ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Highway 14 project from Owatonna to Dodge Center will get millions of dollars in state funding.
The estimated $160 million to expand the highway from two to four lanes is meant to improve access to Rochester by creating a continuous four-lane corridor from I-35 to the city. This is one of three additional Corridors of Commerce projects authorized when the Governor signed the Omnibus Bonding Bill into law on Wednesday.
“These urgently needed highway improvements are essential for the safety of our people and the betterment of our economy. Despite the investments I signed into law today, there are over 100 additional transportation improvement projects around the state that are still waiting for funding,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “I strongly urge future Legislatures to make the long-term, sustainable investments that are required to meet all of our state’s under-funded transportation needs. Minnesotans’ safety, quality of life and economic vitality all depend upon it.”
GOP Senator Carla Nelson of Rochester issued the following statement about the Highway 14 funding: “After Governor Dayton’s Department of Transportation failed to deliver a single cent towards Highway 14 through their initial round of Corridors of Commerce funding, I publicly called for bonding dollars to fund the desperately needed project. This bill delivers on that promise and will improve safety on Highway 14 and strengthen a vital artery of commerce through Southern Minnesota. We have been waiting decades for this project to be completed, and my Republican colleagues and I got the job done."
Also authorized is $105 million to complete two gaps along Highway 23 to create a four-lane road from Wilmar to St. Cloud and $163 million to convert Highway 252 to a freeway and install MnPASS lanes on the roadway.
“It is fortunate that the Legislature provided additional funding for this program this year,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “These were the next projects in line to be funded, according to guidance in state law from last year and this bonding bill. The selected projects will enhance the movement of freight and people in the regions where these projects are located which will aid the economy and reduce congestion.”