MnDOT, Council seek community partners for engagement work in I-94 Corridor

Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Metropolitan Council and MnDOT are seeking community partners in the I-94 corridor to engage community members in MnDOT’s “Rethinking I-94” project.

The goal of the engagement is to ensure that historically underrepresented community members help shape decisions on the future design, use and overall look of I-94.

NEW - Deadline for submission of proposals for community engagement contracts is August 18.

Developing a community-based approach to corridor needs

The Rondo Days parade crosses over I-94 on Victoria Street, in the heart of the eastern portion of the Rethinking I-94 project. Pictured in the back of the car are Rondo Days founders Marvin Anderson and Floyd Smaller.The Rethinking I-94 study area runs from North Minneapolis to east of downtown Saint Paul near Highway 61. MnDOT has already laid the groundwork for the study by collecting data on travel, congestion, MnPASS performance and asset conditions. This data will guide MnDOT in how to proceed with the repair and improvement of I-94 into the future. The goals of Rethinking I-94 include:

  • Develop a comprehensive, long-term and community-based approach to address I-94 study area needs.

  • Better understand who uses I-94, how they use it and what parts of the study area work/do not work for people.

  • Gain a stronger understanding of the condition of I-94 including bridges, walls and tunnels in the study area.

  • Determine how best to address mobility needs on I-94.

Over the last several months, MnDOT has met with members of the community to talk about the corridor. Whether in group settings, community gatherings, or one-one-one, MnDOT has been listening to what people say about I-94, its impact on their lives and what they want to see in the future. 

Original construction displaced hundreds of families, left wake of distrust

Community members were not involved in the original planning and construction of I-94 in the 1950s and early 1960s, a project that led to the displacement of hundreds of families from their homes. This created massive distrust and an overall feeling of no confidence in how MnDOT and other government agencies operate, explained Brian Isaacson, Project Manager of Rethinking I-94.

Council issues RFP for community engagement work

To support MnDOT’s engagement work on Rethinking I-94, the Council will be launching the Rethinking I-94 Community Engagement Contracts. The goal of the contracts is to support community engagement in the study area that helps shape project decision-making, with underrepresented communities as the target audience.  Engagement that leads to equity is the focus of these contracts.

View the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the contracts (PDF). All members of the community within the corridor that fit the criteria described in the RFP are encouraged to apply.  The submission deadline for proposals is Aug. 11, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Engagement plan called ‘innovative’

The work that MnDOT is doing on Rethinking I-94 is important to the Council’s Transportation Public Policy Plan update (TPP). 

“MnDOT is executing its engagement work on this project at a very innovative level,” said Nick Thompson, director of the Council’s Metropolitan Transportation Services division. “This work will help guide the Council in similar efforts as we continue to plan infrastructure, build partnerships and engage throughout the region.”

“The preservation of our existing infrastructure is a priority in how we invest,” Thompson said. “It is critical that our transportation system is functioning and performing safely and efficiently. The work that is being done on Rethinking I-94 will help the Council better understand the vital role that community engagement can have on planning for infrastructure investment.”


Posted In: Communities, Council News, Planning, Transportation

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