Below is a statement from Karen Foreman, president of the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership and a member of the Mankato City Council, regarding the passage of legislation that will fund the expansion of Highway 14 to four lanes from Nicollet to New Ulm.
“This is a historic day for southern Minnesota. The Legislature’s action tonight is a welcome piece of good news amid all the uncertainty our communities are currently facing. By taking up this Highway 14 legislation during such a trying time, it signals that legislators are doing all they can to respond to the COVID-19 crisis while still making the types of long-term investments that will help Minnesota pull through and thrive for years to come.
“This legislation represents the final major piece in an effort that has lasted more than 60 years. Expanding Highway 14 to four lanes all the way from New Ulm to Rochester will undoubtedly save lives and stimulate our regional economy. Every time we have expanded a segment of Highway 14, economic growth along the corridor has followed. This stretch will be no different.
“There are many people who have worked tirelessly in support of these efforts. I want to express my sincere gratitude to Governor Walz, MnDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher and MnDOT staff for seeking out solutions to finally complete Highway 14. And thank you to our area legislators both past and present–especially current legislators Representative Jeff Brand, Senator Nick Frentz, Senator Gary Dahms and Representative Paul Torkelson–who fought long and hard for Highway 14 expansion. I also want to thank the countless local residents and elected officials who for decades have continued to voice your support for Highway 14. We couldn’t have done this without your unwavering support and dedication.”
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.