Sustainability | Contact Us

About sustainability

Sustainable transportation practices respect, support and (where possible) regenerate environmental systems, the economy and society over many generations. This requires balancing three components.


Sustainable solutions balance society, the economy and the environment


To ensure the sustainability of the transportation system and the communities it serves, MnDOT will:



Overarching initiatives


Evaluating the sustainability of current practices: FHWA has been developing a self-evaluation tool that transportation agencies can use to evaluate sustainability. The INVEST tool provides a programmatic approach to sustainability by identifying sustainable practices in systems planning; operations, system management and maintenance; and project development. MnDOT hired a consultant in the spring of 2011 to conduct a review of agency practices using this tool. Through this evaluation, MnDOT hopes to better understand the extent to which current practices support sustainability and identify options for future improvement. At the same time, as the first DOT in the nation to use this tool, MnDOT is providing feedback to FHWA to assist them in refining and improving the tool itself.

Links to the FHWA INVEST tool:


For more information:
Cindy Carlsson


Quality of life research: MnDOT is conducting a market research project to understand how customers define quality of life and how transportation both detracts from and contributes to it. As transportation leaders, MnDOT has a responsibility to align our state’s transportation services and programs with citizen needs and expectations. The research will inform and influence MnDOT’s service delivery and performance management, ensuring that transportation projects, programs and services address current and long-term societal needs today and well into the future. 


For more information:
Karla Rains



Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS): CSS is a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders in ensuring a transportation facility fits its setting by preserving and enhancing scenic, aesthetic, historic, community and environmental resources while improving or maintaining safety and mobility. Long a national leader in CSS, MnDOT’s CSS Flagship Initiative seeks not only to fully implement CSS in project design and development, but also as an enterprise-wide business model.


For more information:
Scott Bradley



U.S. Hwy 169 in Saint Peter, Minnesota: In November 2009, U.S. Highway 169 in historic downtown Saint Peter reopened to traffic after a major reconstruction. The highway is both the city’s main street and a major route in central Minnesota. The reconstruction resulted in improved pavement, traffic traveling at or below posted speeds through the downtown, better access to businesses and improved pedestrian safety. The project included significant public involvement and a close partnership between MnDOT and the city. It is an award-winning example of achieving long-term societal, environmental and economic gains.