Thursday, May 4, 2017
Report available at: tripnet.org
Contact: Rocky Moretti 202.262.0714 (cell)
TRIP office 202.466.6706
MINNESOTA FACES $2.8 BILLION TRANSPORTATION FUNDING SHORTFALL, LEADING TO INCREASINGLY DETERIORATED & CONGESTED ROADS AMID DECLINING TRANSPORTATION FUNDING. BETWEEN $1.8 – $2.5 BILLION IN NEEDED TWIN CITIES PROJECTS NOT ABLE TO MOVE FORWARD
Eds.: The report includes lists of unfunded transportation projects statewide and in Duluth, the Twin Cities and Rochester that are needed to improve conditions, relieve traffic congestion and improve traffic safety.
St. Paul, MN– Amid a declining level of funding available for maintenance and improvement to the state’s roads and bridges, Minnesota faces a $2.8 billion transportation funding shortfall over the next four years, leading to deteriorating road and bridge conditions, a lack of safety improvements, and increasing congestion due to increases in vehicle travel. This is according to a new report by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization. TRIP’s report identifies unfunded transportation projects in the Twin Cities area, costing between $1.8 to $2.5 billion, that are needed to improve conditions, relieve traffic congestion and improve traffic safety. The amount of funding available for road maintenance and improvements by the state, counties and municipalities is projected to decrease by 16 percent from FY2016 to FY2021.
The TRIP report, “Moving Minnesota Forward: Challenges in Providing Safe, Efficient and Well-Maintained Roads, Highways and Bridges,” examines road and bridge conditions, travel trends, economic development, highway safety, transportation funding, and the status of needed transportation improvements in the Twin Cities area and statewide.
Twenty-eight percent of Minnesota’s major locally and state-maintained, urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition and 21 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Sixteen percent of the state’s major urban roads are rated in fair condition and the remaining 35 percent are rated in good condition. In the Twin Cities area, 44 percent of major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Due to a lack of funding, the number of lane miles of state-maintained roads in poor condition is projected to increase by 80 percent from 2015 to 2020, from 535 miles in poor condition to 963 miles.
Six percent of Minnesota’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) estimates that, based on available funding, the number of state-maintained bridges rated in poor condition will increase by approximately 70 percent between 2016 and 2020, from 23 bridges to 39 bridges.
“The data is clear,” said Julie Ring, executive director of the Association of Minnesota Counties. “Minnesota’s transportation system is facing critical needs and the cost of maintaining and improving our network of roads, bridges and transit systems grows every year. It’s time for the Legislature and Governor to compromise and move forward a comprehensive transportation funding package that addresses the needs throughout our state.”
Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Minnesota, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. In the Twin Cities area, the average driver loses 47 hours annually as a result of traffic congestion. Traffic congestion costs the average Twin Cities area driver $1,035 each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
“Congestion isn’t just an issue for urban city centers, but is creeping into suburban areas as well,” said Anoka County Commissioner Scott Schulte. “The state needs to address the transportation funding deficit by prioritizing this issue at the legislature.”
The chart below details needed preservation, reconstruction, capacity expansion and safety enhancement projects in the Twin Cities area that will not have adequate funding to start prior to 2022.
|County||Project Type||Highway||Project Location||Work to Be Completed||Cost Range - Low||Cost Range - High|
|Twin Cities||Hennepin/Ramsey||Twin Cities Mobility||Interstate 35W||MnPASS expansion from dowtown Minneapolis to MN 36||MnPASS Expansion||$173,490,000||$260,240,000|
|Twin Cities||Hennepin||Twin Cities Mobility||Interstate 494||MnPASS expansion from MSP Airport to MN 62||MnPASS expansion||$200,000,000||$250,000,000|
|Twin Cities||Hennepin||Twin Cities Mobility||I-494/I-35W||Upgrades to I-494/I-35W interchange||Intersection/Interchange Improvements||$80,000,000||$120,000,000|
|Twin Cities||Ramsey||Twin Cities Mobility||MN Highway 36||MnPASS expansion from I-35 W and I-35 E, eastbound only||MnPASS expansion||$57,830,000||$96,730,000|
|Twin Cities||Hennepin/Scott||Twin Cities Mobility||US Highway 169||MnPASS expansion from County Road 17 to somewhere between I 494 and I 394||MnPASS Expansion||$96,390,000||$180,720,000|
|Twin Cities||Hennepin/Dakota||Pavement Bridge||Interstate 35W||105th Street to Black Dog Road||Significant roadway surface improvements and bridge repair/replace||$49,500,000||$60,500,000|
|Twin Cities||Ramsey/Anoke||Pavement||Interstate 35W||12 miles from MN 280 to Lexington Ave||Upgrade previously planned projects to a longer life improvement||$70,000,000||$85,800,000|
|Twin Cities||Hennepin/Ramsey||Pavement, Bridge||Interstate 94||Pavement and bridge reconstruction between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul||Significant roadway surface improvements and bridge repair/replace||$850,000,000||$1,150,000,000|
|Twin Cities||Ramsey||Bridge||MN Highway 280||MN Highway 280 over Robbins Transitway and RR in Ramsey County||Preventative Maintenance||$21,970,000||$32,960,000|
|Twin Cities||Ramsey||Pavement||MN Highway 952A||2 miles from Annapolis St. to I-94 (Robert St.)||Upgrade previously planned projects to a longer-life improvement||$12,000,000||$20,000,000|
|Twin Cities||Hennepin||Pavement||MN Highway 7||5 Miles from Christmas Lake Road to I-494||Upgrade previously planned project to a longer-life improvement||$10,000,000||$11,000,000|
|Twin Cities||Hennepin||Pavement||MN Highway 55||4 miles from I-494 to General Mills Blvd.||Upgrade previously planned project to a longer-life improvement||$6,700,000||$7,200,000|
|Twin Cities||Dakota||Pavement||US Highway 61||10 miles from Goodhue-Dakota County line to N Jct MN 316||Upgrade previously planned projects to a longer life improvement||$7,000,000||$10,000,000|
|Twin Cities||Scott||Pavement, Bridge||US Highway 169||8 miles from County Highway 15 to MN Highway 13||Significant raodway surface improvements and bridge repair/replace||$7,500,000||$15,000,000|
|Twin Cities||Ramsey||Bridge||Interstate 35E||Interstate 35E over Jefferson Avenue in Ramsey County||Repair/Replace||$10,660,000||$15,990,000|
“With an already large transportation funding shortfall and a dwindling level of transportation funding available in the coming years, Minnesota is poised to see increasingly deteriorated and congested roads in the future,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “Additional transportation funding will allow the state to move forward with dozens of needed projects that will provide a smoother, safer and more efficient transportation system for drivers, and allow the state’s businesses to maintain and expand their competitive edge.”