AASHTO Journal, 7 October 2011
“MnDOT uses this data to make transportation investment decisions,” Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel said in a statement. “Performance data helps ensure we are good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollar and that the investments we make meet the current and future needs of the traveling public.”
The department continues to build on its strengths. MnDOT is meeting its goals for clearing snow and ice from roads, maintaining safe bridge conditions, providing good pavement quality on major highways, and providing statewide travel connections.
State highway pavement condition improved in 2010 due to increased funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to MNDOT. To further improve pavement condition, the department initiated in Spring 2011 the Better Roads for a Better Minnesota initiative, which will improve more than 700 miles of deteriorated highway pavements during the next four years.
“The Better Roads program is an important example of MnDOT’s response to system performance trends,” Sorel said.
Performance measurement has been used by MnDOT since the early 1990s to guide investments, measure progress, evaluate trade-offs, and stimulate innovation. The department sets target levels that:
- Reflect the needs of transportation customers;
- Assure safety and sound engineering;
- Extend the life and minimize the cost of transportation assets; and
- Support the state’s economy and quality of life.
MnDOT’s measures reflect what Minnesotans have said they expect from their transportation system and are similar to those used by other states and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The report uses 22 performance measures to track progress on nine policy goals:
- Traveler safety
- Infrastructure preservation
- National and global connections
- Statewide connections
- Twin Cities mobility
- Greater Minnesota metropolitan and regional mobility
- Community development and transportation
- Energy and the environment
MnDOT issued the state’s first transportation performance report in 2008 and has been recognized nationally for excellent transportation performance reporting. The 2010 Minnesota Transportation Report is available at www.mndot.gov/measures.