Promoting and maintaining a safe, reliable and modern transportation system is a top priority for the district. Over the past decade, the district has completed a number of large-scale projects intended to address safety and mobility concerns. They include four-lane expansions on such corridors as, Hwy 23 and Hwy 371; nine new interchanges on Hwy 10, Hwy 101 and Hwy 371; and widening shoulders on several rural highways.
In addition, the district is investing in lower-cost, high-benefit, systematic strategies to reduce the number of fatal and serious crashes. The district recently completed its Safety Plan, which recommends implementing lower cost improvements such as rumble strips, intersection lighting, median guardrails, etc., and spending more on intersection and turn-lane improvements.
The district also recognizes the importance of Minnesota’s Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) program, and has recently hired a TZD Regional Coordinator for Central Minnesota, to assist in promoting the program.
The TZD program is a multi-agency initiative to change the traffic safety culture in Minnesota; it was formed in 2003 to create a culture for which traffic fatalities and serious injuries are no longer acceptable through the integrated application of education, engineering, enforcement and emergency medical and trauma services. These efforts will be driven by data, best practices, and research.
In addition to MnDOT and the Department of Public Safety, TZD’s principal partners include the State Patrol, Department of Health, Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota, the Federal Highway Administration and other local safety partners, including counties and cities.
For more information on TZD, visit http://www.minnesotatzd.org/ or contact Judy Jacobs at 218-828-5830.
District 3 is committed to improving access and enhancing the movement of people and freight. The state’s transportation needs are met through access to a high quality, coordinated transit network that is integrated into the overall transportation system. All of the district’s 13 counties have public transit available.
MnDOT District 3 is exploring mobility management options for rideshare programs within the district. The district will also continue the Northstar Link Commuter bus route service on Hwy 10 from St. Cloud to Big Lake.
The district is placing an emphasis on pedestrian access (Americans with Disabilities Act) when making transportation system improvements, and has several standalone projects planned over the next several years at these locations:
- Hwy 210/Hwy 371 in Brainerd and Baxter
- Hwy 15 Waite Park and St. Cloud
- Hwy 23 in St. Cloud
- Hwy 210 in Crosby
In addition, the district will be incorporating pedestrian accessibility improvements into its normal Highway resurfacing and construction plans.
District 3 has taken advantage of the MnDOT’s interchange programs to fund interchanges that will improve safety, reduce travel time and promote economic development. District 3 is developing new interchange projects on Hwy 10 in Rice, Hwy 15 in St. Cloud and I-94 in Albertville.
In 2012/2013, one of Minnesota’s first Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDI) will be constructed at State Highway 15 and Stearns County Road 120 in the cities of Sartell and St. Cloud. The project is being built in partnership with MnDOT, Stearns County and the cities of Sartell and St. Cloud.
The area around this intersection has developed rapidly over the past few years. New healthcare facilities and retail businesses significantly increased the amount of traffic. The increase in traffic and related safety and mobility concerns led to the development of the interchange project.
To learn more about the Hwy 15 DDI project, visit http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy15ddi/
MnDOT launched the Minnesota GO visioning process to better align the transportation system with what Minnesotans expect for their quality of life, economy and natural environment.
The effort is based on an understanding that transportation is a means to other ends, not an end to itself. It also recognizes that infrastructure is only one of many elements necessary to achieving a high quality of life, a competitive economy and a healthy environment. This vision will require consistency and collaboration across jurisdictions and sectors. Ownership of the vision is a shared responsibility.
MnDOT is working on a corridor-level approach to investment planning and programming that is reflective of today’s challenges and responsive to regional and community priorities. The goal of this effort is to increase transparency and stakeholder participation in MnDOT’s investment planning and programming process and to promote greater collaboration between MnDOT and local partners in all phases of project planning and development. Through this process, MnDOT and local partners will identify and prioritize projects that address both needs and opportunities on the corridor.