Minnesota faces $12 billion highway funding shortfall

| December 13, 2013

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In the next 20 years, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) could face a $12 billion dollar shortfall.

The Star Tribune reports that MnDOT rebuilt Interstate 35 between Twin Ports and the Twin Cities in the past couple of years, but many of the other highways in the state need similar work.

And despite that MnDOT is set to receive $18 billion in highway funding over the next 20 years, the Star Tribune reports that it isn’t enough. The agency needs $30 billion just to keep up with the state’s increasing population (which is expected to grow by 900,000 people by 2040) and aging infrastructure and to maintain a safe transportation network.

That leaves MnDOT with a lack of $12 billion.

The report notes that Minnesota ranks 38th in pavement quality, more than half of its highways are more than 50 years old and 35 percent of its bridges are more than 50 years old.

Without the necessary funding, the number of highways in poor condition will increase by 13 percent and the number of bridges in poor condition will rise to 200.

MnDOT has been discussing funding options with residents and business owners throughout the state. The agency is considering hiking the gas tax and adding a metro-wide half-cent sales tax to raise more transportation funds. Both options would need legislative approval.

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