Sept. 2, 2015
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Community comes together to celebrate Snelling Avenue

Photo of community members getting food at Celebrate Snelling event.

Community members enjoy food donated by local restaurants Aug. 20. during the Celebrate Snelling event. Photo by David Gonzalez

The community came together along Snelling Avenue on Aug. 20 to celebrate the infrastructure improvements to the corridor near Interstate 94 and to thank area residents and businesses for their patience during construction. The project extended from Selby Avenue to Pierce Butler Route.

The event was held outside of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and included walking tours given by Better Bridges, food from local restaurants, music, and activities for kids.

Photo of Anne White entertaining kids at Celebrate Snelling event.

Anne White, District Councils Collaborative, entertains children at the celebrate Snelling event. Photo by David Gonzalez

Information was also available from Metro Transit, MnDOT’s Metro District, the District Councils Collaborative, the Union Park Neighborhood Association, the Selby Avenue Business Association, MnDOT pedestrian planners and Midway Murals.

The community also collected non-perishable food items for Open Hands-Midway, which was significantly affected by the construction along the corridor.

Over 200 people came to the event and enjoyed celebrating this exciting progress for their community.    


Employees invited to be a 511 winter road reporter

By Sue Roe

Screenshots from the 511 citizen reporter website.

Screenshots from the citizen reporter e-learning page. Employees are asked to take the quick online training and help report road conditions to the 511 system.

The 511 system’s winter road reporting is right around the corner and MnDOT employees are invited to be part of a new citizen reporting feature that could make road conditions available 24/7.

“We think that a citizen’s report, which would include a new time stamp, would be very helpful to citizens looking for updated winter road conditions,” said Mary Meinert, transportation program specialist with the 511 system. “Citizen reporting could be especially valuable in Greater Minnesota where the plow drivers are normally out twice daily, very early in the morning and then late afternoon.  Drivers are not out on roadways unless conditions require it.”

She said MnDOT employees from all areas of the state are invited to sign up as reporters before it goes public later this fall. MnDOT employees will be the first phase of getting a base of reliable reporters. Employees from the Department of Public Safety and trucking companies will also be asked to become citizen reporters.

Meinert said crowd sourced 511 updates are not meant to change or replace MnDOT’s official plow reports but rather to update and supplement the posted conditions.

“We know that MnDOT plowing is the gold standard, but our plow drivers cannot be everywhere all the time.  Often a MnDOT winter road report is posted by 5 a.m. and a citizen reporter might take that route at 10 a.m. Citizen reporting will give us updated information as to how conditions have or have not changed,” she said.

Citizen road reporting is not a huge time commitment, she added. Interested employees can sign up by going to citizen reporter website.

From there, employees should set up a My Reports account, begin to save routes they normally drive and take the quick online citizen reporting training.

For questions, call Kelly Braunig at 651-234-7026 or Mary Meinert at 651-234-7035.


Presentation ideas sought for 2016 Transportation Conference

Photo of Tom Sorel, Charlie Zelle, Len Levine and Elwyn Tinklenberg.

Organizers of the 2016 Minnesota Transportation Conference are looking for ideas for presentations for the conference. Commissioner Charlie Zelle (second from left) joined past commissioners Tom Sorel, Len Levine and Elwyn Tinklenberg during a panel discussion at the 2015 Minnesota Transportation Conference. Photo by David Gonzalez

Presenters are being sought for Minnesota’s Transportation Conference, set for March 8 to 10.
The 2016 conference will kick off with an opening reception on March 8 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre, followed by two days of knowledge sharing, networking and continuing education.

MnDOT is co-sponsoring the third annual event.

Anyone who has been involved in an innovative, practical transportation-related application, developed new methods or conducted research that addresses transportation challenges, is asked to consider submitting a presentation abstract by Oct. 2.  

Read more about past conference programs and presentations.

The theme of the conference is the future of transportation.


What’s new on the web

Screenshot of the MnDOT Bid Letting web page.

The bid letting website was updated with pre-letting and post-letting information. The site was also optimized for viewing on mobile devices.

Bid Letting

The MnDOT bid letting site recently got a facelift, and is now reorganized and optimized for viewing on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

The site has pre-letting and post-letting information about MnDOT highway construction and maintenance projects advertised for bids, designed for MnDOT personnel, contractors and suppliers interested in the highway bidding process.

Find it on A to Z under “Bid Letting” or at


Highway construction workers: ‘Thank you for what you do!’

Editor’s note: Here’s a shout out to our road crews that was printed in St. Paul Pioneer Press Aug. 19

Photo of I-35E project in St. Paul.

Crews work on Interstate 35E in St. Paul. The project will replace bridges, improve access to Phalen Blvd., replace existing interchange at Pennsylvania Ave. with interchange at Cayuga St. and install MnPASS lanes. Photo by Rich Kemp

I am writing to say many, many thanks to people who plan and work on the highways. Road construction is inevitable and it can be frustrating, but the work they do and how they do it while we are zooming by just amazes me.

I've been sitting in 35E construction for the last couple years now, and I see all the planning that goes into keeping us on the same route - we're driving southbound in northbound lanes and transitioning across bridges - and all the while we have workers right next to us, wow.

One day I saw a gentleman sitting on the edge of a bridge welding with his legs dangling over what felt like three feet from traffic ... and another day there were workers hanging from the bridges while we zoomed by underneath.

It just amazes me, and I want to offer many thanks and encouragement to those who work on our roads and highways. You have great skills and you are very brave! Thank you for what you do and how you do it.

Thank you, highway construction workers. God bless!
Nancy Tuomie, Lino Lakes

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