Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to the CGMC’s Action Alert last week by contacting the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) with your comments about the proposed changes to the Corridors of Commerce project selection scoring process. It is your willingness to speak up and get involved that makes the CGMC an effective advocate for Greater Minnesota.
The CGMC submitted its comment letter to MnDOT on Dec. 20. The CGMC is particularly concerned about two aspects of the draft scoring system that could disadvantage some Greater Minnesota projects.
First, while MnDOT observed a 50-50 funding split between Greater Minnesota in the metro in 2013 and 2015, it is now considering moving away from the even funding split in response to pressure from metro-area interests. With the majority of the state’s lane miles located in Greater Minnesota and numerous projects awaiting funding, we strongly oppose any efforts that would lessen the amount of funding that goes to Greater Minnesota projects.
The CGMC’s second concern is a rubric under one of MnDOT’s scoring criteria that would give additional points to corridors that connect to the metro over those that connect Greater Minnesota cities to one another. The CGMC does not agree that highway projects should have a lower chance of being funded solely because they do not connect to the Twin Cities. There are numerous ways to distinguish between important highway projects, and MnDOT has included many of them in its draft scoring system. We believe these are sufficient without geography having to enter into the equation.
MnDOT’s public input period ended Wednesday. Here is the agency’s tentative timeline for the rest of the Corridors of Commerce process:
- Dec. 21 to Dec. 31, 2017 – Review and approve final process
- Jan. 15 to Feb. 2, 2018 – Public recommendation period
- February to March 2018 – Project evaluation and scoring
- End of March 2018 – Project award announcement and release of final scores for all projects
We will continue to update CGMC members on important dates and actions you can take to help vital Greater Minnesota transportation corridors compete for funding. If you have any questions, please contact CGMC transportation lobbyist Shane Zahrt at firstname.lastname@example.org.