State park road account program (SPRA)

Program purpose:

This program exists to help local governments improve access to public recreation facilities. It provides financial assistance to improve county state-aid, county, township, and city roads which provide access to state parks, outdoor recreation units as defined in Minnesota Statutes 86A.04, public lakes, rivers and state campgrounds. This program is established in Minnesota Statutes 162.06 subd. 5.

Eligible projects:

The establishment, location, relocation, construction, reconstruction, and improvement of County State Aid Highways that provide access to state parks, state trails, state scientific and natural areas, state wilderness areas, state forests, state wildlife management areas and state water access sites. The reconstruction, improvement, repair and maintenance of county, township and city roads provide access to public lakes, rivers, state parks and state campgrounds.

Eligible applicants:

County, Township and City governments.

Funding priorities:

Priority will be given to projects having a primary focus of enhancing access to outdoor recreation facilities. Consideration will also be given to projects that address safety issues and include cost sharing by the local unit of government.

Level of assistance:

Costs for construction and right-of-way acquisition are reimbursable for up to 100% of eligible costs. Preliminary and construction engineering costs are not reimbursable and are the responsibility of the local unit of government. Requests are not subject to a minimum or maximum amount of dollars.

Grant funding available:

The program utilizes calendar year funding. Approximately $3,000,000 will be available statewide for calendar year 2015.

Grant awards:

The DNR will review and rank applications. Grant awards will be announced in April 2015.

Project period:

Funding for approved projects remains in place for an indefinite period of time to allow for planning, acquisition and design.

How to apply:

The complete application deadline is November 1, 2014.  See minimum geometric design standards.

Project applications must include all of the following:

  1. Brief project description that clearly states begin and end location.
  2. Preliminary cost estimate. (Engineering fees are NOT reimbursable)
  3. Google Earth map with a line showing project location and alignment.
  4. Detailed map of project location, clearly showing the outdoor recreation unit to which the road provides access, e.g. park entrance or public water access. PRIM maps are a good resource.
  5. Letter of support from the County Engineer.
  6. Letter of support from the DNR unit manager or area staff who represent the DNR unit or facility being accessed by the road project. (State park, water access, wildlife management area, state forest, etc.)

If the project location is not clearly defined, or any of the above 6 items are omitted, the application will be returned.

Selection process:

  1. All applications meeting Minnesota Statutes 162.06 subd. 5 will be considered for available funds.
  2. Projects will be scored using the following criteria:
    1. Safety improvements
    2. Enhanced access to recreation site
    3. Amount of traffic directly related to recreation site
    4. Local cost share
  3. The criteria in the scoring sheet is only one means to rank projects on a statewide basis. Other considerations will be the regional/statewide balance of projects and the balance within the DNR divisions of Parks and Trails, Forestry and Fish and Wildlife.
  4. Highest priority projects will be aligned with available funds.
  5. Projects will be approved by DNR and forwarded to DOT.
  6. DOT will assign SAP number.
  7. Approved projects will be posted online at: DNR Approved Projects

All project requests should be submitted to:

David B. Sobania, Principal Engineer
DNR Management Resources
1601 Minnesota Drive
Brainerd, MN  56401
Phone:  218-828-2620
Fax: 218-833-8668
Email: Dave.Sobania@state.mn.us