Highway 14 Partnership President Karen Foreman responds to House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt’s claim that Highway 14 has been ‘solved’
In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio following last night’s State of the State Address, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said: “[Walz] talked about Highway 14. That’s actually already been solved. We put the money into roads and bridges in the last biennium and actually solved that problem to reconstruct Highway 14 to make that a safer highway.”
Below is a statement from Karen Foreman, president of the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership and a member of the Mankato City Council in response to Rep. Daudt’s claims:
“Rep. Daudt’s claim that Highway 14 is ‘solved’ is wrong. As the families who have lost loved ones and individuals who have suffered devastating injuries on Highway 14 know all too well, there is still a lot more work that needs to be done before politicians can claim ‘mission accomplished’ on Highway 14. It is disappointing that Rep. Daudt fails to understand that every day thousands of Minnesotans travel on a dangerous stretch of Highway 14 that remains unfinished and unscheduled for improvements.
“While we are grateful that the expansion of Highway 14 between Owatonna and Dodge Center was funded in 2018, the 12 miles between Nicollet and New Ulm remain a dangerous, inefficient, two-lane highway where families are forced to drive in head-on traffic with semi-trucks every day. Yet, expansion of these 12 miles is not in MnDOT’s 20-year plans. While we continue to advocate for progress through the Corridors of Commerce program, this will not likely be possible for years without additional funds for transportation. We can’t rely on trunk highway bonds and the general fund to get the job done. We need additional, dedicated revenues for transportation.
“The concerns over this treacherous 12-mile, two-lane stretch of Highway 14 have received a great deal of attention lately, including a three-hour hearing in Mankato by the House Transportation Committee less than one month ago. It is dismaying that Rep. Daudt seems unaware of the work that fellow legislators in his own body are doing to address this issue.
“Every year that Highway 14 remains unfinished is another year that families are put in harm’s way and southern Minnesota’s economy falls behind. We urge the Governor, Senate and House to pass a comprehensive transportation package this year that includes new, dedicated dollars for transportation. Southern Minnesota has waited long enough.”
The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership is an advocacy organization supporting the four-lane expansion of Highway 14. Formed in 1998, the Partnership includes local governments, private businesses and other organizations across Southern Minnesota. Follow the Partnership on online at ushighway14.com and on Twitter at @Hwy14Pshp.