DEED, MnDot to Fund $79M in Road, Other Projects

Two new programs-which will make available $79 million in funding-represent the first time that DEED and MnDot have collaborated to simultaneously improve highways and encourage economic development.

Two new programs will free up $79 million for communities to improve highways and perform public infrastructure projects that support economic development.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Tuesday that it will launch the programs in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDot).

The first initiative-called the Transportation Economic Development (TED) program-will provide $35 million to improve roads and $4 million for infrastructure projects, DEED said. The Safety and Mobility (SAM) program will make available $40 million to address safety and mobility issues with the state's highways.

“This is the first time MnDOT and DEED have collaborated on a program that addresses the twin goals of better highways and economic growth,” DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy said in a statement. “These unique programs will create jobs and encourage private investment in Minnesota communities.”

MnDot Commissioner Tom Sorel said that the SAM program will fund “critical interchange improvements that will help make roadways safer for Minnesota motorists.”

The TED program can cover up to 70 percent of trunk highway projects, and the funding comes from trunk highway bonds. It can also pay up to half of the costs of public infrastructure projects. The leftover costs must be provided by other federal, state, local, or private sources.

The SAM program can be used to fund the entire cost of selected projects.

DEED is accepting project applications from state government agencies through mid-December, and it plans to announce the projects selected for funding by the end of December.