Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Congressional Transportation Status Report



Area Transportation Partnerships

MnDOT created Area Transportation Partnerships over two decades ago in response to changes in federal law that increased state flexibility and the need for public involvement in transportation planning and program decision-making. ATPs were established by each district specifically to facilitate broader input to the federal project selection process for the development of the State Transportation Improvement Program, which is a four-year program of state and local projects with federal highway and transit funding, as well as 100% state project funding. There are eight ATPs statewide.

The Northwest ATP has been organized along MnDOT District 2 State Aid Boundaries and includes the counties of Kittson, Marshall, Roseau, Pennington, Red Lake, Polk, Norman, Hubbard, Beltrami, Lake of the Woods and Clearwater. Representatives from a variety of entities including cities, counties, MnDOT District 2, transit, industry, tribal and Regional Development Committee and Metropolitan Planning Organization are included in the ATP.

Schedule of activities

  • September – January: Solicits projects; public comment period
  • January-March: Select project: public comment period on selections
  • April 15: Draft ATP due to Office of Capital Programs and Performance Measurement
  • May 1: OCPPM prepares draft STIP; sends to District ATP
  • May – June: Review and comment period on STIP; due July 1
  • July – August: OCPPM develops final draft STIP
  • August – October: MnDOT approves STIP and send to FHWA/FTA for review
  • October – November: STIP approved by FHWA/FTA

Toward Zero Deaths

Toward Zero Deaths is a multi-agency partnership led by the Minnesota Departments of Transportation, Public Safety and Health in cooperation with the FHWA, Minnesota county engineers, the Center for Transportation Studies and other traffic safety organizations. It provides an integrated approach to the application of education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical and trauma services.

The goal is to raise awareness of traffic safety issues and to develop tools that can be used to reduce the number of deaths and injuries resulting from traffic crashes in Minnesota.

The Northwestern Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths program began in 2008. The counties involved include: Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau.

Additional information on TZD.

Border Agencies

District 2 is bordered by North Dakota to the west and Canada to the north which requires a collaborative effort by all agencies to provide a cohesive and connected transportation system across borders. Minnesota and North Dakota are separated by the Red River of the North with eight state highway bridge crossings that District 2 and North Dakota jointly own and maintain.

Between Minnesota and Canada, there are six border crossings. District 2, in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), is currently undertaking the replacement of the Baudette/Rainy River International Bridge on Minnesota Highway 72 in the City of Baudette and Highway 11 in the Town of Rainy River. Since the bridge is jointly owned, decisions regarding the needs of this bridge are made by both MnDOT and MTO abiding by all applicable regulatory processes of both countries.

Tribal Governments

All the lands of the Red Lake Nation and portions of the Leech Lake and White Earth reservations lie within the boundaries of District 2, creating unique challenges and opportunities due to varying state, federal and tribal regulations.

District 2 coordinates closely with tribal representatives to consider tribal transportation needs and potential opportunities to collaborate on funding. For example, District 2 recently partnered with the Red Lake Nation to remove an old bridge and dam on Highway 1 on the east side of the reservation. This partnership involved constructing a new bridge on the highway and conducting a stream restoration project at the site. Construction will be completed in 2017.

District 2 and the Red Lake Nation are beginning a cooperative process to plan and deliver several highway improvements along Highway 1 within the Red Lake Indian Reservation. The improvements include an urban reconstruction in the City of Red Lake, a bridge replacement east of Red Lake, resurfacing the pavement from the Red Lake city limits to the East Reservation border and pedestrian/bike trails west of Red Lake.

The cooperative process will include collaboration of both District and Red Lake Tribal Roads staff in the development and delivery of these projects. Ultimately, the Red Lake Nation will play a larger role in the delivery of these projects programmed in the District’s 4 year State Transportation Improvement Plan.

Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Metropolitan Planning Organization

Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) are entities designated by law with the lead responsibility for the development of a metropolitan area's transportation plans and to coordinate the transportation planning process. All urban areas over 50,000 in population are required to have an MPO if the agencies spend Federal funds on transportation improvements.

The GF/EGF planning area encompasses the cities of Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN as well as the urbanized areas and areas anticipated to be urbanized it the next 20-years in Grand Forks County, ND and Polk County, MN.

The MPO is required to maintain a 20-year long range transportation plan and to develop a 4-year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). These are developed in cooperation with the State and transit representatives. The TIP is updated annually and includes a prioritized list of projects and a financial plan consistent with anticipated funding. The State incorporates the approved TIP into the STIP.

A MnDOT District 2 representative participates in the MPO Transportation Advisory Committee. The TAC provides recommendations to the MPO Board on specific issues or projects. Some recent projects include the annual review of flooding events and traffic control planning, the Northwest East Grand Forks Street Network Study and Safe Route to School Projects.

Additional information on the GF/EGF MPO