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Commissioner Zelle to discuss Minnesota’s underfunded transportation needs

MnDOT’s 20-year plan sees $30 billion in needs, but only $18 billion in secured funding.

Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle plans to hit the road to discuss the state’s 20-year plan for transportation spending.

The ECM newspapers note that Zelle has given his pitch to the Metropolitan Council and now plans to speak around the state about MnDOT’s 20-year State Highway Investment Plan, which outlines $30 billion in needed spending but only $18 billion in identified funding.

The story says Zelle isn’t worried about the $12 billion in unfunded needs: “I don’t think the number is scary. I think the number is achievable.”

The MnDOT plan notes that half of state highway pavement is more than 50 years old. More than a third of state highway bridges are more than 50 years old. And while the second 10-year phase concentrates on infrastructure preservation, the number of state roads and bridges in poor condition will double and perhaps triple within 20 years, the plan says.

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A public hearing on the MnDOT investment plan is scheduled for July 29, 4-5:30 p.m. in Room G15 at MnDOT Central Office, 395 John Ireland Blvd., St. Paul. There will be a video conference hookup with MnDOT offices around the state.