Almost $10 million of federal funding is being programmed for Duluth area transportation projects in 2019, and you have the opportunity to review and comment.
The programmed projects include:
- Bridge preservation on the Blatnik bridge and the Mesaba Avenue bridge over Superior Street in downtown Duluth;
- Mill and overlay of Highway 39 in Gary/New Duluth;
- Resurfacing of Maple Grove Road (from Midway Road to Westberg Road) in Hermantown;
- Pavement reclamation and storm sewer repairs on E 8th St/E 9th St in Duluth’s East hillside; and
- Duluth Transit Authority operations (approx. $2 million in FTA funding programmed for continued public transit operations.
Additional project details are described in a post from March 5th, when they were first proposed. As noted in that post, because federal funding is public money, the public has the right for their comments to be recorded and reported on these projects.
The MIC will be taking official public comment on all projects included in the 2016-2019 Duluth Area TIP – from July 12 to August 13th.
You may leave your comments in the section at the end of this blog post, and you are welcome to stop by the ARDC offices and speak with MIC staff directly during a couple of “Open House” days from 9am to 5pm on Thursday, August 12th and Friday, August 13th.
Look the projects over – do you have anything to say about them?<br></br>
Updating the 25-year Vision for Transportation in the Twin Ports
You are invited to attend one of the four public meetings on Connections 2040 – the Twin Ports Long Range Transportation Plan.
The Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Interstate Council (MIC) is updating its Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) to provide policy guidance, goals and strategies for jurisdictions within the greater metropolitan area of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. It covers a twenty-five year planning horizon and is updated every four years.
The over-arching purpose of the LRTP is to provide a planning foundation for jurisdictions to work cooperatively to provide a well-maintained, integrated, accessible and multi-modal transportation system to safely and efficiently move people and freight for the next 25 years, within the constraints of funding the region can reasonably expect to receive.
The heart of the Plan is a listing of proposed federally-funded transportation projects, as well as transportation initiatives underway within the region, to be implemented from 2015-2040. You can view an interactive map of the projects here.
To learn more about demographic trends for this area, projections, transportation priorities and planned projects, you have three opportunities for input:
1. Attend a Public Meeting
Thurs. Sept 11, 2014
Community Action Duluth, 2424 W 5th Street, Duluth, MN 55806
Thurs. Sept 18, 2014
Superior Public Library, 1530 Tower Avenue, Superior, WI 54880
Thurs. Sept 25, 2014
Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC)
221 W First Street, Duluth, MN 55802
Mon. Sept 29, 2014
214 West Superior Street
221 W First Street, Duluth, MN 55802
2. Visit our Connections 2040 web page at www.dsmic.org/lrtp for more information about the plan and to view the interactive map of proposed projects. You can use the “layers” tab in the upper right corner to toggle on and off views of information about environmentally sensitive areas, low-income and minority populations, etc.
3. Contact MIC Senior Planner James Gittemeier by phone at (218) 529-7556 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How that money is allocated
These funds are allocated according to a federal formula and managed by the state. Most of this money (about $78 million) goes to MnDOT and is used to maintain the freeways, state highways and bridges in the region. Approximately $5 million goes towards county highways, local streets, and transit in the,the MIC area. A small allocation is also made for non-roadway projects, such as paved trails, through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).
Separate processes are conducted for the Duluth metro and the rest of the Arrowhead region. The MIC administers the urban-area share of the funds and the Northeast Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (NE MN ATP) is responsible for administering the rest.
Both the MIC and the NE MN ATP solicit, evaluate and select the specific roadway, transit and trail projects that will utilize the funds in those areas. These processes have been underway since the start of the year.
Programming those funds in the TIP
As the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for this area, we are now finalizing the roster of all transportation projects slated to receive federal funding in the MIC area for the next four years.
This list is called the “TIP” (Transportation Improvement Program) and it must include all federally-funded transportation projects in the Duluth metro for the coming four years. As projects in the current year get built, we add new ones to the outer year. This time around, the outer year is 2018.
It is our job to work with local communities to determine how our (increasingly scarce share of) federal transportation dollars are spent.
In a selection process that began in January, we solicited applications from local jurisdictions. These potential projects were then published for public comment, evaluated and prioritized by the MIC’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and recommended by the MIC Policy Board, submitted for consideration to the NE MN ATP, and, in June, approved for inclusion in the draft version of the Duluth Area TIP 2015-2018.
The following Duluth-area projects are being proposed for 2018 funding by the MIC:
Decker Road Preservation
Resurfacing of Decker Road from Piedmont Avenue to Mall Drive. Repairs to storm water, curb and gutter and sidewalk systems. ADA improvements and bike lanes/shoulders.
Jurisdiction: City of Duluth
Project Cost: $1,412,500
Federal funds: $ 900,000
Local funds: $ 512,500
Highway Ramp Reconstruction
Reconstruct US Hwy 2 / I-35 southbound freeway ramps
Project Cost: $495,670
Federal funds: $383,720
State funds: $ 95,930
Regular Route Bus Purchase
Purchase of three regular route vehicles to maintain existing fleet to safety, comfort, and efficiency standards.
Jurisdiction: Duluth Transit Authority
Bus Purchase Cost: $ 435,000
Federal funds: $ 250,000
Local funds $ 185,000
In addition, the following Transportation Alternatives Program projects within the MIC have been forwarded for inclusion in the 2017 TIP projects list by the NE MN ATP:
Construct 2 miles of sidewalk along Rice Lake Road
From Central Entrance to Arrowhead Road
Jurisdiction: St. Louis County
Project Cost: $400,000
Federal funds: $320,000
Local funds: $ 80,000
Construct paved Lakewalk connection
Construct shared use path (Lakewalk) along Water St between 20th Ave East and 23rd Ave East
Jurisdiction: City of Duluth
Project Cost: $231,809
Federal funds: $185,447
Local funds: $ 46,362
We want to know what you think!
Transportation projects are public facilities and services funded with taxpayer dollars. Do you have any opinions about the importance of these proposed projects to our area?
Since they have been chosen for funding in 2018, is there anything you have to say about these specific projects?
Read the draft document
You can learn more details about these projects, as well as those lined up for years 2015, 2016 and 2017 from the draft TIP document, which is open for public comment from now until July 31.
Talk to us in person
Contact Senior Planner Robert Herling by phone at (218) 529-7573 or by email (INSERT EMAIL LINK), or…
Attend an Open House
You are invited to stop by in person to talk with us:
Wed, July 2, 7:00am – 1:00pm
Holiday Center (2nd floor skywalk level), 207 West Superior Street in downtown Duluth
Thurs, July 10, 8:00am – 5:00pm
MIC Office, 2nd floor skywalk level of the ARDC building, 221 W. First Street, Duluth.
Leave a comment at the end of this post
As we let you know on OpenMIC every year…there are three ways to have your say.
Public comments are being taken through Thursday, July 31, 2014.
“As the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for this area, it is our job to work with local communities to determine how the federal transportation dollars that come to our area get spent.”
We are now finalizing the roster of local transportation projects that are slated to receive federal funding. This list is called the “TIP” (Transportation Improvement Program) and it lines up projects for the coming four years. As projects in the current year get built, we add new ones to the outer year.
This time around, the outer year is 2017, and these projects are the projects we’re adding:
- Resurfacing of Mesaba Avenue (I-35 to Central Entrance) – $2.1 million.
- Resurfacing of E 4th Street (from 6th Ave. E to Wallace Ave.) – $3.4 million.
- 3 STRIDE Buses for the DTA – $200 thousand
As you can see –due in large part to a decrease in the federal funds now available–only two roadway improvement projects and a few new buses to the DTA’s special-needs STRIDE fleet can be programmed for 2017.
These decisions, however, also need to consider the public’s input, so we are asking you: are these the three projects you would have funded? Since they have been chosen for inclusion in the TIP, is there anything you might have to say about these specific projects?
You can learn more details about these projects, as well as those lined up for years 2014, 2015, and 2016 from the draft TIP document, which is available for public review from now until August 21st .
Talk to Us in Person
Or, you can ask us questions directly by calling (218-529-7573). You are also invited to stop by our office during one of the TIP open houses scheduled for 7am-5pm on Thursday, July 18th and Friday, July 19th. The place: 221 W First St., downtown Duluth, second floor.
Or, you can leave a comment at the end of this post. As we let you know on OpenMIC every year…
There are three ways to have your say.