Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Congressional Transportation Status Report

Partnerships

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Area Transportation Partnerships (ATP)

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 (STIP), 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 Eight County Metro Area Transportation Partnership was organized to prioritize federal and state-funded transportation investments within the eight-county Metro District. The ATP emphasizes planning as a basis for transportation investment decisions and values the meaningful involvement of transportation stakeholders. The Eight County Metro ATP uses a combination of three processes to set priorities: the long-standing Twin Cities seven-county Metropolitan Planning Organization process, the MnDOT Metro Program Committee process and the Metro / Region 7E Integrating Committee process (which includes Chisago County).

The Metro District compiles all project data resulting from these three processes and submits tables including all projects in the seven- county area to the Metropolitan Council / Transportation Advisory Board for review and adoption as the MPO Transportation Improvement Program. Metro submits project lists for all eight counties to the MnDOT Office of Capital Programs and Performance Measures for inclusion in the state TIP.

Schedule of activities

  • January – March: Compile project lists from ATP process
  • April: Draft TIP submitted to Metropolitan Council
  • April: Draft ATIP submitted to MnDOT
  • April – June: Public Comment Period
  • June: Public Hearing
  • August: Final TIP adopted
  • August: MnDOT approves TIP
  • October: FHWA / FTA makes finding and accepts funding

Planning studies

Gateway Corridor Transit Alternative Analysis

MnDOT is playing a stakeholder role in the Transit Alternative Analysis for the I-94 corridor, between Downtown Minneapolis and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This initiative, led by the Ramsey County and Washington County Regional Rail Authorities, hopes to provide the basis for transit improvements along this 90 mile stretch of interstate. Work on the Alternatives Analysis was approved by the Gateway Corridor Commission in February, 2013. The Gateway Corridor Commission is currently soliciting proposals for environmental review, which is the next phase on the corridor development process. Work on the environmental analysis is expected to commence in Spring, 2013. Additional information on the Gateway Transit Alternatives Analysis is available through the project website at the following link: http://www.thegatewaycorridor.com/.

I-35W North Managed Lane Study

MnDOT is the lead agency in the study of managed lane, transit and system operations improvements for the I-35W North corridor between Downtown Minneapolis and Forest Lake/Columbus. This study, made possible by a 2009 HPP appropriation secured through the efforts of the I-35W North Corridor Coalition, will analyze this 22 mile stretch of interstate for managed lane opportunities, transit enhancements, and general capacity improvements where vital and necessary. The study is expected to be completed by May, 2013. Additional information on the study is available through the project website at the following link: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i35wstudy/index.html.

Snelling Avenue Multi-Modal Transportation Study

MnDOT was the lead agency in this study of the Snelling Avenue Corridor (TH 51), between Selby Avenue and Midway Parkway, in the City of St. Paul. The goal of the study was to develop strategies and initiatives to improve how all modes of transportation to operate safely and efficiently with each other in this two mile stretch of urban highway. This study was made possible through the coordinated efforts of the City of St. Paul and Congressman Betty McCollum. Work on the study was completed in January, 2013. The study findings and final report are available at the following link: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/snellingstudy/.

I-94/280 Managed Lanes Concept Development Study

MnDOT is conducting the second phase of a study on I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul to identify and evaluate low cost/high benefit conceptual alternatives for installing MnPASS Express Lanes in each direction within the corridor and directly connecting the lanes into downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. The study is expected to be complete in late 2013. The study will be engaging stakeholders and the public along the corridor with multiple input opportunities. The study results will be used by MnDOT and the Met Council to assist in project planning and development.

I-35E MnPASS Extension Study

MnDOT recently received a Federal Value Pricing Pilot Program Grant to study the feasibility of extending MnPASS Express Lanes on I-35E between Little Canada Rd. and County Rd. 96. The study is anticipated to begin during late spring/early summer 2013 and be complete by late spring/early summer 2014. It will develop and evaluate conceptual alternatives for extending MnPASS in the corridor by engaging community stakeholders and corridor users in analyzing the design, operation, benefits, costs and public acceptability of each alternative. The study will also engage community stakeholders in identifying and evaluating additional transit enhancements in the corridor. The study results will be used by MnDOT and the Met Council to assist in project planning and development, and enable the corridor to take advantage of future funding and construction opportunities.