About the program
The 2013 Minnesota Legislature created the Corridors of Commerce program, authorizing the sale of up to $300 million in new trunk highway bonds for the construction, reconstruction and improvement of trunk highways for projects not already in the State Transportation Improvement Program. This was to further two major goals:
- Provide additional highway capacity on segments where there are currently bottlenecks in the system
- Improve the movement of freight and reduce barriers to commerce
In 2014, the Legislature provided an additional $31.5 million in trunk highway funds for FY 2014 and FY 2015. In 2017, the Legislature added $300 million in trunk highway bonds spread over four years and $25 million per year in cash. In response, MnDOT decided to select $400 million of projects in the next round of Corridors of Commerce.
Projects must meet the eligibility requirements identified in law, in order to receive corridors of commerce funding. The eligibility requirements within the law are as follows:
- Projects must be consistent with the statewide multimodal transportation plan.
- Projects must be able to begin within four years of award of funding.
- Projects must be on the Interregional Corridor Network in Greater Minnesota or any state highway in the eight-county MnDOT Metropolitan District.
- Projects must either develop additional system capacity or demonstrate improvement for freight movement (reduce bottlenecks).
- The amount of corridors of commerce funding needed to construct the project (including construction cost, right-of-way, & engineering) cannot exceed the amount of funding available.
- A proposed project that has an identical project already listed in MnDOT’s State Transportation Improvement Program is not eligible.
Project Selection Process
- The public, stakeholders and others will recommend projects via an online submissions process through Feb. 5.
- MnDOT itself will not be submitting project recommendations for scoring consideration.
- All submitted projects that meet the eligibility criteria will be scored together.
|Return on investment||100|
- MnDOT will score projects on seven of the eight legislatively mandated criteria, with each being worth 100 points.
- The eighth criteria, Regional Balance, will be applied as a funding split after all projects have been scored and ranked. MnDOT will use a soft 50-50 split between the two geographic regions of the Metro Area and Greater Minnesota to award the funding. A soft split means the regions will each receive approximately half the funding, but it may not be exactly 50 percent.
- MnDOT has developed a project scoring and ranking process for the Corridors of Commerce program. Details regarding that process, including project eligibility and scoring criteria, are available in this Program Guidance and Scoring System (PDF) document.
- Jan. 18 to Feb. 5, 2018 – Public recommendation period
- February to March, 2018 – Project evaluation and scoring
- April 2018 – Project award announcement and release of final scores