Gov. Mark Dayton today rolled out the comprehensive list of 600 road and bridge projects that he wants funded with a new gas tax.
The projects in his proposal, which would cost $6 billion over 10 years, are online here (PDF), listed by county.
The announcement notes that the work will get done “if the Legislature passes the Governor’s proposed investments in transportation.”
He wants to fund the work with an additional 6.5 percent tax on gasoline at the wholesale level, which would be about 16 cents a gallon these days. Rising prices would mean higher taxes, with $4 a gallon meaning and additional 22 cents. Drivers already pay a state gas tax of 28.5 cents a gallon.
Said the governor in a statement:
If we fail to act, the condition of these roads and bridges will only get worse. I urge all Minnesotans to review this list of projects and decide for themselves whether these investments are worth making.
The governor’s office says the listed projects, based on recommendations from MnDOT, were selected using these priorities:
- Fixing Roads in Urgent Need of Repair – Priority was given to projects that would reduce the total miles of roadway statewide that have no remaining service life (meaning they are in very poor condition, and in need of repair). Over the next ten years, roughly 4,370 miles of roadway on the state system will have zero remaining service life.
- Making Longer-Term Fixes on Currently-Planned Projects – Instead of just making temporary fixes that would need to be repaired again in just a few years, this list of projects includes upgrades of currently-planned projects to make sure those repairs last longer, and would extend the useful life of more Minnesota roadways.
- Preventing Problems Before They Happen – Projects were included in the list released today that would provide for preventive maintenance that would reduce the need to do longer-term work in the near future. By preventing further deterioration, these new investments would forego the need to perform costlier fixes down the road.
- Strategic Expansion – The list also includes projects that make targeted investments in key freight routes across Minnesota that are important for business expansions, job creation, and economic development.
The competing Republican plan would use $750 million from the budget surplus and MnDOT savings to pay for four years repairs.