MnDOT Unveils 2011 Construction Projects

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Winter is gone, and now Minnesota’s second season has arrived — construction. State transportation officials announced their list of road projects taking place around the state this year.

Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that this year’s 258 projects will provide 25,000 private-sector construction and related jobs. Last year, 283 projects were announced, although several appear again on the 2011 list.

“It’s a huge multiplier effect, an important part of our economic recovery and these projects serve multiple purposes,” Dayton said of the projects.

Nearly $900 million will be spent to complete the construction projects, a number that is down from a year ago. Last year, MnDOT spent $1.3 billion on projects.

Dayton said there wasn’t enough money to cover all the state’s needs and predicted some communities would be upset that their projects didn’t make the list. Decreased stimulus spending played a role in Minnesota spending less this year.

Dayton urged support for his proposed bonding bill, which he described as a great opportunity to add projects.

MnDOT said the major metro-area projects include rebuilding the Highway 52 Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul, constructing a new interchange at Highway 101 and Highway 13 in Savage, and reconstructing the Highway 36 and Rice Street interchange and replacing the Rice Street Bridge in Roseville/Little Canada.

MnDOT said they will continue converting Highway 169/Interstate 494 to a freeway to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in Bloomington, Eden Prairie and Edina.

“That’s one of the most congested spots on our system … traffic there is in the 60,000 vehicle a day range,” said Tom O’Keefe, Metro Transit’s District Director of Program Delivery.

MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel said projects are chosen based on the condition of roads and bridges, congestion and public input, particularly in terms of quality-of-life issues. The department’s main principles in undertaking the construction are safety, mobility, preservation and economic and community development.

The department has been criticized in previous years for a lack of minority hiring. Sorel said the department is responding to that with what it’s calling a pilot project to ramp up minority hiring. The $45 million construction of the interchange at Interstate 694 and Highway 10 on Snelling Avenue in Arden Hills will include more minority workers and women-owned businesses, he said.

Resurfacing Interstate 94 between St. Paul and Minneapolis will also take place this summer.

Outside of the Twin Cities area, MnDOT said they will be continuing a bridge and pavement replacement project on a section of I-35 in Duluth.

Other major projects in greater Minnesota include:

  • Resurfacing Highway 34 from Park Rapids to Akeley, including installing turn lanes and replacing culverts.
  • Constructing four lanes on Highway 23 east of St. Cloud to Foley.
  • Replacing three bridges and resurfacing Highway 9 from the Norman/Clay county line to Highway 10.
  • Constructing a four-lane expansion, including bridges, on Highway 14 by Waseca.

With all of the work zones that will be operating across the state, Sorel is encouraging motorists to drive with caution and plan ahead.

“We do understand that transportation plays a critical role in the way we compete in the global market place. And it’s very critical that we have a world-class transportation system to do that,” said Sorel.

To find a list of all projects near your area, click here.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Larry Brunkow

    State Hwy 9 and State Hwy 27 could really use alot of help instead of spending it all in the metro give us some help out here in what you people call outstate Minnesota, but PLEASE don’t forget we do still pay taxes out here too. We have been trying for 3 years now to get some flashing stop signs in Herman Minnesota where 2 state Highways cross and the State says it up to the city, they are state highways not city highways. PLEASE HELP

  • Chrissy

    YES!! Something needs to be done ASAP!!!! At least once a month I’ve seen a semi parked downtown along Hwy 9 (South side of intersection). And, because the semi is so tall, the people coming from the south Can NOT SEE the stop sign, and DO NOT stop!!!!!! Not really their fault, because they cannot see it!!!
    And the people coming from the East can’t see them running the light because the semi is there, too. MAJOR PROBLEM! and completely AMAZING that no one has been killed or seriously hurt.!!! These are 2 state highways that continue to get more and more traffic on them all the time. PLEASE HELP before it’s to late!!! You’ve been informed of this problem, MN DOT, and now it’s in your hands. If their is a fatality or crash, the blood is on your hands. DO SOMETHING!!

  • Bob

    How about raising some of the roads that flood out year, after year?

    • Agreed!

      after year, after year, after year, after year …

  • justice fleeting

    Highway 13, highway 13, highway 13! in Burnsville and Savage. Please help the repair permanently the pothole highway Capital of the State.

  • Kent

    It is terrible all over the place. Th infrastructure is breaking down.
    The only clear solution is an increase in Gasoline Tax. It would essentially be a user tax. If you drive more, you use more roads.
    Politicians are so afraid to raise the gas tax. It is too visual. But get over it. If we want nice roads, what better way to solve the problem?

    • Justin

      Or we could do away with other social feel good programs our state has and channel more money into infrastructure from the tax system that we currently have in place………

      • $$

        How about we either fix or do away with the welfare system! There are broken programs all over this country that are bleeding us dry, let’s fix them or get rid of them…….

        • Brian

          I agree to “do away with the welfare system.” They need to start kickin people of the couch and tellin them to get a job. They should start monitoring what people on that damn welfare stuff purchase with that money. They dont need to buy tobacco or alcohol products with it. If they are then they dont need it too bad

      • Orville

        You are a lucky person to have no clue what the social service do.

        • Grammar Police

          “what the social service do” … ? Eeck.

        • weeew

          I thought the social service protected the president !

    • TF

      I agree, but only on the guideline that the money can only be used for ROADS… No taking gas tax and putting it into mass transit, or putting into a BIKE PATH… If you want a bike path tax those using it, not the evil people driving a car.

  • bob

    There is a link there. Try reading more carefully.

  • Bev H

    Anyone know the story on 242 (Main Street) from Coon Rapids to Anoka, by Hanson Blvd. That road had been under construction for 2 summers – I think… It’s a short stretch of road! Should not be that hard to finish the project.

    • marko

      It’ll be finished by July this year.

  • red

    Why in the heck are they wasting time on that damn light rail project when they don’t even have enough money to complete it? nice planning I know someone who works on this daily and I hear about the nightmare of this project daily. I look forward to hearing more may be they should have been fixing the frickin pot holes, etc.

  • RR

    How about 169 N & S between 694 & 55. A main artery that seems to have patches on top of patches….

    • james

      Just drive real slow . . .

  • Funnyrabbit

    MN 44 between Caledonia and Harmony is horrible. Huge potholes everywhere. MN 56 between Kenyon and Dodge Center is also awful. But hey, none of these are in the Twin Cities so who gives a crap, right?

    • Mike

      TH 56 between Kenyon and DC may go next year or it could get started this year after July 1st.

  • Mike Hunt

    Do you hear that whistling sound? That’s the money getting sucked out of your wallets….

  • Funny Rabbit

    I see from the PDF map they are finally planning on fixing MN 44 between Caledonia and Spring Grove. Thank goodness.

    Missed: MN 56 between Kenyon and Dodge Center:(

  • Jim

    I wonder how much further our tax dollars would go on these projects if it wasn’t for that idiotic “prevailing wage” designed to protect the unions.
    You love a love a system that guarantees that we will pay too much.

    • TF

      Don’t forget a “pilot program” to get more minority workers and women business owners? That’s code for a more expensive way to get things done.

      Government shouldn’t look at race or sex when bidding contracts, best bid wins and they are held accountable for it. How is that alone not discrimination? What if it said it was targeting white males to do the work? Come on…

  • Annoyed

    Does Gov. Dayton really not understand the basics of the economy to the point he would make this comment: “Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that this year’s 258 projects will provide 25,000 private-sector construction and related jobs.”

    Really, how will this create jobs? By taking money out of the private economy, funneling it through government and magically creating jobs?

    No this is a net/net redistribution of jobs from the private economy to the private economy with a WHOLE lot lost in the government inefficiency.

    Now, I’m not saying that I’m against roads, that’s one of the few things I do support, but I’m sick and tired of this blatant lies from politicians. This will do NOTHING to create jobs beyond the potential businesses that need the infrastructure stay afloat, yet that’s how CCO leads the story.

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  • Jon

    Just turn them back to gravel,the GOP says it’s CHEAPER to maintain than having to re- pave ! Probably would help solve the budget crises

  • Brian

    A highway in southwestern Minnesota, U.S. Highway 59 between Slayton, MN and Marshall, MN NEEDS to be resurfaced and has needed it for the last 4.5 years. But since we know the people in the chrome dome in St Paul never drive that stretch of road they probably don’t think they need to spend the money to update it. Over the past few years they have spent way more on filling the holes and patching then it was worth. They should save the cash and at least just resurface it rather then wasting more money on patching it.

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