Frustrated by a transportation plan stuck in neutral at the Capitol, Gov. Mark Dayton ramped up pressure Thursday on majority House Republicans to produce a viable alternative to his multi-billion dollar proposal for roadwork and mass-transit projects. Dayton joined Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk in questioning the GOP’s commitment to tackling the transportation-funding issue this year as the session nears its midpoint.
Minnesota democrats are showing a united front in the push for a multi-billion dollar transportation project. Gov. Mark Dayton and top democrats want to raise the gas tax to pay for road and bridge improvements.
In making his case for higher state transportation taxes, Gov. Mark Dayton regularly points to a slowing flow of money from Washington for highway construction as a reason Minnesota taxpayers are stuck with a bigger burden. “It’s not going to come from the federal government. It’s not going to come from the sky,” Dayton bluntly told a delegation from Bemidji during its annual Capitol lobbying day. “So it’s going to have to come from our pockets.”
Snow plows have been out since 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, getting ready for ice, slush and snow. “We put down the chemicals to help break up the ice that was heading our way this morning,” MnDOT’s Kevin Walker said.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s plan for transportation would repair or replace 2,200 miles of state roads and 330 bridges, but would come at a noticeable cost to taxpayers. Dayton released a large-scale proposal Monday that depends on adding a new 6.5 percent tax on gas and higher vehicle registration fees.
A wide gulf between how Republicans, Democrats and business groups want to tackle the state’s multibillion-dollar backlog of road and bridge repairs all but guarantees that what’s been billed as the biggest fight of the 2015 legislative session will live up to the hype. House Republicans unveiled a proposal Thursday that would tap a projected budget surplus and shave spending at the Department of Transportation to fund $750 million in repairs over the next four years.
Transportation officials are urging drivers to watch for deer as November is the peak time for deer-car collisions in Minnesota.
As the season’s first snow storm moved out of the state, there were almost 200 crashes on Minnesota roads. Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol said that of Tuesday evening there were 172 crashes and 140 spin-outs, which injured 30 people and killed two.
As we shift into fall, state leaders are already thinking about clearing snow from the roads. And in some cases, what they’re finding is a big increase in the price of road salt. The demand for road salt is outpacing the supply. A trade group for salt mines says they can’t produce it as fast as states and cities are ordering it.
Next time your car stalls on the freeway, smile and wave. At the epicenter of MnDOT’s traffic operations in Roseville, these are the people likely looking back at you. Through 600 live cameras, MnDOT is able to pinpoint potential problems as they happen — like a flat tire or a crash — and speed up their response to keep traffic moving.
St. Paul officials are laying out their plan to fix about half of the city’s “Terrible 20″ roads. Eleven roads will undergo maintenance beginning the week of Sept. 8, and the work is expected to run until mid-October.
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.
Minnesota officials have hired a contractor to start stabilizing a highway closed by flood and mudslide damage. The Minnesota Department of Transportation tells the Mankato Free Press that GeoStabilization International of Grand Junction, Colorado, has begun work on Highway 19.
A three-year project to add another lane to Interstate 494 in Plymouth is officially underway, following a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning. The stretch of 494 from Highway 55 to the Fish Lake Interchange is the only part of 494 that didn’t have three lanes.
A pair of turkeys is causing problems for drivers in the south metro, and not even police can scare them off. A Chaska officer took pictures in an area on Norex Drive. The two male turkeys weren’t allowing vehicles to pass and were coming up right to them.
Break out the orange barrels — another road construction season is around the corner in Minnesota. State Department of Transportation officials Thursday unveiled the projects they’ll tackle this year.
Thick clouds of white steam rose Wednesday from freshly laid, hot asphalt in St. Paul. Workers shovels were a gooey black as they scooped the asphalt from the bed of a dump truck and patted it down into holes along Snelling Avenue.
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The heat is on. WCCO director of meteorology Mike Augustyniak says that high temperatures in the Twin Cities could top 50 degrees on Monday. On Sunday, temperatures reached into the 40s.
It’s not bad if you’re in town in Waconia, protected by buildings and trees, but venture out into the open and it gets downright nasty.
Last week’s storm was nasty by most Minnesotans’ standards, but road salt researchers at Minnesota State University in Mankato think it was perfect. Civil engineering professor Steve Druschel and two of his students went under a bridge to collect samples of murky road melt from the highway above.
Huge snow drifts and blowing snow greeted many as they woke Friday, the day after a blizzard invaded southern Minnesota.
From side streets to major highways, it was slow going throughout the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota no matter where you were headed on Friday. Many drivers struggled even getting onto the roads as they had to dig their cars out of the snow that fell overnight.