Minnesota Department Of Transportation
Charles Zelle is Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. He told WCCO Radio that managing the state’s transportation system is a bit of a conundrum. “Fifty percent of our roads are more than 50 years old,” Zelle said.
It’s Friday, so we’re answering some of the Good Questions you’ve e-mailed us this summer. Lisa from Farmington, Minn. asks: why are dog years counted seven years for every one year of human life?
A major road closure for the weekend has been delayed slightly. A stretch of 35W southbound in Minneapolis was supposed to be closed Friday at midnight through Monday morning.
Another $5 million in federal assistance is bound for Minnesota to help repair roads and bridges damaged by severe flooding in June. Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration said Thursday that the emergency repair money is on top of $5 million previously released by the Federal Highway Administration.
This Friday, drivers will have to reduce their speed in construction zones. A new law will force motorists to slow down to 45 miles per hour or face a costly ticket if they are caught speeding in roadside work zones. The new law comes after the deaths of Craig Carlson and Ron Rajkowski, who were hit and killed in October of 2011.
A heads up if you’re heading down Interstate 35W in the south metro, you’ll need to take a detour. MnDOT has closed the southbound lanes between Interstate 494 and 94th Street in Bloomington, Minn.
The current congressional standoff over highway construction dollars is causing some discomfort among the people charged with keeping Minnesota’s roads and bridges in proper shape. Without a deal soon between Congress and President Barack Obama, the federal Highway Trust Fund could run dry. That could create problems for states like Minnesota that depend heavily on federal money for expensive road projects.
Motorists in the Twin Cities should expect delays this weekend as both directions of Highway 100 will be closed in Brooklyn Center for construction. The Minnesota Department of Transportation said the closure will start at 10 p.m. Friday and the highway should be back open by 5 a.m. Monday for the morning commute.
A major highway expansion that’s been years in the making finally got underway Monday with a groundbreaking ceremony northwest of the Twin Cities. Construction crews will begin adding a new lane on either side of Interstate 94 between Rogers and St. Michael.
Numerous highways and bridges are closed across the state as cities continue to deal with flooding and damage from torrential rains. In the metro area, the Stillwater Lift Bridge remains closed to pedestrian, vehicle and water traffic as waters on the St. Croix rise.
The Delano area continues to deal with high water from the swollen Crow River after heavy rain came through the area last week. The Crow River crested late Monday night, reaching a depth of just over 21 feet. It’s the second-highest in history for the city of Delano, but still two feet under the record set back in 1965.
Two employees of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) are in the hospital after a work zone crash in Burnsville Sunday afternoon. MnDOT says the two workers were injured at 4 p.m. on Interstate 35 just north of Cliff Road in Burnsville.
A bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin will be closed indefinitely starting Monday because of high water, officials said Sunday, as authorities around the state braced for flooding from bulging streams and rivers.
Authorities said major flooding hit the Mankato area Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, closing roads in the area and causing a mudslide. Deputy Eric Weller with Blue Earth County Emergency Management said between four and seven inches of rain fell in Mankato and the northern part of the county overnight.
Minnesota is launching a statewide campaign asking motorists to hang up their phones and pay attention in work zones. The campaign starts Monday and will continue through the construction season.