2 finalists vie to be MnDOT chief

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Snow plowing headaches, potholes, traffic jams, angry taxpayers complaining about road construction. Say, who wants to be in charge of the Minnesota Department of Transportation?

Actually, a good number of people, and the field has been narrowed to two. Gov. Mark Dayton plans to interview both on Friday: Bernie Arseneau, the department's acting commissioner, and Charlie Zelle, chief executive officer of Jefferson Lines.

MPR notes that Zelle has been vocal about the pressing need to improve state infrastructure. He's a former investment banker and was among the business leaders who were outspoken against the state marriage amendment that voters defeated last month, the Associated Press reports.

Arseneau has spent nearly 30 years with MnDOT in a wide variety of jobs at the agency, the Star Tribune notes.

With its multibillion budget for construction, plowing and road maintenance, MnDOT is among the biggest state agencies, the AP notes. It's responsible for more than 12,000 miles of highways and nearly 5,000 bridges.

The department prepared a video to celebrate its "2011 highlights:"

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