FARMINGTON - A new turning lane could mean it will be easier and safer for drivers to enter and exit onto Highway 3 in Farmington.

The city of Farmington received funding from the Metro Cooperative Partnership and funds will be used to construct a turning lane at 209th Street, located off Highway 3.

The turning lane will be constructed in a place that has become a public safety concern with Farmington residents.

This co-op project initiated by neighboring Empire Township is close in proximity to the highway safety improvements on Highway 3 and is expected to be completed in 2020.

The roadway is located near the Tamarack Ridge Center business mall.

Farmington Public Works Director Katy Gehler said the purpose of the cooperative program is to address problems on the trunk highway system. The problems can become a public safety issue for local agencies but are typically not large scale or critical enough, Gehler said.

The project will fall under Minnesota Department of Transportation roads program. The program will pay for construction costs and up to an additional 8 percent for construction inspection for selected projects and the right-of-way, utility relocation and preliminary design.

"It was determined there is sufficient existing right of way to accommodate the Farmington improvement and no utilities will need relocation," Gehler said.

The city of Farmington's financial contribution will be for design services only.

The Highway 3 improvements call for installing a turning and bypass lane from 197th Street on the north side to Chesterfield Way on the south, which are currently under design. MnDOT is leading the highway safety improvements and agreed to contract with Bolton and Menk to complete the design elements.

Gehler said the project will offer benefits and efficiencies that a single contract with Bolton and Menk provides. This includes a proposal to complete the design work associated with the city-led turning lane as an extension of the highway safety improvements design already underway.

The total project cost for the survey, preliminary design and final design is projected to be $72,900. The agreement calls for the co-op program to support $505,000 for the construction and related costs. The survey, preliminary design and final design must be supported by the local agency.

Funds from the city's street reconstruction fund will be used in the estimated amount of $72,900 that will be used to finance the fees in the contract.

Farmington City Council approved the agreement during its Jan. 7 meeting.

"The hours dedicated to the cost proposal are in line with the hours we would expect for a project of this type and complexity," Gehler said.