ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is outlining a four-year plan to sink nearly $400 million into improvements for deteriorating state highways.

Dayton and Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel announced the “Better Roads for a Better Minnesota” program Tuesday.

Dayton says existing state and federal funds and already authorized bonds will pay for the new program. Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Gutknecht says legislative approval is needed for $141 million.

The Democratic governor says the plan will result in almost 10,000 direct and indirect jobs while improving more than 700 highway miles.

Repairs include repaving and drainage, signal and lighting improvements to selected stretches of roads including Interstate 35 and Highways 55, 62, 71 and 169.

Dayton and Sorel say the spending will add to MnDOT’s $980 million pavement improvement plan through 2014.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (14)
  1. gomer says:

    First look at the HUGE waste in highway funds for Rice Street and Hwy 36 overpass. They are making three bridges over hwy 36 for Rice street, to see if they should have any more money. I vote for using the money they have better first. No transit funding or bike lane funding from the gas tax revenue. Make 100% of gas tax revenue go to roads and bridges then come back for more if needed.

    1. Bubba says:

      Bike lanes are usually federal funds. They get you the money to build them on your street and the city gets to rebuild the street from federal, not local funds. There is an increase in both bicycle traffic and reported accidents. Deal with it.

  2. Al says:

    Hey gomer, Before you shoot your mouth, they are making 3 bridges to eliminate 2 intersections which will result in hundrreds of fewer car accidents there in just 1 year. They had to build the current temporary Rice street bridge because of the amount of traffic was to high to reroute east to Dale street. If you have ANY suggestions on how to spend their money wiser, I’m sure they would listen….

  3. MR says:

    Al – If I boil down what you are saying … hundreds of people can not follow basic traffic rules/laws, so I have to pay more in taxes for bridges that I’ll never travel over. How nice!

    1. JIm says:

      There were accidents on the Rice street bridge daily when I worked in the city. There was too much traffic for that bridge to handle along with the multiple stop lights on both sides of the over pass. Plus if you ever drove under the bridge it was missing chunks of cement. The bridge needed to be repaired and it is better to build it bigger now to handle traffic moving forward. Money well spent.

  4. Andrew says:

    How many of those proposed changes are in outstate MN?

  5. Art says:

    The bonding hopefully is over the time of the project. Pawlenty wanted to bond over a longer period of time to build roads. That would be going into longer term debt. Your kids gas tax will be going to pay for worn out roads if you don’t watch closely.

  6. ews says:

    After watching Inspector America (on History) it helps one realize our infrastructure is in dire need of fixing. The first episode was filmed here & after seeing the close up of the Stillwater bridge (as well as seeing the exposed rebar on the 694 E bridge over Snelling when I was stuck in traffic a few weeks ago) I’m for this one.

  7. Al says:

    Maybe Dayton should do what Jerklenty did, and just let everything crumble to nothing. After all, don’t the billionaires need more money?

    1. Karen says:

      poor baby, you need the billionaires to build you a bike path. Maybe if you ask nicely they will build you monkey bars.

      1. Ralph says:

        Poor Karen. Must be a wanna be billionaire. Maybe if you ask nicely, you will get it.

  8. rear end victim says:

    Actually, to solve the problem. People should start be held accountable for the driving. Cops should cite all drivers who cause a crash. I know many cops don’t cite all the drivers but they should. If you rear end me on the highway, and ruin my day. You deserve to be cited PERIOD!!!!

    people would start paying more attention then. Behaviors only change when their pocket books takes a dip.

    1. MR says:

      Could not have been said better. If you cannot follow basic traffic rules/laws (like leaving an appropriate distance between you and the car a head of you), then you should be held accountable for your failure.

      To be fair . . . we’ve all seen what happens when proper maintenance isn’t applied to keep our roads safe. (35W bridge failing) We do need to keep up on maintenance. I have no problem with that.

      BUT we also shouldn’t be spending tax dolars just because people fail to take accountability for thier actions and don’t follow the basic trafic laws. Trafic accidents at stop signs / lights do NOT happen when everyone follows the rules. It really is as simple as that. And we should not be building bridges just to avoid accedents that happen at intersections when people fail to follow the law.

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