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Possible delays for MnDOT projects

State Transportation Commissioner and Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau announced Thursday that there may be delays in other state projects because of the funds drained by work on the new Interstate 35W bridge.

At a legislative hearing on Thursday, two Minnesota Department of Transportation financial specialists said that there is enough money “to pay for its schedule road construction program through February,? according to the Pioneer Press. Because of this, lawmakers did not request extra money for the department.

The federal government has given Minnesota $178.5 million and is promising an additional $195 million for a new bridge, according to the Star Tribune. But the Pioneer Press reports that “MnDOT needs legislative permission to spend $135 million more than its current budget to pay for both the bridge and its previously scheduled road projects.?

According to House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, the legislative panel will meet again in December, when they could make further adjustments to MnDOT’s spending level.

Keillher also expressed concerns about Molnau, telling Pioneer Press’s Bill Salisbury: “It is disingenuous and misleading to tell lawmakers one thing and members of the media another.? Minnesota Public Radio also reports that the Senate’s lead transportation expert “said he will effectively move to fire Molnau when lawmakers return in February.?