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Photos: Highway 610 Ribbon Cutting in Maple Grove

Hundreds turn out to witness the ribbon cutting for the Highway 610 extension in Maple Grove.

After decades of waiting, the Highway 610 extension is just days away from opening.

Local dignitaries and hundreds community members gathered near the Zachary Lane bridge in Maple Grove Wednesday, Aug. 17 for a ribbon cutting ceremony on the newly constructed segment of Highway 610.

Once it opens permanently on Friday, Aug. 19, the Highway 610 addition extends 2.74-miles, including a four-lane highway from Highway 169 in Brooklyn Park to County Road 81 in Maple Grove. The extension includes two interchanges, three overpasses and a pedestrian bridge.

Maple Grove Mayor Mark Steffenson offered his thanks at the ribbon cutting to many individuals at the local, county, state and federal level for their work on making the Highway 610 extension project a reality – including recognition of the late Brooklyn Park Mayor Steve Lampi.

“There is a whole host of people in the northwest area who have supported this road for more than 30 years,” Steffenson said.

Senator Amy Klobuchar echoed the sentiment of Steffenson, stating the project was “really a team effort” and one that will add jobs and business development in the northern suburbs.

“There is a lot of celebration with the 610 extension,” she said. “The new road will bring new opportunity as a pipeline for growth. It is an incredibly important project to the area – it’s humbling to be part of it.”

Maple Grove City Councilmember LeAnn Sargent talked to Maple Grove Patch about the upcoming roadway opening, stating it is “a long time coming.”

Sargent and Maple Grove City Councilmember Karen Jaeger specifically pointed to the work of Steffenson and Lampi who worked “tirelessly” to get the project done. Jaeger said the new roadway should generate more jobs, more business off of the freeway.

Construction of Highway 610 between Highway 169 in Brooklyn Park and Hennepin County Road 81 in Maple Grove began in October 2009. The multimillion-dollar project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and was selected by the Metropolitan Council to receive ARRA funds.

During the afternoon event, most members of the Maple Grove City Council in attendance hope the final phase of the Highway 610 extension would come sooner rather than later.

“I hope I don’t have to wait another 20 years for this to be completed,” Jaeger said.

According to MnDOT, construction of Highway 610 from Hennepin County Road 81 to Interstate 94 is currently “not programmed in the State Transportation Improvement Plan.”

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