Spring is officially here and transportation improvements are on their way. For many Minnesotans, the warm weather means an opportunity to start their gardening projects, make home improvements and of course, spring cleaning. For the state, the start of spring means an opportunity to improve our transportation system.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) reports that by 2030 the metro region is expected to be home to nearly one million more people than in 2000. This boom in population will mean added stress to a system that Minnesotans rely on daily for work, school, shopping and entertainment. It is important for the state to continue to look forward at projects that will improve our system for future years.
Mn/DOT recently released their 2012 Metro District Legislative Briefing Book which details needed projects throughout the eight county metro district area. Three projects ready to begin in our area include:
• A resurfacing, ramp and loop reconstruction and acceleration lane addition on I-694 (from 40th Street to west of Hwy 61 in Oakdale, Mahtomedi, White Bear Lake, Maplewood and Vadnais Heights).
• Landscaping work on Hwy 120 (from Brookview Drive to 4th Street in Maplewood).
• A resurfacing project on Hwy 61 (from Hwy 96 to Hwy 97 in White Bear Lake, Hugo and Forest Lake) that also includes work on a traffic signal at Buffalo Street and drainage and guardrail repairs.
For more information on local projects, with the Ramsey County website (http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us) or Washington County website (http://www.co.washington.mn.us/) and click on their roads and transit links.
As these projects start to pop up, please take extra caution around the construction sites. These sites can be dangerous for the employees. Please slow down and move over if there is an available lane. Their work is needed and appreciated. We should do everything we can to keep them safe.
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions as needed. Please visit my Senate website at senate.mn/senatorwiger. I also encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your house or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?,” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16.