by Eric Oslund
The possibility of a new truck stop being built in the city of Otsego took another step forward on Monday, Feb. 27.
The Otsego City Council approved an escrow agreement with Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores Inc. for reimbursement of a traffic study of County Road 137 to be undertaken by SFR Inc.
Love’s has entered into a purchase agreement for a parcel of land located at the northeast quadrant of Interstate 94 and County Road 137 for potential development of a truck stop.
Otsego’s city staff first met with Love’s on Nov. 17, 2016, to discuss their potential development, the city’s development requirement and the application review process. The city staff also indicated that a traffic study would be required with any development application.
“Well, typically, if we ever have undeveloped property that develops along our county road, and we know it’ll generate traffic, we almost always require a traffic study to be completed,” said Wright County Assistant Engineer Chad Housmann. “So it’s just standard operating procedure for a development along a county highway.”
The city staff scheduled a second meeting with Love’s on Jan. 23 to discuss transportation issues and the scope of the required study. Wright County staff, Albertville staff and St. Michael staff were also in attendance at the second meeting.
It was determined that Wright County would engage SRF Inc. to undertake the traffic study and that Love’s would be responsible for all the costs.
“They’re a reputable consulting firm that is already conducting several traffic studies in the area and they’re an unbiased firm,”
Housmann said of SRF Consulting. “They do a lot of work for MNDOT. They did all the traffic analysis along the interstate – that corridor from Albertville into Rogers – so it seemed a good fit to have them do this.”
The city staff and Wright County staff have approved a proposed scope of the traffic study for $7,800, which was outlined by SRF. Work on the study is to begin immediately and will likely take about two months to complete.