$1 Billion Construction Season Underway in MN

More than 200 roads and bridges projects will take place in the 2017-2018 fiscal year to improve Minnesota's infrastructure.

Image Credit: CBS Local

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Construction season has officially arrived in Minnesota. On Thursday morning, MnDOT Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle announced a $1 billion road and bridges project for 2017.

Zelle announced a total of 211 projects will take place around the state to improve infrastructure.

“While this year’s program is comparable in dollar value to last year’s, we are seeing fewer projects,” Zelle said, “In the coming years, we will also see the funding that is available to invest will decrease because of inflation and flattening revenue streams.”

Some major projects highlighted include completing the St. Croix River Crossing between Stillwater, MN, and St. Joseph, WI. According to MnDOT, the total cost is of the project more than $20 million between fiscal years 2017-18.

Construction on I-94 between Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center will cost more than $43 million as workers resurface and repair concrete and sidewalks. They will also repair 53 bridges amongst other smaller projects in FY 17-18.

MnDOT expects to spend $29 million in 2017 to resurface and repair I-94 between St. Paul and Maplewood.

Landscaping along highway 100 between 36th street and Cedar Lake Rd is expected to cost the state $250,000 in 2018, or approximately $10,417 per 1/10 of a mile.

Construction on 169 is expected to cost approximately $5.5 million dollars. Work started in January and is expected to continue through October.

Crews will also be constructing the largest bridge in Minnesota while relocating highway 53 near Virginia, MN, a project that is expected to cost $20 million in 2017.

“The transportation system is a key to Minnesota’s economic success,” Zelle said. “With more than half of our state roads older than 50 years, and 40 percent of our bridges more than 40 years old, the need is outpacing available resources. It’s important that legislators work together to find a long-term, sustainable funding solution this year so the transportation system does not continue to degrade.”

MnDOT is asking drivers to be cautious over the summer as construction projects ramp up. Speeding fines are doubled in work zones.

MnDOT also announced more than $47 million in projects dealing with airports, transit, ports, and rails for 2017.


Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.