Five Year Plan
The Wright County Highway Department is responsible for the maintenance and administration of over 512 miles of county highways and 39 county bridges. This includes activities such as engineering design, construction management, signing, signals, and routine maintenance of all kinds (snowplowing, patching potholes, crack sealing, mowing roadsides, cleaning culverts, brush cutting, etc.).Roadway DescriptionsThe county roadway system is comprised of two different categories:
• County State Aid Highways (CSAH)
• County Roads (CR)
There are about 406 miles of CSAHs. These highways are supported by the Minnesota Highway Users Tax Distribution Fund, which is made up of the following:
• Gas Tax
• Vehicle License or Registration Fees
• Motor Vehicle Sales Tax
There are also 106 miles of CRs which are entirely supported by local property taxes. This is referred to as the County Road & Bridge Levy.
In Wright County, the CSAHs are identified by one and two-digit numbers, such as CSAH 35 between Buffalo and St. Michael, or CSAH 8 from Waverly to Maple Lake. The CRs are identified by three-digit numbers such as CR 138 located near the Wright County Public Works building.
Purpose of Capital Improvement Plan (CIP):
The primary purpose of the CIP is to provide a mid-range planning document that can easily be shared with the public allowing both the residents and stakeholders of Wright County to plan for future roadway improvements. It is intended to provide a transparent method to relay how roadway improvement priorities are established and how limited roadway funding is utilized.
Each CIP also includes a yearly report on the condition of the county roadway system and its performance compared to established performance targets related to ride quality. The CIP also represents a priority listing of county, township, and municipal bridges that are in need of rehabilitation or replacement.
This plan was developed by the Wright County Highway Department based on fiscal restraint (expected funding levels) and is not necessarily sufficient to provide the minimum investment level needed to maintain the pavement quality of the county highway system. Actual projects will be dependent on federal, state, and local funding levels. In addition, the plan may change annually as it is subject to the annual Wright County budget process.
Primary Funding Sources
• Federal Funds – Funds assigned to projects through the Federal Transportation Bill, Federal Safety Programs or other special federal transportation programs. A percentage of federal funds appropriated to the State of Minnesota are allocated to the counties and cities. This share of federal funds is distributed on a competitive basis. Projects must be submitted on an annual basis (usually two to four years ahead of planned construction), and then they are evaluated and selected. Average Annual Federal Funds – Variable: $0 to $4,000,000. Wright County has often been successful in obtaining federal funds to help offset funding shortfalls and typically utilizes federal funding for preservation, bridge, and reconstruction projects.
• State Aid (SA) Funds (Regular) – Annual allocation to the county from state gas tax and vehicle license or registration fees. Regular SA funds may be utilized for any element related to roadway construction or rehabilitation on the CSAH system. These funds may not be used on the CR system. Average Annual SA Allotment: $6,500,000.
• State Aid (SA) Funds (Municipal-under 5,000 population) – Annual allocation to the county from state gas tax and vehicle license or registration fees. Municipal SA funds are designated to be utilized for any element related to roadway construction or rehabilitation on the CSAH system located within the established boundaries of a municipality (under 5,000 population). These funds may not be used on the CR system or in areas outside a municipality. Average Annual SA (Municipal-under 5,000 population) allotment: $500,000.
• County Road and Bridge Levy – Funds generated directly from Wright County tax revenue. These levy funds are primarily intended to maintain the CR system but may also be used to supplement other funding sources. Average Annual County Levy: $3,000,000
• Bridge Bonding – Funding allocated by state legislative action to complete specific bridge construction projects on any county, township, or municipal roadway within the county. Bridge bonding is normally allocated only after a complete set of bridge design plans has been developed.
• Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) – On June 13, 2017 the Wright County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution implementing a special half-percent (1/2) % County-wide sales tax to fund transportation improvements. The sales tax is approved for a five-year period and the list of projects and map of projects can be found by clicking here. Estimated Annual LOST Revenue: $7,000,000.