The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is currently designing the project scoring and selection process it will use to allocate $400 million in Corridors of Commerce funds passed by the Legislature in 2017. MnDOT is currently seeking public comment on its proposed process. The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership is particularly concerned about two elements of the draft process that would disadvantage important Greater Minnesota projects like Highway 14.
- Since Corridors of Commerce was created in 2013, MnDOT has split the program’s funding 50-50 between Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities Metro area. MnDOT is now considering lowering Greater Minnesota’s share of the funding.
- In a category titled “regional connections,” MnDOT gives additional points to corridors that connect regional trade centers to the Twin Cities Metro over projects like Highway 14 that connect regional trade centers to one another.
We need you to make your voices heard. Tell MnDOT that diverting funds away from Greater Minnesota is unacceptable, and that corridors connecting Greater Minnesota communities are just as important as those that connect to the Twin Cities.
Act Now: Contact MnDOT By Dec. 20
Comments MUST be submitted to Patrick Weidemann of MnDOT at firstname.lastname@example.org by next Wednesday, December 20.
I would like to comment on MnDOT’s draft Corridors of Commerce project scoring system.
My primary concern is that MnDOT is considering moving away from its past practice of dividing the program’s funds 50-50 between Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities area to award more funds to the Metro. I strongly oppose this. The expansion of Highway 14 is needed now for economic growth, safety, and quality of life. If MnDOT reduces Greater Minnesota’s share of this funding, it will be decades before projects like Highway 14 are finished. Please don’t make this mistake.
I am also concerned that MnDOT’s proposal awards more points to corridors that connect to the Metro than those that connect regional trade centers in Greater Minnesota to one another. Roads like Highway 14 from New Ulm to Rochester, which connects nearly 400,000 people across southern Minnesota, are just as important as those that connect to the Twin Cities. I hope the final version of MnDOT’s scoring system will recognize that.
For MnDOT’s full description of the Corridors of Commerce process, and a link to its full PowerPoint presentation on the draft scoring system, go to: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/corridorsofcommerce/
If you have any questions about this action alert, contact Shane Zahrt at SAZahrt@flaherty-hood.com or (651) 259-1906.