Minnesota announces plans to speed up road work

| 8/4/2003

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau unveiled plans Thursday to accelerate 12 long-delayed highway projects across the state.

The road projects will be speeded up with money from a $900 million transportation finance bill passed earlier this year by the state Legislature, which uses a combination of borrowed money and federal funds.

"Despite facing the worst budget shortfall in Minnesota's history, we were able to engineer an unprecedented plan for new transportation dollars without raising taxes," Molnau, who also heads the state Transportation Department, said in a statement. "This plan will not only advance these transportation projects but will free up funding to advance additional projects in future years."

The bill authorizes MnDOT to advance a dozen projects while saving about $140 million in construction inflation costs.

The projects are: Highway 53 in Duluth; Highway 34 in Park Rapids; Highway 371 north of Little Falls; Highway 101 near Elk River; I-94 in Monticello; Highway 10 in Detroit Lakes; Highway 52 in Oronoco; Highway 14 in Janesville/Waseca; Highway 212 in Chaska/Carver/Chanhassen/Eden Prairie/Dahlgren; I-694/35E in Vadnais Heights; Highway 169 in Edina/Eden Prairie/Bloomington; and I-494 in Minnetonka/Eden Prairie/Plymouth.