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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $7.2 Million in Grants for Minnesota Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by expanding highway repair and reconstruction, replacing an interstate interchange, and enhancing scenic byways

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced more than $7.2 million in grants for Minnesota to fund an array of highway-related efforts that include replacing the I-35E Bridge/Maryland Avenue Interchange in Ramsey County with innovative materials and reconstructing Highway 4 in Cosmos.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Minnesota residents as well as strengthen the state’s economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation’s roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Minnesota received funding for the following projects:

Replacing bridge at I-35E/Maryland Avenue Interchange in St. Paul $2,040,000
Reconstructing Highway 4 in the city of Cosmos $1,956,601
Rehabilitating Skyline Parkway State Scenic Byways Historic Stewart Creek Bridge $800,000
Restoring stone wall, plantings and plaza walkways in the Historic Bluff County Scenic Byway Preston Overlook Restoration Project $787,516
Evaluating ways to address livability as part of the Minnesota-Mississippi River Parkway Commission’s work $560,000
Assisting with growth and development of 250 underutilized disadvantaged business enterprises $407,400
Laying precast and high-performance concrete on State Highway 36 Bridge over Keller Lake in Ramsey County $265,000
Providing employment support services for highway related activities $250,000
Updating and expanding the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan $119,712
Making Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility improvements to North Shore Scenic Drive $50,000
TOTAL $7,236,229

A complete state-by-state list of this year’s grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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