The governor's office, which is in the enviable position during an election year of announcing state money for projects, announced this morning that U.S. Highway 14 from Owatonna to Dodge Center will get $7.3 million for right-of-way acquisition for expansion.
Here's the release:
Governor Dayton Announces $70 Million Investment in 13 New Corridors of Commerce Transportation Projects
State savings through efficiencies will accelerate Highway 371 expansion project by two years
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today announced that construction on 13 more transportation projects will be accelerated thanks to new investments in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, and cost savings at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The projects receiving funding today, and 14 other projects that previously received Corridors of Commerce funding, will strengthen the state’s transportation system by adding capacity and improving the movement of freight across Minnesota.
“These projects will reduce travel times, improve safety for Minnesota citizens, and help our businesses transport their products more efficiently,” said Governor Dayton, who working with the Legislature in 2013 and 2014 invested over $331 million in the new Corridors of Commerce initiative. “The number of projects from all over our state, which sought financing from this program, underscores the acute need for more transportation funding.”
In total, 27 transportation projects have received Corridors of Commerce funding since November 2013. The latest round of funding announced today will speed up work on 13 important projects described below, and ensure that more projects will get started in the next few years.
Thirteen New Corridors of Commerce Projects
Twelve of the projects announced today will be funded with existing funding that Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested in the Corridors of Commerce initiative in 2014. The thirteenth project – $45 million devoted to a $58 million expansion to four lanes on Highway 371 from Nisswa to Jenkins – was made possible by cost savings at MnDOT. Funding for this project was provided through bid savings on the extension of Highway 610 and other MnDOT efficiencies in the Corridors of Commerce program. MnDOT will begin construction on the project in 2016, two years earlier than planned.
“We have worked very hard to be efficient and effective in determining where the money will serve Minnesota best,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “The $25 million will help advance selected projects to ensure they can be completed when additional funding becomes available. And the Highway 371 project will provide better roads for businesses in that corridor as well as for the many Minnesotans who travel to that area for recreation. Through our cost savings and efficiencies work, we are able to move that project ahead by two years.”
The following is a list of projects that received the latest round of Corridors of Commerce funding today. A comprehensive map of the projects, including the 14 project previously funded through the Corridors of Commerce initiative, is available here. A more detailed description of these projects is available here.