The online form to submit projects to MnDOT to be considered for Corridors of Commerce funding officially went live today. Anyone can submit projects, but we are asking our members to refrain from doing so with regard to Highway 14. We are working with our district engineers in MnDOT Districts 6 and 7 to identify and submit our Highway 14 projects with the descriptions that we feel give us the best chance of receiving funding.
We plan to submit more than one project for each remaining two-lane portion of Highway 14. We will submit the entire remaining two-lane stretches as projects, as well as segments that we identify from working with our engineers. Our members should rest assured that every remaining inch of two-lane road on Highway 14 will be submitted at least once —and likely more than once—for consideration.
We will make our submissions in the near future. If you have thoughts or suggestions beforehand, please contact Shane Zahrt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 259-1906.
Update on project scoring system
Back in December, the Highway 14 Partnership participated in the public comment process and submitted a letter to MnDOT with our thoughts and suggestions on how to improve its draft Corridors of Commerce scoring system.
We now have additional information about the final version of the scoring system. Some changes were made from the draft, and you can find MnDOT’s write-up on the scoring system here.
A few highlights:
- MnDOT intends to observe the 50/50 finding split between Greater Minnesota in the metro area that it has observed in past funding cycles. This is good news! As you will recall, the Highway 14 Partnership put out an “Action Alert” in December after metro-area interests pushed for up to 70% of the funding.
- MnDOT’s final version of the scoring system differs from the draft system in the weight that is given to the “return on investment” category. Whereas previously “return on investment” was weighted much more heavily than other categories and “economic impact” was rated lower, both of those categories now have the same number of points as the seven other scoring categories. While a lot will depend on the mix of projects that are submitted to MnDOT, we anticipate that this change will be of some benefit to Highway 14.
- MnDOT did not change the aspect of its scoring system that awards 10 additional points to interstate highways and highways that lead into the metro over highways like Highway 14 which connect Greater Minnesota cities to one another. We will continue to work to address this issue, including possibly making it a part of our legislative agenda this session.
As always, thank you for your passion and commitment to fixing Highway 14!