Investing in transportation will help Minnesota

Sam Buckrey, Online Editor

Graphic by Megan Fayler
Graphic by Megan Fayler

Governor Dayton has proposed a plan for transportation infrastructure. The plan would invest money into new bridges, roads, transit across Minnesota and create new jobs. The nation’s infrastructure is getting old and breaking down. A plan for improving infrastructure is needed even if it is only at a state level.

The plan would repair or replace roads and bridges statewide as well as 20 new transitways and improve metro bus service. There will also be a contribution to the Corridors of Commerce. The plan will serve to better the future for the state’s infrastructure. The cost will be $6 billion and would be given to cities and counties for the roads and bridges. The funding will come from a tax increase on gasoline by .25 percent and an increase of car registration fees by 10 dollars. Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will take 15 percent of the revenue from the higher taxes allowing to get the $6 billion.

Currently more than half of Minnesota roads are over 50 years old and around 40 percent of the state’s bridges are over 40 years old. The roads are going to become useless within 10 years. People take these roads and bridges for granted that they will be there tomorrow and the next day. However, with the age of these structures, they will not be as reliable, as with the bridge collapse in Cincinnati that killed a person in January. The older these structures become, the more they get unsafe. This road system will become unsafe, and needs to be repaired or rebuilt now for the future.

Inadequate transportation clogs our lives with worse traffic congestion, longer commutes, more dangerous travel conditions. Those deficiencies restrict our future economic growth and detract from our quality of life”

— Governor Mark Dayton

“Inadequate transportation clogs our lives with worse traffic congestion, longer commutes, more dangerous travel conditions. Those deficiencies restrict our future economic growth and detract from our quality of life,” said Governor Dayton. These roads and bridges that people rely on to make their daily commutes contribute to traffic problems. The problems with these roads and bridges not only make driving more unsafe, but also take more time. Time could be taken by having to take a longer route, go slower through an unsafe area or traffic congestion caused by the worn down infrastructure. Losing that time takes  away from working and life outside of traveling. Improving the road system will help to decrease time for people on the roads and get to their jobs and lives.

Minnesotans may disapprove this plan because of the raise to taxes and amount of money to spend. However, these structures are getting to the point where safety will be a concern, and if safety is a concern the travel time will be longer. The improvements are needed, however in politics there are compromises, and a plan that passes to fix the infrastructure is needed. Even if it is not Dayton’s plan, the plan will still help Minnesota.