MnDOT announces construction program

Published 10:18 am Friday, April 3, 2015

Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle and MnDOT engineers announced Thursday a list of 290 transportation construction projects that are getting underway this construction season. Projects scheduled for this year will help preserve and maintain state highways, bridges and other transportation infrastructure.

While this year’s program provides some significant maintenance work for the state transportation system, MnDOT officials noted that planning for future years indicates less revenue will be available under current funding levels, and much more work is needed to address the long-term challenges facing Minnesota’s transportation system.

“The forecasts for road and bridge revenue show a sharp decrease in available funding for next year given the needs in the system. They also show a slight increase the following year, and then another downturn in 2018,” Zelle said. “Add to that the fact that we see significant declines in our pavements and anticipate the need for much more bridge work after 2018, and you can see very clearly the need for additional, sustainable transportation revenues.”

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Zelle noted that many of the projects in this year’s program will provide shorter term fixes, rather than long-term solutions. He argued that what is needed now, as state transportation funding faces future revenue shortfalls and growing needs, is a long-term vision for Minnesota’s transportation future.

“We know that if we spend more on the initial fix, that we get a much better return on our investment,” he said. “If we resurface a roadway with a few inches of asphalt, we know we can get several more years out of that road. But if we spend the time and make the necessary investments to rebuild that same stretch of road, we can get 20 years or more — preventing further deterioration, and ultimately saving time and taxpayer dollars.”

The projects planned for this construction year will help preserve and maintain the state’s aging transportation system, Zelle said, noting that over half of the state’s pavements are more than 50 years old, and about 40 percent of the state’s bridges are also that age.

“As we look out over the next 10 and 20 years, our planning tells us that we will not be able to produce programs that allow us to keep up with the needed repair and maintenance,” he said. “Inflation cuts into our buying power and as the system ages, it needs greater levels of work.”

Because of the number of work zones motorists will encounter as crews perform road construction and maintenance work this construction season, MnDOT asks drivers to be alert on the road this summer. MnDOT urges motorists to:

Check for up-to-date information about traffic and road conditions

Minimize distractions (e.g., don’t use cell phones or eat or drink while driving)

Follow posted speed limits; fines double in work zones

Expect delays, especially during peak travel times

For a complete list of projects, including construction dates and traffic impacts, visit

In addition, motorists can keep informed about projects and other transportation topics by connecting to MnDOT via social media, as well as signing up to receive email updates at