2018-2021 Duluth Area TIP

Transportation improvement projects to receive federal funding in 2021

It is part of the MIC’s role as an MPO to work with state and local agencies to prioritize which of the region’s transportation projects and services should receive anticipated federal funds.

See tabs, below, for information about the proposed projects and the selection process.

Draft 2018-2021 Duluth Area TIP Approved by MIC Policy Board

NOTE: The 2017-2020 Duluth Area TIP remains the current version until federal agencies (FHWA and FTA) approve the 2018-2021 version as well as the MIC Board.

Draft 2018-2021 Duluth-Area TIP Now Open for Public Comment (through 8/22)

About the Draft TIP: See OpenMIC Blog Post

2021 MIC-Area TIP Projects Approval - NE MN ATP

The NE MN Area Transportation Partnership (ATP) approved the MIC-area projects as recommended by the MIC Board for inclusion in the 2018-2021 STIP (State Transportation Improvement Program).

2021 MIC-Area TIP Projects Approval - MIC Board

At the March meeting of the MIC Policy Board, a motion was made recommending approval of both roadway projects and ranking the projects as follows:
Railroad Street (City of Duluth) – #1
Lismore Road (St. Louis County) – #2

The Bus Purchase by the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA) was recommended to be removed from consideration, since it falls well outside of funds available in this area for 2021.

The motion was amended to formally note that the MIC Policy Board recognizes the DTA’s need for the funds they have applied for, but have been denied at this time with the knowledge that MnDOT’s Central Office will be funding their needs.

The amended motion was approved unanimously, and will be forwarded on to the NE MN Area Transportation Partnership (ATP) as the next step in the TIP development process.

Seeking Comments on Proposed Transportation Projects for 2021

Overview of Proposed Projects

– Open for public comment through March 15

Project application deadline

The MIC received ten applications for federal transportation funding in 2021.  They will be open for public comment after review by the TAC and MIC at the February meetings.

2021 TIP project solicitation period begins

MIC staff distributed project applications to eligible agencies and jurisdictions (State of Minnesota (MnDOT), St. Louis County, cities with a population over 5,000 (Duluth and Hermantown), the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA).

Funded Projects

No projects match selected year

Draft document approved by MIC Board


Contact Chris Belden with comments or questions.

The TIP is developed with the guidance of the MIC’s Transportation Advisory Committee and Policy Board, and prepared in cooperation with MnDOT, local transit providers and area jurisdictions as required by federal surface transportation law (FAST Act).  It is made available for public comment, and submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

How are TIP projects selected?

All projects must be identified in the MIC’s current 25-year Long Range Transportation Plan in support of the Duluth-Superior area’s goals and transportation system needs. In addition, the MIC evaluates and prioritizes each proposal based on the following criteria:

  • Regional Benefit:  What are the project’s merits/benefits and intended effect upon the regional transportation network and what are the project’s estimated benefits relative to its cost?
  • Mobility: How will the project improve the mobility of people and goods?
  • Planning Support: How will the project incorporate the MIC’s Long Range Transportation Plan, other MIC studies and related plans and studies?
  • Multimodal Connectivity: How does the project encompass multiple modes of travel?
  • Environmental Impacts: Where is the project’s location and what potential environmental and community impacts does it potentially pose?
  • Public Participation: What level of public participation has been undertaken or will take place for the proposed project?

Coordination with State and Regional Processes

We work with local communities to determine how our increasingly scarce share of federal transportation dollars are spent.  These are the projects solicited, evaluated and approved by the MIC Policy Board, as described in the timeline, below.

A simultaneous but separate process is held to program projects throughout the 8-county Arrowhead region by the Northeast Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (NE MN ATP).

All Duluth area transportation projects that are approved and/or amended in the MIC’s TIP must also be listed in MnDOT’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program to be able to receive federal funds.

TIP Development Timeline

For the Duluth Area TIP, the development process runs from October, when the MIC begins discussions about possible projects with eligible jurisdictions* through August of the following year, when the final TIP is approved by the MIC Policy Board.

  • October: Pre-application meetings to review Long Range Plan with eligible jurisdictions*
  • Nov/Dec: MIC staff distributes project applications to eligible jurisdictions*
  • January: Project applications received.
  • February: Project applications are put forward for public review and comment.
  • March: MIC staff reviews and scores projects according to evaluation criteria and presents them to the TAC to be scored and ranked according to priority. The TAC scores the projects and staff presents the projects and the TAC scores to the MIC Policy Board for their review and approval.
  • Apr/May: Project applications as prioritized by the MIC Policy Board are forwarded to the Northeast Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (NE MN ATP) for funding consideration within the investment guidelines for that project year.
  • May/Jun: Draft TIP produced and released for public comment.
  • July: Public participation initiatives to encourage public review and comment.
  • August: Final TIP presented for approval by MIC Policy Board.*

*Eligible agencies and jurisdictions include the state of Minnesota (MnDOT), St. Louis County, cities with a population over 5,000 (Duluth and Hermantown), the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and the Duluth Transit Authority (DTA).


Projects may be amended into the current, approved TIP throughout the year.  Amendments usually modify existing projects as changes to the scope, cost or timeline for programmed projects occur. Sometimes new projects may be added if new funding becomes available. The formal processes for developing and amending a TIP are specified in the MIC’s Public Involvement Plan.