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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL)

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Release: House Transportation Committee Receives Testimony from Winona County Engineer on State of Transportation

Thursday, January 28, 2021

ST. PAUL, MN – The House Transportation Policy & Finance Committee today held a public hearing to hear a presentation from the Minnesota Department of Transportation on the state of Minnesota’s transportation infrastructure. MNDOT testified that Minnesota's Trunk Highway System is 11,732 centerline miles with 4,590 bridges and carries approximately 35 billion vehicle miles per year.

Among the organizations and local officials that shared their transportation needs was Winona County Engineer David Kramer. According to Mr. Kramer, of the 385 miles of county roads within Winona County, about 20% of these miles are funded with local funding, and 80% are funded by the county-state aid system. He also shared current photographs of the deteriorating roads and bridges with the committee.

“The building of a new interstate bridge and the renovation of the old interstate bridge in Winona have demonstrated how infrastructure can revitalize a community. There has been more economic activity in downtown Winona in the last 5 years than in the past 50 years. But the same is not true for Winona County. The surrounding communities are struggling with crumbling roads and bridges, and it’s not an issue we can afford to ignore any longer,” said Rep. Pelowski (DFL – Winona). “Even as the county prioritizes funds, several roads in dire need of repair are left to degrade at current investment levels. Simply put, more funding from the state is needed to bring Winona County’s roads and bridges up to an acceptable standard.”

“As the Legislature continues to address COVID-19 challenges, building out a strong transportation infrastructure ought to be a part of our recovery efforts,” said Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), chair of the House Transportation Committee. “Communities like Winona need our help across the state, and we’re ready to work with the Minnesota Senate on a commonsense solution that meets our transportation needs now and in the future.”