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Minnesota gets $990m infrastructure construction bill

by Jody Barhanovich

Gov. Mark Dayton signed a $990 million infrastructure construction bill on Tuesday that will help pay for new construction across the state of Minnesota.

The bill will be used to pay for new construction and repairs for public colleges and universities, local roads and bridges, state hospitals and prisons, sewer and water projects, parks, trails, and affordable housing.

Some high-profile projects include $165 million for road and bridge improvements, $70 million to complete renovation of the Minnesota Security Hospital, $67 million for a new University of Minnesota health sciences education center in Minneapolis, and $55 million for waste water and drinking water systems.

The bill is part of 10 budget bills that will go into the state’s next two-year, $46 billion budget, including money for schools, healthcare, parks, public safety and other government services, according to news sources.

In Minnesota, driving on roads in need of repair costs each driver $480 per year and 6 percent of bridges are rated structurally deficient, according to a 2017 Infrastructure Report Card report by American Society of Civil Engineers. Drinking water needs in Minnesota are an estimated $7.4 billion and wastewater needs total $2.39 billion, according to the report. 25 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential, while the state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $818 million. The report states that this deteriorating infrastructure impedes Minnesota’s ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.

 

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