lessen the pressure on the park and ride site at the former IBM campus which the city says “is constantly overfilled.” The city leases 667 parking stalls at that site and it’s believed at least 60% of the users drive from locations north of Rochester. Staff says those users “would potentially use the new site.” The lease for that site ends this year with a month to month renewal, which staff says is not sustainable long term.

The new site would have 400 - 500 parking spaces.

Rochester Public Transit says its ridership has been growing in recent years. According to RPT, riders took 2,116,610 trips on fixed-route service in 2019, a 5.3% increase from 2018. Ridership decreased last March and April due to the pandemic, but has been steadily returning since. RPT says If current trends continue, ridership should return to pre-COVID levels in late 2022.

News update: State grants have been awarded to help fund several broadband projects in rural SE Minnesota.

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