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MnDOT boss, Sen. Gimse to discuss transportation today in Willmar, Minn.

WILLMAR -- The future of transportation in Minnesota will be discussed at a meeting this morning in Willmar with Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel and Sen. Joe Gimse, who is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

The meeting will be at 10:30 a.m. today at the Willmar Airport.

Topics include MnDOT's new approach to collaborative planning and the newly created Corridor Investment Management Strategy program that sets priorities at a corridor level by identifying needs based on preservation, safety, congestion and mobility over a 10-year period.

As these priorities are identified, MnDOT then works in cooperation with local corridor partners to identify high-priority investment opportunities that also take into account quality of life and economic considerations, according to a news release issued Thursday afternoon by Gimse's office.

"Corridor collaboratives are coalitions of public and private interests that work together to find alternative funding solutions to projects located throughout the state," said Gimse, R-Willmar.

Successful collaborative corridors that have leveraged the public and private partnership model around the state include the state Highway 23 Coalition, the Highway 14 Partnership, the Highway 52 Corridor Coalition and the I-35W Transportation Alliance.

"In this day and age of limited financial resources in the transportation sector, collaborative corridors can play a big role in leveraging Minnesota's precious transportation dollars," Gimse said.

Gimse said he's also working on a transportation proposal that will feature other collaborative funding options that he intends to present to the transportation finance advisory committee later this month.