The state announced the 10 projects included in the $300 million "Corridors of Commerce" bonding program, and it is gratifying that the Highway 14 expansion project will receive up to $73 million in state funding for three of its five projects that had been submitted for consideration.
That is about one-fourth of the $300 million in funding in the program. The three projects include the Owatonna to Dodge Center expansion, the North Mankato to Nicollet expansion, and the Nicollet bypass project.
The other two projects submitted include the Nicollet to New Ulm expansion, and the Highway 14-15 interchange improvements. While it would be great to see them included at this time, it is obvious that the Minnesota Department of Transportation recognizes the importance of the Highway 14 expansion as a way to encourage commercial transportation and business expansion in this area, and as a means to make safer one of the state's deadliest roads. As the state works on ways of funding needed transportation projects, we expect that Highway 14 will continue to receive priority consideration.
A great many people and organizations contacted state officials to endorse the Highway 14 improvements, and we have no doubt this had a big impact on the outcome. It will be very important in the future for this support to continue, as the state works on ways to bridge the gap in transportation funding. We should not rest until the project is fully completed.