On behalf of the Highway 14 Partnership, THANK YOU to all who were able to attend the House Transportation Committee Field Hearing in Mankato on March 8. Local news reports indicated that around 100 community members attended the meeting to show support for Highway 14 expansion and other area transportation priorities. Those who attended or were able to watch the live stream heard testimony from individuals who have lost loved ones or were seriously injured in accidents on Highway 14, from businesses who rely on the highway to transport goods, and from local officials who have been fighting for years to make Highway 14 expansion a priority for the state.
The Highway 14 Partnership will continue to work toward passage of House File 538, Rep. Jeff Brand’s bill that was presented at the Mankato hearing. But that isn’t the only option fund Highway 14. As many are aware, Gov. Tim Walz has proposed a comprehensive transportation funding plan that would raise significant new revenues for the state’s transportation system. The level of funding that would be raised if the entire package is adopted would be sufficient to fund both maintenance and preservation of the current transportation system and complete vital expansion projects like Highway 14.
In fact, MnDOT released a list of projects that could be funded within the next 10 years if Walz’s funding package is adopted. Nicollet to New Ulm expansion was included on the list. You can find the full list of projects here: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/transportationfunding/projects.html
The Highway 14 Partnership is also actively engaged in discussions with MnDOT and other stakeholders about the future of the Corridors of Commerce program. As the Legislature continues to work toward a final transportation package, the future of Corridors will be an item of discussion. In response to displeasure with the current project selection system, MnDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher has said that the next iteration of Corridors could look entirely different than the program looks today. The Highway 14 Partnership intends to play a key role in ensuring the program works for Greater Minnesota expansion projects like Nicollet to New Ulm.