MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle statement on death of Congressman James Oberstar
ST. PAUL, Minn. — We at the Minnesota Department of Transportation are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Congressman Jim Oberstar. He was an outstanding public servant who served Minnesota and the nation so very well with his vision, leadership and tireless work for transportation. While he is well known for his advocacy for bicycle trails and transportation funding, it is important to remember that he started the Safe Routes to School program in 2005, which has made getting to school much safer for thousands of Minnesota students, and he was key in acquiring federal emergency relief funding for the I-35W bridge collapse in 2007.
His efforts touched Minnesotans’ lives in many ways by making transportation safer and more efficient. Minnesota’s quality of life and its transportation system are much better because of him. For that, Minnesota owes him a debt of gratitude.