Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle issued a warning about the long-term course of the state's project funding, as he outlined a $1.1 billion program of road and bridge projects this year that will cut into a large backlog of mobility needs.
A MnDOT press release said that "despite the large construction program this year, Zelle said the long-term transportation funding picture remains bleak compared to the system's needs."
It noted that during 2017, Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature provided an additional $640 million in trunk highway bonding for the next four years as well as $164 million in cash, and "this additional funding will reduce Minnesota's annual $600 million transportation funding gap by $200 million for each of the next four years."
However, it added, "Minnesota's $600 million annual funding gap will resume beginning again in 2022."
For 2018, the department said a program of 253 projects "will help keep the state's roads and bridges in good working condition, improve safety for motorists and support thousands of construction jobs across the state."
In addition, Zelle said announced plans for 49 multimodal projects this year valued at $32 million, which include airport, port and railroad projects that are outside the state's road construction program.
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