Jan. 5, 2022
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Minnesotans are invited to join 2022 MLK Celebration

Photo: Traffic accident

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan invite Minnesotans of all ages to join the 36th Annual State of Minnesota Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day online on Jan. 17.

As the civil rights leader said in 1957, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

That’s why this year’s theme is Beloved Community in Action. Throughout the celebration, you’ll hear Minnesotans reflect on what Dr. King means to them and how they’re building a thriving society that embodies love and justice and works to end racism and poverty.

Watch the celebration

The celebration is a 25-minute recorded video that premieres Monday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m., on the Governor's YouTube Channel.

After watching the video, Minnesotans are invited to share ways they are creating a Beloved Community by using #MNMLK on social media.

ASL interpretation and captioning in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong are included in the celebration.

Nick Haltvick joins District 6 as ADE for project support

By Mike Dougherty, District 6 Public Engagement and Communications

Photo: Nick Haltvick

Nick Haltvick is the assistant district engineer for project support in District 6. Submitted photo

Nick Haltvick accepted a one-year mobility assignment in District 6 as the assistant district engineer for project support, managing the areas of right of way, traffic, structures and surveys. His appointment began Dec. 22.

Prior to coming to District 6, Haltvick worked in the Bridge Office in Oakdale, which he joined in 2010. Most recently he served as the north region bridge construction engineer. During his tenure with MnDOT, he has worked in bridge final design, bridge preliminary design, bridge construction, and Metro District construction on the Lafayette Bridge replacement project. Recent major projects he has been involved with include I-35W@94 in Minneapolis, and the Twin Ports Interchange and Blatnik Bridge analysis and replacement studies in District 1/Duluth.

Before MnDOT, he worked as a research assistant and a design engineer in Nebraska, and spent two summers as a survey intern for Dodge County, Minn. 

Haltvick is a graduate of South Dakota State University and he holds a master’s degree in structural engineering. He resides in Hastings with his wife, Vanessa, and their four young kids. He and his wife are both natives of southeastern Minnesota.

Haltvick fills the vacancy created when Steve Kirsch passed away in June 2021.


New on the web: Offices incorporate users' perspectives into websites redesigns

Commercial vehicle operations website undergoes user-friendly revisions
By Jesse Johnson, Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations

Photo: I-35W Minneapolis

Commercial vehicle operations website was updated to make it easier for customers.

The Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations revised its commercial vehicle operations website Jan. 3 to make it easier for customers (primarily commercial transportation providers) to find what they need and conduct business with MnDOT online.

Rather than assume what customers might need, OFCVO formed a project team of office staff and the Office of Communications and Public Engagement to guide the revision process and used data on website user behavior and survey feedback to create a prototype of the site.

Once the site was functional, the team invited customers to test the prototype via Microsoft Teams, while the project team observed how they navigated the site. This approach highlighted both the benefits to the new design, as well as challenges users had with finding what they needed on the site. The revised website takes a minimalist approach, focusing on providing information that helps customers complete a task, such as scheduling a vehicle inspection or ordering an oversize/overweight truck permit. Additional information that doesn’t directly support customers in achieving a task is either limited or no longer exists on the website.

OFCVO plans to make further refinements to the site as it learns more what customers find most useful.

New year, new website for Office of Civil Rights
By Su Love, Office of Civil Rights

Photo: Hwy 2 Bemidji

The Office of Civil Rights used feedback from stakeholders to make updates to their website.

The Office of Civil Rights recently launched a new website that is streamlined, user-centered and optimized for search engine effectiveness. The redesign was based on focus groups and feedback from stakeholders, including community representatives, contractors, employment and business advocates, other MnDOT offices, other government agencies, training program representatives, tribal employment rights officers and representatives, and union representatives.

Under the banner, “Committed to equity in transportation,” the OCR site offers links to five major areas of information:

  • Small business programs
  • Equal opportunity and workforce programs
  • Training programs
  • Loans, grants and requests for proposals
  • Nondiscrimination

Each of these areas leads the user to additional, more specific information about programs and resources.

The new website also provides individual tabs for updated information in the categories of News, Events, Forms, Reports and Contacts.

In addition to significantly reducing the file size and complexity of the website by deleting old or redundant information, the new site allows for linked documents to be saved as eDOCs, which keeps the website in sync when linked documents are updated and helps comply with data retention requirements.

The redesign process was interrupted at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and picked up again this autumn. OCR was aided in this effort by Mike Foley, web content coordinator in the Office of Communications and Public Engagement.

Visit the redesigned Civil Rights website at


On the job: Keith Bengtson, crew do all aspects of surveying for District 1's road projects

By Rich Kemp

Photo: Keith Bengtson

Keith Bengtson surveys a road project Aug. 26 on Hwy 135 in Biwabik. Photo by Rich Kemp

Keith Bengtson is survey crew chief in District 1. In two different stints, he has logged more than 10 years with MnDOT.

What has been your career path at MnDOT and before starting at MnDOT?
While in college I started in the Central Office Geodetics office as a student worker. After graduation, I went full-time with Geodetics for five years. Then I took a position with a Twin Cities Metro county, before moving to a private company. In 2015, I came back to MnDOT in the Metro District at Oakdale, and in 2017 I took a position in District 1 with the Surveys Office in Virginia.

What do you do in your job?
We do all aspects of surveying for the road projects here in District 1: pre-design, topography, right of way, boundary, utility, bridge, construction, field redesign, and as-builts. We use survey equipment, compute and process data, create 3D models and train staff on the use of survey equipment. We also help landowners with right of way issues.

What is your favorite part about your job?
Teaching. I really enjoy showing new personnel how to survey. Over the years I’ve worked with over 50 student workers and grad-engineers/grad-surveyors, and so many of them work for MnDOT today. It feels good when I run into one of them or they call and remark on the positive effect their time working with me had on them.

What are the biggest challenges?
The construction standards change all the time and the plans always must be field-fit. That’s always been the case, but we have to fix more and more every year and we have fewer people to get the work done.

What kind of changes have you seen in your job?
Surveying over the last 20 years—the GPS equipment has really changed things for us. What used to take weeks to do years ago can now be done in days. We also have scanning equipment, so now in a couple hours we can have a 3D model of a bridge/roadway/ intersection. It’s amazing.

Has your job changed a lot because of COVID-19?
Not too much, as most of our work is done in the field.

Do you or a co-worker have an interesting job to share with readers? Send us your ideas, and we’ll contact you for more information.

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