Minnesota Senators are hitting the road later this month: The road, the bridges, the community centers, the zoos and other sites around the metro area, all hoping for an infusion of funds from this year's bonding bill.

Gov. Mark Dayton has asked the Legislature to fund almost $1 billion in state-backed construction projects this year, and communities around the state are lining up with ideas about how that money could be spent.

The Senate Capital Investment Committee will tour the metro area from Feb. 18 through 21. Planned stops on the bonding tour include Century College in White Bear Lake, the Tubman Center East in Maplewood, Fort Snelling, the Minnesota Zoo, Higher Ground in Minneapolis and St. David's Center in Minnetonka.

The Senate's Build.MN site outlines these projects and hundreds of others around the state -- universities want money to build new classroom buildings, communities need money to expand their convention centers or restore crumbling historic buildings or repair a dam.

Non-budget years at the Legislature are traditionally bonding years, although many House and Senate Republicans are balking at Dayton's $986 million proposal, and hoping for a more modest bill geared mainly toward essential infrastructure projects.

The first bonding hearings will begin as soon as the Legislature returns to work Feb. 25.

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