MnDOT announces $1.1B in construction projects for 2014 - Bring Me The News

MnDOT announces $1.1B in construction projects for 2014

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation unveiled its 2014 construction program Thursday, detailing the 308 projects across the state expected to cost $1.1 billion.

Seventy-four of those projects are in the Twin Cities area; 194 are in greater Minnesota. Work on railroad crossings and at regional airports are also included.

"Hundreds of road and bridge improvements getting underway this spring and summer will support Minnesota’s growing economy, improve our quality of life and create thousands of good-paying jobs all over our state," Governor Mark Dayton said in a statement. "I thank the dedicated construction workers and engineers who are doing this important work, and urge Minnesotans to drive safely in construction zones this season."

The department highlights four high-impact projects in greater Minnesota:

– Highway 29 complete streets reconstruction in downtown Alexandria
– Highway 34 construct passing lanes from Detroit Lakes to Nevis (a Corridors of Commerce project)
– I-94 additional lane construction from Highway 101 to Highway 241 (a Corridors of Commerce project)
– I-35 in Owatonna reconstruction and bridge replacement

And three for the metro:

– I-35E between I-94 in St. Paul and Little Canada Road, construction of MnPASS Express Lanes, replace pavement and bridges and improve traffic management technology
– Highway 65 from Fridley to Spring Lake Park, replace pavement and make safety improvements to the highway and bus stops
– Highway 100 bridge replacements and highway widening from 36th Street to St. Louis Park

You can see a visual breakdown of where the projects are below (click to enlarge).

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"This program will provide vital upgrades to our transportation system," said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle in a statement. "We will ensure that these roadway investments get the most for taxpayer dollars. The public deserves smooth, safe roads that are built and maintained efficiently."

At a press conference Thursday, the Star Tribune says Zelle compared this year's work to building the new Vikings stadium in a single season.

Some of the funding is coming from Corridors of Commerce, a bonding program the department says is aimed at improving roadways and freight travel. You can see a breakdown of how the money is being spent – and where it's coming from – in the image below (click to enlarge).

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You can see a full, detailed list of statewide projects here; All of the metro projects here; and the rail, aeronautic and transit projects here.

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Dayton will make final call on which construction projects to fund

90 different local governments applied for money from a state fund that contains $47.5 million. The Department of Employment and Economic Development will narrow the list of candidates by the end of next month. But Governor Dayton says the final decision on which construction projects to fund will be his.