MnDOT announces 2016 state road construction season
The 2016 program includes 44 fewer projects than the 2015 construction season, $70 million less in funding
State transportation investment is expected to continue declining in future years under current funding formula
MnDOT expected to experience a fiscal shortfall in 2018, reducing ongoing state road and bridge funding by 45 percent
ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle announced today a list of 246 state road and bridge projects slated for construction this season. This year’s effort provides significant maintenance work for the state transportation system. However, MnDOT is expected to experience a funding shortfall in 2018 under the current funding formula, which will reduce ongoing state road and bridge funding by 45 percent. This would significantly curtail the agency’s ability to fund preservation and maintenance work and leave no resources for expansion.
“Forecasts for state transportation revenue show that our need is quickly outstripping the available resources,” said Lt. Gov Tina Smith. “Minnesota’s roads, bridges, and transit networks form the backbone of our economy. Our plan would provide the resources we need to create a 21st Century transportation system and build an economy that works for all Minnesotans. I urge the Legislature to pass a long-term, sustainable funding solution this year.”
Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Smith have a proposed a comprehensive transportation funding plan that would invest $6 billion over the next ten years to alleviate the state’s highway funding deficit. The Gov. and Lt. Gov.’s plan would repair or replace 2,200 miles of roads and 330 bridges statewide. It also would provide local communities additional resources to fix roads and bridges in cities, counties and townships around Minnesota.
“What we need now is a long-term vision for Minnesota’s transportation system,” said Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “It’s all in the arithmetic. Our needs are outpacing our revenue projections. If we don’t increase the revenue, we cannot plan for good, capital investments. Our system will continue to degrade and not provide the necessary support our economy needs.”
More than half of Minnesota’s roads are more than 50 years old, and 40 percent of the state’s bridges are more than 40 years old. In just the next three years alone, one in five Minnesota roads will pass their useful life. In the next ten years, nearly 40 percent of our roads will be past their useful life.
With the new funding proposed by Gov. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Smith, MnDOT would have the resources necessary to make needed repairs across the state – ensuring that Minnesotans are driving on safe, reliable roads and bridges. The proposal would invest an additional $1.6 billion in the Corridors of Commerce program, which would ensure MnDOT could continue expanding roadways essential to economic growth.
2016 Road and Bridge Construction Season
Because of the number of work zones motorists will encounter as crews perform road construction and maintenance work this construction season, MnDOT asks drivers to be alert on the road this summer. MnDOT urges motorists to:
• Check http://www.511mn.org for up-to-date information about traffic and road conditions
• Minimize distractions (e.g., don’t use cell phones or eat or drink while driving)
• Follow posted speed limits; fines double in work zones
• Expect delays, especially during peak travel times
For a complete list of projects, including construction dates and traffic impacts, visit http://www.mndot.gov/construction.
In addition, motorists can keep informed about projects and other transportation topics by connecting to MnDOT via social media, as well as signing up to receive email updates at http://www.mndot.gov.