Highway May Claim Land From 100-Year-Old Farm

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — A 100-year-old family farm could soon become the victim of traffic congestion.

The Fischbach Farm in Brooklyn Park has survived a Great Depression and two World Wars all while producing corn, pumpkins and Christmas Trees for families across the North Metro. But those days are nearing an end.

“I said to someone that it’s like when you get the news you have a terminal illness. It’s just not real until it’s real,” said Mary Johnson, who operates the farm with her brother.

According to the city of Brooklyn Park, the reality is that the intersection near the Fischbach Farm has become a major problem.

“We have a fair amount of congestion today and we anticipate that it’s going to get noticeably worse here in the near future,” said city traffic engineer Jeff Holstein.

Engineers say capacity at the Highway 169 and County Road 30 intersection is 50,000 thousand vehicles a day, but right now 57,000 are passing through — and that number is growing fast.

They also say it’s one of the top 10 most dangerous intersections in Minnesota.

“We think that if something isn’t done here, that is going to continue to worsen. It could potentially be one of the top two or three in the state, if we don’t do something,” explained Holstein.

The city wants to move County Road 30 north onto the Fischbachs property and add half of a cloverleaf that would run through where the barn is now. It was approved by the city council last week. The Fischbachs never thought their land would be harvested for an expanding highway.

“It’s really going to be hard. It’s really going to be hard. A lot of history, a lot of memories. A lot of importance to us. They will come in here, they’ll scrape off all the topsoil, they’ll destroy it. They’ll destroy all this earth here where we have farmed and grown food for people for generations,” said Johnson.

The city still needs to work on getting the “right-away” acquisition first.

Engineers say they could start construction by 2012 and be done by 2014.

The Fischbachs are keeping their fingers crossed that the city finds an alternative solution before then, but they will be compensated for their land if the city and MnDOT move forward.

“We are not sure what we would do next. Farming is what we know,” said Johnson.

Click here to check traffic conditions and cameras.

WCCO-TV’s John Lauritsen Reports

More from John Lauritsen
Comments

One Comment

  1. LJGibbs says:

    “And don”t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved Paradise to put up a parking lot…”

  2. Holly says:

    That just seems so unfair. They were there first, not the urban sprawl that this highway is being built for.

  3. cCapitlist says:

    Nothing is safe from this socialist government. Vote, get active, get involved. The government is supposed to work FOR the voters, not be dictators.

  4. GW says:

    This is funny,I farm in western Minnesota and I myself as well as many other farmers lose land from right of ways for powerlines and highway issues all the time. To bad for them but I bet they can have their grandchildren retire with the settlement they receive.

  5. SHELLY says:

    100 YEAR OLD FARM BEEN IN THE SAME FAMILY OVER THE YEARS. THEY HAVE MADE THE FARM AS INCOME AND LOOKING FORWARD TO HAND DOWN THE FARM TO A YOUNGER FAMILY. IF THE LAND CAN SPEAK TO US IT WILL HAVE A LOT TO SAY OVER THE YEARS OF BEING HAPPY WITH ONE FAMILY TAKING GOOD CARE OF IT. BY TAKING PART OF FAMILY HISTORY AWAY YOU REALLY ARE TAKING THE HISTORY BEHIND THE FARM FROM THE MN PEOPLE AS WELL.. WE NEED TO SPEAK UP AND STOP THE IMPROVING THE HIGHWAY INTO A HISTORY OF THIS FARM. WORDS ARE MORE STRONGER THEN YOU THINK. MAKE A STAND AND DON’T LET THIS FAMILY LOSE ITS 100 YEAR OLD FARM. THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER WAY TO RESOLVE THIS MATTER AND WE THEY VOTERS WILL LET THEM KNOW. USE YOUR VOICE AND SPEAK UP TO SAFE A FARM THAT HAS LOT OF HISTORY. PRAY THAT THE 100 FARM WILL STAND ANOTHER 100 YEARS WERE IT IS TODAY!!

  6. Rickmeister says:

    Remember when the people fought against eminent domain, but the government said it was necessary .. to do just this type of thing. Keep this up and we will be importing food like other Third World countries.

  7. Rick Masters says:

    I bet none of the people who commented negatively on this article have to pass through this intersection on their drive to or from work.

    1. Deb Moe says:

      I bet you’re wrong!

    2. Shawn Aune says:

      Well the person who’s property is being stolen has to🙂

      And if it were bad enough, you’d go around.

      Well why should you have to waste gas taking a longer route?

      Why should the property owner give up everything so you can save some gas?

      Oh because it will let a bunch of people save gas? No it will let more people consume gas.

  8. Bonnie says:

    Mary Johnson should try immediately to have her farm put on the Historical House Register which would preserve it.

    1. Capitalist says:

      The O’Bummer people will still take it to pay estate tax.

  9. Rick90yj says:

    I bet none of the negative comments were written by anybody who has to pass through this nightmare intersection on a daily basis.

    1. Shawn Aune says:

      I bet none of the negative comments were left by the same person with different names. Ricky…

  10. benabi says:

    I personally do drive through this intersection daily to get to work. Traffic is traffic during rush hour. If it meant saving me a few seconds or saving this farm, I would due the latter in a heartbeat. My family has been eating the corn harvested from this farm my entire life, it is THE best sweet corn in the world and i have had my fair share. Quite honestly corn from their farm is one of the things I look forward to the most during the summer days. I will be heartbroken if this family loses their land and the 100 years of memories that are tied to it. Shame on Brooklyn Park, sometime I question where are values as Americans are. If this was your family, your centennial farm, your livelihood, would your opinions change?

  11. LJGibbs says:

    The family is not against a new interchange, just asking if it can be a little further down the road. Is that such a bad thing, especially to preserve history? I agree with Benabi.

  12. Mikey says:

    Let’s keep this in perspective, people. Certainly not all, but many of you live in developments that also used to be an old farmstead or cropland that was razed for development of your own neighborhood. Of course it sucks; nobody wants to see someone’s farm get overtaken by anything. But perhaps instead of sitting on your asses venting your frustration of our government on a comment board, those of you who are all up in arms over this should actually do some research, come up with some alternate solutions to this problem, and present them to MnDOT. The fact is this intersection is dangerous and is already over capacity. Ignoring it is only going to make it worse. How many people must be hurt in accidents at this intersection so that this family can keep their farm?

    I really do feel for this family and hope a solution can be worked out that everyone’s happy with. But whining isn’t going to help anything. If Americans put all the energy they use up whining and complaining about the government into actually doing something constructive to help, thin about how much better off we would be.

  13. herb says:

    This is the third time I have tried to write something and the page has automaitcally refreshed and erased it all. Nice going ‘cco you just lost a 30 year supporter of your organization. Get it fixed or dont offer a comments section!!!

    Irritated in Minneapolis!!!

  14. H. Maki says:

    The story stated that the City Council approved this. I take it nobody on the “City Council” has had anything of value taken from them.

  15. Brad says:

    Please accept our condolences, Fischbach family. Hopefully, you are very well compensated for the loss of your property.

    This is terrible road planning. They’ve known for decades, and I mean decades, that a bridge interchange needs to be built here. The current intersection includes an open field, the Fischbach farmhouse, Rasmussen College, and a cemetery.

    The new planned bridge intersection does not allow traffic to the north or from the north. What’s the deal, don’t people live to the north, like Champlin and Anoka and beyond? It is totally unacceptable that traffic at this intersection cannot be received from the north or go to the north.

    Why in the world was Rasmussen College recently allowed to build their giant campus at this intersection? Because of that decision, it’s even tougher to build a proper bridge interchange at this location. The Rasmussen College campus location could have been used to allow traffic to the north.

    THIS IS IMPORTANT: At a bare minimum, the open field should be used to receive traffic from the north. Tons and tons of traffic from the north need to get to this intersection.

    THIS IS ALSO IMPORTANT: Figure out a way for traffic to go north from this intersection.

  16. Brad says:

    I have an idea. If traffic at this bridge interchange can’t accept traffic from the north or go to the north, then traffic at this bridge interchange should not accept traffic from the south or go to the south. Just make a simple bridge that goes over 169 with no entrance or exit ramps. That would only be appropriate.

  17. Brad K says:

    I wrote an email to the Mayor and City Council of how Heartless they really are! Those Highway’s can be ripped up and moved elsewhere! Don’t be destroying a Family’s Heritage, Home and Business for a Cloverleaf! Give them an ear full yourself, here’s where U can find their email address’:

    http://www.brooklynpark.org/sitepages/pid954.php

    1. Brad KK says:

      Sorry, brad k, those highways cannot be ripped up and moved elsewhere.

      Brooklyn Park consisted of many, many farms not so long ago. And where are all of those farms today? Totally gone.

      I feel sorry for the Fischbach family. But they will carry on.

      1. Steph says:

        ‘They will carry on’? Are you kidding me?! This is all this family has done for a living! Farming is their way of life, that’s what they know! What would you do it someone took away you’re way of life, your way of income and survival? You think its really that easy to find a new job? Much less a career in something you know nothing about? This isn’t just about a road! Its much more than that, think about it before you say something this stupid. Put yourself in their shoes and think about your family in this same situation then comment. Good grief, you MUST be from the cities and not give a crap about anyone but yourself because only someone that selfcentered would write something like this!

  18. kurt says:

    there are other ways of doing this the city is not telling you. are they going to take out the lights in champlin too? once 610 is done, traffic onco. rd. 30 wont be as bad.

    1. marco says:

      610 to 94 won’t be finished for another 30 years. 169 traffic will always be bad.

  19. rich says:

    how is this even possible in America? to have the goverment take away your property, to build a road. this is really scarey, who and what is next?

    1. manny says:

      happens all the time. where have you been?

  20. troy says:

    eliminate this intersection like they did to many crossroads on hwy 100 in robbinsdale. Could they not use new intersection at co 81 and 85th?

    1. Thomas G. Carey says:

      My name is Tom Carey I am the leading Osseo resource for this injustice I have a website ww.savemyosseotown.com which gives proper full content on this situation as it unfolds please visit it and enlighten yourselves as to the multitudes of variables on this topic.
      I am an Osseo resident of 40 years the powers that be from Brooklyn Park have repeatedly said & I paraphrase “too bad so sad if it comes down to it and we have to we’ll just take it (the land and the severing of Osseo’s access to /from the north,and apparently anything any land that stands in their way” they directly”voiced that sentiment on Dec 20th at their city council meeting that I attended and spoke out in length they exhaustively /reluctantly offered a motion to approve the go ahead and immediately with two members in a hurry to get it out of the way -two council members stepped on each other by both voicing a “second” to the matter I want to thank council man Henge for abstaining to vote to voice the only dissenting vote.
      I ask anyone and all to visit the website and offer your opinions / comments on the comments page thank you ahead of time -time is short & all of us becoming involved will make a difference.P.S. Myself Mayor Lindstrom,council member Hartkoph will be meeting this Wed morning Feb 9th with several powers that be involved directly with the project including Mr. Griffith ,possiblyDot lead engineer Mr. Kanan kutty Mr. Holstein (bp lead engineer)

  21. Greg Laden says:

    There is almost always a way to work around this sort of thing, but it will cost a bit of money. So, Minnesotans, do you want to pay (a small amount per person) to maintain your cultural heritage, or do you want the road fixed as cheaply as possible?

  22. Brad KK says:

    Get a grip, Steph. I HAVE been where they are at. And I have carried on. Life happens. Death happens. And we ALL have to carry on, whether we like it or not. We get out of our pity-party, quickly, pick ourselves up, shake the dust off, and do what it takes to continue on and survive. And never stop until the day we die…

    1. Jenny says:

      You have been where they are? When did the government take your house and your job?

  23. Jenny says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous! I think they should just make an overpass and skip the clover. That would save this farm. I remember when this whole area was farmland instead of track housing. This is one of only two farms left in Brooklyn Park and the city is going to take it for a road? This is unacceptable! Some of my best memories growing up centered around this farm. Corn in the summer, pumpkins in the fall, and Christmas trees in the winter. I want my children to see a working farm, and meet the people that grow their food – I guess the city counsel wants me to take them to a supermarket. Apparently this country no longer values the family farm. My heart goes out to the Fischbachs.

    1. Thomas G. Carey says:

      I commented just a few spots above , & I saw your statement on “just an overpass”their original idea was just an overpass – well they pat themselves on their back with atta boys & say look we’re giving you a set of ramps -please take a look at the bigger picture if this crucial interchange in removed then direct convienient access by and to oddeo retail main street will cause this town to dry up as happened to long lake because of a very similar bypass that severed direct access !AND AS A ATTER OF FACT BY MR GRIFFITH HE WAS ALSO INVOLVED WITH THAT PROJECT DISASTER ! Osseo’s already shuddering from economic / retail difficulties without direct access just who do you think is going to drive out of their way AND I DO MEAN DRIVE WAY OUT OF THEIR WAY (PLEASE SEE MY WEBSITE DIRECTLY PERTAINING ONLY TO THIS TOPIC ON THIS INTERCHANGE http://www.savemyosseotown.com ) instead of me talking directly over & over to people on this topic as I am doing here you can dial it up & read detailed comment on this topic as well as leave your comments / suggestions on the comment page thank you Tom Carey

  24. Tom says:

    From the Holy Bible:

    Ecclesiastes 3
    1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
    9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
    10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
    11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
    (KJV)

    1. Steve says:

      What a stupid comment!!!

  25. Chris says:

    Coming late to this party, but I’ve used this intersection a lot because of the 169/85 ave construction. It is my opinion that the increase in traffic on 93rd is because of people going around the construction. Since that Devil’s triangle construction is winding down, I’ve started using that route again to get from Brooklyn Park to where I work in Maple Grove. At any rate, I hope they don’t tear down the farm.

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