ST. CLOUD -- We continue our look back at the top ten stories of 2011 and in at number 5 is the West Metro Corridor Project.

The $15-million West Metro Corridor project was massive in scope for the St. Cloud area. It included adding lanes, sewer upgrades and two new multi-lane bridges across the Sauk River.

The project also took awhile to get off the ground. It was delayed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs because of a small strip of St. Cloud VA land required to complete the project.

Once that hurdle was cleared, work began. But, it soon was threatened by the looming state government shutdown last summer.

Stearns County commissioners approved a plan to fund the project while the shutdown lasted, ensuring the project would continue moving forward. Wet weather in the spring made work difficult but the project moved forward none-the-less.

By mid-summer a dry spell had set in and the project was completed before the first hard freeze of the year.

The West Metro Corridor now carries motorists across four lanes of traffic east, west, north and south alleviating what had become one of the most congested traffic areas in central Minnesota.

The project got finished on time and on budget.


Coming up tomorrow, we will continue our countdown with number 4 on our list of 2011's Top 10.