The intersection of Trunk Highway (TH) 13/County Highway (CH) 21 is located within the City of Prior Lake in Scott County adjacent to Downtown Prior Lake. The intersection includes two minor arterials (a state road and a county road) that accommodate traffic within the City of Prior Lake, and also acts as a regional connection to cities in Scott County and the greater Twin Cities region.
For years, the TH 13/CH 21 intersection has been identified as needing improvement. The current intersection design poses safety and operational concerns and lacks the capacity to move traffic efficiently, both for today and in the long term. The intersection has been studied multiple times without finding a solution suitable to all project partners.
In 2005, Scott County completed the Highway 21 Corridor Study, which created a long-term concept plan for the CH 21 corridor between CH 82 and CH 87 within the City of Prior Lake. This study produced a recommended alternative for the corridor based on considerations of safety, mobility, access, and economic vitality. While the plan was adopted by the County Board of Commissioners, significant concerns were raised, including that the access to and economic vitality of downtown Prior Lake needed more consideration and that more options should be evaluated.
As part of the preliminary design process, Scott County, in cooperation with the City of Prior Lake and MnDOT, is revisiting the analysis of alternatives, particularly for the area around the TH 13/CH 21 and CH 21/Main Avenue NE intersections.