Deadline for Congressionally Directed Spending Approaching

February 27, 2023
By Bart Fischer, Sr Public Administrator, WSB

Minnesota’s congressional delegation is now accepting applications for congressionally directed spending (CDS) requests. CDS can help fund key infrastructure projects for cities throughout Minnesota. The deadline to apply is March 10, 2023, at 5pm (CT). 

With the deadline fast approaching, here are a few things that you can do as you prepare to submit your CDS request. 

  1. Submit individual applications to Senator Klobuchar, Senator Smith and your House Representative as recommended in the delegation request questionnaire. Doing this will help your project gain traction and approval as it moves through the submission process. The more offices looking at your request, the greater the chance that it will be approved for funding. 
  1. Connect with congressional staff to talk about your project. Although the deadline is tight, reaching out to congressional offices and staff to set up even a brief zoom or phone call to talk about your project ensures your project is on their radar before you submit it for consideration.  It’s also a positive long-term strategy to build meaningful relationships that can benefit your community and future projects. 

The Application

The application for CDS funding is broken down into three sections. The first section is the funding request. For this section it is important to know the project cost, city information, and if you are submitting multiple proposals. 

The second section is focused on the project description and why it’s critical for your community. Here you will need to know things such as start date, description, justification, and whether or not your project meets eligibility requirements (eligibility requirements can be found here). 

The final section of the application is funding background information, so be sure to include past funding and future project funding needs. 

How WSB Can Help 

Due to a rapidly approaching deadline, it is important that requests are submitted as soon as possible! If you need help with the application, understanding eligibility requirements, or building relationships with your congressional delegation, our team can help. We are able to assist with consultation, application submission, and connecting you to the right people to ensure your project has the best chance for success.

Bart Fischer has over two decades of experience in public administration. Throughout his tenure, he’s worked in five Minnesota communities as the city or assistant city administrator. Bart joined our firm in 2019 as a senior public administrator and focuses on lending his public service expertise to our clients. | 651.485.1839


The Top 5 Ways that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Benefits Communities

January 11, 2023

Late last fall, Congress passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which infused an astounding $1.2 trillion into our nation’s infrastructure. The package, which includes $550 billion in new federal spending over the next five years, gave local and state governments significant opportunities to fund infrastructure improvements over the next several years, and many communities have already taken advantage of this influx of funding.

Transportation, clean energy, clean water, broadband expansion, and more, gave communities across the country an unprecedented opportunity to invest in projects that will have a meaningful impact on the future for residents, businesses, and the environment.

How Have Communities Benefited from this Funding?

Every community is different, and every community’s needs are different, but here are some of the top ways that local leaders, planners, and governments have benefited from IIJA.

Advancing Bigger Projects Sooner & Removing Financial Roadblocks

Whether a large metropolitan city or a small rural town, every community has a list of needed infrastructure projects, but funding and resources are often limited. Communities must prioritize, and sometimes put larger projects on the back burner due to budget constraints.

TheIIJA is helping to change that mindset for many communities, giving leaders a greater opportunity to think big. Whether it’s getting on a project funding priority list, putting forward a feasibility plan, or thinking more comprehensively about the environment, transportation, or other community infrastructure needs, the federal infrastructure law has provided meaningful opportunities to secure funding for projects that may have previously been out of reach.

Viewing Projects Through an Equity Lens & Involving More Voices in Community Planning

Equity is a major component of IIJA, creating a real opportunity for communities to invest in projects that benefit traditionally underserved communities, as well as advance sizable projects that create a better community for all. Including equity in infrastructure project planning not only enhances local communities and benefits residents, but it also gives projects a competitive edge in securing dollars from the federal funding package. 

Many communities are viewing their infrastructure projects through an equity lens and incorporating more voices as they plan for the future.

Addressing Climate Change & Infrastructure Resiliency

Our climate is changing, and “once-in-a-century” storms no longer occur just once in a century. Higher temperatures, drought, more intense precipitation, wildfires, flooding, and changing ecosystems are all issues that impact communities’ infrastructure planning. Building greater resiliency in projects and planning for more extreme weather and climate events is critical and recognized within the IIJA funding.

Green infrastructure, innovative stormwater solutions, water reuse systems, native landscaping, and more can help mitigate risk and better protect populations, native species, and habitats.

Developing Brownfield Sites

Brownfields – previously developed sites that are no longer in use – are underutilized space that present real opportunities for economic, social, and environmental revitalization. However, they are often costly to redevelop. With more than $1.5 billion allocated to brownfields in the infrastructure package, many communities are taking advantage of the opportunity to move forward with brownfield projects, and expand their city’s tax base, grow jobs, build housing, and develop sites in ways that benefit residents and the community at large.

Building a More Sustainable Future

Sustainability is a fundamental component to infrastructure, and IIJA allows communities to invest in forward-looking projects that will have long term, positive environmental and social impacts. From electric vehicle charging stations and energy storage to ecological restoration, greater investment in sustainability is allowing local leaders to make bigger, more thoughtful investments that will help address climate change and resiliency.

Navigating a once-in-a-generation opportunity

Our team of funding experts help communities navigate grant applications, data gathering, project design and engineering, sustainability planning, stakeholder engagement, and more. IIJA is a once-in-a-generation infrastructure investment opportunity, and communities of all sizes can and should tap into the extraordinary opportunity for infrastructure improvement and investment.

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MnDOT’s Corridors of Commerce program: What’s New in 2022

By Mary Gute, Sr. Transportation Planner, WSB

A healthy economy is dependent upon an efficient transportation system. To foster economic and commercial growth across our state, the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT) Corridors of Commerce program is now open for applications. The program helps communities make highway capacity improvements where there are bottlenecks, as well as improve the movement of freight and other barriers to commerce. 

The Project Recommendation Process and What’s New in 2022

MnDOT will determine program recipients using an online recommendation process. 2022 has some additional requirements and new guidelines as well. Here are some important details regarding what is new for submitting a proposal for consideration. 

Who can submit a proposal? As of this year, only an individual acting as an official representative of one of the qualifying organizations below may submit a project for consideration. 

  • An area transportation partnership
  • Any city, county, or township in Minnesota
  • Any tribal government in Minnesota
  • Any corridor coalition which is formally organized as a not-for-profit organization.
  • Any metropolitan planning organization
  • Any regional development organization

Additionally, each organization is limited to submitting one project recommendation per cycle. 

Provide cost estimates and funding details. Make sure your project has a leg up by laying out funding resources and cost estimates. New requirements for this year include a detailed project description that corresponds to identified cost estimates, as well as a cost estimate reviewed and agreed to by a State of Minnesota licensed engineer. Any other committed funding sources must also be identified along with the name and contact for those sources.  

Make sure your project scores well upon review. Your project was submitted online and met all the eligibility and project recommendation requirements. How to ensure your project stands out? State law requires that projects be scored based on the following criteria, so make sure to highlight:

  • Return on investment with a focus on travel time reduction and/or an anticipated reduction crashes.
  • Economic competitiveness that is measurable in its impact on job growth and direct and indirect economic development.
  • Freight efficiency measurements including time travel savings, average daily heavy commercial travel, and travel reliability. 
  • Safety criteria, which impacts multiple scoring areas, focused on 5-year averages of crashes, injuries, and fatalities. 
  • Regional connections including to area commercial trade hubs, highway systems, and to other transportation modes like ship, air, and rail. 
  • Policy objectives with an emphasis on transparent decision making, system stewardship, and healthy communities. 
  • Community consensus, providing resolutions and/or letters of support from municipalities and counties touched by the project, local planning agencies, and a chamber of commerce. 
  • Regional balance to ensure that projects across the state and various regions can tap into opportunities to foster economic development, growth, and commerce through the Corridors of Commerce program. 

By looking ahead and factoring the scoring process into your project planning and ensuring that your project meets all the requirements, you can increase the likelihood of your project being selected. Projects with the highest scores will receive funding first, with exceptions for regional balance which may result in some lower scoring projects taking precedence. 

Project Eligibility

The first step is to explore project eligibility requirements and ensure your project can rise to the top of the selection process. From MnDOT, here is a review of the basic requirements needed for your project.

  1. The project must be classified as either develop additional system capacity or improve freight movement.
  2. Projects must be in line with and adhere to MnDOT’s Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan.
  3. Projects must be able to begin construction within 4 years of being awarded funding, but the actual construction start may be delayed beyond 4 years to avoid significant impacts to the traveling public.
  4. Projects must be on the Interregional Corridor Network in Greater Minnesota or a state highway in the eight-county MnDOT Metropolitan District.
  5. The amount of corridors of commerce funding needed to construct the project cannot exceed the amount of funding available. 
  6. A project that is listed in MnDOT’s State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) is not eligible for funding, unless the project was listed in the STIP because it previously received funding.

Are you considering applying for the Corridors of Commerce funding? Applications are due November 30. 

Corridors of Commerce is a highly competitive program and bringing in outside experts who are well-versed in applying for and receiving funding can help ensure that you are set up for success.

Mary has 20 years of progressively complex transportation planning and project management experience, gained from working on a variety of transportation projects for modes including roads/bridge, transit, and trails. Several these projects have included environmental documentation considerations – either pre-NEPA, or through NEPA and/or MEPA processes. | 612.741.7055

Learn How the ‘Safe Streets for All’ Program Can Strengthen Rural Communities

By Mary Gute, Sr Transportation Planner, WSB

Funding for the ‘Safe Streets for All’ (SS4A) program is now available thanks to the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Bill passed in Washington last November. The SS4A Program aims to improve road safety by significantly reducing or eliminating roadway fatalities. This program could help your community make strategic planning, infrastructure and safety investments to improve the lives of residents. 

The notification of funding for SS4A, as well as the application process, went live in May of this year, and the deadline to apply is September 15, 2022. The first round of funding will make $1 billion available to communities, with more rounds expected to be available annually through 2026.

Who Qualifies?

The grant program is targeted for local, tribal, and regional entities. States, including DOTs are not eligible. However, applicants should consider coordinating with state agencies as appropriate.

This program is structured with equity in mind, to ensure equitable investment in safety needs of underserved communities. To this end, 40 percent of the SS4A funding is intended to go to low income and underserved communities. This includes rural areas to address disproportionality high fatality rates. Rural communities, especially if have lower income levels or experience persistent poverty/inequality, may benefit from SS4A funding.

Partnership is Important

By partnering with other communities, or applying for funds to address multi-community or regional safety issues, applications are more likely to receive approval and receive larger awards. The grants cover up to 80% of plans for projects and recipients are expected to match at least 20% on their own from non-federal sources; which is another reason cross-entity partnerships are beneficial. Identifying and collaborating with partners for larger, strategic projects can create a greater advantage to receive funding. 

Two Application Categories

Communities can apply for funding under one of two categories: action plan grants or implementation plan grants.

Action plans are created to study and understand what safety issues exist and what strategies would best address safety issues. The award amount for an action plan, based on cost assessments, is between $200k and $1 million. 

Implementation grants are for the actual project design and construction to make safety improvements to infrastructure. The possible award amounts are between $5 million and $30 million for approved projects. 

Applicants may only apply for one grant type – an action plan or an implementation grant. Receiving a grant to prepare an action plan grant will not preclude applying for and receiving an implementation grant in future rounds of funding.

The SS4A program will not fund:

  • Projects where the primary purpose isn’t safety
  • Projects focused on non-roadway modes of transportation
  • Capital projects to construct new roads
  • Projects to expand capacity or improve mobility for motorists
  • Maintenance activities

How WSB Can Help 

Is your community looking at how SS4A funding can help support safety-related projects? WSB can help determine if your proposed plan or project would be eligible; identify partnership and collaboration opportunities; help write applications; and answer any questions you may have about the process.

The federal infrastructure bill provides once in a generation funding for critical infrastructure needs and can greatly help enhance rural community infrastructure. 

Mary has 20 years of progressively complex transportation planning and project management experience, gained from working on a variety of transportation projects for modes including roads/bridge, transit, and trails. Several these projects have included environmental documentation considerations – either pre-NEPA, or through NEPA and/or MEPA processes. | 612.741.7055

Metropolitan Council 2022 Regional Solicitation Grants

By Mary Gute, Sr Transportation Planner, WSB

The Metropolitan Council’s 2022 Regional Solicitation process is now open. Please review the information below if you are considering submitting a project application or are wondering if a project is a good fit for the program.


  • Due Date: April 14, 2022
  • Funding available in three main categories: roadways; bicycle and pedestrian Facilities1; and transit/travel demand management (TDM)2
  • Projects can only be submitted in one category
  • See the Metropolitan Council website for more information:

How much funding is available? Does this include new federal infrastructure funding?

The Metropolitan Council initially identified $180 million for the 2022 solicitation. With the new federal infrastructure bill, the Council anticipates an additional $10-$20 million will be available. It is likely that federal funding will augment the available Regional Solicitation funding in future years, but not confirmed.

What can funding be used for?

  • Up to 80% of construction costs; a 20% local match is required
  • Construction only; Funds CANNOT be used for studies, preliminary engineering/design, construction engineering, or right of way
  • Projects that are to be constructed in 2026 or 2027; applicants will be asked if their project(s) could be programmed earlier

What Makes for a Good Project?

Successful projects must meet all qualifying criteria. Projects meeting several prioritizing criteria and demonstrating a high level of project readiness will score higher.

Qualifying Criteria – RequiredPrioritizing CriteriaProject Readiness
• Consistency with regional plans
• Inclusion in local plan or program
• ADA compliance – ADA Transition Plan
• Accessible/open to the public
• Permanent improvement independent utility
• Role in regional transportation system & economy
• Project usage
• Equity and housing elements
• Infrastructure age
• Congestion reduction/air quality
• Safety
• Multimodal Elements/ Connections
• Risk Assessment
• Cost Effectiveness
• Public process with residents, interested stakeholders
• Project layout
• Review of Section 106 Historic Resources
• Right of way acquisition process, if applicable, or knowing no additional right of way is needed
• Railroad right of way agreement, if applicable

What is the likelihood of a project receiving funding?

This program is highly competitive with requests far exceeding available funding. In the 2020 solicitation, 130 project applications were submitted and 56 (43%) were funded. Projects were funded in all seven metro area counties, in twenty-six cities and townships.

What is the level of effort to complete an application? Is it worth it?

These applications are moderately complex. Some elements require considerable lead time (e.g., preparing a layout; public engagement activities, etc.). Applications started early are generally higher quality than those that are completed towards the end of the solicitation process.

Federal requirements must be met on selected projects (e.g., federal environmental documents, federal and state design, and construction requirements, etc.). WSB advises that applicants request at least $500,000 to make going through federal process(es) worthwhile for financial reasons.

If you are considering submitting a Regional Solicitation application or want to discuss whether a project is a good fit for the program, please contact Mary Gute.

1: To be competitive, multiuse trail and bicycle facility projects should be on the Regional Bicycle Transportation Network (RBTN); Safe Routes to School (Infrastructure), projects should be included in a completed Safe Routes to School Plan and/or engineering study.
2: Transit funding is usually awarded to transit agencies.

Mary has 20 years of progressively complex transportation planning and project management experience, gained from working on a variety of transportation projects for modes including roads/bridge, transit, and trails. Several these projects have included environmental documentation considerations – either pre-NEPA, or through NEPA and/or MEPA processes. | 612.741.7055

Moving Past the 2021 Minnesota Drought

By Alyson Fauske, Sr Project Manager, WSB

2021 has presented a number of challenges to communities, not least of which was a major drought. Minnesota was faced with above-normal temperatures along with lower-than-average precipitation, resulting in one of the worst droughts seen in the area in the last 20-30 years.

As we move into fall and winter in Minnesota, leaders may be thinking that the worst of the drought is over and that they can move on to thinking about managing winter snow and cold. However, the ramifications of the drought are likely to continue into 2022. Below is a list of some of the ways the drought may have longer-term effects to communities.

  1. Loss of saplings. Communities that implemented projects in 2021 that included planting saplings are likely going to find that many of them have not survived the year and are going to need to be replaced in the spring.  
  2. Mature tree loss. Due to the stress of drought, mature trees in the community may have suffered from pests or disease. These shade trees are a major resource to communities and may need to be treated or replaced.
  3. Watering restrictions. Many communities implemented watering restrictions due to drought conditions. Irrigation systems that ran too often or for too long used more resources than necessary leading to reduced water availability for daily needs. This also resulted in concerned or confused residents that didn’t understand how or why these restrictions were needed for the good of the community.
  4. Low reserves of community water supplies. In addition to increased watering demands for vegetation, valuable water was often lost through inefficient or defective equipment in many residents and businesses.
  5. Well interference. Drought can often result in domestic or municipal wells running out of water. The MN DNR received significantly more calls this year than normal about dry wells that require them to investigate and often result in owners or municipalities incur repair costs.

Nearly all Minnesota cities experienced some or all these challenges this summer. As a result of the extreme stress put on local water infrastructure, the MN DNR has put together the 2021 Drought Assistance Proposal. This proposal includes a request for $13.3 million in funding to help cities address the effects of this drought.

WSB is tracking the funding package as it moves through the legislature and will be prepared to assist clients with grant applications for the fund as well as identify other funding opportunities that are tied to this effort.

Alyson is a Senior Project Manager in WSB’s Municipal Group and the City Engineer for the City of Minnetrista. With 20 years of engineering experience in the municipal industry, Alyson Fauske has built her career providing municipal engineering services throughout the Twin Cities. | 763.512.5244


Annual Minnesota Transportation Funding Opportunites

There are many recurring transportation funding opportunities in Minnesota that are open for applications now and into early 2022. The list below provides additional details on each of the funds. Now is the time consider if your community has transportation projects that fit these programs. If you believe that your community qualifies and would like help with the application or if you’re not sure your project is a good fit, contact Bart Fischer ( or 651.286.8484) to learn more.

  • MnDOT’s Greater MN (Non-Metro) Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) – This program aims to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries involving vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians on all public roads. It is open for applications September 3, 2021 – November 24, 2021. Eligible projects are categorized as proactive – projects that address known risk factors; and reactive – projects that address a sustained crash location.
  • MnDOT’s Metro Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) – The HSIP solicitation for metro area counties will occur in spring of 2022. Like the Greater Minnesota HSIP, this program aims to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries involving vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians on all public roads. Eligible projects are categorized as proactive – projects that address known risk factors; and reactive – projects that address a sustained crash location.
  • MnDOT’s Safe Route to School (SRTS) Infrastructure – Applications will be accepted October 4, 2021 – January 7, 2022; letters of intent are due by October 29th, 2021. The program funds capital projects that promote and encourage more students to walk or bike to school by making routes to schools safer and more accessible. $7.5M is available, with minimum awards of $50k and maximum awards of $500k. There is no matching requirement.
  • State Park Road Account Solicitation – This MnDNR solicitation is open now through November 1, 2021. Funds are intended to improve local access roads to state parks, state campgrounds, public water access points, and other eligible recreational areas. Projects awarded funding must follow applicable state aid construction project requirements.
  • Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) Funds – This program funds construction projects on public highways, roads, bridges, trails or transit systems that are located on, adjacent to, or provide access to federal lands for which title or maintenance responsibility is vested in a state, county, town, township, tribal, municipal, or local government. A 20 percent match is required. Applications are due by December 15th, 2021. A preliminary review of applications is available for draft applications submitted prior to November 19, 2021.
  • Metropolitan Council’s Regional Solicitation – The next round of applications for the Metropolitan Council’s Regional Solicitation process will take place in the spring of 2022 to fund projects in 2026 and 2027. This solicitation, which is open for counties and communities within the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area, seeks applications for: roadways including multimodal elements; transit and travel demand management projects; and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. During the last round of the Regional Solicitation in 2020, approximately $200 million in federal transportation funds were awarded to 56 projects in 36 different cities and townships. 
environmental compliance during rapid population growth

Preparing for the Conservation Partners Legacy Grant

By Luke Lunde, Professional Soil Scientist and Amy Anderson, Project Engineer, WSB

Applications for all cycles of the Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grants opened on August 1. The CPL Grant Program funds conservation projects that restore, enhance or protect forests, wetlands, prairies and habitat for fish, game and wildlife in Minnesota. To be eligible, projects must be located on public lands or private properties with an easement that allows for public access.

Since 2009, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) has been managing the reimbursable program to provide competitive matching grants from $5,000 to $400,000 to local, regional, state and nonprofit organizations.

Finding funding for projects can be challenging and knowing how to take advantage of a grant opportunity can make or break a project’s success.  Here are some helpful ways you can prepare your application for the upcoming fiscal year 2022 grants.

Determine the grant cycle that works best for your project.

There are three programs available: Traditional, Metro and Expedited Conservation Projects (ECP). Grant amounts needed, project activities, eligible land, funding rounds, review processes and project locations all impact the type of grant program that’s best suited for a project. The MN DNR’s website offers a helpful Grant Comparison Cycle worksheet to guide evaluation.

Determine if the matching requirement will impact your application.

A 10% match of the total grant amount requested is required. There are two matching options. A cash match is actual cash contributed by your organization, a third party or supplies or contacted services to be paid during the grant period. An in-kind match is a non-cash donation of a good service that could include personnel time, use of equipment or donated supplies or services.

There is nearly $10 million available for CPL grants for the upcoming fiscal year 2022. Applications must be submitted by September 20, 2021 for the Traditional and Metro grant cycles and by September 13, 2021 for the ECP grant cycle.

Helpful links:

Luke Lunde
Luke is a Minnesota Professional Soil Scientist in WSB’s Environmental Natural Resources Group, and he has over nineteen years of natural resource and environmental review experience. Luke’s experience includes soil survey mapping, geologic hazard assessments, karst feature mapping and mitigation plans, wetland delineation, wetland banking, wetland mitigation, habitat restoration, invasive species management, grant writing, erosion control compliance site management, habitat restoration, invasive species management, natural resource planning, environmental permitting and compliance, for numerous projects throughout the Midwest.

Amy Anderson
Amy has over nine years of professional experience in water resources engineering, specializing in stream restoration and watershed management. Amy’s experience in stream restoration spans the project cycle, from surveying and design through construction observation and post-project monitoring. Amy has been the primary author or co-author of Surface Water Management Plans for two separate municipalities (West St. Paul and North St. Paul) and one watershed district (Valley Branch Watershed District) in the metro area and has presented to citizen’s groups, municipal committees, and city councils on surface water management and planning.

MnDNR expected to grant $4 million to improve access to parks, lakes, rivers & trails

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting grant applications for local roadway improvement projects that benefit outdoor recreation and open spaces. The DNR has allocated $4 million to the State Park Road Account Program to improve both public and private access to parks, trails, lakes and rivers. 

A few key things to know about this grant program:

  • Townships, cities and county governments can apply
  • Focused on enhancing county roadway access to state parks, trails, wilderness areas and recreation facilities
  • Consideration is also given to projects that address safety issues to these facilities
  • Local cost sharing and amount of traffic directly related to the site are key selection criteria
  • Roadway construction, right-of-way acquisition and wetland mitigation are eligible activities
  • Applications are due November 1, 2020.

WSB is experienced in assisting, preparing and reviewing project grant applications. In 2019, this program provided $4.8 million in state grants for 10 different projects around the state. This annual program has also funded more than $1 million of campground road improvements for Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. WSB led the roadway design and construction for this project, which is now underway.  

For more information, visit the Minnesota Department of Transportation website or contact Scott Mareck at 320.534.5948 or

Let’s Keep Moving

By Ron Bray, Vice President, WSB

Much like our economy, our industry has its ups and downs. These are challenging times that no one would have imagined. No industry is immune to economic disruptors, but our collective commitment to bringing stability back to infrastructure project delivery is our differentiator. We can’t predict the future, but we’ve adapted to our circumstances. We have project delivery options to fit specific timelines and needs. Delivering projects faster and getting projects on the shelf for a possible stimulus package will put you in a competitive position to benefit your constituents. Now might be the time to consider Alternative Delivery solutions for your Cooperative Local and Trunk Highway projects. Design-Build projects can advance much quicker than standard Design-Bid-Build projects. Now is the time to chat about this and other funding or project delivery opportunities.

Earlier this month, my good friend and colleague Dave Enblom explored challenges our County Engineers are facing as we navigate the fallout of COVID-19. It’s important for us to think about these challenges and find solutions that bring some stability to our industry.

Making government guidelines work for you

Consider which guidelines are affecting your operations and start implementing new procedures. Legislation or policy change may be needed to make projects work, especially streamlining the environmental permits and process. Determine the skills you need and your goals. Find ways to accomplish these goals and reorganize or reassign teams if necessary. Do you need a bigger team, but can’t make a full-time hire? Consider augmenting your staff with a part-time consultant. We can help with project management or any other areas that are understaffed. Use emerging technology to create efficiencies.

Stay connected to your teams and the public

Technology to keep public discussion moving forward is critical, it needs to be customized depending on the area of concern and whether it is a large-scale effort or one-on-one with a project stakeholder. Maintaining a healthy public conversation is vital to securing permits and gaining agency approvals. We’re seeing how team meetings can be done virtually, and face-to-face conversations can and should still occur. Use video conferencing solutions to check-in. Continue public engagement efforts to help guide decision making and move projects forward through visualizations, immersive 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality solutions. WSB’s IT and Technology staff have the expertise to assist you.

Stretch your stimulus dollars

Following past crises, significant dollars were allocated to major, high-priced infrastructure projects. Find ways to tighten project timelines by exploring efficiencies using technology. Consider using advanced data collection or reality capture tools to create reality meshes that work in Autodesk, MicroStation, and GIS. Asset management is being changed through AI systems and efficient collection of data.

Keep moving forward

We know it is going to take a team approach to move projects forward if there is a stimulus package. I have always loved how close the County Engineer’s Association is and how you work together as one voice. This is the time where our collective support of each other will allow each of our organizations to move faster and better together. 

As we continue to work through COVID-19, show compassion to your colleagues and empathy for the challenges they’re facing. Sometimes you’ll act as a resource and other times you’ll need help. It’s in our best interest to work together.

After every economic disruption or crisis, I look for the silver lining. Following the Great Recession, there was more awareness of the importance of infrastructure in our economy, and the need to proactively manage, prioritize, and invest in it. Now and in the near future, we have an opportunity as an industry to show that a combination of emerging technology and expertise will be the future of infrastructure development. We are proud to be your colleagues and we value our continued partnership to accomplish your goals and community needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help in any way.

Be safe, stay healthy, and we will see you soon!

Ron has been a Vice President and Principal in transportation and construction services for over 37 years. He’s experienced with roadways and bridges, planning, traffic analysis, geometric layout, design of roadways and bridges, and constructions services. | 763.287.7177