A group of Greater Minnesota senators introduced a bill (SF 2547) that would require Corridors of Commerce funds be allocated so that 50 percent are for projects in Greater Minnesota and 50 percent to projects in the seven-county metro. We will be working with MnDOT and the Legislature to better understand the impact that putting the 50/50 split into statute could have on projects like Highway 14.
As you know, the Highway 14 Partnership actively resisted efforts by metro-area interests to direct more than half of Corridors of Commerce funding to the metro during MnDOT’s public input process in late 2017. However, for the current round of funding, MnDOT is observing a “soft” 50/50 split. This allows MnDOT some flexibility in administering funding. For example, in the event that a Highway 14 project scored well, but the project’s cost might put Greater Minnesota’s share of funding just over 50 percent, MnDOT would have some leeway under the current process.
That said, our top priority remains obtaining stable, ongoing funding for Corridors of Commerce. We will continue to convey to legislators that funding—not policy tweaks—is what is going to help us fix 14 now.