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County road plans 'stimulated' in 2009

As Douglas County lays out its long-term road construction plans for this year and beyond, the recently passed federal stimulus bill is already making an impact.

2009 Douglas County road construction projects

As Douglas County lays out its long-term road construction plans for this year and beyond, the recently passed federal stimulus bill is already making an impact.

Two projects - valued at roughly $1.55 million - have recently been added to the county public works department's 2009 road repair schedule. Both are expected to be paid for with federal money.

The first project is a $1.13 million, 8.2-mile overlay of County Road 7 from Brandon to Millerville, which is scheduled to begin in June and last one or two weeks.

Dave Robley, Douglas County public works director, said the project - already in line for some federal money - was initially slated for 2010, but got bumped up because of the federal government's requirement that states assign the stimulus money for specific road projects within 120 days of the bill's signing on February 17.

By getting the County Road 7 overlay completely federally funded, Robley said the county frees up $600,000 to $700,000 in state aid that it can now use for other projects.

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"It's not a large amount" compared to the stimulus bill's $787 price tag, he said, "but it definitely helps."

Minnesota received about $502.28 million in federal funding for infrastructure, most of which is being distributed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. About 30 percent of the state's stimulus share for road repairs will go to local governments.

Douglas County's other federally funded project is a new $425,000 traffic signal located at the intersection of Highway 27 and County Road 45. Construction is set to begin next October.

Not including the two stimulus-spurred jobs, the county has budgeted $4.29 million in roadwork for 12 projects in 2009.

Over the next 5 years, public works has tentatively scheduled 33 projects valued at roughly $17.52 million.

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