With two years down and two to go in his first term as governor, Mark Dayton’s office has been assessing his progress on many fronts; today it’s transportation and Internet service, a category they call “mobility.”
Says the governor’s office:
“The success of Minnesota’s economy depends on a transportation system that safely and efficiently gets people and goods where they need to be. Our roadways, bridges, and rail systems are continuously improving thanks to Governor Dayton’s leadership. In addition to strong physical infrastructure, Minnesota citizens and businesses need affordable access to the high-tech infrastructure that drives our global economy, including high-speed internet in every corner of our state.”
And here are the highlights:
- Expanding Light Rail Transit. Worked to ensure Central Corridor LRT service will begin in 2014, providing jobs for 4,300 construction workers.
- Securing additional funding for Southwest Corridor development.
- Reducing Commuter Delays. Provided 94 million transit rides per year, reducing commuter delays by 6 million hours, saving $140 million in congestion costs, and reducing fuel consumption by 6 million gallons.
- Providing Convenient, Affordable Transit for Disabled Minnesotans. Reached 1.5 million rides per year for Metro Mobility, a 9.6% increase.
- Making Roads More Durable. Invested $357 million in a 4-year project to restore 700 miles of highway surface, employing 3,400 workers; 2012 saw the biggest pavement restoration program in Minnesota history.
- Stabilizing Funding for Roads, Bridges, and Transit. Convened a panel of experts to explore new options for funding Minnesota’s aging transportation infrastructure; recommendations under consideration.
- Rebuilding the Hastings Bridge. Floated a new bridge downstream on a barge and successfully lifted it into position above the Mississippi River.
- Building a Bridge Safely and Quickly. Used new strategies to build and move two 1,300 ton bridge spans over I35E at Maryland Ave., reducing road closures by two months and creating a safer work zone for motorists.
- Removing Stoplights and Reducing Congestion. Completed construction on Hwy. 169/I-494 interchange, significantly reducing congestion and saving $35 million by using six ramps instead of eight.
- Building Public-Private Partnerships to Fund Crucial Projects. Leveraged $103 million in private investment to fund 14 road projects statewide, including a new interchange on Hwy. 10 in Perham that will
boost local businesses and create 240 jobs.
- Improving the Speed and Reliability of Internet Service. Convened a Broadband Task Force to develop a plan for border-to-border broadband.