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August 28: Eagle Creek Transit Station grand opening

The public is invited to the grand opening of the second park-and-ride to serve Prior Lake residents: Eagle Creek Transit Station. The new park-and-ride is located at the intersection of County Road 21 and County Road 16 in Shakopee. The grand opening is Tuesday, August 28, 2012, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. The event will feature guest speakers, including SMSC Vice-Chairman Charlie Vig, live music, food, prizes, and gifts.

The Eagle Creek Transit Station is located on Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community land next to Eagle Creek Elementary School.  The Park and Ride site contains a paved lot and a bus shelter for commuters to use for car pooling and to catch buses. Scott County operates the station on 12 acres leased from the SMSC for 25 years with an option for an additional 25 years.

The new station boasts a bus shelter, outdoor seating and many sustainable, low maintenance features like long-life LED lighting, bio-swale depressions for proper stormwater treatment, and native plants and no-mow grass to mitigate soil erosion and maintenance costs.

The transit station is a project of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Scott County, the Metropolitan Council, and the cities of Shakopee and Prior Lake. The site is located near Highway 169 and the County Road 21 extension which opened in 2012.

Later this summer, work will begin on the Marschall Road Transit Center in Shakopee. The building will host express bus service and serve as the hub for local transit. It will be the third transit station serving Prior Lake and Shakopee but the only one that includes indoor waiting. Full service at that location will begin sometime in 2014.

For many years, the SMSC has worked cooperatively with local governments on transportation and other projects. The SMSC has helped fund roads, streetlights, and most recently, the SMSC is working with the cities of Shakopee and Prior Lake to offer reverse commuting for tribal employees. The BlueXpress commuter service which goes from the Shakopee/Prior Lake area to Minneapolis now stops at Mystic Lake Casino to give tribal employees another option for getting to and from work. What this means is that there are no longer empty buses coming back out to the suburbs after they drop off their passengers. They’re now filled with some of the SMSC’s more than 4,100 employees.

As a good neighbor, the SMSC participates in local and regional planning efforts along with other governments. Since 1996 the SMSC has paid more than $7.5 million for shared local road construction and an additional $16.7 million for road projects on the reservation. The SMSC has also paid $13.1 million to local governments for services and another $6.4 million for other projects. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized Indian tribe with a reservation about 20 minutes south of the Twin Cities.

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