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Highway 14 funding bill passes Legislature

The Minnesota Legislature made quick work of the Highway 14 funding bill announced earlier by Gov. Tim Walz. The bill is being sent to Walz, who is expected to sign it.

The bill, passed on Tuesday by the House and the Senate, allows the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to secure a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan through the Federal Department of Transportation for the final portion of the project, connecting Nicollet to New Ulm with a four-lane highway.

Depending on how quickly the loan can be acquired, work on the section of Highway 14 could begin in the fall of 2021 and be completed in late 2023.

At the beginning of the year, the New Ulm to Nicollet project wasn’t even on the Minnesota Department of Transportation long-range planning list for lack of funding. Then this past month the loan possibility was announced, legislation introduced to make it happen, and with promises from the state to complete the funding, the project looks like it will be done within three years or so.

This will make one of the state’s most dangerous stretches of road much safer, and will be an economic boon to New Ulm as well. It’s almost too good to be true.

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