September 20, 2020
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The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently funded five state highway projects aimed at enhancing business growth across the state. Meanwhile, it is collaborating with the Minnesota State Patrol on plans to improve the state’s commercial truck weight enforcement facilities this year.

[Above photo by the Minnesota DOT]

The Minnesota DOT officially awarded $18 million to those five highway projects through the state’s Transportation Economic Development or TED program on December 30, joined by $2.86 million from the Department of Employment and Economic Development for three additional projects.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher

“The TED program is an effective collaboration between state and local units of government to help deliver infrastructure improvements that enhance business growth opportunities around Minnesota,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, commissioner of the Minnesota DOT, in a statement. “These transportation partnerships help build networks and promote job creation in our communities.”

She added that TED program awards help leverage federal, state, local and private funding for a total construction program of $124 million.

Concurrently, the Minnesota DOT and Minnesota State Patrol are seeking public feedback on the draft of a 10-year plan to improve the state’s commercial truck weight enforcement facilities starting this year.

Photo by the Minnesota DOT

Both agencies said the proposed Minnesota Weight Enforcement Investment Plan projects a 10 percent increase in commercial truck traffic on Minnesota highways by 2028.

It also identifies statewide projects to protect public investment in highway infrastructure and ensures public safety related to commercial vehicle operations.

“This plan identifies improvements to buildings, equipment and technology to meet Minnesota’s growing need for fast, efficient commercial truck inspections,” said Julie Whitcher, Minnesota DOT weigh station program manager, in a statement. “Those improvements will help [us] and the State Patrol meet the state’s goals of keeping Minnesota motorists safe, while protecting our road and bridge investments from potential damage by overweight loads.”

However, the agency stressed that no vehicle regulations or laws are proposed to be changed as part of this 10-year plan.

 

editor@aashto.org

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