Minnesota DOT Sees $18B Gap Over 20 Years Between Highway System Need, Revenue
ST. PAUL, MN The Minnesota Department of Transportation said its just-released capital investment plan for the state highway system in the next 20 years "identifies an $18 billion gap between system needs and revenue."
MnDOT estimated the state will need to invest $39 billion over the next two decades on the highway system to meet performance-based targets and other key system goals, but forecast that the department will have about $21 billion to spend on state highways during that same period.
In a news release, MnDOT Commissioner Charles Zelle emphasized that Minnesota's highway system is aging.
"Much of the system was originally constructed during the buildout of the interstate system between the 1950s and the 1980s, and is now reaching the end of its service life," Zelle said. "It will require increased capital investment and additional maintenance in the years."
He added that the growth in the unmet need will accelerate over time, so that the gap between revenue and spending need is $6 billion for the first 10 years of the plan but doubles to $12 billion in the second decade.
MnDOT said the highway investment plan directs capital investment for Minnesota's 12,000 mile state highway system for the next 20 years, and was last updated in 2013.
The latest plan focuses on maintaining the state highway system and making limited investments to improve travel time reliability. "This updated investment direction continues a shift at MnDOT from building to maintaining the state highway system," Zelle said, adding that the condition of the system is expected to deteriorate over the next two decades. MnDOT also released a statewide multimodal transportation plan, which covers all types of transportation and all transportation partners.
It maintains the previous version's commitment to preserving the existing system while considering strategic improvements with a high return on investment, advancing safety through the "Toward Zero Deaths" initiative, and considering social, environmental and economic impacts.