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MnDOT Identifies $10 billion Worth of Projects in New 10-year-plan

Created: November 20, 2018 06:39 AM

MnDOT has identified $10 billion worth of highway projects to do over the next decade.

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That's from the state's newly released 10-year-plan that calls for improvements to hundreds of bridges and highways across the state.

"We have a big system," said Brad Utecht, Investment Planning Director at MnDOT. "Costs a lot of money to maintain."

Brad Utecht with MnDOT is keeping track of all the projects and is focused on what needs fixing over the next decade.

"If we don't maintain those the best we can then we spend more in the long run," Utecht said. "The number one priority tends to be maintaining our existing system."

Utecht stresses they generated the list of priorities thanks in large part to the public's feedback.

"We're trying to make sure that the pavement is comfortable to drive on and safe and the bridges are obviously safe and last for a hundred years," Utecht said.

Another issue on the top of the list is relieving congestion. Thanks to some additional funding in the budget, MnDOT is using it on new interchanges, and MnPASS lanes.

"I would say for the most part, if you're in a location that has one of those projects you will see some benefit but over the whole system, it's probably not going to get a lot better over the next 10 years, we just don't have the funds to do that," Utecht said.

Despite this investment, by 2028 the state anticipates nearly 3 percent of interstate roads and just over 5 percent of interstate bridges are projected to be in poor condition. That doesn't mean they're unsafe, just a possibility of more potholes and potentially uncomfortable to drive on. While these areas will need attention soon, MnDOT stresses these numbers are good compared to other states.

"Currently, we're in really good shape for both of those so we're going to see some degradation over the next 10 years. We're going to have more miles of pavement in poor condition, more bridges in poor condition over the next 10 years but it sort of is in line with our projections," Utecht said.

You can check out projects by using an interactive map created by MnDOT here.

Across the border, Wisconsin's Department of Transportation is in the midst of a six-year highway improvement program.

The 20 counties that make up the northwest region of the state will see more than 200 projects between now and the year 2023. More than 60 of those projects involve bridges including the replacement of the 130th Street and Kinnickinnic River bridges over Interstate-94 in St. Croix County. That project begins next year.

The pavement on Interstate-94 between Highway T just south of Hammond to County Road BB near Woodville will also be replaced but that project doesn't get underway until 2024.

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