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Regional transportation projects to be discussed March 11

WILLMAR -- A meeting that will shape a plan for how federal money will be spent on regional transportation improvements will be held next week.

The Mid-Minnesota Development Commission will hold its annual public informational meeting for the Area Transportation Partnership's 2011-2014 Area Transportation Improvement Program at 10 a.m. March 11 in the multipurpose room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building, 2200 23rd St. N.E., Willmar.

The Southwest Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership makes decisions on how federal dollars will be spent within a 12-county area of southwest Minnesota, which includes Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties. Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker and Renville are members of the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission. Other counties fall under other development commissions.

The partnership lays out the four-year plan for federally funded transportation improvements. This plan is then sent on to the state to be included within the state transportation improvement program.

Eligible projects include road and bridge, safety, transit capital, railroad safety and enhancements for projects submitted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, counties and cities.

Approximately $23 million will be programmed each year within this partnership district.

This meeting gives all the opportunity to make comments on what projects are planned and what projects need to be placed on the Improvement Program now or in the future. The meeting will be part of the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission's Transportation Advisory Committee meeting.

Because this is an annual process, the main focus of decision-making every year is on the fourth year of the program. This year the principal decision will be made on 2014 projects.

In case of bad weather, call the Development Commission's office at 320-235-8504, or visit

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750