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More transportation spending from ARRA funds

published 9/23/2009
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Minnesota is getting more bang for the buck when it comes to transportation projects funded by federal stimulus dollars.

The $502.3 million received by the state is going to fund approximately 220 projects. Almost all projects in Greater Minnesota have been let, and the same can be said for about 60 percent of Twin Cities metropolitan area projects to be completed by the Department of Transportation. This does not include city- or county-led projects. Because bids are coming in about 20 percent lower that last year, more projects are expected to occur across the state, members of the House Transportation Finance and Policy Division were told at an informational meeting. (Watch the meeting: Part I, Part II)

As of Aug. 30, the funds have created 3,448 direct on-the-project state and local jobs, said Jon Chiglo, MnDOT program manager.

Among other updates provided the division:
• updating the statewide rail plan is on track to be done by the end of the year. A series of open houses to gather public input are scheduled in St. Cloud, Rochester, Red Wing, St. Paul, Duluth, Moorhead and Mankato. Comments are also being accepted online.
• a Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan is underway, with results expected next fall. The plan is to help understand the needs and priorities, including service hours and costs to address gaps and an implementation timeframe.
• a Statewide Airport System Plan, including the establishment of statewide objectives and funding revenues, should be completed in the next 12-18 months.

- Mike Cook

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