Highway in Chanhassen officially dedicated to Prince
CHANHASSEN, Minn. (GRAY) – It might be sunny in Chanhassen, but the forecast for Thursday called for purple rain. MnDOT raised 4 signs along Highway 5 as they officially dedicated a section of highway near Paisley Park to the late Prince Rogers Nelson.
The critically acclaimed artist called the area his home, and a years-long effort from fans, friends, and family finally paid off as the first sign was lifted.
“One day I was coming down the highway many years ago before Prince passed away,” said Mark Webster, who’s been a central part in the push for the memorial from the beginning, “I always thought about naming this highway after Prince but after he had passed away, it really came close to me to make this a reality.”
Webster celebrated alongside the late pop star’s family Thursday.
“I mean, it’s hard to explain how one feels. I feel overwhelmed. I feel sad. I feel happy. I feel delighted,” he said, “I’m really happy for the fans because... I wouldn’t be here [without them].”
The sign didn’t become a reality with a lot of hard work.
A bicameral and bipartisan push at the state legislature in 2023 helped pass the bill, but not before a lengthy—albeit successful—attempt to make the sign purple.
“The biggest hurdle was trying to get it to be purple. But I mean, what other color could it possibly be?” said Sen. Julia Coleman, (R - Chanhassen) as she laughed.
Once they convinced MnDOT to sign off on the only purple road sign in the state, the rest was easy. Coleman worked closely with Representative Lucy Rehm (DFL - Chanhassen) to get bipartisan support.
“If it’s a good idea, I don’t care if it’s Republican or Democrat that I’m working with,” said Coleman, “to partner with my counterpart in the house, who is a Democrat, and pass this... it helps prove that some things do transcend partisan politics.”
Much like Webster, Coleman was emotional to see years of work pay off.
“It just brought tears to my eyes that so many people are gonna drive by and see it and remember his contributions [not only] to music, but to the state of Minnesota and to the city of Chanhassen as well,” she said.
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