The Minnesota Department of Transportation said it advanced or completed 261 road and bridge projects during the 2021 construction season, which included work on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
[Above photo by the Minnesota DOT]
“This year’s construction program delivered new bridges and smoother roads, and improved designs to create better connections and mobility for people walking and biking,” noted Minnesota DOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher in a statement.
“Several projects also addressed aging infrastructure to help rejuvenate main streets in communities across Minnesota,” she added.
“The projects completed this year will help us achieve our long-term vision of a safer and more sustainable and equitable transportation system that serves all Minnesotans,” Kelliher said.
The agency noted that 2021 was the second full construction season to occur during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic and additional safety protocols – as well as some minor delays due to the drought and water restrictions – Minnesota DOT said its crews and contractors “worked tirelessly” to complete most of its 2021 projects on time and on budget.
That included the recent expansion of a 12.5-mile stretch of Highway 14 between Dodge Center and Owatonna to a four-lane highway: a project that boosted safety for motorists along that stretch of roadway while also improving the critical movement of freight and agricultural products vital to the state’s economy.”
“Every Minnesotan deserves safe, dependable roads that get them home to their families. And for too long, Highway 14 has not been safe,” said Governor Tim Walz (D) in a statement. “This long-awaited expansion of Highway 14 is the culmination of years of work and will help ensure Minnesotans get home safely.”
That initial sign is located on southbound Highway 61, just south of the Canadian border and entrance to Grant Portage State Park.
The Minnesota DOT said it worked with the Advocacy Council for Tribal Transportation – comprised of 11 tribal officials representing the Tribal Nations in Minnesota – to acknowledge land ceded by Tribal Governments by treaties via those highway signs.