Minnesota

The Minnesota Legislature passed a historic $1.87 billion public construction (bonding) bill on Oct. 14. This investment provides certainty for communities across the state and the construction industry as it navigates the current economic and health difficulties.

The joint Wisconsin-Minnesota Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago (TCMC) Passenger Rail Project has been selected to receive a $31.8 million federal rail grant. The TCMC project will add an additional daily round-trip between the Twin Cities, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Chicago and points in-between, along the existing long-distance Amtrak Empire Builder route.

Following a review of comments, concerns and logistics on the challenges of holding Northern Green 2021 in person in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) and the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation (MTGF) have made a challenging but important decision — Northern Green 2021 will be transformed into a virtual conference.

A unique blending of engineering, art and enthusiastic neighborhood input were key components in the replacement design of one of the original, urban bridges built over I-94 when President Eisenhower's massive interstate highway system began construction in the late 1950's.

Associated General Contractors of Minnesota announced the addition of Yolanda Y. McIntosh to its staff. Filling a newly-created director of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) position with the state's largest and longest-established commercial construction trade association, McIntosh will lead efforts in building more intentional and inclusive initiatives to assist member contractors in establishing equity in business cultures and providing greater opportunity for diverse populations in the commercial construction industry.

Felling Trailers Inc. conducted its eighth annual online auction of an FT-3 drop deck utility trailer to benefit a non-profit organization: the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF). A winning bid of $4,650 won the online auction that ended at noon on World Lymphoma Awareness Day, Sept.

Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES), operator of the metro-area wastewater collection and treatment system, is making improvements to the existing and aging sanitary sewer system in Minneapolis. This sewer rehabilitation project is located along the north side of East Minnehaha Parkway, and the tunnel is located under Minnehaha Creek, Hiawatha Avenue and the METRO Blue Line light rail corridor.

The Minnesota Asphalt Pavement Association (MAPA) announced new dates for its MAPA Asphalt Conference. Due to the pandemic, the conference will be held Feb. 3 to 4, 2021. According to a MAPA newsletter, the organization hopes "that after the New Year, we will be able to reconvene and offer similar elements to the conference that we have in the past.

The AGC of Minnesota Foundation held its 2020 Sporting Clays Fundraiser on Sept. 16 at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club in Prior Lake, Minn. Money raised through registration, silent auction, BINGO and raffles benefits annual scholarships to higher education students pursuing construction careers.

The Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA) announced $122 million in loans and grants in the first half of 2020 for water and infrastructure projects in 24 communities throughout Minnesota. The PFA administers and oversees the financial management of three revolving loan funds and other programs that help local units of government construct facilities for clean water, drinking water and transportation infrastructure projects.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Sept. 14 announced a $928.8 million grant agreement to the Metropolitan Council for the Southwest Light Rail Transit Project in Minneapolis, Minn. The project extends an existing light rail line from downtown Minneapolis to the southwestern suburbs in a corridor where population, employment and traffic congestion are growing rapidly.