Mayor’s memo: Getting down to business: Good roads for the future
A smile and a handshake were the way to start the day when Business Day at City Hall was held at Civic Plaza in early October. The event, now in its fourth year and cosponsored by the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, brings the City and the business community together.
“Business has been the engine of Bloomington’s growth for 175 years,” Bloomington Chamber President Kim Hansen said. “Business Day at City Hall is one way to connect our members with the City, and it will strengthen our community through inclusive prosperity.”
Inclusion was in the forefront for Tawanna Black, CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion. In her keynote, she discussed the value of an inclusive economy and how it can benefit companies, our community and our state. City Manager Jamie Verbrugge and Community Development Director Eric Johnson talked about how our dynamic City is engaging with businesses and residents daily. I presented updates about the I-35W bridge, MnPASS lanes on Highway 169 and needed expansion along I-494.
This event not only shares where we are, but where we are going. Our annual business survey helps pinpoint those topics. In this year’s business survey, eight in 10 business owners or managers said Bloomington is an excellent or good place to do business, and 85 percent gave excellent or good ratings for City services. Mobility proved to be a big priority for businesses. Nearly nine in 10 thought it was very important or essential for Bloomington to focus on transportation during the next two years.
Progress is on the move for construction projects around the area. The westbound entrance ramp from East Bush Lake Road is now open and will help move traffic to and from the Normandale Lake business district. The I-494 project from the airport to Highway 169 finally received funding needed to help ease congestion.
Although it may feel like parts of the city are under construction for too long (at least when we’re behind the wheel), the upcoming changes will make driving around the south metro easier. Businesses and residents will benefit as a result. Just bear with us during construction. We’re on a good road to the future.