I sent a column to our local papers that I wanted to share with you. Highway 14 was unfortunately left off the most recent draft of the MnDOT 20 year plan. I believe it's imperative this project be included and made a priority, and will continue working with legislators and all other supporters to make this project a reality. Highway 14 is a project that is long overdue, and needs to be addressed to ensure safety and future economic vitality in our region.
Please take a moment to read this column, and consider contacting Governor Dayton to make sure that Highway 14 is included in MnDOT's 20 year plan.
Have a great weekend,
Rep. John Petersburg
Contact Governor Dayton, MnDOT to support Highway 14 expansion
Rep. John Petersburg, District 24A
Highway 14 is one of the most important transit routes in South Central Minnesota. It connects communities across the region, stretching from Mankato to Rochester, passing through our communities here in Steele and Waseca Counties. It's a critical artery for the economic vitality of our region that connects consumers with businesses, employees to their places of employment, and businesses to the other parts of the state and country where their goods can be sold.
For years Highway 14 has been neglected, waiting patiently in line for critically needed transportation dollars with repeated assurances that it was a "top priority" thanks to its inclusion in short-term MnDOT plans. For years, legislators from our area have worked to secure dollars from the transportation budget and bonding bills, with little success as more and more dollars continued to be funneled to the Metro area.
It's startling that Governor Dayton and MnDOT excluded Highway 14 from the latest draft of their 20-year plan. If Highway 14 is not made a priority, it could spell trouble and continued safety issues for our area. Highway 14 is simply not able to handle the increased traffic capacity of our growing region. With Rochester moving forward with the Destination Medical Center project, the area is expected to grow even faster. This growth means even more traffic, and with it the increased risk of accidents.
While parts of Highway 14 have expanded to four lanes, many miles of Highway 14 remain just two lanes, and the quality of too many stretches remain sub-par at best. There have been far too many accidents and fatalities on Highway 14; each of them a reminder about the dire need for upgrades to improve the safety and traffic capacity of the highway for citizens and the businesses that rely on this corridor to transport their goods.
If you agree that Highway 14 is a critical transportation project for area, I hope you'll contact Governor Dayton and let him know how important it is that Highway 14 be included in MnDOT's 20-year plan. You can reach his office by calling 651-201-3400, or Toll Free: 800-657-3717. You can also reach him via the contact form on his website by visiting http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us.
I will continue working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to make sure Highway 14 is made a priority, and will do my best to keep you up to date on future developments. If you have questions, concerns, or comments about Highway 14, or any other issue, please don't hesitate to contact my office by phone at 651-296-5368 or by email at Rep.John.Petersburg@house.mn.