Minnesota state highways play a critical role in the daily lives of residents and visitors – they provide a lifeline for the movement of people and goods and connect us to other transportation modes. SRF worked with MnDOT on the development of the 20-Year Highway Investment Plan (MnSHIP). MnSHIP guides future capital improvements on Minnesota’s state highway system over the next 20 years. The plan is updated every four years as required by the Minnesota State Legislature.
MnDOT’s state highway system needs have increased since the last plan update, and they will continue to grow. Preliminary estimates suggest that the investment needed to preserve highway access and keep them in good repair would require all projected revenue over the 20-year period. Because MnDOT is obligated to balance revenue constraints as well as increasing needs across all parts of the highway system, MnDOT used a risk-management approach to decision making.
MnDOT’s first online and interactive investment scenario tool was developed to facilitate public input on investment approaches and priorities.
For the current plan update, MnSHIP incorporated risk management by assessing risks across multiple performance levels for various investment categories. This enabled decision-makers to prioritize where and when investments get made on the large and aging highway system. This risk management approach allowed MnDOT and other stakeholders to better understand the trade-offs associated with investing at different levels across different categories. SRF worked with MnDOT staff to help assess risks across multiple performance levels for various investment categories.
SRF also assisted MnDOT in tailoring an outreach approach to help solicit feedback on different combinations of strategies that manage risks to the highway system. The outreach approach included a number of opportunities for people to get involved. This included webinars, social media updates, website and email updates, public meetings and open houses, and an online interactive tool.
Minnesota Department of Transportation
2015 FHWA Transportation Planning Excellence Award Winner for the category of Public and Educational Planning, Training, and Outreach
2013 Transportation Research Board for Communicating Fiscal Concepts to John and Jane Q. Public