Transportation bill should include Highway 14 funding

The Minnesota House is taking up the transportation bill this week, the Associated Press reported. The main focus of the bill is the 20-cent per gallon gas tax increase that Gov. Tim Walz and his DFL allies want to impose.

While that is a big issue, and one that is going to dominate the debate, we don’t want legislators to lose sight of another important issue, one that affects our local economy and the lives and safety of those who travel on Highway 14.

A bill was introduced this session to provide $85 million in funding for the expansion of Highway 14 from Nicollet to New Ulm. This issue has been festering long enough, and it is time for the Legislature to do something about it.

We don’t know how many times people have to remind legislators of the danger this two-lane highway poses to motorists. We shouldn’t have to keep reminding them of the economic handicap New Ulm faces due to lack of a four-lane highway. This project needs to be funded now.

So, whether it is through the gas tax, or auto-related sales tax, or highway bonding, we want to know how legislators plan to get it done. We don’t want to hear how many other road projects and needs there are out there. We want to hear how legislators will get Highway 14 finished.