Safety, mobility, innovation and fiscal responsibility Our economic health and competiveness depends on a multi modal system that meets the needs of business and citizens equally.
Priorities and Achievements
Keeping our transportation infrastructure safe, reliable, efficient and aligned with the needs of our region is and must continue to be a high priority. Our economic health and competiveness depends on a multi modal system that meets the needs of business and citizens equally. Safety, mobility, innovation and fiscal responsibility must be the core principles driving our transportation activities in Minnesota. Over the past 3 years we have made great strides down that road. We made the very important decision to require that the Commissioner of Transportation or their assistant have an engineering background which led to the hiring of Tom Sorel.
In 2008 the legislature over-rode the veto of the Governor and installed a long overdue transportation funding package. Even with that package the state is tens of millions of dollars behind in projects and fortunately the federal government released funding to the states to implement congestion relieving projects and to stimulate the economy. In the future we will be looking at unique collaborations, research and innovation to finance the projects coming down the pipeline.
One project that received the injection of a $133 million federal grant cut through the heart of our district. The Urban Partnership Agreement brought to the I35W corridor from Lakeville to Downtown Minneapolis expanded lanes, increased bus rapid transit, more park and rides, a new MNPass lane, electronic technology and signage to display real time information, plus a requirement to promote telecommuting with businesses along the corridor. Several cities were unable to meet the timelines and MNDoT credits the cooperation and leadership displayed by all the stakeholders in accomplishing this project under such accelerated deadlines. I am proud to have been a part of the process and legislative delegation that made certain the UPA became a reality.
There are three other projects for our district that are my high priority list. Those projects are the long overdue CSAH 5 and TH13 interchange, the final solution for the 494 and 169 interchange, and sound walls along I35 south of Burnsville Parkway to Mc Andrew's Road. These projects are critical to the area for economic development, for commuting times, and for safety and quality of life issues. I am proud to have been a part of bringing these projects to their current status. In particular, I have been putting in significant efforts to obtain the proper funding for the 5/13 interchange and I have high expectations that the final pieces of the funding puzzle will be put in place this session.
One of the innovative financing concepts we are pursuing is an idea referred to as value capture.