What more will it take?

Those who live along Highway 14 in this area have known for years that it is a woefully inadequate, dangerous stretch of highway. People have begged and pleaded, railed and demanded that the state address the situation, and allocate the money now for expanding it to a four-lane highway all the way to New Ulm.

The state has continued to drag its feet. And now we have two more deaths on Highway 14, in the space of 24 hours, to remind us of the deadly consequences of putting it off any longer.

We join with the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership, whose president, Karen Foreman of Mankato, issued the following statement:

“What is it going to take to finally fix Highway 14? Two deadly crashes in less than 24 hours needs to be wake-up call that we need action now. Right now, it seems like no one has a clear path forward for Highway 14. The Corridors of Commerce program is ineffective in its current form, and it is apparent that we can’t rely on the federal government.

“It is time for everyone involved — Governor Walz, Commissioner Kelliher, the Legislature, local advocates — to roll up our sleeves and come together with a plan to fix Highway 14 so that we can hopefully prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future.”

We also call on our local legislators, Rep. Paul Torkelson and Sen. Gary Dahms, to lead the charge in this coming session for allocating real money to get this deadly stretch of highway expanded to four lanes for the safety of those who travel.