Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Congressional Transportation Status Report

District 4 Overview


District 4 Overview

Enhancing Financial Effectiveness

MnDOT is focused on stretching tax payer dollars while continuing to deliver effective and highly valued products, services and programs. Today we are using technology, partnerships, performance-based design, contracting methods, etc. to reduce costs, save time and limit impacts to travelers, shippers and businesses in order to deliver efficient and reliable multimodal transportation. A strategic priority, financial effectiveness is demonstrated by the following programs, among others, at MnDOT District 4.


District 4 has partnered with various local government agencies, community organizations and private corporations to get the most value out of transportation and accessibility projects for taxpayer dollars. 

  • Hwy 10/Otter Tail County Rd 34
    • Significant improvement needs were identified for the Hwy 10/County 34 interchange in MnDOT District 4.
    • The best and most efficient way to provide the solution ended up with the city of Perham, Otter Tail County and MnDOT working together collaboratively to form a Public-Private Partnership.
    • Working together in tandem, these stakeholders clearly demonstrated significant efficiencies in making the new Hwy 10/County 34 interchange a reality, which none of them could have delivered alone.
    • Specifically:
      • The city was instrumental in acquiring private donations including both cash (hospital district and local industries) and land.
      • The county was able to sponsor the project (which enabled utilizing DEED dollars for the project).
      • MnDOT provided the design and construction inspection. (And, luckily, a nearby city sewer lagoon expansion project was able to take their excess fill and use it for the interchange ramp fills for this project in one continuous operation.)
    • All three agencies working together allowed the job to move forward efficiently and effectively, saving a significant amount of time and money.
    • The three agencies accelerated the project by at least one year, realizing one year of inflation costs savings as well.

Proactive Solutions

District 4 is proactive in looking for safety solutions to prevent costly, serious crashes.

  • Rumble Strips – District 4 has installed edge line rumble strips/stripes on over 1,400 miles of the 1,900 lane miles The district has also begun adding centerline rumble strips on certain highways. Within five years, rumble strips will be included along targeted highways districtwide.
  • Cable Median Barriers – Cable median barriers prevent vehicles from crossing medians and hitting oncoming traffic. Installing cable median barrier in strategic locations is a relatively low-cost, highly effective method of preventing fatal and serious injury crashes. District 4 began installing the barriers in 2013 along Interstate 94 and plans to install more in 2014 and 2015.
    • 2013 – 7 miles near Moorhead, 14 miles near Fergus Falls, 10 miles near Alexandria
    • 2014 – 4 miles near Barnesville, 18 miles from Ashby to Garfield
    • 2014/2015 – 23 miles from Barnesville to Fergus Falls, 15 miles from S Hwy 59 to Ashby
  • Other Safety Projects:
    • Intersection conflict warning systems – Four existing systems will be upgraded and three new systems will be installed through a TIGER grant.
      • Existing systems:
        • Clay County – Hwy 75/County Road 2
        • Douglas County – Hwy 29/County Road 5
        • Mahnomen County – Hwy 200/County Road 4
        • Otter Tail County – Hwy 210/County Road 35
      • New installations:
        • Clay County – Hwy 75/County Road 18
        • Douglas County – Hwy 29/County Road 20
        • Otter Tail County – Hwy 10/County Road 75
    • 2014 signal upgrades – MnDOT upgraded several signals in Moorhead in 2013. S in downtown Alexandria and Pelican Rapids will be upgraded in 2014.
    • Roundabouts – Roundabouts will be added on Hwy 59 in Detroit Lakes and Hwy 29 on the south edge of Alexandria.
    • LED flashing signs - Adding LED flashing stop signs at the junction of Hwy 79 and Grant Co. Rd. 10. Grant County will pay for the signs and MnDOT will install them.

Internal Efficiencies

  • Open Inventory
    • District 4 has operated with an “open inventory” for nearly 15 years
    • Employees are able to access materials/parts/other items with a simple sign-out system instead of working through an inventory employee.
    • A pilot study showed the non-traditional approach to inventory control had the same level of accuracy
    • Open inventory saves employees time and requires fewer inventory staff members

Project Acceleration

District 4 has accelerated a handful of projects which has resulted in inflation and/or maintenance savings. Two examples:

    • Hwy 29 mill and overlay north of Alexandria
      • District 4 and Central Specialties, Inc. agreed to move construction on the project up from July of 2014 to May of 2014. The change will allow the contractor to begin work much sooner in the season and will save MnDOT a significant amount of time and money in maintenance of the existing pavement.
    • Hwy 29 mill and overlay and bridge repairs south of Benson
      • This project was moved forward from 2015 to 2014. The change will save the cost of annual inflation and save a significant amount of time and money in maintenance/repairs of the existing pavement.