For purposes of this section, "program" means the trunk highway bridge improvement program established under this section.
The commissioner shall develop a trunk highway bridge improvement program for accelerating repair and replacement of trunk highway bridges throughout the state. The program receives funding for bridge projects as specified by law.
(a) The commissioner shall develop an inventory of bridges included in the program. The inventory must include all bridges on the trunk highway system in Minnesota that are classified as fracture-critical or structurally deficient, or constitute a priority project, as identified by the commissioner. In determining whether a bridge is a priority project, the commissioner may consider national bridge inventory (NBI) condition codes, bridge classification as functionally obsolete, the year in which the bridge was built, the history of bridge maintenance and inspection report findings, the average daily traffic count, engineering judgments with respect to the safety or condition of the bridge, and any other factors specifically identified by the commissioner.
(b) For each bridge included in the inventory, the commissioner must provide the following information: a summary of the bridge, including but not limited to, county and department district, route number, feature crossed, the year in which the bridge was built, average daily traffic count, load rating, bridge length and deck area, and main span type; the condition ratings for the deck, superstructure, and substructure; identification of whether the bridge is structurally deficient, functionally obsolete, or fracture-critical; the sufficiency rating; a brief description of the work planned for the bridge, including work type needed; an estimate of total costs related to the bridge, which may include general and planning cost estimates; and, the year or range of years in which the work is planned.
(a) The commissioner shall classify all bridges in the program into tier 1, 2, or 3 bridges, where tier 1 is the highest tier. Unless the commissioner identifies a reason for proceeding otherwise, before commencing bridge projects in a lower tier, all bridge projects within a higher tier must to the extent feasible be selected and funded in the approved state transportation improvement program, at any stage in the project development process, solicited for bids, in contract negotiation, under construction, or completed.
(b) The classification of each tier is as follows:
(1) tier 1 consists of any bridge in the program that (i) has an average daily traffic count that is above 1,000 and has a sufficiency rating that is at or below 50, or (ii) is identified by the commissioner as a priority project;
(2) tier 2 consists of any bridge that is not a tier 1 bridge, and (i) is classified as fracture-critical, or (ii) has a sufficiency rating that is at or below 80; and
(3) tier 3 consists of any other bridge in the program that is not a tier 1 or tier 2 bridge.
(c) By June 30, 2018, all tier 1 and tier 2 bridges originally included in the program must be under contract for repair or replacement with a new bridge that contains a load-path-redundant design, except that a specific bridge may remain in continued service if the reasons are documented in the report required under subdivision 5.
(d) The commissioner shall establish criteria for determining the priority of bridge projects within each tier, and must include safety considerations as a criterion.
In conjunction with each update to the Minnesota statewide transportation plan, or at least every six years, the commissioner shall submit a report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction over transportation finance. The report must include:
(1) an explanation of the criteria and decision-making processes used to prioritize bridge projects;
(2) a historical and projected analysis of the extent to which all trunk highway bridges meet bridge performance targets;
(3) a summary of bridge projects (i) completed in the previous six years or since the last update to the Minnesota statewide transportation plan, and (ii) currently in progress under the program;
(4) a summary of bridge projects scheduled in the next four fiscal years and included in the state transportation improvement program;
(5) a projection of annual needs over the next 20 years;
(6) a calculation funding necessary to meet the completion date under subdivision 4, paragraph (c), compared to the total amount of bridge-related funding available; and
(7) for any tier 1 fracture-critical bridge that is repaired but not replaced, an explanation of the reasons for repair instead of replacement.
Annually by January 15, the commissioner shall submit a report on the program to the chairs and ranking minority members of the house of representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction over transportation finance. The report must include the inventory information required under subdivision 3, and an analysis, including any recommendations for changes, of the adequacy and efficacy of (1) the program requirements under subdivision 3, and (2) the prioritization requirements under subdivision 4.