Integrating Freight in Statewide Planning and Programming – Minnesota

Minnesota, Minnesota

SRF worked with MnDOT to explore how freight issues and needs are addressed in MnDOT highway planning, project scoping, programming, and delivery. The study served as a precursor to the update to Minnesota’s 2005 Statewide Freight Plan and detailed freight guidance in the new federal surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).

SRF worked with agency staff from FHWA, MnDOT Central Office, MnDOT District Offices, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to produce recommendations for the study. Tasks completed as part of the study included:

  • Identified the consistency of federal guidance (MAP-21 requirements and National Strategic Freight Goals) with statewide planning documents (Minnesota GO, Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan, and State Highway Investment Plan).
  •  Compared Minnesota’s 2005 Statewide Freight Plan to MAP-21’s required and recommended statewide freight plan elements.
  • Proposed recommendations relative to the primary freight network and critical rural freight corridor network.
  • Interviewed district planners to identify freight issues and needs in each MnDOT District.
  • Prioritized existing freight data available to MnDOT and proposed additional data types that would assist district planners in the project planning, scoping, and programming cycle.
  • Proposed updates to project scoping worksheets to address freight needs.
  • Identified how various highway improvement projects benefit freight movements in an attempt to define freight projects.
  • Identified potential funding sources for freight projects.
  • Identified existing freight performance measures and steps to implement proposed federal freight performance measures into statewide planning documents.
  • Recommended a stakeholder process for setting urban and rural targets for federal freight performance measures.