It's no secret that good roads are essential for economic and commercial success. Communities that have good access to main traffic arteries can offer manufacturers and other businesses quicker, cheaper ways to get their goods to market, or to get the inventory they need trucked in more efficiently.
That's why it is so essential that Highway 14 be expanded to a four-lane highway all the way from Rochester to New Ulm. Companies like Kraft, 3M and AMPI, indeed, any company that receives or sends shipments by truck pays more because trucks take longer to travel and burn more fuel over Highway 14's two lanes. Many companies, looking for places to expand, won't even consider locating in a community that is not served by a four-lane highway.
In 2013 the Minnesota Legislature established the "Corridors of Commerce" program to fund highway expansion programs, like Highway 14, which would provide needed four-lane access where it is needed to support economic growth.
The Highway 14 Partnership this week sent a letter to Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zea, recommending that Highway 14 receive Corridors of Commerce funding. The reasons are clearly evident. New Ulm is the largest city in Minnesota that does not have four-lane highway access. We have a multitude of businesses that are at a competitive disadvantage because of this lack.
Add to that the well-documented dangers of driving along Highway 14, and one would think that the state would be rushing to provide funding for Highway 14 expansion.
A letter from Mayor Bob Beussman, below, gives a link people can use to add their arguments to why Hwy. 14 should be funded. We hope everyone will use it.