Whether you live in the state or drive through it, the roads in Minnesota are about to see some significant improvements over the next ten years.  The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently released two planning documents that will guide highway investment funding over the next ten years. Although they represent two individual project elements, the State Transportation Improvement Program (2021-2024) and the Capital Highway Investment Plan (2021-2030) together represent the thought process that goes into highway and road maintenance funding.

The shorter of the plans - measured by their scheduled duration - is the State Transportation Improvement Program - covering a four year period: 2021 to 2024.  This document details Minnesota's committed construction program over the next four years and represents an investment of more than $8.6 billion in federal, state, and local funds.  The plan outlines all State of Minnnesota and local transportation projects using federal highway or federal transit funding.  In addition, it details transportation projects using one-hundred-percent state funding.

Along with listing the plans, the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) (2021-2024) also includes the cost, schedule, and funding sources for each of the identified projects.  The plan is developed each year, updated throughout the year, and stays on top of significant changes to the detailed plans.  Rail and port projects are also listed - however just for informational purposes.

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The second of the two plans is the longer (in duration) of the two.  The Capital Highway Investment Plan (CHIP) details the agency's planned investments as they relate to the state highway network over the next ten years - 2021-2030.  The plan includes more than 6,000 "centerline miles" of pavement work and more than 400 bridges which are planned for repair or replacement.  The Capital Highway Investment Plan also explains other investments that would improve safety and mobility, improve freight movement, support bicycling and walking, and make the entire system safer and more accessible for those with disabilities.

It's worth noting that the CHIP's first four years represent state highway projects in the current (STIP) - while the remaining six years identify the agency's planned investments.  The CHIP also explains the change in priorities and outcomes from the investment direction that might have happened over the last year.

With the unveiling of these long-range plans, the MInnesota Department of Transportation also tips the hat to their partners that help to make it all come together.  Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher shares:

"Minnesota’s 12,000-mile state highway system plays an essential role in supporting the state’s economy and quality of life. Constructing, operating and maintaining this system efficiently requires extensive and ongoing planning.  We don’t do it alone. All of our transportation plans are developed and continuously updated through strong partnerships with local planning organizations and other partners, as well as with input from diverse and engaged communities throughout the state.”

To learn more about the STIP or the CHIP or any of the highway investment plans overseen by the State of Minnesota, click here to visit their website.

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