Advocates buoyed by inclusion of Highway 14 funding in Senate proposal

MANKATO — Advocates were buoyed Thursday by the inclusion of Highway 14 funding in Senate proposal and other funding opportunities.

“We are thrilled to see funding for Highway 14 expansion from Owatonna to Dodge Center included in the Minnesota Senate’s bonding proposal,” said Karen Foreman, president of the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership and a member of the Mankato City Council. Especially in light of the disappointing announcement that Highway 14 would not receive any funding from the Corridors of Commerce program this year, the Highway 14 Partnership is grateful that the Legislature is taking steps to address this important and dangerous stretch of road. We want to thank the legislators who have worked to ensure Highway 14 remains a priority for the state.

“The Highway 14 Partnership is also thankful that the House of Representatives has included significant funding for the Corridors of Commerce program in both its transportation bill and its bonding bill. However, we call on the Legislature and the Governor to address the regional imbalance of 2018’s Corridors of Commerce funding by mandating that any additional funding for the program this year goes straight to Greater Minnesota projects like Highway 14.

“The Highway 14 Partnership is united in supporting the four-lane expansion of Highway 14 all the way from Rochester to New Ulm. Highway 14 is the economic lifeblood of southern Minnesota, and we are tired of picking up the paper to read the latest news about neighbors who have been killed or injured on this road. Highway 14 remains the most highly populated stretch of road in Greater Minnesota without a continuous four-lane connection. The time to fix that is now.”

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.