UnitedHealth isn’t apparently hurting for money these days, but Governor Pawlenty is willing to invest state and city money into road improvements aimed at helping out the health insurance industry giant in Minnetonka.
The Governor is redirecting about $8 million in state money and $5 million of the city of Minnetonka’s money to improving an interchange on highway 169 near UnitedHealth campus. UnitedHealth will contribute $7 million to the project.
UnitedHealth saw profits shoot up a record 155% in the second quarter of this year, making $859 million. Governor Pawlenty insists that this does not mean that anyone with deep pockets can get the state to change its road building priorities.
The Governor also ordered the MN Department of Transportation to study adding MNPass lanes to other congested highways in the metro area. MNPass lanes are converted car pool lanes. Vehicles with less than two people can use them during rush hours if they have paid a fee.