Transportation funding

The Senate Transportation and Public Safety Division of the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing today on Senate File 2107, a bill involving bonding for trunk highway transportation purposes, for the Corridors of Commerce program, and other transportation issues.

The bill would appropriate $1 billion in bonding for the Department of Transportation for trunk highways. It would allocate another $800 million for the Corridors of Commerce program ($200 million a year for fiscal years 2015 through 2018). It would allocated another $200 million ($50 million a year for FY?2013 through 2018) for the Transportation Economic Development Program.

Corridors of Commerce is the program instituted last year that funded a major portion of the Highway 14 project.

We have been strong supporters of funding transportation in Minnesota, especially in the rural parts of the state where our economic lifeblood flows along the highways, roads and bridges. It is essential to our area’s future that we have good roads. The prime example, of course, is Highway 14. Not only is this stretch of two-lane highway from Mankato to New Ulm a dangerous road, unable to safely handle the volume of traffic that has developed over the years, it is a bottleneck for commerce. The two-lane highway chokes off economic development and turns off the interest of any business that considers four-lane highway access a must.

We hope the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Divison will give this bill a favorable hearing.

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