About the program
The Corridors of Commerce (COC) program was created in 2013 when the Minnesota Legislature passed Minnesota Statue 161.088. The goal of the COC program was to focus additional transportation investments in state highway projects that directly and indirectly foster economic growth for the State through the provisioning of construction jobs, enabling of goods to be transported through a commerce friendly network of corridors, and providing additional mobility to its citizens. The COC program is not part of MnDOT’s regular State Road Construction program and has very specific requirements regarding eligibility, scoring, and prioritization of the projects that are contained within the Statue.
The most recent funding for the COC program came from the 2021 Legislature, when $200 M in Trunk Highway Bonds were authorized for the program. In addition to the Trunk Highway Bonds, MnDOT is anticipating the Legislature will continue its past history of providing $25 M/Year in State Trunk Highway cash for COC. This would mean that there would be a total of $250 M in available funding for the 2022-2023 COC program.
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 (SMTP)
- 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 already listed in MnDOT’s STIP is not eligible, unless the project was listed in the STIP as a result of receiving previous Corridors of Commerce funding.
All projects will be evaluated using the following criteria that is legislatively mandated with each being worth 100 points. MnDOT will use a soft 50-50 split between the two geographic regions of the Metro and Greater Minnesota areas 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.
|Return on investment||100|
The Corridors of Commerce law includes nine criteria that MnDOT must use to score and rank projects for the program with no additional criteria added. The listed criteria above account for eight of the nine criteria. The ninth criterion, Regional Balance, is set up as a funding division criteria that will be applied after the projects have been scored and ranked using the above criteria.