At a meeting of the District 7 Area Transportation Partnership held today in Mankato, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) officials presented a draft of a new project scoring system for the Corridors of Commerce program. This new system will be used to determine which highway projects will receive a portion of the $300 million in Trunk Highway bonds and $100 million in cash that the 2017 Legislature appropriated Corridors of Commerce over the next four years.
Under the new system, projects will be scored on eight criteria:
- Return on investment
- Economic impact
- Freight efficiency
- Regional connections
- Policy objectives
- Community consensus
- Regional balance
These criteria were mandated by the Legislature, and it is now MnDOT’s job to develop a scoring process based on them. MnDOT is currently taking input from the public on it’s first draft. You can read more about the scoring process and criteria in this MnDOT Power Point presentation.
MnDOT officials are proposing a scoring system in which eligible projects compete for funding based on points assigned to each of the criteria. The agency will award funding to the highest scoring projects, observing the “regional balance” requirement by splitting the funds 50/50 between Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area. Again, the current proposal is only a draft. The Highway 14 Partnership, along with legislators and other members of the public, will be submitting comments in response to the proposal.
U.S. Highway 14 Partnership members will be essential to these efforts. We will be calling on our members to submit comments to MnDOT, adopt resolutions of support in their cities and counties, and submit letters of support for Highway 14 projects.
As always, thank you for you passion and advocacy, and stay tuned for ways you can help Highway 14.
For more details about the Corridors of Commerce program, please contact MnDOT’s Patrick Weidemann at 651-366-3758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.