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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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REP. TORKELSON: FEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDS COULD HELP HIGHWAY 14 PROJECT BECOME TOP PRIORITY

Thursday, February 05, 2009
ST. PAUL – State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-St. James) said that if Congress approves a federal stimulus package, it could assist in the future reconstruction of Highway 14 between New Ulm and Mankato. “Much of the federal money will be targeted for transportation projects that are shovel-ready,” said Torkelson. “And as we take these construction projects off the state’s to-do list, the odds become greater for Highway 14 to receive funding in the future because the project will become more of a priority.” As a member of the Minnesota House Transportation Policy Committee, Torkelson is taking an active role in determining which of Minnesota’s roads are in the most need of repair and reconstruction. “We have a number or trucking and agricultural businesses in the area that depend on a reliable transportation system in order to deliver their products in and out of this state,” Torkelson said. “To accelerate the Highway 14 project, we first need to perform a number of studies before securing final funding,” Torkelson noted. “That process becomes easier as road construction projects that were at the top of the priority list are completed.” “As a member of the House Transportation Committee, I’ll be trying to secure as many funds as possible for southwestern Minnesota, and when it comes to Highway 14, I believe there is finally reason for optimism,” Torkelson concluded.