State picks 10 highway projects to share $300 million

MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle (left) and Gov. Mark Dayton at a news conference announcing 10 new highway projects. (MPR News Photo /Tim Pugmire)

Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle announced 10 highway construction projects today that will fall under a $300 million funding measure that lawmakers passed earlier this year.

The “Corridors of Commerce” program list includes improvements to I-94 near Rogers, two sections of Highway 14 in southern Minnesota, Highway 34 between Detroit Lakes and Nevis and a new freeway connection for Highway 610 in the north metro area.

During a news conference, Dayton said he views the list as only a first step toward addressing the state’s transportation needs. He plans to ask lawmakers to provide additional resources during the 2014 session. Dayton said the initial projects will give people an idea of what’s possible.

“We’ve got $300 million that we can spend that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise,” Dayton said. “That’s going to benefit tens of thousands of Minnesotans.  If you look at these particular projects, they’re going to save lives. It’s going to make commutes shorter and less stressful.”

Dayton said gas tax revenue alone is not enough to meet the need, and he’s still trying to determine the other pieces of a potential funding package.

Zelle said the selected projects will add capacity to bottlenecks in several regional corridors. He said the bonding authority for the program begins in July.

“Our intention is to get started right away.” Zelle said. “There will be projects that will commence as early as next summer.”

Here’s the full list of projects:

Route

Project

Preliminary Cost Estimate
(millions)

Estimated

Construction Start

Project Category

Hwy 2

Passing lanes from Cass Lake to Deer River

$8-$10

2014

Freight Improvement

I-94

Lanes from MN 101 to MN 241

$35-$46

2014

IRC Capacity Development

Hwy 34

Passing lanes from Detroit Lakes to Nevis

$11-$15

2014

Freight Improvement

Hwy 14

4‐lane Owatonna to Dodge Center

$16-$20

2014

IRC Capacity Development

Hwy 610

Freeway from CSAH 81 to I‐94

$103-$131

2014

Metro Capacity Development

Hwy 14

4‐lane N. Mankato to Nicollet

$20-$28

2015

IRC Capacity Development

Hwy 14

Nicollet Bypass (4 lane)

$15-$25

2015

IRC Capacity Development

I-694

Dynamic shoulder lane from Rice to Lexington

$35-$42

2015

Metro Capacity Development

Hwy 169

4‐lane from CSAH 15 to 1 mile east of CSAH 7

$14-$20

2016

Freight Improvement

Hwy 23

Passing lanes from Willmar to I‐90

$13-$19

2016

Freight Improvement

 

  • spiderleggreen

    Very funny! “they’re going to save lives. It’s going to make commutes shorter and less stressful.”. How is encouraging people to move farther away from jobs and infrastructure going to accomplish these goals? How about encouraging people to live closer to jobs and infrastructure? That would save them the part of their “lives” spent stuck in traffic.