Getting from here to there in Owatonna can be a challenge if 'here' is the northeast part of town and 'there' is the southeast part of the city including the new Owatonna High School campus. Traffic generally funnels drivers toward downtown. The City of Owatonna and Steele County are hosting an open house on Thursday, July 21 from 4 to 6 pm at the Community Center on the Steele County Fairgrounds.

The original idea of creating an east-side 'beltline' first surfaced about 30 years ago. "Traffic currently has no direct way for traveling between the northeast and southeast part of Owatonna," states a news release from the Steele County Highway Department. "Existing highways and streets direct traffic towards the downtown area adding unnecessary traffic and increasing travel times. The new corridor would help alleviate that concern."

The county's East Side Corridor Project page indicates the goal is to connect 18th Street SE and 26th Street NW, "A new road is being considered in this area to meet the travel needs generated by existing and future development."

"The project is scheduled to be constructed within the next five years. The county and city are looking for feedback about transportation issues and opportunities for improving the transportation network on the east side of Owatonna."

Residents can comment on the project page if they can't attend Thursday's meeting. Read more about the history of a 'beltline' in Owatonna by clicking here.

Get updates on other road projects in the county by visiting the highway department website. Find the county's 2022-26 Highway Capital Improvement Plan


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Gallery - Top Ten Made in Minnesota Snacks

Minnesota is home to many delicious things, from hot dishes to pronto-pups. But a much smaller amount is created in and made in Minnesota. So, get munchin', sippin', and satisfyin'!

Click each image if you wnt to see what they cost, where to get 'em, etc.

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