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Use surplus for Hwy. 14

The Minnesota Legislature opened its session this week, and one of the big questions is what should the state do with the $1.3 billion surplus the state is expecting. We have an answer for at least some of it.

It would cost about $90 million to complete the expansion of Highway 14 to four lane from Nicollet to New Ulm. If the state committed itself to funding the project, it would still have about $1.2 billion on other things.

The reasons for completing this project have always been compelling, but never more so than this past January when two people were killed within 24 hours on that treacherous stretch of road.

We understand that the state has overwhelming needs in transportation funding, but Highway 14 has to be a high priority. Yet, the Nicollet to New Ulm section remains unfunded and unscheduled.

Legislators should do the right thing and commit funding to complete this vitally needed road project before any more people die.

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