Stimulus projects to improve ADA accessibility statewide

Thursday, July 30th, 2009 at 5:53 am

ST. PAUL, Minn.-The Minnesota Department of Transportation today announced it will invest $4.5 million in transportation system improvements that address the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for facilities on Minnesota highways throughout the state.

“This investment will improve mobility, maintain health and safety and increase the independence of individuals with disabilities,” said Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel. “These projects will help improve the quality of life for many Minnesotans.”

Two million dollars of these funds are provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

ADA improvement projects include:

●  Pedestrian ramp improvements

●  Sidewalk rehabilitation and connections

●  Accessible pedestrian signals

ADA projects were selected through a solicitation process in cooperation with Mn/DOT’s ADA External Advisory Committee, which was formed in 2007 to identify accessibility gaps on Minnesota’s transportation system.

The projects were selected based on input from Minnesotans with disabilities or in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, public facilities or attractions.

During the next four years Mn/DOT will make $2.5 million available annually for system accessibility improvements. All transportation projects funded through ARRA are required to include accessible elements as part of the design.

“The announcement of the projects coincides with the 19th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Margot Imdieke Cross, director of building accessibility, disability parking and emergency management with the Minnesota State Council on Disability. “This is an important step in Minnesota’s ongoing commitment to making the state transportation system accessible.”

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