Lawmakers Discuss Minn. Transportation Funding Needs Ahead of Session

Updated: 02/10/2014 12:35 PM
Created: 02/10/2014 12:05 PM
By: Katherine Johnson

Monday's Joint Transportation hearing between the House and Senate committees was about much more than just filling potholes. House and Senate members met before the session to discuss funding for updates on airports and how to expand the public transportation system in order to remain competitive with other metro areas.

National transportation expert Brian Pallasch with the American Society of Civil Engineers was brought in to break down the numbers.  He says 50 percent of Minnesota's highway pavements are more than 50 years old and 35 percent of MnDOT's bridges are more than 50 years old. Pallasch even went as far as to claim our growing state is risking its economic health if lawmakers don't start putting more attention into our infrastructure soon. He says failure to act will only lead to irreversible consequences.

"We found that America's infrastructure grades have an impact on our bottom line," said Pallasch.  "Whether it's an inland waterway system, roads, transit system or the electrical grid. America is connected by infrastructure. We know consequences of neglecting these issues play out every day."

The joint hearing is the first step in developing a strategy to bring to Gov. Mark Dayton during the 2014 legislative session.

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