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Pawlenty Announces Greater MN Transportation Projects

Thursday, February 26th, 2009 at 7:17 am

BRAINERD, Minn. – With transportation funding from the federal stimulus package now available, Governor Tim Pawlenty announced, Wednesday, 60 state highway projects that are slated to begin construction in Greater Minnesota as early as this spring. Stimulus funds targeted for the Greater Minnesota highway construction, paving, bridge and safety projects totals $180 million.

In central Minnesota, Mn/DOT District 3, the stimulus projects include:

●       Highway 10 – Mill and overlay from Wadena to Staples
●       Highway 23 – Replace deck and paint bridge over Rum River in Milaca
●       Highway 95 – Mill and overlay east of Cambridge to Isanti/Chisago    County line
●       Highway 97 – Replace bridge over Rum River west of Cambridge

●       Highway 107 – Replace bridge over Snake River at Grasston
●       Highway 169 – Mill and overlay north of Princeton to Milaca
●       Highway 169 – Unbonded overlay south of Onamia
●       Interstate 94 – Replace deck and paint bridge under Stearns County Rd 143
●       Interstate 94 – Replace deck and paint bridge under Stearns County Rd 186
●       Interstate 94 – Rehab concrete pavement on various sections of roadway between Monticello and St. Joseph
●       Interstate 94 – Install high tension median guard rail from Sauk Centre to Douglas/Todd County Line
●       Various locations throughout the district – Upgrade signals

Contractors for the first round of projects will be selected March 13, with work to begin in May.  The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the Greater Minnesota transportation projects will create approximately 5,000 jobs. Projects in the Twin Cities metro area are being finalized and will be announced in March.

”Our district’s goal is to ensure that our share of the federal stimulus funds is used efficiently and effectively,” said Mn/DOT District 3 Transportation Engineer Bob Busch. “We appreciate the support of our local partners and stakeholders.”

Minnesota is expected to receive more than $596 million for state and local highway and transit projects over the next two years as a result of the federal legislation. Approximately 30 percent of the highway funds are available for local units of government and the remaining 70 percent is for projects identified by Mn/DOT to meet the goal of the federal legislation to create jobs and improve the nation’s infrastructure. The bulk of the money will go for roads and bridges, with half of the funds targeted for projects that must start within 120 days.

Mn/DOT used the following criteria in selecting the 60 Greater Minnesota projects:
●       Project readiness is assessed based on status of environmental review, percent of right of way purchased, etc.
●       Consistency with performance based plans. Mn/DOT prioritized projects identified within the State Transportation Improvement Program or from the Long Range District Plans.
●       Statewide coverage. In order to create jobs statewide, Mn/DOT worked to ensure that the projects selected provide statewide coverage, job and transportation impact.
●       Work type balance. Selecting a variety of project types, such as concrete and bituminous or preservation and safety will best use the entire capacity of Minnesota’s highway construction industry to ensure the best possible project prices, efficient program delivery and job creation.
●       Project advancement. Projects already funded in FY2009 will not be included in the Economic Recovery Program. The planned construction schedule for a project must be advanced to be included in the Economic Recovery Program. In addition, work must start on projects immediately after letting and contract award. This will ensure that the projects represent new or increased work and, therefore, result in job creation.

These projects are in addition to the usual annual list of projects that Mn/DOT unveils each spring.

More information is available on Mn/DOT’s Web site at www.mndot.gov.

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