2020 Bonding Bill Local Road Improvement Program Information
The following a message from Marc Briese, the programs engineer for MnDOT’s State Aid for Local Transportation. The message is meant to notify townships about the Local Road Improvement Program which provides money to townships and other local governments to improve town roads. This notification provides towns with information on how to enter into the program.
As most of you probably know, the House passed a bonding bill on Wednesday, October 14 and the Senate followed suit the following day on Thursday. And I’m happy to report that the Governor signed the bill into law on Wednesday, October 21, 2020!
The bill provides substantial funding for local projects, including $75 million in Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) funds for a competitive solicitation, $30 million for the Local Bridge Replacement Program (LBRP), and $3 million for the Safe Routes to School Program (SRTS). It also includes more than $165 million in earmarks to more than 25 local road and bridge projects across the state. Below is a brief summary of each category of funding along with anticipated timelines.
Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP)
- The bonding bill that was signed into law includes $75 million for the competitive LRIP program. I will be working with the LRIP advisory committee over the next several months on developing a solicitation, accepting applications, and selecting projects to be funded. I have received commitments from most members of the LRIP advisory committee, but still have a couple spots that need to be finalized. I anticipate releasing a solicitation in 2-3 months, at which time I will inform the counties, cities, and townships.
The previous 2018 solicitation had a $1 million grant cap for counties and state aid cities and a $750,000 cap for townships and non-state aid cities. We will again have a grant cap for this solicitation, though it may not be at the same dollar amounts, so applicants may need to identify additional matching funds from their state aid accounts or other sources. Finally, I would remind potential applicants that we once again will require counties to sponsor projects in townships and non-state aid cities. So townships and small cities should be in contact with their county engineer on potential applications.
- The bonding bill includes another ~$166 million in earmarked LRIP and LBRP projects. I plan to send a “selection letter” to each earmark recipient with more information on suggested next steps, info on demonstration of full funding to MMB, and considerations and timing for accessing the funds and executing grant agreements. I plan to send the letters in the next couple weeks.
Local Bridge Replacement Program (LBRP)
- The bonding bill includes $30 million for LBRP. When combined with the MVLST that we received in August, we will have about $41.2 million. The waiting list contains more requests than that, so we may not be able to fund all of those projects. Patti Loken is working on prioritizing projects for funding now, and will be in touch with DSAEs and local agencies in the next several weeks.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
- The bonding bill includes $3 million for SRTS infrastructure projects. The State Aid Programs section will work cooperatively with the MnDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator from the Office of Transit and Active Transportation to develop a solicitation. More information will be forthcoming in the weeks and months to come.