State DOTs Issue Local Transportation Project Funding

Several state departments of transportation across the country recently made funds available to support local transportation projects.

[Above photo by the Minnesota DOT]

The Minnesota Department of Transportation made $250 million in “Corridors of Commerce” funding available on August 1 to support local transportation projects directed by city, country, tribal government, and other qualified organizations.

Photo by the Minnesota DOT

The agency said in a statement that state bonds approved during the 2021 legislative session provide $200 million of that funding, with Minnesota DOT contributing an additional $50 million in trunk highway funds.

In 2013, Minnesota’s legislature created the Corridors of Commerce program (via Minnesota Statute 161.088), which authorized the sale of new highway bonds for the construction, reconstruction and improvement of trunk highways for projects not already in the State Transportation Improvement program. More details are available on the Corridors of Commerce website.

To receive Corridors of Commerce funding, projects must either develop additional system capacity, improve movement for freight, or reduce barriers to commerce, the agency added. Applications are due by November 30, with Minnesota DOT planning to announce funding recipients in May 2023.

Photo by the New Jersey DOT

In similar fashion, on July 25, the New Jersey Department of Transportation released $161 million in fiscal year 2023 County Aid to help make infrastructure improvements at the local level in all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

The agency said in a statement that this program helps maintain roads and bridges under county jurisdiction in a state of good repair, with County Aid funds apportioned based on population and road mileage in each county, with each county required to submit eligible projects to the New Jersey DOT for approval prior to December 1.

Meanwhile, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced a plan on August 2 to “reshape” two local bridge improvement programs that focus on city and county bridges to include approximately $137.5 million in funds over the next five years flowing from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act enacted in November 2021.

Julie Lorenz. Photo by Kansas DOT.

The increase will more than double and triple local bridge improvement funds currently available in these programs under the existing Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program or IKE, noted Julie Lorenz, Kansas DOT secretary, in a statement.

“We’re being both smart and pro-active by improving programs, streamlining processes and helping our partners make the most of these new federal funds,” she said.

“Kansas DOT’s Bureau of Local Projects is administering these funds through existing IKE programs in order to minimize paperwork and to expedite the launch of projects,” Lorenz added.

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