ROADS/BRIDGES: MnDOT reports increase in road and bridge funding gap

Highway investments planners estimate the state will suffer an $18 billion funding shortfall over the next 20 years

August 29, 2016
MnDOT reports increase in road and bridge funding gap

The funding necessary to provide Minnesota with an economically competitive state highway and bridge system over the next 20 years has increased significantly, according to Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) planning projections.

MnDOT planners working on the Minnesota State Highway Investment Plan (MnSHIP) have said that during the 20-year period of 2018 to 2037, Minnesota will suffer a shortfall of $18 billion of funding necessary to provide a highway system that addresses congestion, meets Minnesota business needs, and supports quality of life throughout the state. This does not include additional funding to support local roads, transit and other forms of transportation.

That is an increase of $6 billion from the previous MnSHIP Plan, which covered the years 2014 to 2033. The unfunded gap in that plan was $12 billion.

MnDOT officials attribute the gap growth to a number of issues, one of which is that investments in the state highway system have not kept pace with needed work over the last four years resulting in an increase of $3 billion for deferred maintenance.

This gap growth can in part be offset by federal funding. The recently passed federal transportation legislation for surface transportation (roadways, rail and shipping) and growth in other state and federal revenue sources provides an estimated $3 billion in new revenue over the 20-year period, which reduces the increased gap to $6 billion.