To ease travel around the St. Cloud Metro area leaders have often brought up a beltway.  Stearns County Commissioner Joe Perske was one of many who attended an event at Sartell Community Center Wednesday night to discuss the plan to execute this.  Perske explains representatives from all the area cities and counties were there to weigh in.  He says the beltway would allow for people to drive around the city without needing to congest traffic through the heart of the city.  Perske feels this would be especially beneficial to truck traffic.

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Perske indicates the need for a bridge on the south side of St. Cloud just south of the Country Club along 33rd Street would act as a southern connection between south St. Cloud and southeast St. Cloud in Sherburne County.  He says this bridge plan has been in the vision of the area planning organization for more than 20 years.  Perske says $800,000 from the Federal Government has already been earmarked for the project.  This connection across the Mississippi River would allow for a southern connection to Highway 10.  Perske envisions the beltway going up near the airport before connecting with Highway 23 and then bending around the northeast side of Sauk Rapids.  He says Sauk Rapids has a plan to bend County Road 29 around the High School.

Perske describes the west part of the project in Sartell going in front of  Great River Bowl to the Walgreens and then to County Road 133 toward St. Joseph.  He says plans could include a connection with County Road 75 or a crossing of County Road 75 in Waite Park.  Perske goes on to describe the route across the Sauk River that would touch a portion of Quarry Park before connecting with the round-a-bout on 33rd Street South near Highway 15.

The plan Perske outlines would not include 4 lanes of traffic around the entire beltway and would also include some stop lights.   He says the majority would include 4 lanes but some may have 3 lanes of traffic with a turn lane in the center where needed.  Perske says to incorporate 4 lanes of traffic without stop lights, that would include elevated roadways, would make the project cost prohibited.  He says the speed limit for a portion of this beltway would be 40 miles per hour.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Joe Perske it is available below.



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