Key transportation committee selects metro area projects for federal funding

Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Transportation Advisory Board (TAB), which advises the Metropolitan Council on transportation issues, has recommended a host of projects to receive $208 million in federal funds. The federal funds will leverage an additional $205 million in local matching funds for a total investment of $413 million.

The TAB selected transportation projects from throughout the region as part of the Regional Solicitation, released last May. The 58 projects selected for funding include local highway, bridge, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects in all seven counties of the region; in 45 different cities and townships.

The Council’s Transportation Advisory Board evaluates and selects projects to receive federal funding. Half of the people serving on the 34-member board are local elected officials.“The process of allocating these federal dollars to metro area transportation projects is rigorous and requires the dedication of so many partners,” said Council Chair Adam Duininck. “This collective commitment to reviewing and approving projects that benefit the region is remarkable. I commend all the various participants for their dedication.”

Duininck says these federal dollars play an important role in needed transportation investment in the region.

“TAB approved many good projects, but the fact is, we received applications for 150 projects and are only able to fund about one-third of the requests,” said Nick Thompson, Director of the Council’s Metropolitan Transportation Services Division. “We’ll look to lawmakers at the federal and state levels to help us maintain and improve our transportation services and infrastructure.”

Some of the projects TAB approved for funding:

Roadway projects

  • Five new or reconstructed interchanges at: Highway 252 and 66th Avenue in Brooklyn Center; I-94 and Brockton Lane in Dayton; I-694 and Rice Street in Ramsey County; Highway 169 and County Road 14 in Scott County; Highway 36 and Manning Avenue in Washington County.
  • Three new roadway grade separations, including an overpass of the BNSF railroad tracks in Coon Rapids at Foley Boulevard, an underpass of Highway 10 in Anoka at Fairoak Avenue, and an underpass of Highway 77 in Richfield at 77th Street.

All roadway and bridge projects selected include multimodal elements, such as trails, sidewalks, or transit improvements.

Transit projects

  • Enhancement to four arterial bus rapid transit corridors: Penn Avenue in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center; Chicago Avenue and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis; Lake Street/Marshall Avenue in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
  • Expanded bus service in Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Bloomington, and Eden Prairie.

Bicycle and pedestrian projects

  • Expansion of local and regional trails, including, Saint Paul’s Grand Round.
  • A new pedestrian underpass of Highway 212 in Norwood Young America connecting schools and residential areas, as part of a Safe Routes to School project.

The selected projects will be included in the Draft 2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which is a federally required short-range investment program for the region. The TIP will be available for public review during the summer of 2017. TAB will adopt the final TIP following public review and the Metropolitan Council then concurs with TAB’s action.

The next full Regional Solicitation for Transportation Projects will take place starting in the spring of 2018 for projects seeking funding for 2022 and 2023. Eligible metro area applicants include the seven counties, cities and townships, state agencies, colleges and universities, school districts, American Indian tribal governments, transit providers, nonprofit organizations, and park districts.

Posted In: Planning, Transportation

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