The Local Road Improvement Program provides funding assistance to local agencies and federally recognized American Indian tribes for construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning projects.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), on Sept. 12, 2023, opened the solicitation process for grants from the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP). The LRIP provides funding assistance to local agencies and federally recognized American Indian tribes for road construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning projects.
The 2023 legislative session yielded an unprecedented total appropriation of $102.967 million in LRIP funds consisting of general obligation bonds and general fund spending. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications are due on Dec. 8, 2023.
The agency anticipates announcing LRIP selections by the end of March 2024, however, exact dates will depend on the number of applications received.
Based on direction from the LRIP Advisory Committee — a board made up of local government representatives including two League appointees — the maximum grant award has been increased to $1.5 million for counties, state aid cities, non-state aid cities, townships, and federally recognized American Indian tribes.
Eligibility and evaluation
Below are some important summary points provided by MnDOT:
- Projects that have received legislatively selected appropriations (“earmarks”) or previous LRIP grants are not eligible for funding under this solicitation.
- Projects that will be under construction before the anticipated LRIP selection notifications in March 2024, are not eligible for funding under this solicitation.
- Projects should be noncontroversial and should be construction ready in 2024, 2025, or 2026.
- County applications will be evaluated against other county applications; state aid city applications against other state aid city applications; and small city/township/federally recognized American Indian tribes applications against small city/township/federally recognized American Indian tribes applications. It’s anticipated that projects from all three agency types will receive funding.
- The expected useful life of improvements must be a minimum of 10 years. Maintenance type activities such as filling potholes, blading gravel roads, and standalone ditch repairs are not eligible for LRIP.
- Items that are eligible for LRIP funds include reasonable elements associated with roadway construction, including basic landscaping and turf establishment. Landscaping planters, benches, bike racks, decorative fences, ornamental lighting, and other aesthetic treatments above the standard are generally not eligible. Other items that are not eligible include engineering, construction administration and inspection, right of way acquisition, and water main, sanitary sewer, or private utility work.
- LRIP funds cannot be used for improvements on the Trunk Highway system, including those costs that might be required from a local agency on a Trunk Highway project as per MnDOT’s Cost Participation Policy.
Consistent with previous solicitation requirements, state aid will require counties to sponsor projects on township and non-state aid city roads. This is required:
- To provide engineering, plan development, contract administration, and grant agreement expertise to townships and small cities.
- To help ensure that the improvements will be constructed on time and within budget. Townships and small cities should be in contact with their county engineer on potential applications.
For more information contact MnDOT State Programs Engineer Rashmi Brewer at Rashmi.Brewer@state.mn.us.