Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Project selection

Increasing the transparency of how we select highway construction projects

Project selection legislation

2017 Laws of Minnesota, First Special Session, Chapter 3

Section 124 - Transportation Project Selection Process

Subdivision 1 - Adoption of policy
  1. The commissioner of transportation, after consultation with the Federal Highway Administration, metropolitan planning organizations, regional development commissions, area transportation partnerships, local governments, the Metropolitan Council, and transportation stakeholders, must develop, adopt, and implement a policy for project evaluation and selection to apply to the project selection process and to special program selection processes, such as corridors of commerce. The commissioner must adopt and implement the policy no later than November 1, 2018, and may update the policy as appropriate. The commissioner must publish the policy and updates on the department's Web site and through other effective means selected by the commissioner.
  2. For each selection process, the policy adopted under this section must:
    1. establish a process that identifies criteria, the weight of each criterion, and a process to score each project based on the weighted criteria; the scoring system may consider project readiness as a criterion for evaluation, but project readiness must not be a major factor in determining the final score;
    2. identify and apply all relevant criteria contained in enacted Minnesota or federal law, or added by the commissioner;
    3. identify for stakeholders and the general public the candidate project selected under each selection process and every project considered that was not selected;
    4. involve area transportation partnerships and other local authorities, as appropriate, in the process of scoring and ranking candidate projects under consideration;
    5. publicize scoring and decision outcomes concerning each candidate project, including the projects that were considered but not selected, and the reason each project was not selected; and
    6. require that the projects in the state transportation improvement program include the score assigned to the project.
  3. At a minimum, the policy adopted under this subdivision must conform with the criteria for the corridors of commerce program under Minnesota Statutes, section 161.088, and the transportation economic development program under Minnesota Statutes, section 174.12.
Subdivision 2 - Report to legislature

By February 1, 2019, the commissioner must submit a report to the chairs, ranking minority members, and staff of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over transportation policy and finance concerning the adopted policy and how the policy is anticipated to improve the consistency, objectivity, and transparency of the selection process. The report must include information on input from members of the public and the organizations identified in subdivision 1.

Legislative report