ST. PAUL - The Highway 14 expansion project has received an allocation of 2014 Corridors of Commerce funding, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced on Monday.
The Highway 14 project will receive $1.5 million for purchasing right of way between Dodge Center and Owatonna. It was part of $6.5 million to be used in fiscal year 2014 in Greater Minnesota. Another $25 million will be used in FY 2015 for statewide projects.
Other allocations include $1.5 million for Highway 23, for environmental work on future expansion from New London to Paynesville, and Paynesville to New Richmond; $1.9 million for Highway 34, to build a center-left turn lane in Detroit Lakes from Highway 59 to County Road 141, and $1.6 million to reconstruct a section of Highway 2 near Deer River.
"I'm happy to see that MnDOT recognizes that completing Highway 14 is vital to southern Minnesota's growing economy," said New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman, president of the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership. "These new funds help bring us closer to fixing a missing link that presents safety concerns for commuters and shipping delays for businesses."
The Partnership is also hopeful that this right-of-way funding will open the door for other opportunities to advance the expansion of Highway 14, such as federal TIGER grants.
"I want to thank Governor Dayton and Commissioner Zelle for their ongoing support of Highway 14's expansion, including today's announcement of additional investment through the state's Corridors of Commerce program," said Congressman Tim Walz. "This commitment will help me continue advocating in Washington, DC for federal funds like the Department of Transportation's TIGER grant program. I'll keep working with the Highway 14 Partnership to achieve the goal of four-lane expansion from border to border."
The Highway 14 Partnership continues to push for funding for the project. Estimates show $25 million to $28 million is needed for right of way between Owatonna and Dodge Center, and $16 million to $19 million is needed for right of way between Nicollet and New Ulm.