MSP airport signs would make traveling to Rochester easier - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

MSP airport signs would make traveling to Rochester easier


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC)-- Local leaders in Rochester are pushing to have new highway signs installed at the MSP International Airport that would make it easier for drivers to find their way to Rochester.

Currently, drivers don't see their first directional sign to Rochester until after crossing the Mendota Bridge on Highway 55 south, nearly 12 miles after leaving the airport.

"It is a legitimate concern," says State Sen. Dave Senjem.

Senjem wants to take the confusion out of leaving MSP, especially for first time visitors like the thousands of Mayo Clinic patients who come to Rochester each year.

"Some of the more bargain airfare rates are into the Twin Cities airport and people choose to do that," Senjem adds.

Senjem isn't alone in his crusade to help people find their way to the Med City. President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, John Wade is pushing for at least one if not more of the familiar green highway signs to be installed.

"If it could happen within the year, we'd be very please about that," Wade adds.

But the cost isn't cheap, each sign costs nearly $10,000 and MNDOT officials say they don't consider the project to be a necessity, which means funding for the signs would possibly have to come out of the state's budget which is already in trouble.

"We want to be respectful of the state's budget, we don't want to put a lot of money into this," Wade adds. "I'd be curious to find out know how much Duluth, how much Minneapolis, how much St. Paul have been charged to have their name of a sign?"

The decision to install the signs will ultimately be up to the Minneapolis Airport Commission because technically they would be installed on airport property, officials are hoping a decision will be made by the spring.

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