Now in process for its legislatively mandated five-year update, the Minnesota State Rail Plan will provide an overall vision for effective use of the state’s freight and passenger rail network and its future development. The plan will identify priority rail corridors, programs, and projects that offer effective improvements or expansion for passenger and freight travel in and out of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is updating Minnesota’s State Freight Plan to improve freight access, reliability and connections across the state. The State Freight Plan was last updated in 2018 and there is a need to revise materials, collect new information and get input from current stakeholders about the issues and opportunities for improvement. The State Freight Plan will gather perspectives from a wide variety of people and will dictate investments in the freight transportation system—highways, railroads, waterway ports and airports—to create a 20-year vision for the freight network.
District Freight Plans (ongoing)
The District Freight Plans will outline how MnDOT Districts and public- and private-sector freight stakeholders should move forward in freight planning, investment and operations. The intent is to leverage, validate and expand on existing studies and plans with current data analysis in order to identify priorities for freight within the District.
Ports Plan (ongoing)
Continued efforts to improve the state’s ports and waterways system along with the planning for future updates to the Statewide Ports and Waterways Plan is ongoing. Strategies to enhance the efficient movement of cargo by waterway are being coordinated with public and private sector stakeholders.
Truck Parking Study (2019)
In collaboration with the trucking and truck stop industry, MnDOT has begun a truck parking study to assess the needs for safety across the state for commercial truck parking. The study aligns with the federal update to the Jason’s Law Survey, which provides information on a national basis about the needs for safe places to park and rest. The results of the study will be used to inform future improvements and coordination between the public and private sectors throughout Minnesota.
In addition, MnDOT recently implemented a Truck Parking Information Management System (TPIMS) that uses electronic signs to show real time truck parking availability at major rest areas on key interstate routes in Minnesota. TPIMS is part of ongoing efforts to make it easier to find truck parking.
Weight Enforcement Investment Plan (Summer 2019)
The Weight Enforcement Investment Plan is a joint effort between MnDOT and the Minnesota State Patrol to develop a statewide 10 year plan of capital, operational and safety investments to ensure the safety of motorists and truckers across the state. The plan will inform future investments to carry out the commercial vehicle weight and safety program. This planning effort is currently in progress and outreach meetings have been held in each MnDOT District and region of the state with a variety of stakeholders. The overall focus of this effort is on physical infrastructure, staffing and maintenance. This effort does not specifically address commercial vehicle regulations.