MnDOT Solicits Projects for Future Local Road Improvement Program Grants

Cities are encouraged to participate in this process since the list it generates may be the basis for funding projects if more money becomes available.
(Published Jan 7, 2019)

After determining the agency would not solicit new grant applications for the Local Road Improvement Program in 2018, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) State Aid for Local Transportation Division recently announced it will attempt to generate a list of eligible projects for future grant funding. Cities are encouraged to participate in this process since the list it generates may be the basis for funding projects if more money becomes available.

The agency decided not to undertake a formal solicitation in 2018 to spend the $35 million appropriation for the program because the prior solicitation yielded an abundance of projects. The 2017 solicitation process yielded a robust $125 million in eligible requests, with just $25 million in available funds. With so many projects remaining from 2017, the agency used the 2018 funds to chip away at the remaining projects on the 2017 list (see related Bulletin article).

League staff expressed disagreement with this plan based on the strategy that soliciting applications in 2018 would identify new pressing needs and grow the “needs list” to help bolster the case for more LRIP appropriations in 2019. The current effort to identify additional needs represents an effort by MnDOT to accommodate this strategy.

If there is a bonding bill in 2019, the possibility of new funds for the LRIP exists, and projects identified now may be scored against projects submitted in 2017.

How to participate

The application form and guidance are available on the Local Road Improvement Program website. The completed application form and required application must be submitted electronically to saltirhelp.dot@state.mn.us by March 1. If your city submitted an eligible application in 2017, you do not need to resubmit it unless circumstances have changed.

—Learn more and apply for the LRIP grant

Program information

The LRIP, established in Minnesota Statutes, section 174.52 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/174.52), exists to assist local agencies in constructing or reconstructing their local roads. The MnDOT State Aid Office administers the LRIP solicitation with guidance provided by the Local Road Improvement Program Advisory Committee.

Projects must meet the eligibility requirements of the Routes of Regional Significance Account, the Rural Road Safety Account, or the Trunk Highway Corridor Account. Criteria used to identify priority projects include but are not limited to:

  • The availability of other state, federal, and local funds.
  • The regional significance of the route
  • Effectiveness of the proposed project in eliminating a transportation deficiency.
  • Effectiveness to reduce traffic crashes, deaths, injuries and property damages.
  • The local share for costs that are directly or partially related to trunk highway improvements.
  • The number of persons who will be positively impacted by the project.
  • The project’s contribution to other local, regional, or state economic development or redevelopment efforts.
  • The ability of the local unit of government to adequately provide safe operation and maintenance of the facility upon project completion.

—See the list of projects selected for 2018 LRIP funding (pdf)

For more information, contact Patti Loken, state aid programs engineer, at (651) 366-3803 or Patti.Loken@state.mn.us.

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