ST. PAUL – State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) said he is disgusted over MnDOT’s decision to use $469 million in Corridors of Commerce funding on four projects within 50 miles of the Metro Area.
“This is an outrage,” Miller said. “We gave an incredible amount of money to this program thinking at least some of Greater Minnesota’s highway issues would be addressed. Instead, needed projects such as Highway 23, Highway 212 and Highway 14 are ignored as the Governor and his administration continue their refusal to support rural Minnesota’s needs.”
Miller noted that 172 projects across the state were eligible for $469 million in Corridors of Commerce funding. MnDOT chose four.
Miller was particularly upset that MnDOT touted the fact that 50 percent of the funding was used on Greater Minnesota projects. Among the two projects the department considers “rural”: $174 million will be spent in Elk River to convert Highway 169 to a freeway; and $62 million will be spent to create six lanes on Interstate 94 between St. Michael and Albertville.
Miller said MnDOT should be embarrassed.
“Realize that if the administration had the good sense to spend money on just one highway project in a corner of the state, not one rural lawmaker would be complaining,” Miller said. “Either the people in the governor’s office don’t understand Greater Minnesota’s road improvement needs or they don’t care, and I’m not sure which is worse.”