The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is developing a Freight Plan for MnDOT District 4, a 12 county area in west-central Minnesota. The freight plan will provide a clear understanding of multimodal freight transportation in the region, how local businesses use the transportation system, and the needs and issues for local freight industries and communities. The findings will help MnDOT integrate freight improvements in future construction projects and prioritize future freight related projects for funding.
Your input on the District 4 Freight Plan will help MnDOT identify freight system needs and issues and evaluate the draft freight-related policies and programs that impact your community.
Stay tuned for future opportunities to provide feedback for the District 4 Freight Plan!
MnDOT is split up operationally into regional districts. MnDOT District 4 covers west-central Minnesota and includes:
The District 4 economy is strongly supported by industries that rely on the transportation of goods, due in part to the significance of agriculture and manufacturing industries. Looking into the future, an aging workforce and plateauing population growth could impact the District’s economy and transportation system, as employees may be increasingly difficult to find. MnDOT’s 2015 Manufacturers’ Perspectives Study found:
District 4’s major freight transportation investments primarily focus on highways and railroads. However, goods are moved by multiple modes in District 4, including:
The District 4 multimodal freight transportation system includes:
MnDOT is working with the City of Moorhead and BNSF to construct two underpasses to remove the at-grade railroad crossings on Hwy 10/Hwy 75. This project would provide safety and mobility improvements in Moorhead by eliminating conflict points and removing crossing blockages caused by rail traffic.
For more information, visit the project website.
Pipelines provide low-cost, high-volume shipping options for liquids and gases, making pipelines a key element of the transportation network for liquid fuels. Minnesota has no petroleum or natural gas resources and primarily imports crude oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products.
Freight shipping by air accounts for a small portion of the freight carried by other modes. However, air freight is still important to the economy as the cargo carried by air is typically of high value, low weight, and time-sensitive.
In addition, there are
MnDOT’s mission of ensuring safety, mobility, and maintaining transportation infrastructure is key to supporting the multimodal freight transportation system. Key findings on the system condition and performance in District are provided below.
Truck crashes in District 4 are primarily clustered along major highways and in high-population areas such as I-94, Hwy 10, and Hwy 59. Between 2010 and 2019, more than 2,600 truck-involved crashes happened in District 4, about 4 percent of which led to 44 fatalities and 69 serious injuries. Fatal and serious injury truck crashes are primarily clustered along Hwy 10 in Detroit Lakes, Hwy 29 in Alexandria, and Hwy 9 in Benson and Morris.
Between 2010 and 2019, a total of 55 crashes occurred at public highway-rail grade crossings in the District. BNSF line in Otter Tail County and the CP line in Pope, Douglas, and Grant Counties have relatively higher levels of crash risk than other rail crossings in District 4. These lines have higher operational speeds and higher traffic volumes compared to other rail lines in District 4.