7/1/2014 12:10:00 PM U.S. 14 right of way funded through Corridors of Commerce
The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Monday how $6.5 million appropriated for the Corridors of Commerce program in FY 2014 will be allocated. The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership is pleased with the news that $1.5 million will be used to purchase Highway 14 right of way between Owatonna and Dodge Center.
"I'm happy to see that MnDOT recognizes that completing Highway 14 is vital to southern Minnesota's growing economy," said New Ulm Mayor/U.S. Highway 14 Partnership President Bob Beussman. "These new funds help bring us closer to fixing a missing link that presents safety concerns for commuters and shipping delays for businesses."
The Partnership is also hopeful that this right of way funding will open the door for other opportunities to advance the expansion of Highway 14, such as federal TIGER grants.
"I want to thank Governor Dayton and Commissioner Zelle for their ongoing support of Highway 14's expansion, including today's announcement of additional investment through the state's Corridors of Commerce program. This commitment will help me continue advocating in Washington, DC for federal funds like the Department of Transportation's TIGER grant program. I'll keep working with the Highway 14 Partnership to achieve the goal of four-lane expansion from border to border," said Congressman Tim Walz.
The 2014 Legislature also passed $25 million in Corridors of Commerce program funding for FY 2015. MnDOT expects that project selection to be announced in fall 2014.
Along the unfinished segments of Highway 14, estimates show that $25-28 million in right of way is needed between Owatonna and Dodge Center and $16-19 million is needed for Nicollet to New Ulm right of way.
"The Partnership will continue to demonstrate that Highway 14 is southern Minnesota's "Corridor of Commerce" and MnDOT should invest additional program dollars in purchasing right of way to prepare for its expansion," said Mayor Beussman. "Just last week, six local chambers along Highway 14 wrote to Commissioner Zelle to advocate for Corridors of Commerce funding. Our region is united in the goal of completing Highway 14."